Daniel Walton announced as McKell Institute chairman

The McKell Institute

Former Australian Workers’ Union National Secretary and current Group Executive, Strategy & Growth at EML Group, Daniel Walton, has been announced as the new chairman of The McKell Institute.

Mr Walton stood down from the AWU last year after seven years leading the union. During that time Mr Walton also served as a director of AustralianSuper and Vice President of the ACTU.

Mr Walton is currently a director of the federal government’s National Reconstruction Fund Corporation, and has previously served on the Trade and Industry Advisory Committee, the NSW Renewable Energy Sector Board, DFAT’s Ministerial Advisory Council, and the Minerals Industry Advisory Council.

“I’m thrilled that Dan will chair the McKell Institute into what I think is the most exciting period in our organisation’s history,” said McKell Institute chief executive Edward Cavanough.

“Dan’s career has been defined not just by a dedication to advancing the interests of working Australians, but also by a restless curiosity about identifying novel solutions capable of producing better results. Dan’s knowledge and leadership has been sought out by governments of both stripes, as well as by the business community, as his impressive CV attests. Dan’s pragmatic, open-minded leadership style is a perfect fit with the work we do at McKell.

“I also want to express my deep appreciation to Craig Emerson, who Dan will be replacing as chairman. Craig has guided McKell astutely through a dynamic period and the respect with which he is held across Australian civil society has boosted the reputation of the institute enormously.”

After a long period on the board of McKell, Mr Walton said he was greatly looking forward to engaging more deeply with the Institute’s work.

“I’ve long been fascinated by the way that public policy is shaped to the benefit or detriment of working Australians and the process through which policy ideas gain traction,” Mr Walton said.

“The McKell Institute has had a really significant impact on the policy debate in Australia over the last decade. For example, I know from my time at the AWU that the major reform our union helped drive for the rights of fruit pickers would probably not have been possible without the research and policy rigor the McKell Institute provided through the widely reported ‘Blue Harvest‘ report.

“I can’t remember a time when there’s been stronger public appetite for practical, progressive policy reform. People want their governments to start thinking big on dealing with the housing crisis, on strategic industry policy, on cost of living reforms.

“I’m eager to help drive the important role that the McKell Institute plays further over the coming years.

“I know I’m stepping into massive shoes, and I will certainly be bothering Craig frequently for his advice and wisdom.”

/Public Release.