About us

Our Board

Dr. David Cooke


Following 35 years in the tech sector where David integrated his philosophy of responsible business along with strong commercial outcomes David started consulting through the vehicle of ESG Advisory.

David was previously appointed as the first non-Japanese Managing Director of Konica Minolta in Australia in 2013, and prior to that held senior management positions with Canon and Xerox. He is a Fellow of the Institute of Managers & Leaders and a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors. He is also Chair of UN Global Compact Network Australia and Chair of the Australian Institute for Human Rights Advisory Committee and non-executive director of Sustainalytics Australia, a Morningstar subsidiary. He is also an Adjunct Professor at UTS Business School.

He completed his doctorate in 2008. David’s dissertation was titled “The Philanthropic Contract: Building Social Capital though Corporate Social Investment” which dealt with the role of profit–making corporations in furthering the work of the NGO sector. His work was awarded the Emerald Publishing Globally Responsible Leadership award for Social Impact in 2011 and in 2014 he was awarded the Top Alumnus of the last 20 years by the Southern Cross University Business School. In 2020 he was awarded an honorary doctorate by Edith Cowan University for his contribution to the promotion of responsible business.

David led Konica Minolta Australia through a process of significant cultural change. This included a focus on gender equality leading to the awarding of the Workplace Gender Equality Agencies’ citation as an employer of choice for four consecutive years. David has been a strong advocate for the implementation of the UN Sustainability Development Goals (SDGs)

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Kylie Porter


Kylie Porter is the Executive Director of the Global Compact Network Australia (GCNA); the Australian Local Network of the United Nations (UN) Global Compact. As a sustainability expert and business leader, holding particular expertise in delivering responsible business and corporate responsibility strategies, guiding businesses on reputation risk management for environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues and policy development and implementation across thematic areas such as the climate change, modern slavery, human rights and the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

As the Executive Director, Kylie leads a team of experts across the fields of business and human rights, the transition to net zero, the SDGs and bribery prevention. During her tenure, membership of the GCNA has almost doubled and over A$1million of grants and associated funding has been awarded to the organisation. Prior to joining the GCNA, Kylie’s worked in the financial services, professional services and international development sectors in Australia, the UK and Singapore which included expatriate work in Nigeria, Switzerland, France and South Africa. Kylie’s last position was with National Australia Bank’s (NAB) Royal Commission into Misconduct in the Financial Services Industry team where she held particular responsibility for engagement with consumer advocacy groups.

Kylie is a member of the Australian Government’s Modern Slavery Expert Advisory Group, the Cross-Sector International Partnerships Initiative’s (XSPI) Advisory Group and the alternate-Chair for the UN Global Compact’s Regional Network Council (Asia-Oceania). Kylie was previously a member of the Australian National Contact Point’s (AusNCP) Governance and Advisory Board and the Climate Principles including Chair of the Project Finance and Corporate Banking Working Group. She was also a director of the Council for Single Women and their Children from 2017 to 2019.

Kylie holds a Bachelor of Business, Bachelor of Arts and a Masters’ degree in Social Science majoring in International Development. Kylie is also a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors (AICD) Company Director’s Course.

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Pru Bennett

INDEPENDENT DIRECTOR and chair, financial risk and audit committee

Pru Bennett is an independent corporate governance consultant assisting Australian corporate clients on issues relating to stakeholder management, ESG strategies and stakeholder communications. Pru is a Senior Advisor to the Brunswick Group in Hong Kong providing strategic ESG advice for their clients and also a Senior Advisor to Morrow Soldali in Australia.

Until January 2019, Pru Bennett was a Managing Director at BlackRock and Head of BlackRock’s Investment Stewardship team for the APAC Region based in Hong Kong. In that role Pru led a team that was responsible for engagement and proxy voting activities in relation to the companies in which BlackRock invests on behalf of clients.

Before taking on her BlackRock role in August 2010 Pru was head of Corporate Governance at institutional advisor Regnan Governance and Research. From 1998 to 2009 Pru was a director of Australian proxy advisor Corporate Governance International, which was acquired by Glass Lewis & Co in 2006 and is now known as CGI Glass Lewis. Prior to working in the area of corporate governance Pru was Investor Relations Manager for Qantas Airways Limited.

In 2018 Pru received the Asia Industry Leadership Award from 100 Women in Finance. In 2013, Pru was named as one of Australia’s top 10 Women of Influence in Corporate Governance.  Pru holds a Bachelor of Commerce from the University of New South Wales, is a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand and a graduate of the AICD.

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Sasha Courville

Executive, Social Impact, NAB

Sasha was appointed as the General Manager, Corporate Responsibility at NAB in December 2018. Prior to this role Sasha was the Head of Social Innovation at NAB, looking at how to address society’s needs and challenges through new funding and business solutions. This includes scaling up of NAB’s portfolio of Shared Value initiatives that deliver business value while also addressing social and environmental challenges including developing the impact investing ecosystem in Australia, Natural Value, Clean Energy Finance and NAB Assist, as well as embedding a culture of social innovation internally. Previously, Sasha was Head of Corporate Responsibility Strategy at NAB, responsible for strategy development, non-financial performance and reporting and stakeholder engagement on ESG issues. Sasha joined NAB to drive its Natural Value Strategy, managing natural capital risks, taking advantage of new opportunities and supporting agribusiness customers to do the same.

Prior to joining NAB, Sasha was Executive Director of the London-based ISEAL Alliance, the global association for sustainability standards and assurance systems. She has also worked as an international consultant on social justice and environmental sustainability issues in soft commodity sectors, and as an academic, based at the Regulatory Institutions Network at the ANU. Sasha was deeply involved in setting up the Fairtrade labelling system in Australia and New Zealand.

Sasha has a PhD on coffee from the ANU, an MSc from the London School of Economics and a Bachelor of Environmental Studies from York University in Canada.

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Laura McManus


Laura is a business and human rights practitioner with a keen interest in how companies develop and embed meaningful human rights due diligence in global supply chains. 

Beginning her career in the NGO sector, Laura has worked in issues of child rights and youth participation in peacebuilding in Nepal and the Netherlands. As a researcher, she co-authored Tackling Modern Slavery in Supply Chains, a publication by the Walk Free Foundation, where she harnessed an interest in the role of business in human rights.  

Transitioning to the corporate sector, Laura first worked with Konica Minolta Australia to develop and implement its Ethical Sourcing Roadmap and Human Rights Position Statement. For this work she was recognised by the Australian Institute of Management as NSW Young Leader of the Year in 2017. 

Today, Laura is Human Rights Manager at Woolworths Group, where she oversees the implementation of the company’s human rights and anti-modern slavery programs.

Laura holds a Masters in Human Rights and Democratisation from the University of Sydney and is currently completing the AICD Company Directors Course.

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Karen McWilliams


Karen McWilliams is the Business Reform Leader in the Advocacy and Professional Standing team at Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand. She is responsible for shaping and influencing business reform issues of relevance to Chartered Accountants, including insolvency, corporate governance, anti-money laundering, corporations law and sustainability matters.

 Karen represents CA ANZ on the Advisory Board of the Deakin Centre for Integrated Reporting and ASX Corporate Governance Council and chair of the financial committee of the Climate Measurement Standards Initiative.

With over 20 years’ experience in a variety of business and advisory roles, she started her career in the specialist field of audit and has held positions with Worley Parsons, Ernst and Young, and Deloitte in London.

She is a Fellow Chartered Accountant with the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales, a member of Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand and holds a Master of Arts in Mathematical Sciences from the University of Oxford.

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Howard Wigham


Howard Wigham is a Non-Executive Director of the Banksia Foundation and a member of its Nominations and Remuneration Committee.  He is also the Executive Director of Navigate Business Advisory, which helps micro, small and medium enterprises to excel by assisting them to navigate various business, organisational and personal challenges.

Howard has enjoyed a successful corporate career as a divisional CEO and subsidiary board member in a variety of sectors, including chemicals, technology, information management and supply chain logistics.  His executive career has spanned more than 25 years, spending 14 years with Brambles where his roles included Managing Director Chep UK & Ireland, President of Recall Australasia and President of Chep Asia-Pacific.  Howard has lived in Australia, the United Kingdom and Germany, and has worked extensively in Asia, Europe and North America. 

Howard supports various sustainability causes and is an investor in early stage companies with social and environmental purposes. 

Howard holds an honours degree in Chemistry and German from Aston University in the United Kingdom, has completed employer-sponsored management programmes at the London Business School and INSEAD, and is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

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Vanessa Zimmerman


Vanessa Zimmerman has been a Director of the Global Compact Network Australia since 2013. Vanessa chairs the GCNA’s Human Rights workstream and Modern Slavery Community of Practice. She is also a member of the Nominations and Governance Committee.

Vanessa is the CEO of Pillar-Two and a recognised global and domestic corporate sustainability expert focusing on human rights. Originally an anti-trust lawyer, Vanessa was a Legal Advisor to the UN Special Representative on Business and Human Rights, Harvard Professor John Ruggie and part of the core team drafting the internationally recognised UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights. She then managed the implementation of Rio Tinto’s human rights strategy for 7 years, including leading its response to the UK and Australian modern slavery legislation.

In 2018, Vanessa founded Pillar Two, an advisory firm helping businesses take a principled, integrated and practical approach to managing their human rights risks. In 2016 she was recognised as one of 100 Australian Women of Influence and in 2018 was highly commended in the Agenda Setter of the Year category in the Women’s Agenda Leadership Awards.

In addition to her work at the Global Compact Network Australia, Vanessa holds various expert advisory roles including as a member of the Global Reporting Initiative’s Technical Committee on Human Rights Disclosure, the Law Council of Australia and International Bar Association’s Business and Human Rights Committees, the Australian National Roundtable on Human Trafficking and Slavery, the Australian Border Force Modern Slavery Expert Advisory Group and the Department of Treasury’s Governance and Advisory Board to the Australian National Contact Point. She is also a research fellow at the Institute for Human Rights and Business.

Vanessa holds a Master of Laws from Harvard University as well as a Bachelor of Laws (Hons) and Bachelor of Arts (Japanese) from Monash University, Australia.

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