About FIRB

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 on the Policy and proposals rests with the Treasurer. The Treasury's Foreign Investment Division (the Division) provides secretariat services to the Board and is responsible for the day to day administration of the arrangements.

The role of the Board, including through its secretariat, is to:

  • examine proposed investments in Australia that are subject to the Policy, the Foreign Acquisitions and Takeovers Act 1975 (the Act) and supporting legislation, and to make recommendations to the Treasurer and other Treasury portfolio ministers on these proposals;
  • advise the Treasurer on the operation of the Policy and the Act;
  • foster an awareness and understanding, both in Australia and abroad, of the Policy and the Act;
  • provide guidance to foreign persons and their representatives or agents on the Policy and the Act;
  • monitor and ensure compliance with the Policy and the Act; and
  • provide advice to the Treasurer on the Policy and related matters.

View further information on the Foreign Investment Review Board's performance framework.

Board membership:

The Board currently comprises six part-time Members and a full-time Executive Member.

Photo of David Irvine

Mr David Irvine AO

Chairman since 16 April 2017
Board member since 3 December 2015

A long-serving diplomat, David Irvine was Australian High Commissioner to Papua New Guinea from 1996-1999 and Australian Ambassador to the People’s Republic of China between 2000-2003, also concurrently Australian Ambassador to Mongolia and to the People’s Democratic Republic of Korea. He subsequently became the only person to have served as the head both of Australia’s foreign intelligence collection agency and its domestic security agency – positions he held for almost twelve years. 

He is currently the Chairman of the Foreign Investment Review Board. He is an Adjunct Professor at Charles Sturt University and also assists at the National Security College within the Australian National University. He chairs the Cyber Security Research Centre, a not-for-profit company promoting industry investment into Australia’s cyber research capabilities in conjunction with the Government’s Cooperative Research Centre programme.

Irvine has published two books on Indonesian culture. He has honorary doctorates from the University of Western Australia (Letters) and Edith Cowan University (Science). He is a Fellow of the Australian Institute of International Affairs and was a member of the Advisory Council of the National Archives of Australia for nine years. 

Irvine was appointed an Officer of the Order of Australia (AO) in 2005 for services to the promotion of Australia’s international relations.

Photo of Teresa Dyson

Teresa Dyson

Board member since 2 January 2018
Ms Dyson has over 25 years' legal and taxation experience, advising on infrastructure, financing, corporate tax issues, mergers and acquisitions activities, the not-for-profit sector and tax controversy. She has been a partner of Ashurst and Deloitte. Teresa brings corporate and governance experience across ASX listed, government and not-for-profit boards. Ms Dyson's current directorships include Seven West Media Ltd, Energy Qld Ltd, Energy Super and Gold Coast Hospital & Health Board. She is a former Chair and member of the Board of Taxation.

Photo of Alice Williams

Ms Alice Williams

Board member since 16 July 2015
Ms Williams has over 25 years of senior management and Board level experience in the corporate and Government sectors. Ms Williams was previously a Director at JP Morgan, NM Rothschild and Ansett Australia. She has been a consultant to listed corporations in Australia and the Gulf States and state and federal regulatory bodies. She is a former director of the Australian Accounting Standards Board, State Trustees and a Commissioner of the Victorian Competition and Efficiency Commission. Ms Williams' current directorships include Cooper Energy Ltd, Equity Trustees Ltd, Djerriwarrh Investments Ltd, Defence Health and Barristers Chambers Limited.

Photo of David Peever

Mr David Peever

Board member since 1 February 2016
Mr Peever retired as Managing Director of Rio Tinto Australia in October 2014 after 27 years with Rio Tinto. Mr Peever is also a Non Executive Director of the Australian Foundation Investment Company and the Melbourne Business School. He is a member of the Prime Minister's Indigenous Advisory Council and the Chief of Defence's Gender Equality Advisory Board. He chaired the Minister of Defence's First Principles Review of Defence and following the acceptance of the Review by Government, now chairs the Oversight Board which helps guide implementation of the Review's recommendations. Mr Peever is also a non executive director of the Stars Foundation.

Photo of Cheryl Edwardes

Hon. Cheryl Edwardes AM

Board member since 14 August 2017
Mrs Edwardes brings extensive legal and regulatory experience to the Board. Mrs Edwardes, a solicitor by profession, is a former Minister in the Court Government and was the member for Kingsley for 17 years. In 1993, she became the first woman to be appointed Attorney General in Western Australia. She is also a Company Director on a number of ASX Boards, private companies and not-for-profit associations, including Director on the Board of Atlas Iron and a Commissioner on the WA Football Commission. Mrs Edwardes was awarded an Order of Australia in the Queen's Birthday Honours 2016 for significant service to the people and Parliament of Western Australia.

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Hon Nick Minchin AO

Board 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.

Margaret McDonald

Margaret (Meg) McDonald

Board member since 26 March 2019
Meg McDonald has extensive career experience in senior public and private sector roles, in Australia and internationally.  She currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) and on the Board of the Co-operative Research Centre for Low Carbon Living (CRCLCL), as well as a Trustee of The Nature Conservancy.

From 2013-2015 she was Chief Operating Officer of the Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC); 2010-2013 CEO of Low Carbon Australia Limited (LCAL) and 2002-2010 she held senior positions with global resources and metals manufacturer Alcoa. Previously, Meg was a senior Australian diplomat with DFAT, serving as Deputy Ambassador to the United States in Washington DC (1998-2002) and as Australia's Ambassador for the Environment (1996-98). 

Meg holds an Honours Degree in Applied Science from the University of NSW.

Photo of Roger Brake

Mr Roger Brake

Executive Member of the Board since 6 March 2017
The position of Executive Member is held by the Division Head of Treasury's Foreign Investment Division. The Executive Member provides the link between the Board and the Division, which provides secretariat support to the Board.