Senior leaders address GMC’s new CEO Program

May 31, 2024

As relentless economic turbulence continues to challenge the manufacturing sector, GMC’s 2024 CEO program heard a wealth of insights from two of Australia’s most senior business leaders.  

Professor Ian Harper, Reserve Bank of Australia Board member, and Rob McGavin, co-founder and Chair of Cobram Estate Olives, were special guest speakers at the program’s opening retreat on 18 May.

The two leaders joined GMC’s nine CEO program participants and two facilitators as part of two days of facilitated workshops and discussions.

Rob McGavin, who with partner Paul Riordan, started in 1998 what is now Australia’s largest olive oil producer, facilitated a morning session on building a strong and effective culture within a business. Cobram Estate Olives, headquartered in Corio, has grown into Australia’s number one extra virgin olive oil brand, exporting to 14 countries with a market cap of $700 million. The hugely successful company is now led by Executive Directors and joint CEOs, Sam Beaton and Leandro Ravetti.

Professor Harper, who is one of six non-executive members on the RBA and the longest-serving board member, joined a dinner discussion and shared deep insights on the RBA’s key role in supporting a stable economy.

Prof Ian Harper Rob McGavin

“It was an eye-opening conversation,” one participant said later. “Some of us had only an idea about the data that goes into RBA decision-making, but not the full extent of the expertise and analysis involved.”

Professor Harper said he enjoyed hearing from the group about their businesses. “It all helps me to keep in touch with events on the ground rather than just what I see through the statistics,” he said.  

Professor Harper, who famously conducted a competition review for the Federal Government in 2015 known as the Harper Review, is expected to remain on the Reserve Bank board until 2026. 

The Reserve Bank Board comprises nine members: three ex officio members – the Governor (who is Chair), the Deputy Governor (who is Deputy Chair) and the Secretary to the Treasury – and six non-executive members, who are appointed by the Treasurer. The Board meets eight times a year following the release of key macro-economic data “to ensure that the monetary and banking policy of the Bank is directed to the greatest advantage of the people of Australia”. The Reserve Bank sets the target ‘cash rate’, which is the market interest rate on overnight funds. 

GMC is proudly partnering with the Melbourne Business School to deliver the 2024 CEO Program.  The CEO program will cover pressing issues, away from day to day distractions, for our most senior leaders in manufacturing.  More about the program here.

Rba Dinner

2024 CEO Program