The Effective Governance Advisory Team

Effective Governance is a privately-owned consulting firm that provides advice on corporate governance, strategy, risk management and corporate sustainability to clients in Australia and New Zealand. Our team provides a unique blend of people with extensive experience as directors, senior managers, management educators, facilitators and management researchers.

James Beck Managing Director at Effective Governance

James Beck

BSc (Hons) RMC Duntroon, GAICD

Managing Director

James leads the team of governance professionals at Effective Governance. He has substantial experience in senior management, management consulting and delivery, which has been established through a strong focus on his clients over the last 20 years. Over that period he has gained in depth knowledge in governance and designing/ implementing strategic solutions to address business requirements of both government and private clients. As a partner at Pricewaterhouse Coopers, he previously held the role of Education Leader for 5 years.


Zac Zahner CEO at Effective Governance

Zac Zahner



Zac works closely with boards and management teams to deliver improved governance structure and set strategic objectives. Zac has previously worked with professional chartered accounting practices, as CFO of retail and rental companies and more recently as CEO in a Brisbane-based rental company. Zac specialises in providing advice to medium to large enterprises encompassing board structures, skills and assessments, CEO assessments, operational and strategic matters, and the identification of key business drivers and establishment of effective internal control systems to drive ongoing improvements.


Garth Fountain-Smith Principal Advisor at Effective Governance

Garth Fountain-Smith

LL.B, Grad Cert Leg Prac, Grad Dip App Corp Gov, FGIA, FCIS, MAICD

Principal Advisor (Vic)

eG retains the services of Fountain-Smith Lawyers and Governance as its solicitors and engages its director (Garth Fountain-Smith) as Principal Advisor – Victoria. Garth is a corporate lawyer nearing 20 years’ standing. His in-depth experience includes having appeared as advocate in commercial and regulatory matters, advising on corporations law, directors’ duties, regulatory and enforcement law across business and financial services sectors, professional conduct matters and boards on governance, strategy and risk.

He is a Director on the National Board of Governance Institute of Australia Ltd; Fellow of Governance Institute; Deputy Chair of Victoria Council and immediate past Chairman of its Corporate Law Issues Committee and current member. Garth lectures for the Governance Institute in its certificated courses and a module in its Graduate Diploma in Applied Corporate Governance. He has co-authored numerous good governance guides, contributed to publications and the journal for Governance Institute.

Garth has extensive senior regulatory and compliance experience having been employed as a lawyer and manager in the law enforcement and operations directorates of ASIC. His board profile includes, former Chairman and non-executive director of National Confectionery Wholesalers Ltd responsible for implementing its governance architecture.

Stephen Howell Principal Advisor at Effective Governance

Stephen Howell


Principal Advisor

Stephen has over twenty-five years experience as a governance professional with expertise in regulation, compliance, risk management and corporate governance. He is a forensic accountant, company director and former company secretary with a focus on contributing to the professional development and governance of corporate Australia. His expertise also includes assisting organisations through change and process improvement whilst influencing strategic growth outcomes. With strong financial management qualifications and experience, he is a formally acknowledged and demonstrated corporate governance expert in Australia with extensive board experience as a governance and finance professional.


Garth Paton portrait

Garth Paton

B Comm (Finance) LLB (UNSW)

Principal Advisor (NSW)

Garth assists clients by providing policy, regulation, compliance, governance and legislative expertise to boards and executives. He commenced his career as a solicitor with Minter Ellison, then moved into consulting across a variety of industries sectors such as finance, resource, property, legal technology, business management and advertising. In past leadership roles, he has been successful in developing new markets and growing revenue for organisations. Previously he was an independent consultant and co-founder of Timberco and National Manager Business Improvement for Link Market Services.


Melissa Grundy portrait

Melissa Grundy


Senior Advisor

Melissa has a strong governance background as an accountant and company secretary in the financial services profession. She is a member of the Queensland State Council of the Governance Institute of Australia (GIA) and lectures in governance for the GIA.

Melissa also has over 15 years’ experience with the Australian Stock Exchange (now ASX Limited) addressing continuous disclosure, corporate governance and listing rule compliance issues as well as ASX policy development.

Melissa has been a company secretary for ASX-listed companies in Australia and also holds Graduate Diplomas in Applied Finance & Investment (SIA) and in Applied Corporate Governance (CSA).


Mark Watson portrait

Mark Watson CSC

BA (UNSW), MBA (UNE), Grad Dip of Strategic Studies (ADC), Grad Dip of Applied Corporate Governance (CSA), Grad Dip of Resource Management, Dip of Logistics Management, Diplôme supérieur de français des affaires (CCIP), FGIA, FCIS, FAIM

Senior Advisor

As well as having led public sector and not-for-profit organisations at a senior level, Mark possesses an extensive background in governance including having held senior positions as the principal private secretary to the head of a large Commonwealth organisation, board director, chair of a Commonwealth statutory authority and HR governance advisor in a Commonwealth agency. He is a Chartered Secretary and MBA graduate. He has also obtained post graduate qualifications in strategy, planning and international relations at the Australian Defence College in Canberra and the École Militaire in Paris.


Michael Willis portrait

Michael Willis


Specalist Advisor

Michael is a company director, with twenty years of experience in corporate governance in industry, financial services, industry peaks and the not-for-profit sector.

He chairs the Board of Boyce Chartered Accountants and is Honorary Treasurer of Independent Schools Qld. He has chaired an ASX-listed company, and served in governance and management of listed and regulated businesses, industry bodies and non-profits. Michael is a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and a Life Member of FINSIA, the Financial Services Institute of Australasia. He is a Past President of FINSIA, and led FINSIA’s participation in developing the ASX Corporate Governance Principles.

His expertise includes: assisting board in evaluating board and director effectiveness; reviewing governance structures, policies, processes, skills and dynamics; developing governance policies and solutions to assist boards in implementing sound governance practices; assisting boards in areas of risk management, compliance, financial oversight and strategy; and providing targeted professional development on corporate governance, financial oversight and risk management.


Denise Morton CEO at Effective Governance

Denise Morton


Specialist Advisor

Denise has had extensive experience in working with boards to enhance the governance of their organisations. In particular, in conducting board-as-a-whole and director evaluations and working with chairs to ensure the evaluation meets the needs of the organisation. In addition to conducting board evaluations, Denise is actively involved in our strategic planning and governance services, including providing governance advice, the preparation of board charters, and developing CEO evaluation processes and board and director development programs.


Gene Tunny

Gene Tunny

BEcon(Hons) (UQ)

Specialist Advisor

Gene is the Principal of Adept Economics and is a former Commonwealth Treasury manager with experience in industry, budget policy and macroeconomic advice and development. He is an accomplished speaker and regular economics commentator for ABC and commercial radio and television current affairs. Gene graduated from the University of Queensland in 1996 with first class honours in economics, and he was a University Medalist. He is the current Secretary of the Economic Society of Australia (Qld).


Jennifer Tunny portrait

Jennifer Tunny

BA (Hons), UQ

Senior Research Advisor

Since joining the firm in 2001, Jennifer has assisted in the preparation of books and academic and practitioner articles and has played a key role in research and in the development and preparation of teaching materials used in AICD courses. She has assisted in a number of board reviews and workshops to assist clients evaluate and improve their governance processes. Jennifer has also broadened her expertise into the area of strategic management has been involved in a number of strategic planning projects.


Cameron Beck Portrait

Cameron Beck

BBus (Int’l Bus/Mgt)


Combining his practical experience in information technology working with IBM’s Asia Pacific Delivery Centre and his learning in completing a Bachelor of Business majoring in International Business and Management, Cameron provides support in the strategy and governance assignments. He also develops technologies to provide new methodologies in the implementation of governance and strategy services.


Sean Titmarsh Advisor at Effective Governance

Sean Titmarsh


Currently completing a Bachelor of Information Technology at The University of Queensland, Sean brings aptitude and enthusiasm for Information Technology to the team. He assists in the development and production of board evaluation surveys and client deliverables while also supporting the Effective Governance teams throughout Australia by designing various software and hardware solutions.


Helen Shorrocks portrait

Helen Shorrocks


Helen is the longest serving member of our team and coordinates our advisors’ projects and activities. Helen administers and coordinates our online board evaluation services and generates the findings reports from those evaluations. Her knowledge of governance and strategic planning has grown in her time here and she makes significant contributions to the services we provide to our clients including the development of reports, presentations and educational materials.


Alicia Beck Advisor Support and Office Manager at Effective Governance

Alicia Mackie

BCreatInd (Drama/Integrated Marketing Communication)

Advisor Support and Office Manager

Alicia provides support to our teams in Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria. Through her developed knowledge in completing a Bachelor of Creative Industries and Integrated Marketing Communication, Alicia develops client proposals, deliverables, and is integral to our marketing efforts; Alicia is also responsible for the day-to-day operation and financial management of Effective Governance. She is also responsible for providing administrative leadership for the office and acting as liaison between the Effective Governance team and respective clients.