Our People

TAPRI researchers and their fields of interest

Dr Bob Birrell, President

robert_birrell-profile1Bob Birrell (PhD Princeton – Sociology) was Reader in Sociology and the founding director of the Centre for Population and Urban Research at Monash University. He was the joint editor of the demographic journal People and Place (with Katharine Betts) from 1993 to 2010. His appointment with Monash University finished in 2014. He has been a consultant and advisor to successive Australian governments on immigration policy, most recently as part of Coalition Government’s Evaluation of the General Skilled Migration Categories, published in 2006. His research covers Australian history (A Nation of Our Own – Longman 2005), Australian education policy, urban affairs and immigration practice and policy. His most recent international publications include, ‘Media Effects and Immigration Policy in Australia,’ in Gary Freeman, et al., Eds, Immigration and Public Opinion in Liberal Democracies, Routledge, 2013 and ‘Migration: the Australian experience,’ in Sasha Bangalay and Delphine Nakache, Eds, Immigration Regulation in Federal States, Springer, 2014.
Mobile: 0413 021 126
Email: bob.birrell@tapri.org.au

Dr Katharine Betts, Vice President

K Betts 2014 copyKatharine Betts (Phd Monash—sociology) was Associate Professor Sociology at Swinburne until February 2009 and held adjunct status there till early 2021. She was also joint-editor of the demographic journal People and Place for 18 years. She has written widely on demographic topics and is the author of Ideology and Immigration, 1988 (revised as The Great Divide in 1999). She was a member of the Federal Government’s Sustainable Population, Sustainable Development Panel chaired by Bob Carr in 2010, vice president of the National Council of the Australian Population Association from 1999 to 2000, and from 2004 to 2007. From 1999 to 2001 she was chair of the Advisory Committee to the Office of the Status of Women (for the production of a history of Australian women to commemorate the centenary of Federation). She is currently a patron of Sustainable Population Australia.
Mobile: 0412 214 820
Email: katharine.betts@tapri.org.au

Dr Ernest Healy, Treasurer

ErnestErnest Healy was a Research Fellow within the Centre for Population and Urban Research at Monash University until 2014, having been a founding member of the Centre in 1990.
His research contributions over the past three decades have been in the areas of population growth and national greenhouse policy, the occupational outcomes of skilled migrants to Australia, ethnic diversity and volunteering behaviour, migrant settlement and social disadvantage, migrant voting behaviour, migrant settlement and housing outcomes, and labour market forecasting.
He specialises in the specification and use of large customised data sets for social and social analysis.
His current research interests focus on the relationship between globalisation and social cohesion, and the long-term impact of market liberal ideology upon the structure and viability of the Australian economy.
He is currently editing and contributing to a monograph which examines the impact of globalisation upon identity and social cohesion in Australia and Japan.
Email: Ernest.Healy@monash.edu

Ms Virginia Rapson, Secretary

PaddyVirginia Rapson has extensive experience in data analysis and preparing academic publications which was first developed as a researcher in urban geography at Monash University. This experience was extended over a 14-year period with the Monash Centre for Population and Urban Research, ultimately as Research Manager. During this time she developed familiarity with Australian Bureau of Statistics information, particularly Census data, and other large administrative files including immigration, education (particularly higher education), social security and medical workforce data. Between 2006 and 2009 she undertook an administrative role as senior data analyst providing strategic information for the purpose of university planning at Monash University. Since then she has provided further research support to the Centre for Population and Urban Research. In these roles she contributed to many research projects and consultancies, as well as the CPUR journal People and Place.

Ms Adrienne Millbank, Research associate

AdrienneAdrienne Millbank has been a policy officer in the Department of Immigration, a senior advisor on immigration, refugee and population issues in the Research Service of the Australian Parliamentary Library, and a research associate with the Centre for Population and Urban Research at Monash University. Her publications include briefing and research papers for the Parliamentary Library, articles on the international asylum system for the CPUR journal People and Place, and a chapter on border protection for the Menzies House publication State of the Nation: aspects of Australian Public Policy.
Email: adrienne.millbank@bigpond.com

Dr Ian Dobson, Research associate

Ian R. Dobson holds a PhD (Monash) in sociology and was a career administrator in Australia from 1971 until 2005, working for much of that time in planning, analysis and institutional research at RMIT, the University of Melbourne and Monash University. Since then, he has co-resided in Australia and Finland and from mid-2010 until the end of 2012 worked as a research director at the University of Helsinki. He holds honorary appointments with Australia’s Federation University and Monash University. He has been undertaking commissioned analytical projects since the mid-1990s with clients such as the Australian Council of Deans of Science, the Australian Academy of the Humanities, the Office of the Chief Scientist, the Australian Council of Learned Academies and several universities. Recent studies have included Unhealthy science? University natural and physical sciences 2002 – 2009/10 (2012), Mapping the humanities and social sciences: Analysis of university statistics 2002 – 2011 (2013) and Staffing university science in the twenty-first century (2014).
Recent book chapters include:
‘Using data and experts to make the wrong decision: the rise and fall of journal ranking in Australia’ in M. Menon, D.G. Terkla & P. Gibbs, Eds, Data driven management in higher education. Sense Books, 2014.
‘Stemming the tide: the Finnish way to a technologically proficient workforce’ in B. Freeman, S. Marginson & R. Tytler, Eds, The Age of STEM—Educational policy and practice across the world in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics, Routledge. http://routledge-ny.com/books/details/9781138785953/
With T. Aarrevaara and J. Wikström ‘Changing employment and working conditions’ in T. Fumasoli, G. Goastellec & B. Kehm, Eds, Academic work and careers in Europe: Trends, Challenges, Perspectives, Dordrecht, Springer.
With T Aarrevaara, ‘Academics under pressure: fear and loathing in Finnish universities?’ in W. Cummings & U. Teichler, Eds, Forming, Recruiting and Managing the Academic Profession, Dordrecht, Springer.
He is editor of the Australian Universities’ Review and the Journal of Higher Education Policy and Management.
Email: Ian.Dobson@monash.edu

Mr Bob Kinnaird, Research associate

Bob Kinnaird croppedBob Kinnaird was National Research Director for the Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union (CFMEU) National Office from 2009 until he retired in 2014, specialising in temporary migration and labour market issues. From 2009-2011 he was on the Federal government’s tripartite Skilled Migration Consultative Panel, advising the Immigration Minister. In 2012 he co-ordinated the formal response by four construction unions to the first Enterprise Migration Agreement proposed by the Roy Hill project.
He previously ran his own independent consulting and research company for over 20 years. He was also State Manager New South Wales, for the National Centre for Vocational Education Research Ltd (NCVER). He has published articles on temporary visa programs in the CPUR journal People and Place, and several influential studies on the impact of migration policies on ICT graduate employment, including two commissioned reports for the Australian Computer Society.
Before that, he was a Senior Executive with the Commonwealth Department of Education; the first Executive Director of the Asian Studies Council 1986-87; and the first Australian Exchange Officer to the Canada Employment and Immigration Commission, 1980-83.
Free Trade Agreement with China
Bob Kinnaird’s blogs on the free trade agreement with China are at Bob Kinnaird on John Menadue’s website
Email: bob.kinnaird@bigpond.com

Mr David McCloskey, Research associate

D McCloskey

David McCloskey is currently Founding Director of Sensing Value Pty Ltd, a business leveraging recent advances in the science of measurement of choice and preference, machine learning and geo-spatial analytics to help governments and businesses to:

  • Understand the drivers of behaviour and the decisions that people make on life choices
  • Improve the environmental sustainability of businesses and cities
  • Better understand the ‘white space’ of unmet consumer and market needs to optimise strategic innovation in policy and product

Prior to this David worked concurrently as Adjunct Senior Research Fellow at Monash University and as a Partner in Deloitte’s Decision Science and Analytics practice in Australia.
In his role at Monash David has been conducting original research on patterns of household formation and dissolution and the linkages between housing needs and the types and locations of dwelling construction occurring in our cities.
David has extensive experience in, and knowledge of geo-spatial data and property attributes. In 1993 he formed the working party that led to the development of the Geo-coded National Address File (GNAF) and the national digital cadastral database.
David has over 25 years of experience in geo-demography and analysis of place attributes and has been an owner and co-founder of GEOSPEND Pty Ltd (a joint venture with Australia Post) and Pathfinder Solutions. He has built geo-demographic classifications for Australia, New Zealand and Japan. These classifications have been applied in a diverse range of areas – from predicting the uptake of testing for Down’s syndrome, to identification of city areas with under detection of drink driving offences, determination of local factors in modifying life expectancy and determining the influence of secondary schools on the likelihood of students progressing from secondary school to higher education.
David’s academic qualifications include Bachelor of Behavioural Science (Honours) at La Trobe University, and an MBA from Monash University.
David has co-authored a study on Making Public Transport Work with Bob Birrell and Rose Yip in the CPUR Journal People and Place (Vol 17 No 3, 2009).
Email: david.s.mccloskey@gmail.com

Mr William Lines, Research associate

William J. Lines (B.Ec., University of Western Australia) is the author of half a dozen books on nature and history in Australia. He has been published in Australia and in the United States where he lived for 20 years. His books include Taming the Great South Land: A History of the Conquest of Nature in Australia (1991) and Patriots: Defending Australia’s Natural Heritage (2006). For People and Place he has written articles on the population policies of South Australia and of The Greens. He is also co-author (with Mark O’Connor) of Overloading Australia: How governments and media dither and deny on population (2008).
His most recent book, Failing Nature: The Rise and Fall of the Wilderness Society, is published this year (2019) by Envirobook and chronicles how left-wing distractions and neo-liberal market reform killed conservation efforts in Australia.
He is currently writing a book on the first thirteen years of Federation profiling the Australian people who put together a society and institutions that enabled forgiveness, tolerance, and negotiated politics. He is also researching a book on the myth of the ecological Aborigine.
Email: wlines@hotmail.com

Dr Michael Moynihan, Research associate

Mike Moynihan

Mike Moynihan is a Cambridge graduate who worked as a Provincial Health Officer and senior bureaucrat in Papua Niugini. He was a rural medical generalist for 32 years until retiring recently. During this time he served as President of the Rural Doctors Association of Victoria and as a member of the national committee of the national association for nine years. He also served, during this time, as a member of the National Joint Consultative Committee for Paediatrics. He has a long-term interest in the Australian medical workforce.
Email: moynidoc@gmail.com

Postal address for all associates:

The Australian Population Research Institute
PO Box 12500
Middle Camberwell
Victoria 3124