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31 January 2017: Anti-corruption leaders rally to call for national integrity conference – New TI Australia CEO appointed

Momentum for a new national integrity strategy for Australia is growing after the overwhelmingly positive response to Transparency International Australia’s (TI Australia) announcement last week of a national conference to address trust in government and business.

Transparency International’s latest Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) results place Australia 13th in the global rankings – confirming a slide of 6 positions and 6 percentage points since 2012.

TI Australia Chairman Anthony Whealy QC announced today an outstanding group of legal, political and business minds will participate in and address the proposed National Integrity 2017 conference in Brisbane, including:

  • High Court Justice Stephen Gageler
  • Hon Yvette D’Ath, Queensland Attorney-General
  • Commander Peter Crozier, Australian Federal Police Fraud & Anti-Corruption Centre
  • Law Council of Australia President, Fiona McLeod SC
  • Professor John McMillan AO, NSW Ombudsman
  • Queensland Crime & Corruption Commission chair, Alan MacSporran QC

“Business is also rallying to the call, with Telstra and ANZ both among the major Australian companies who have confirmed they will send delegates”, Mr Whealy said.

TI Australia has also announced its appointment of a new full-time CEO to lead its anti-corruption efforts – Ms Serena Lillywhite.

“Serena brings a wealth of experience as a highly experienced and respected leader in corporate accountability, having led Oxfam Australia’s mining program, and member of the Australian Tax Advisory Board, the Board of the University of Queensland Centre for Social Responsibility in Mining (CSRM), and high level working groups at the OECD.  She is currently the Responsible Business Conduct Adviser to the Cooperation Committee for Cambodia.” (Full bio below).

Mr Whealy said “the National Integrity 2017 will be Ms Lillywhite’s first public event in this role, and a major opportunity for business, government and civil society leaders to meet this new, powerful voice for accountability and social responsibility.

“We are delighted at the response to our conference and look forward to helping provide Australia with new solutions to our accountability and corruption challenges.”

Priorities for the new national integrity strategy are also being discussed tonight at public events in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth hosted by TI Australia and advisory and investment firm KordaMentha – also called in response to the latest Corruption Perceptions Index results.

National Integrity 2017 is being co-hosted by Griffith University’s Centre for Governance & Public Policy, in Brisbane on 16-17 March.  Details and registrations can be found at

“We encourage more business, civil society and media organisations to join us in debating the reforms needed to maintain trust in all our institutions,” Mr Whealy concluded.

Media Contacts:

Professor A J Brown, Griffith University and TI Australia board member:
0414 782 331

Hon. Anthony Whealy QC, TI Australia Chair:
0414 963 643

New Transparency International Australia CEO – Serena Lillywhite

Ms Serena Lillywhite has been appointed as the new CEO for Transparency International Australia, following a national and international search.

Serena brings a wealth of experience as a highly experienced and respected leader in corporate accountability. She has fifteen years’ experience in responsible business conduct, particularly: governance, due diligence, transparency, tax, gender, labour rights, resettlement and human rights. Serena has led Oxfam Australia’s mining program for the past six years, and during this time has worked closely with TI in Australia, and directly with chapters in Mozambique and Cambodia, among others.

She has worked on the EITI, with Publish What You Pay, and with Transparency International Australia on the G20, facilitation payments and disclosure of beneficial owners. Serena has been an adviser to the OECD since 2002, and is one of Australia’s leading experts on the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises and related investment frameworks.

Serena has been a member of the Australian Tax Advisory Board, and a leader in calling for profits to stay in countries where they are earned. She is a regular speaker at corporate accountability forums.  Serena has worked closely with senior executives in the private sector, particularly financial institutions, legal and accounting firms, and the mining sector.

She is highly respected for her capacity to manage relationships and sensitive issues. She has held positions on the Board of the University of Queensland Centre for Social Responsibility in Mining (CSRM), the Advisory Board of The University of Melbourne, Asian Law Centre, and high level working groups at the OECD, among others.

Serena has previously been the Director of the RMIT University campus in China, and is currently in Cambodia as the Responsible Business Conduct Adviser to the Cooperation Committee for Cambodia. Serena holds a Masters in International Business.

Serena will commence her role in early March. Her appointment follows the outstanding service of Phil Newman as TI Australia’s first CEO in 2016, who has moved to New Zealand for family and personal reasons.


TI Australia is committed to complying with ACFID's Code of Conduct and the Code’s complaints handling process.