Our People

Robyn Donnelly

B.Comm. Ll.B (UNSW) Ll.M (King’s College, London): is a former lawyer and academic and is the Patron of Co-operative Bonds. With a varied career as a solicitor and barrister until 2000 she turned to academia and then later worked as the Legal Manager and Legal Policy officer for the New South Wales Registry of Co-operatives & Associations. During her time with the Registrar she worked with other states and territories secure agreement on the final draft of the Co-operatives National Law which was passed as a template by the NSW Parliament in May 2012, the International Year of Co-operatives. After a short retirement in 2013, Robyn was a director and secretary for the Bathurst Wholefood Co-operative whilst undertaking specialist consulting work on legal and policy matters for the Business Council of Co-operatives and Mutuals. Keen to promote the co-operative business model and help more groups to form co-operatives she led the team to develop the Co-op Builder, first for agricultural co-operatives and then for general co-ops. The Co-op Builder is the first online resource to help people draft the necessary documents to form a co-operative under Australian law. Co-operatives’ access to capital is a subject of interest and to this end Robyn authored the Community Investment Handbook for co-operatives to provide basic information about capital raising for co-ops and through her adjunct position with Charles Sturt University’s law school co-authored Australia’s first undergraduate subject on corporate law that includes co-operatives. Robyn continues to provide policy and advice to the Business Council of Co-operatives and Mutuals with a particular focus on addressing anti-competitive barriers for co-ops and easing the regulatory burden surrounding fundraising.

Clare Fountain

is a regionally based consultant with 20 years’ experience working in the small business and not-for-profit sectors with a focus on values-based organisations. In this time, Clare has supported purpose driven groups to develop viable business models for their organisations. This work, combined with 20 years of consulting, demonstrates her experience in developing and accessing financially viable and sustainable business models that maintain a strong connection to their vision and purpose. Clare currently sits on the board of three co-ops: 888 Co-operative Causeway Limited a Melbourne based network and coworking space and bHive Bendigo Co-operative Limited a peer-to-peer tech start up platform co-operative (and Co-operative Bonds). Clare has also been a mentor / consultant on two national government-funded co-op development programs: Farming Together and Co-operative Farming and has completed the ‘Co-operatives and Mutuals strategic development program’ run by AIM / UWA.

Christine Li

is an environmental economist based in Melbourne. She is currently looking at the risks and impacts of climate change and biosecurity on the economy. Christine has previously worked at Deloitte Access Economics and also in the public sector advising government, industry and not-for-profit organisations in economic policy analysis across agricultural, natural resource and waste management sectors.

Alexandra McMullen

is a specialist in adult education and training, with a particular interest in worker identities, vocational education and training for vulnerable communities, and mentoring. She has extensive experience in the implementation of training regulatory frameworks and the acquittal of government contracts for training programs in the not-for-profit sector. Alexandra holds a Masters degree in Education (Work and Learning Studies) and a Diploma of Training & Assessment Systems. She is currently a Director of 888 Co-operative Bonds Limited and has previously served as a Board Director for Northern Melbourne Institute of TAFE (now Melbourne Polytechnic).

Antony McMullen

is a co-operative founder, developer and advocate committed to building local prosperity for the common good. He co-founded the 888 Co-operative Causeway, and, Co-operative Bonds to enable communities to establish or redevelop innovative member-owned enterprises in the social economy. He is Co-convenor of the New Economy Network Australia (NENA) Co-operatives Sectoral Hub. He holds a Graduate Certificate in Social Impact (social entrepreneurship), Diplomas of Business (Community Services and Health Management) and Community Services (Community Development) and he has completed the Co-operatives and Mutuals strategic development program conducted by AIM / UWA. He a Fellow of both the Governance Institute of Australia (formerly Chartered Secretaries Australia) and the RSA (Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce) and is a member of the Australian Services Union, Professionals Australia and Earthworker Cooperative. He co-drafted the Business Council of Co-operatives and Mutuals (BCCM) Co-operative and Mutual Enterprise best-practice governance framework. Antony has also provided consulting services to two national government-funded co-op development programs: Farming Together and Co-operative Farming. He writes semi-regularly on the social and solidarity economy (some of his articles can be found here) and you can The Co-operative Way podcast he collaboratively hosts here.

Krystian Seibert

is a researcher, educator and advocate focused on public policy, philanthropy and the not-for-profit sector and is an Industry Fellow at the Swinburne Business School (Centre for Social Impact) and is a non-member Director serving on the Co-operative Bonds board. He has particular interest in the regulation of philanthropy and the not-for-profit sector, the legitimacy or 'social license' of philanthropy, and the role of not-for profit sector advocacy as a driver of social innovation. Krystian teaches units in the Graduate Certificate and Master of Social Impact programs offered by Swinburne’s Australian Graduate School of Entrepreneurship and is an active participant in public policy debates in relation to philanthropy and the not-for-profit sector. He was previously the Advocacy & Insight Manager at Philanthropy Australia, the peak body for philanthropy in Australia. Krystian was previously an adviser to a former Australian Assistant Treasurer. In this role he was responsible for the delivery of major not-for-profit sector reforms including the establishment of Australia’s first independent charities regulator, the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission (ACNC), and the passage of Australia’s first comprehensive statutory definition of charity, the Charities Act 2013. He is a member of the Australian Taxation Office's Not-for-profit Stewardship Group, the Advisory Council of the International Centre for Nonprofit Law, and the Editorial Advisory Boards of Alliance Magazine, the Third Sector Review and Pro Bono Australia News. He has completed a Master’s degree from the London School of Economics and Political Science focusing on regulatory policy, and a Bachelor of Laws and a Bachelor of Commerce (Economics) from Deakin University. He is currently undertaking a PhD at Swinburne University of Technology focusing on the regulation of structured philanthropy.