ESSA Q&A: Panellist Biographies

ESSA Q&A: Panellist Biographies

This semester ESSA’s flagship event is a Q&A, where we have invited six illustrious panellists to share their viewpoints and discuss two issues that confront Australia on a nationwide scale: Immigration and the two-speed economy. With the event just around the corner, you might like to know a little more on each of our guests. Read on for a short bio on each of the panellists and discover what unique experiences each of them brings to the discussion.


George Megalogenis, described as ‘The Australian’s resident nit-picker’, is a senior writer and political commentator for the aforementioned newspaper. He also maintains a blog, the aptly named ‘Meganomics’ which deals with the happenings of the government and various issues in both the Australian and international economy.

Prior to his post at the Australian, George spent 11 years in the Canberra Press Gallery, the group of journalists responsible for monitoring and reporting the going-on behind the scenes in the Australian parliament. He is also a regular guest on the ABC political commentary show The Insiders, as well as the author of several books dealing with Australia’s political and economic history such as Faultlines, The Longest Decade and his latest work, The Australian Moment.


James Paterson, a recent graduate from the University of Melbourne, is now the Director of Communications at the Institute of Public Affairs – an independent public policy think tank. He is also the editor of the IPA review, the regular publication of the IPA. Prior to his position with the IPA James has been actively involved in Australian politics, including roles on capitol hill as a staffer to Senator Mitch Fifield and as a Writer for the Victorian Employers’ Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

He is a regular contributor of articles to The Weekend Australian, Policy, Spectator Australia and Online Opinion.


Professor Max Corden, is Emeritus Professor of International Economics of Johns Hopkins Univeristy, and has been a Professorial Fellow in the Department of Economics of the University of Melbourne since 2002. He is a member of various professional and academic economics societies around the world, including a role as the president of the Economic Society of Australia.

Over an academic career spanning more than 40 years Professor Max Corden has been the author of numerous publications focusing on the field of international economic theory and policy. He is best known for this work on trade protectionism, as well as for his pioneering study in the 1980’s on the ‘Dutch Diesease’, the economic phenomenon that is popularly referred to today as the two-speed economy.


Associate Professor Neville Norman, a veteran economics professor who completed his Bachelor of Commerce here at the University of Melbourne and received his PhD from Cambridge University. Neville has been teaching economics at the University of Melbourne since 1973 and one of his current roles is as the co-ordinator of the honours program in economics. His research interests include economic forecasting and international economics.

Outside of the university Neville is involved with various professional and academic organisations, including the Business Council Economics Committee, the Committee for Economic Development of Australia and being on the member of the editorial board of the Competition and Consumer Law Journal. He is also a member of the council of the Economic Society of Australia.


Stephen Koukoulas, an economist with over 25 years of experience, was the senior economic advisor to the Gillard government until last year. Currently he is the Managing Director of Market Economics, a firm he established in response to the demand for independent macroeconomic analysis by business clients.

Stephen’s experience in economics started in the Commonwealth Treasury in the late 1980’s after his graduation from ANU. His work covered economic forcasting, monetary policy analysis and the international economy. Prior to his current roles he had had roles with the Australian Financial Review as an economics analyst, as chief economist of Citibank Australia and as the Chief Strategist at TD Securities working in both Sydney and London.


Stephen Long, with more than 22 years experience in journalism, is the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC)’s economics correspondent. For the past five years he has appeared on various ABC programs such as Four Corners, Lateline and The World Today as the National Finance Correspondent as well as the Economics Correspondent. Prior to his post at the ABC he was a senior reporter and columnist on the Australian Financial Review covering industrial relations and labour market economics.

Stephen’s academic background is of economics, history and journalism, and has won various award for his journalism including the Commonwealth Media award, the Citigroup Award for Economic and Financial Journalism as well as being a finalist for the Walkley Awards for Journalism.