Robyn Donnelly (Member and Patron)
B.Comm. Ll.B (UNSW) Ll.M (King’s College, London): 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 (Member and Director)
Clare Fountain is a highly experienced and dedicated professional who has been instrumental in supporting member-owned, purpose-driven, and small business enterprises in building resilience and achieving sustainable success. With a holistic and methodical approach, Clare excels in complex situations by considering multiple influencing factors and developing clear, staged strategies to deliver agreed outcomes. She has contributed to national government-funded co-op development programs Farming Together and Co-operative Farming, and is currently contributing to the Care Together program of the BCCM. Clare holds board positions in various organisations, including ARC Justice (community legal centers), 888 Co-operative Bonds Ltd (development co-operative), and 888 Co-operative Causeway Ltd (Victoria's first co-operatively owned co-working space). With her extensive expertise and dedication to empowering businesses and communities, Clare continues to make a lasting impact and drive positive change.
Christine Li (Member)
An environmental economist and researcher working in the university sector based in Melbourne. Christine also worked at Deloitte Access Economics, Department of Treasury of Finance, Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning advising government, industry and not-forprofit organisations in economic policy analysis across agricultural, natural resource and waste management sectors.
Alexandra McMullen (Member and Director)
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). ss
Antony McMullen (Member, Director and Secretary)
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 find The Co-operative Way podcast he collaboratively hosts here.