The Effective Governance Advisory Team

Effective Governance is part of the HopgoodGanim Advisory Group and is the largest and oldest specialist corporate governance advisory firm in Australia. Effective Governance 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.

Zac Zahner CEO at Effective Governance

Zac Zahner


Managing Director

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.


James Beck Managing Director at Effective Governance

James Beck

BSc (Hons), RMC Duntroon, GAICD, FLIP, FBA Accredited Advisor


James leads the team of governance professionals at Effective Governance. He has substantial experience in delivering governance, strategic and risk solutions to address requirements of listed, private, not-for-profit, government and family business clients. As a partner at PricewaterhouseCoopers, he previously held the role of Education Leader for 5 years. James is a nationally accredited facilitator (FILP), conference speaker, author of numerous governance papers, and co-author of Directors at Work: A Practical Guide for Boards.


Stephen Howell Principal Advisor at Effective Governance

Stephen Howell


Principal Advisor

Stephen is the Principal Advisor for Effective Governance Pty Ltd, a corporate governance consultant, forensic accountant, company director and former company secretary, external auditor, corporate regulator and CFO with a focus on contributing to the professional development and governance of corporate Australia. He has 26 years’ experience as a governance professional with expertise in board governance, corporate regulation, compliance, risk management, administrative, criminal and civil law and applied corporate governance.

Stephen is a fellow of CPA Australia; a fellow of the Australasian Mutuals Institute; and is the recipient of an Australian Day Medal for service to corporate governance in Australia and South East Asia. With strong financial management qualifications and experience, he is a formally acknowledged and demonstrated corporate governance expert in Australia.

Stephen consults predominantly to boards, having a wide practice around Australia. He conducts board reviews and evaluations and individual director evaluations and assists boards with director skills analysis and development.  He also provides boards with director remuneration advice and provides professional development to directors and senior executives in applied corporate governance.


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 and then moved into management consulting across a variety of industries and sectors such as finance, resources, property, legal, technology 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.


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.


Melissa Grundy portrait

Melissa Grundy


Senior Advisor

Melissa is a Senior Advisor with Effective Governance, a governance consultant, accountant, former company secretary and market supervisor. Melissa’s focus is on corporate and regulatory governance stemming from her strong background in the financial services industry. Melissa has been a member of CPA Australia for over 20 years and has extensive experience as a company secretary for ASX-listed entities.

Melissa is a member of the Queensland State Council of the Governance Institute of Australia (GIA) and has lectured in governance for the GIA for many years. Melissa also facilitates board and management professional development to a wide range of Effective Governance clients around Australia, including the national, state and territory board members and staff of the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency.

Melissa has over fifteen years’ experience at the Australian Securities Exchange, including 5 years as Manager of the ASX Limited’s Brisbane office. Her expertise as a securities market supervisor, monitoring the continuous disclosure, corporate governance and listing rule compliance of hundreds of listed entities demonstrates her level of experience and why she is considered a valuable consultant to boards, both corporate and regulatory entities, around Australia.

Melissa has a Bachelor of Commerce (Griffith), a Graduate Diploma in Applied Finance & Investment (SIA) and a Graduate Diploma in Applied Corporate Governance (CSA).


Simon Clayer portrait

Simon Clayer

LLB (Hons), BA, MECOM, GradDipLegPrac

Senior Advisor

Simon is a Senior Advisor with Effective Governance. He brings extensive legal experience coupled with over 30 years’ experience in business to advise clients on corporate governance, strategy and risk. His areas of expertise include corporate compliance, regulatory governance and strategic and organisational change including risk management.
Simon’s experience ranges across numerous sectors including construction, mining, resources and energy, manufacturing, technology, health and hospitality.

He successfully ran his own consultancy in Melbourne for seven years advising clients on business growth strategy and the State government on policy and industry development initiatives before moving to Brisbane in 2003. Simon holds degrees in Law and Arts, and a Masters of Electronic Commerce and is admitted as a Solicitor of the Supreme Court of Queensland and the High Court of Australia.


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. Jennifer is co-author of Directors at Work: A Practical Guide for Boards.


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.


Alicia Beck Advisor Support at Effective Governance

Alicia Mackie

BCreatInd (Drama/Integrated Marketing Communication)

Marketing and Client Communications Manager

Alicia is the Marketing and Client Communications Manager at Effective Governance. She has 10 years’ experience working directly with governance professionals and works closely with clients to ensure expectations are delivered. Her role predominately focuses on supporting the delivery of assignments, with a particular focus on developing client proposals, managing workflow, development of workshop material and feedback contact with clients. Alicia supports the financial management of the firm and manages marketing activities and external stakeholder and client communications. Alicia provides valuable support to our teams around Australia and will often be directly involved in assignments.


Sean Titmarsh Advisor at Effective Governance

Sean Titmarsh

Advisor and IT Specialist

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.


Georgia Sykes Advisor Support and Office Administration at Effective Governance

Georgia Sykes

Advisor Support and Office Administration

Georgia provides executive support to our teams in Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria and Perth. She has extensive experience working directly with directors and senior executives and works closely with the senior advisors to ensure expectations are delivered. Georgia has assisted in the preparation and development of client deliverables, reviewing surveys, reports and workshop material. Georgia is also responsible for maintaining the internal travel arrangements, administrative and operational functions for the office and assisting advisors with client communications.


Robert Newman Specialist Advisor at Effective Governance

Robert Newman


Specialist Advisor

Rob is an organisational psychologist and specialist advisor with Effective Governance. He is experienced in all areas of human and organisational assessment, group facilitation, leadership development and organisational change. Rob specialises in predicting peoples motives and future actions in corporate settings, using principles from leadership psychology and behavioral economics to influence their decisions, and coaching leaders to apply these “dark arts” for themselves. As a personality profiler, executive coach, and advisor on organisational culture, Rob is recognised for his humour, his insight into human nature and his ability to analyse complex organisational problems.

As well as his work with eG Rob is also a non executive director of Schuhfried Australia, a supplier of psychological assessment tools, and a managing partner with Change Focus Group, a firm that provides organisational psychology services.


Ian Doyle Specialist Advisor at Effective Governance

Ian Doyle

BCom (Econ & Mktg), GradDip (HRM & IR)

Specialist Advisor – People Risk

Ian Doyle is Human Resources Professional with over 25 years’ experience in HR roles in the Banking and Insurance Industries. Ian started his Human Resources career in Westpac ultimately having responsibility for Senior HR portfolios across the Qld Regional Banking network, the National Business Banking Loan Centre and the national consumer sales team. Ian then moved to Suncorp and was responsible for the Group Learning & Development function and the centralised HR shared service function. More recently Ian was the General Manager for Human Resources at Bank of Queensland for 7 years. Whilst in this role he was responsible for the Board HR relationship, in particular managing the relationship with and supporting the Board Remuneration Committee. Ian has always had a strong focus on culture and people risk, including OH&S and unethical and inappropriate behaviour.

Warren Tapp portrait

Warren Tapp


Specialist Advisor – Director Recruitment

Warren brings to Effective Governance 35 years’ experience as a Business Advisor, Company Director and a Director Recruitment Specialist. Having founded and operated a significant Director recruitment firm, one of Australia’s earliest recruitment agencies that focused on the recruitment of Directors, Warren’s expertise will be in high demand. This expertise is further complimented by his business acumen, having consulted to numerous businesses on strategy, profit improvement, risk management and financial analysis as well as corporate governance.

Warren has many years’ experience as a Chair or Director on more than 20 Boards. He has recently retired as the Chair of TAFE Queensland. He has been the Chair for a range of companies and is the author of So you want to be a Company Director (2011, Book Pal). For 10 years he was a facilitator of the Company Directors course for the Australian Institute of Company Directors and has lectured in a range of forums in Australia and overseas.

Professor Geoffrey Kiel

Professor Geoffrey Kiel


Specialist Advisor

Geoff has had a distinguished career as a management consultant, senior manager, management educator and academic researcher. He has extensive personal experience working with clients in areas of strategic planning, marketing planning, marketing strategies, organisational design and development, marketing research and economic feasibility studies and is well known for his work in corporate governance. Geoff is the co-author of the major Australian practical guide to governance, Boards that Work, Directors at Work: A Practical Guide for Board and Board, CEO and Director Evaluation. He is also a core facilitator for the AICD


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).


Michael Willis portrait

Michael Willis


Specialist Advisor

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

He currently chairs the Boards of West Moreton Health and Boyce Chartered Accountants. He is also the Deputy Chair of the National Injury Insurance Scheme (Qld), and chairs their Audit & Risk Committee. He has chaired an ASX-listed company, and served in governance and management of ASX-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 boards 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.