Tom Switzer is the Executive Director at the Centre for Independent Studies. He is a former senior fellow at the University of Sydney’s United States Studies Centre (2009-17), a former editor of the Spectator Australia (2009-14), senior federal Liberal leader adviser/speech writer (2008), opinion editor of The Australian, (2001-08), editorial writer at the Australian Financial Review (1998-01) and assistant editor at the American Enterprise Institute in Washington, DC (1995-98). He has written for the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Washington Post, The Spectator, Financial Times, Foreign Affairs, The National Interest, The American Interest and The American Conservative. He has also appeared on CNN, CNBC, Bloomberg, Al Jazeera, Sky News, SBS, Seven, Nine, Ten and ABC radio and television. He hosts Between the Lines on the ABC's Radio National.
Design and Production Manager
Ryan joined CIS in 2010, as the in-house graphic designer. He manages the production of the centres publications and designs graphics for all events, marketing material and website. Ryan studied at CATC Design School (previously known as Commercial Arts Training College) in Sydney and he also works as a freelance graphic designer.
Executive Assistant / Events Assistant
Jane has had a varied and interesting career with many years’ experience in retailing and consumer products working for companies such as Myer, Harris Scarfe, Pacific Brands and Estee Lauder. Prior to joining CIS in June 2017, Jane was travelling, learning to play golf (does one ever stop learning to play golf) and enjoying a break from working in Melbourne.
Curator of Major Events
With more than fifteen years’ experience in event management, marketing and public relations, Meegan has had an interesting and varied career working for organisations such as the Australian National Maritime Museum, the Australian Human Resources Institute, the Olympic Co-ordination Authority, and the Investigator Science and Technology Centre. Prior to joining CIS in January 2008, Meegan freelanced as a writer and editor of corporate materials and non-fiction books, and spent two years living in Argentina.
A teacher by training, Kerri has gained great experience in administration having worked for many years as the Education and Community Relations Co-ordinator for the Sydney Attractions Group.
Upon completion of his Diploma of Event Management in Sydney, Max spent several years living in the UK and Hungary, he has worked on the London 2012 Olympics, Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games and since 2015, at the Future Leaders Trust across England until moving back to Australia in late 2016. Max started with CIS at the beginning of 2017 and works with several other events organisations in Sydney in both voluntary and paid capacities.
General Manager and Student Program Coordinator
Jenny is the General Manager at the CIS. In addition, she coordinates the Liberty and Society student program which is a unique conference program that allows university students to immerse themselves in classical liberal ideas. She has a Bachelor of Arts from the University of NSW and worked for many years in management positions in the retail industry and then running her own consulting and training business specialising in the retail market. Before joining the CIS, she also owned and ran Commentary Books, a specialised mail-order book business.
Cathleen has a Bachelor of Commerce and is a Certified Practising Accountant. Cathleen has extensive experience as an Account Manager having worked for many years for Optus and then a medical centre.
Multi Media Co-ordinator
Matt has wide experience with web development and maintainence, film production, film editing, photography and setting up and running the technical elements of events. He began his career as an Electronics Technician with the Royal Australian Army. Matt has a Diploma of Screen and Media and a number of qualifications in web design, IT and photography. He has experience working with major Australian production companies and with small companies developing websites, filming and producing.
Karla has a Bachelor of Visual Arts, a Graduate Diploma of Public Policy and more than 20 years of experience in media and communications. Her journalism career includes eight years as a print section editor and six years as a national website editor for News Corp, several roles in media and publications at James Cook University, plus arts commentary and review for a range of specialist publications.
Prior to joining the CIS, Phoebe has worked most recently as an Import Manager. She has also had roles in Account Payable and as an Administrative Assistant and for 13 years worked at IBM in senior administrative roles.
James has joined the CIS as our Development Manager. Prior to joining the CIS, James led the development and fundraising efforts and oversaw the operations of a residential college at The University of New South Wales. James has a Bachelor of Arts in history and government from the University of Sydney.
Editor of POLICY
Sue Windybank has been Editor of the Centre for Independent Studies’ quarterly journal, Policy, since the Autumn 2016 issue. She previously edited the journal from 2000 to 2004. With a masters degree in international studies, Sue then became director of the Centre’s inaugural foreign policy research program. Her first major report - Papua New Guinea on the Brink (co-authored with the late Mike Manning) - is still sometimes cited today. She has published widely on PNG and the Pacific and Chinese strategy in the Southwest Pacific as well as globalisation and the rule of law in Pacific island countries and ‘new’ and ‘old’ security issues in the broader Asia Pacific region. Sue left the Centre in 2008 and taught for several years at Sydney University on geopolitics and current global issues as well as giving guest lectures on Russian literature and geopolitics and state failure in the South Pacific. She now has her own freelance editing business and became an accredited editor with the Institute for Professional Editors in 2011. Over the years, she has worked on a wide variety of projects ranging from corporate training manuals for Indian call centres to a vegan cookbook/philosophical treatise with well over 1000 endnotes.