The Foreign Investment Review Board (the Board) is a non statutory body established in 1976 to advise the Treasurer and the Government on Australia's Foreign Investment Policy (the Policy) and its administration.
The Board's functions are advisory only. Responsibility for making decisions about the Policy and proposals rests with the Treasurer. The Treasury's Foreign Investment Division (the Division) administers Australia’s foreign investment regulatory framework and supports the Board’s work.
The role of the Board is to:
- examine proposed investments in Australia that are subject to the Foreign Acquisitions and Takeovers Act 1975 (the Act) and supporting legislation and covered by the Policy, and to make recommendations to the Treasurer and other Treasury portfolio ministers on these proposals;
- provide advice to the Treasurer on the operation of the Policy and the Act; and
- foster an awareness and understanding, both in Australia and abroad, of the Policy and the Act.
View further information on the Foreign Investment regulatory performance framework.
As at 3 January 2023, the Board comprised the following members.
- Mr Bruce Miller AO (Chair)
- The Hon Nick Minchin AO
- Ms Margaret (Meg) McDonald
- Mr Steven Skala AO
- Ms Carolyn Kay
- Mr Simon Writer PSM
Board membership as of 3 January 2023
Mr Bruce Miller AO
Chair and non-executive member
Member since 6 April 2022
Mr Miller was appointed as the Chair of FIRB in April 2022. Mr Miller has extensive experience as a senior leader in the public and private sectors.
Mr Miller occupied senior positions in the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, and the Office of National Assessments. Mr Miller served as Australian Ambassador to Japan from 2011 to 2017.
Mr Miller holds a Bachelor of Arts and a Bachelor of Laws from the University of Sydney.
Non-executive Director – TAL
Non-executive Director – The Dai-ichi Life Insurance Company Limited, Tokyo Japan
Chairperson – Australia Japan Foundation, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade
The Hon Nick Minchin AO
Member since 17 December 2018
Mr Minchin brings wide ranging senior leadership credentials, public policy, industry and international experience to the Board.
Recently, Mr Minchin served as the Australian Consul-General in New York.
Mr Minchin held a number of ministerial positions, including as Minister for Industry, Science and Resources from 1998 until 2001 and Minister for Finance and Administration from 2001 until 2007. While in office, he held the posts of Leader of the Government in the Senate, and Vice President of the Executive Council. Mr Minchin was elected to the Australian Senate for South Australia in July 1993 and served until June 2011.
Director – Student Educational Travel Organisation Limited
Ms Margaret (Meg) McDonald
Member since 26 March 2019.
Ms McDonald has extensive experience in senior public and private sector roles, in Australia and internationally.
Ms McDonald has previously held a number of executive positions including Chief Operating Officer of the Clean Energy Finance Corporation, CEO of Low Carbon Australia Limited (LCAL) and global positions with resources and metals manufacturer Alcoa. Her previous board roles include with the Australian Renewable Energy Agency and the Cooperative Research Centre for Low Carbon Living.
Ms McDonald was Deputy Ambassador to the United States in Washington DC between 1998 and 2002 and was Australia’s Ambassador for the Environment between 1996 and 1998.
Ms McDonald holds an Honours Degree in Applied Science from the University of NSW.
Commissioner – Greater Sydney Commission
Trustee – The Nature Conservancy
Steven Skala AO
Member since 18 September 2020
Mr Skala has a distinguished career of service including on the boards of public and private companies, and government-related and not-for-profit organizations. He has 40 years’ experience in the law, business and banking.
The holder of BA and LL.B (Hons) degrees from University of Queensland and a BCL from the University of Oxford, Mr Skala was appointed an Officer of the Order of Australia on 26 January 2010 for services to the arts, education, business and commerce.
Mr Skala has been Vice Chairman, Australia of Deutsche Bank AG since 2004, is Chairman of Clean Energy Finance Corporation and is an ex officio member of the Commonwealth’s recently established Technology Investment Advisory Council. He is a former Chairman of Wilson Group Limited, Hexima Limited (of which he is currently an alternate Director) and The Island Food Company Limited, is a former Director of the Channel TEN Group of companies and Max Capital Group Limited, and was a Founding Member of Adara Partners. Between 1982 and 2004, he was a Partner of Australian law firms, Morris Fletcher & Cross (now Minter Ellison) and Arnold Bloch Leibler.
Active beyond banking and commerce, Mr Skala is Chairman of the Heide Museum of Modern Art, Deputy Chairman of the General Sir John Monash Foundation, a Director of the Centre for Independent Studies and a Member of the International Council of the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York. He was previously Chairman of Film Australia Limited and the Australian Centre for Contemporary Art, Vice President (Deputy Chairman) of The Walter & Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research, a Director of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation and a Director of the Australian Ballet.
Ms Carolyn Kay
Member since 20 November 2021
Carolyn Kay has had more than 30 years’ experience in the finance sector as an executive and non-executive director. In addition, she has been and remains a non-executive director of enterprises across a broad range of sectors.
She is currently a member of The Future Fund Board of Guardians and a non-executive director of Scentre Group, Myer Family Investments and Rothschild Australia. In the not for profit sector she is also a non-executive director of The General Sir John Monash Foundation and Sydney Grammar School.
As an executive Ms Kay worked as a banker and lawyer at Morgan Stanley, JP Morgan and Linklaters & Paines in London, New York, and Australia.
She holds Bachelor Degrees in Law and Arts (University of Melbourne), a Graduate Diploma in Management (AGSM) and is a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors. She was awarded a Centenary Medal for services to Australian society in business leadership. She is married with 3 children.
Mr Simon Writer PSM
Executive Member of the Board since 2 May 2022.
The position of Executive Member is held by the First Assistant Secretary of Treasury’s Foreign Investment Division. The Executive Member is the link between the Board and the Division, which administers Australia’s foreign investment regulatory framework and supports the Board’s work.