Ministerial Expert Committee on Electoral Reform

Information about the Chair and Committee members

Mr Malcolm McCusker AC CVO QC - Chair

Malcolm McCusker AC CVO QC is well known to Western Australians and was the 31st Governor of Western Australia.

Mr McCusker is an eminent barrister with a long and prodigious legal career, having worked on some of the more challenging legal cases in Western Australia, including appearing before the High Court of Australia.  He was appointed Queens Council in 1982.

Mr McCusker devotes much of his time to philanthropy and holds a number of honorary positions including Chairman of McCusker Charitable Foundation; Chairman, Advisory Board, UWA’s McCusker Centre for Citizenship; Chairman, WAHTN (WA Health Translation Network); Director, AWC (Australian Wildlife Conservancy); Patron, Lions Eye Institute; and Patron, Perth Modern School.

He was previously Chairman McCusker Foundation for Alzheimer's Disease Research; Trustee, SAS Resources Trust 1996-2011; Patron, Landcare WA, Innocence Project WA, WA Youth Orchestra, Chairman, Advisory Board, McCusker Centre for Action on Alcohol & Youth; and Director, Minderoo Foundation. 

Mr McCusker helped craft the Governments Voluntary Assisted Dying Act 2019 (WA) during the last term of Parliament.

He was awarded the Commander of the Royal Victorian Order in 2011 and the Companion of the Order of Australia in 2012.

Professor John Phillimore, Curtin University - Member

John Phillimore has been the Executive Director of the John Curtin Institute of Public Policy (JCIPP) since 2007. The 1981 Rhodes Scholar for Western Australia, for the past 30 years he has worked as an academic or as a senior adviser in the Western Australian government.

He works on a range of issues including federalism, Australian and Western Australian politics, integrity agencies, public sector management, social policy, and health regulation. He also gives short courses on public policy and public sector management to public sector officers.

He has advised and conducted research and consultancy projects for numerous international, Australian, state and local agencies. Clients he has worked for include the Council for the Australian Federation; Australia and New Zealand School of Government; Australian Technology Network of Universities; Department of Regional Development (WA); Technology and Industry Advisory Council (WA); Education Department (WA); Department of Commerce and Trade (WA); Department of Industry and Resources (WA); CRC for Spatial Information (Australia); and the International Labor Organisation.

He is a regular media commentator on Australian and Western Australian politics and has written opinion pieces for The Conversation, The Mandarin, WA Today, Inside Story and The Australian Financial Review.

In addition to his role leading the JCIPP, he is also closely connected with other Curtin research centres including the National Centre for Student Equity in Higher Education, the Future of Work Institute, and the Bankwest Curtin Economics Centre.

In 2019-20, he was appointed by the WA State Government to the Local Government Act Review Panel.

Professor Sarah Murray, University of Western Australia - Member

Professor Sarah Murray is an expert in constitutional law, electoral law and court innovation at the Law School at the University of Western Australia. She is a member of the Law Reform Commission of Western Australia, is co-Chair of the International Society of Public Law AUS-NZ Chapter and a co-Convenor of the WA Chapters of the Australian Association of Constitutional Law and the Electoral Regulation and Research Network.

Her PhD thesis received the Mollie Holman Doctoral Medal for Law by Monash University and was published as a monograph, The Remaking of the Courts - Less-Adversarial Practice and the Constitutional Role of the Judiciary in Australia (Federation Press, 2014).

She has published widely in Australia and internationally and is an editor of Constitutional Perspectives on an Australian Republic– Essays in Honour of Professor George Winterton (Federation Press, 2010), co-editor of Regulating Preventive Justice- Principle, Policy and Paradox (Routledge UK, 2017) and a co-author of The Constitution of the Commonwealth of Australia – History, Principle and Interpretation (CUP, 2015) and Winterton’s Australian Federal Constitutional Law (Thomson Reuters, 2017).        

Associate Professor Martin Drum, University of Notre Dame Australia - Member

Martin Drum Director of Public Policy,is an Associate Professor in Politics and International Relations at the University of Notre Dame Australia, Fremantle.  He has worked in a variety of roles at the University of Notre Dame Australia since 2008.

He teaches and researches on a range of issues including public policy, voting, elections, and Australian politics. He has also supervised Higher Degree by Research students in these areas. He has held senior roles at the University, including Chief-of-Staff and Director of Public Policy (current).

He has collaborated with the following WA State Government agencies: Western Australian Electoral Commission, Department of Premier and Cabinet, Department of Education, and Public Sector Commission. He has also partnered with the City of Fremantle and Shire of Christmas Island on various projects.

He has been a WA Convenor of the Electoral Regulation Research Network since 2017. He is a member of Australasian Studies of Parliament Group, and has presented a number of papers to the WA Chapter.

He has participated in a range of Commonwealth and Western Australian parliamentary government inquiries, including 2016 and 2019 Federal Elections (Cwth), 2017 WA State election (WA), Governance on Christmas Island (Cwth), Foreign Donations to political parties (Cwth), Lowering the Voting Age (Cwth), WA Local Government Act (WA).

Page reviewed 14 May 2021