John completed his Masters' degree at Auckland University, worked at Sydney University for three years as a Post Doctoral Fellow, and was recruited into the Australian Public Service in 1974. He played a key role in the closing of sand mining on Fraser Island and the Ranger mine.
He returned to the Australian Government in 1980 and was successful in establishing a tax incentive for venture capital. He then joined the OECD in 1984.
John's return to Australia led to his appointment as Deputy Secretary and Chief Science Adviser in the Industry Department. He chaired the Australian Commonwealth Science Coordination Committee and the Australian Cooperative Research Centres Program.
He joined one of Australia's leading consulting companies in 2001 and has played a leading role in teams undertaking major projects for numerous government (federal and state) and private sector clients. He was awarded a Centenary of Federation Medal in 2003 for his strategic contribution to research and development in Australia.
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