Career notes

Gary Banks’s contributions to public policy have been recognised through various awards and honours, including the Economic Society’s inaugural Distinguished Public Policy Fellows Award and the Order of Australia. 

Gary is best known for his nearly 15 years heading Australia’s Productivity Commission, following which he was appointed Chief Executive and Dean of the Australia and New Zealand School of Government (ANZSOG).  On ending his term there in January 2017 he was appointed by the Australian Government as Chairperson of the Australian Statistics Advisory Council. Among other current roles (see below) he chairs the OECD’s Regulatory Policy Committee and is on the board of the Macquarie Group. 

Trained in economics at Monash University and the Australia National University, Gary’s early career was spent at the GATT (now World Trade Organisation) in Geneva and at the Trade Policy Research Centre, London. On returning to Canberra in the mid-1980s, he worked at the Office of National Assessments and later as a consultant with the Centre for International Economics. 


Current positions

  • Professorial Fellow, Melbourne University Institute for Applied Economic and Social Research
  • Chair, Regulatory Policy Committee, OECD, Paris
  • Independent Non-Executive Director, Macquarie Group
  • Chairperson, Australian Statistics Advisory Council, Melbourne
  • Senior Fellow, Centre for Independent Studies, Sydney
  • Visiting Fellow, Crawford School, Australian National University
  • Member, Advisory Board, Melbourne Institute
  • Board Member, Behavioural Economics Team of the Australian Government (BETA)
  • Member, Economic Advisory Panel, NSW Government
  • Expert Advisor, Infrastructure NSW, Sydney
  • Judging Panel, BHP/Reconciliation Australia Indigenous Governance Awards


  • Doctor of the University of South Australia (Hon.), February 2016
  • Inaugural Distinguished Public Policy Fellow, Economic Society of Australia, 2014
  • Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences Australia (ASSA), 2010
  • Inaugural Monash University Fellow, 2010
  • National Fellow, Institute for Public Administration Australia, 2008
  • Officer of the Order of Australia AO (‘services to public policy’), 2007
  • Chancellor’s Medal, ANU, 2004
  • Centenary Medal, 2003
Gary Banks Biography

Gary Banks was appointed to the Industry Commission as a Commissioner in 1990 under a Labor Government and then as Chairman of the newly-created Productivity Commission in 1998 under a Liberal Government.  As well as overseeing a broadening of the new Commission’s role and influence, he presided on public inquiries in such diverse policy areas as infrastructure, industry assistance, health, gambling regulation, carbon abatement and executive remuneration. He also chaired the Council of Australian Governments’ Review of Government Services and had responsibility for the Office of Regulation Review. Among other activities, he was a member of the 1997 ‘West Review’ of Higher Education and in 2005–6 headed the Prime Minister’s Regulation Taskforce.  In 2013-14 he was a member of the Prime Minister’s Business Advisory Council.


Previous roles

  • Chief Executive and Dean, The Australia and New Zealand School of Government (2013-16)
  • Chairman/Executive Commissioner/Commissioner, Productivity Commission and Industry Commission (1990-2012)
  • Manager, Centre for International Economics, Canberra (1987-89)
  • Visiting Fellow, Trade Policy Research Centre, London (1986)
  • Director (Economics), Office of National Assessments (1985)
  • Senior Economist, GATT/WTO, Geneva; (1976-84)
  • Research Economist, Industries Assistance Commission; Lecturer in Economics, UNSW at Duntroon, Canberra


Named lectures

  • Infrastructure Oration 2017, Infrastructure Partnerships Australia, Sydney, April 2017
  • Alan McGregor Lecture, Centre for Independent Studies, Sydney, August 2014
  • Sir John Crawford Lecture, DFAT, New Delhi, March 2014
  • The Garran Oration, IPAA, Canberra, Nov 2013
  • Stan Kelly Lecture, Economic Society of Australia, Melbourne, August 2013
  • Inaugural Peter Karmel Lecture, ASSA, Canberra, July 2013
  • Chancellor’s Lecture, Swinburne Univ., Melbourne, September 2011
  • Fourth Ian Little Lecture, Monash Univ. and Vic Treasury, Melbourne, April 2010
  • Colin Clark Memorial Lecture, Australian Economic Society, Brisbane, Aug 2008
  • Menzies Health Policy Oration 2008, ANU, Canberra, June