Gourlay Visiting Professor of Ethics in Business

'Ambitious goals… are only of value if pursued honestly and fairly. Clandestine gains fail all: the community, business, and particularly the offenders.' John Gourlay


In 2004 John and Louise Gourlay provided a $2.5 million endowment to Trinity College to establish the Gourlay Visiting Professorship of Ethics in Business. Inspired by a belief that '… the exercise of uncompromising integrity and morality, as well as being intrinsically desirable, delivers improved and more certain business outcomes', the Professorship promotes an over-riding ethical approach to business activity and decision-making.

Under the Professorship, an internationally distinguished lecturer visits and resides at Trinity College each year to teach ethics in business to students at Trinity College, with possible contributions to teaching in the wider University. The professorship exposes students from many disciplines to the world’s best minds in applied ethics and to critically important principles, values and decision-making frameworks.

The Gourlay Visiting Professor commitment

The Visiting Professor of Ethics in Business contributes to the academic and community life of Trinity College, the Melbourne Business School and the wider University of Melbourne through a program of events including, potentially:

  • living at Trinity College and participating in the College community
  • presenting a major public lecture 
  • providing a range of learning opportunities for students and academic staff, for example, through offering master classes to Trinity students 
  • being a guest of honour and speaker at a major dinner
  • being a guest of honour at a breakfast for Melbourne’s business community.

About John Gourlay

John Gourlay was a resident student at Trinity from 1954–56. He graduated from the University of Melbourne with a Bachelor of Commerce degree, and in 1957, joined Coopers and Lybrand. During an 11-year career with the company, he worked in the Melbourne, Toronto and London offices, eventually holding the position of Senior Audit Manager.

In 1968 he joined share brokers Davies and Dalziel as Client Adviser and in 1972 moved to Parsons and Co share brokers as Institutional Adviser and Partner in furthering his successful and rewarding career in business as a stock broker and financial analyst.

John became a member of the Australian Stock Exchange in 1973, and a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Australia. In 1974 he became a partner in McCaughan Dyson and Co, and was appointed Chairman and Managing Director when the company was incorporated in 1984. He was a warded an Order of Australia medal in 2007 for his contribution to accountancy and the community.

He and his wife Louise have made significant contributions to education, health and other spheres through philanthropic activities. John was the inaugural Chairman of the Trinity Foundation in 1983, and his wife, Louise Gourlay OAM, was the inaugural President of Trinity’s Warden’s Circle.

2017 Gourlay Lecture and Business Breakfast


On Wednesday 10 May, Professor Robert Phillips delivered an informative public lecture to a diverse audience in the Gateway building. He spoke on how in a time where innovations in economic activities have caused profound changes, our ability to assess and motivate responsible business practices has lagged behind. In the process creating, in many cases, a ‘rule of no one’ when it comes to assessing the accompanying ethical challenges.

Following the lecture, on Tuesday 16 May, the Gourlay Business Breakfast was held at the Melbourne Athenaeum Club with over 130 business leaders and members of the Trinity College community in attendance. On behalf of the Gourlay family, Jono Gourlay (TC 1991) outlined the reason behind the establishment of the Gourlay Visiting Professor of Ethics in Business at Trinity College in 2005, and introduced Professor Phillips to give his keynote address.

‘The Professorship’s vision is to inspire best practice and raise awareness of ethical issues amongst students, business people, government and leaders in Australia,’ stated Jono.

During his presentation, Professor Phillips reflected on how organisations are increasingly being held responsible for activities up and down their value chains. Professor Phillips argued that the idea of business ethics and 'Historic Corporate Responsibility’ continues to be contested, and ‘it is by talking about these things is precisely how we come to some level of agreement, even if it is contingent, even if it is temporary.’

Trinity Gourlay Professors of Ethics in Business

2016-17: Professor Rob Phillips

JeremyMoon140x206Professor Rob Phillips is Professor of Management and Philosophy, Politics, Economics and Law (PPEL) at the E. Claiborne Robins School of Business of the University of Richmond, Virginia.

Rob is known as one of the leading thinkers in stakeholder theory and organizational ethics. Rob’s published work includes three books and dozens of scholarly articles published in journals such as the Academy of Management Review, Strategic Management Journal and Business Ethics Quarterly.

He is a Senior Fellow at the Olsson Center for Applied Ethics, has been associate editor of Business & Society, a Representative-at-Large at the Strategic Management Society and is Past-President of the Society for Business Ethics.

Rob completed his PhD from Darden Graduate School of Business Administration at the University of Virginia and has since also taught at the Cheung Kong Graduate School of Business, Shanghai, China, the University of San Diego, the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, and the McDonough School of Business at Georgetown University.

Professor Phillips' visit to the University of Melbourne and Trinity in 2016.

2014: Dr Rosamund Thomas

Dr Rosamund Thomas is Director of the Centre for Business and Public Sector Ethics, Cambridge. It was established in 1988 at a time when Cambridge did not yet have a Business School. The Centre, the first in Europe, was established as a separate legal entity, pioneering business, government and environmental ethics before such subjects were to become mainstream.

Dr Thomas, a Fulbright scholar is an expert in Corporate Social Responsibility, Business Ethics, Business Management and Government Ethics. She has read these subjects at the University of Birmingham (UK) Harvard University to doctoral and postdoctoral levels (USA). She has also taught and examined in these subjects at the London School of Economics and Political Science, prior to undertaking further research in Cambridge University as a Senior Research Fellow. Dr Thomas also has separate higher degree qualifications in Social Administration and Social Policy and Development Administration and Policy in respect of Third World countries.

Dr Thomas received the title of Woman of the Year in 2005 from the American Biographical Institute, honoring her overall accomplishments and contributions to society. She is also listed in the Dictionary of International Biography, 31st Edition, 2004; and is included in Great Women of the 21st Century, 2004/5; and The Cambridge Blue Book, 2006. 


2013: Professor Jeremy Moon

JeremyMoon140x206Jeremy Moon is Professor and founding Director of the International Centre for Corporate Social Responsibility, Nottingham University Business School.

He has held visiting positions at the European University Institute; McGill University; the University of Toronto; Churchill College, Cambridge; the Institute for Advanced Studies, Princeton; and the University of Manchester.

He is co-editor of The Oxford Handbook of Corporate Social Responsibility (2008 Oxford University Press), co-author of Corporations and Citizenship (2008 Cambridge University Press), and co-editor of the Cambridge University Press series Business, Value Creation and Society.

Jeremy will be visiting Trinity College from 22 April–17 May and from 4 November–13 December. 

Jeremy reflected on his visit to Trinity and the status of Corporate Social Responsibility in Australia on his blog

2012: Professor Ronald Jeurissen

Professor Ronald Jeurissen from Holland, will be based at the College for the month of October.

Professor Jeurissen has been identified by our previous four Gourlay Professors as one of the top three business ethicists in the world. He is very adept at engaging accountants, fund managers, controllers, chief financial officers, compliance officers and other finance professionals on a number of topics, including soft controls, corporate ethics, leading with integrity and the like. His research interests include the theoretical foundations of business ethics, corporate social responsibility, corporate integrity and marketing ethics.

He runs a very popular dilemma training workshop in Holland that runs for 3.5 hours in a very interactive style where participants actually deal with real ethical issues that finance specialists face every day.

The annual Gourlay Public Lecture was held at the RACV Club on Wednesday 3 October. View Professor Jeurissen's presentation on Managing for Organisational Integrity



2011: Professor Joanne Cuilla

One of the founding faculty members of the Jepson School, Joanne B Ciulla teaches courses on ethics, critical thinking, conflict resolution and leadership in international contexts.

 A demanding and creative teacher, she was honored in 2007 with the University's highest award for teaching and in 2003 with the Outstanding Faculty Award from The State Council of Higher Education for Virginia.

 Her academic appoints have included the UNESCO Chair in Leadership Studies at the United Nations International Leadership Academy in Jordan and appointments at La Salle University, the Harvard Business School, The Wharton School and Oxford University. She currently holds visiting appointments with the University of Fort Hare in South Africa and Nyenrode Universitit in the Netherlands.

Dr Ciulla’s research interests are leadership ethics, business ethics, international leadership and the philosophy of work. Her books include Ethics, The Heart of Leadership; The Working Life: The Promise and Betrayal of Modern Work; and The Ethics of Leadership. She co-authored a business ethics text titled Honest Work: A Business Ethics Reader and co-edited a collection of essays on The Quest for Ethical Leaders: Essays in Leadership Ethics. The book critics at Amazon.com ranked The Working Life as No. 2 in their list of the 10 best business books of 2000. Her latest publication is the three-volume set, Leadership at the Crossroads: Leadership and the Humanities. She gives lectures and seminars all over the world and has worked with organisations such as the Aspen Institute, the World Economic Forum and the Brookings Institution.

Professor Ciulla presented the Gourlay Public Lecture on 18 May, and asked the audience Is business ethics getting better? Using examples from history and philosophy as case studies, she showed how the same ethical problems in business have existed for centuries. 

She argued strongly for the teaching of ethics in business through historical examples. 'While ethics and history are different subjects,' she said, 'both compel students to think about the big questions concerning business and life.'

2009-10: Professor Ed Freeman

Ed Freeman is the Elis and Signe Olsson Professor of Business Administration at the Darden School at the University of Virginia. He is also Academic Director of the Business Roundtable Institute for Corporate Ethics and co-Director of Darden's Olsson Center for Applied Ethics.  He is Professor of Religious Studies, a Faculty Advisor to the University's Institute for Practical Ethics, and Adjunct Professor of Stakeholder Management at the Copenhagen Business School in Denmark. Professor Freeman is perhaps best known for his award-winning book: Strategic Management: A Stakeholder Approach, published in 1984, in which he proposed businesses build their strategy around their relationships with key stakeholders.

2007–08: Professor Laura Hartman

Laura Hartman is Professor of Ethics in the Business Management Department at DePaul University, a private institution of higher education and research in Chicago, Illinois. Professor Hartman is a recognised expert in the field of business ethics on issues related to corporate governance, responsibility and culture, the employment relationship, global labor conditions and standards, the impact of technology on employment relationships, and the alleviation of global poverty through profitable corporate partnerships.

2006–07: Professor Steve Salbu

Steve Salbu joined Georgia Tech College of Management as Dean and Stephen P. Zelnak Chairholder in July 2006. Previously he was Associate Dean for Graduate Programs at the McCombs School of Business at the University of Texas, and Director of the McCombs School Business Ethics Program and Editor-in-Chief of the American Business Law Journal. Professor Salbu is a recognised expert in the fields of Business Ethics, the Legal Environment of Business and Cyberlaw