Dr John Saunders

Pre-eminent Counsel
Experienced Director of Australian Public & Private Companies
Strategy & Delivery of Major Projects

If the scale of your business ambitions for an Australian Presence includes major investments – whether they be in environment and green energy, technology, materials and mining, oil and gas, power and water, property and educational institutions – Dr John Saunders is the pre-eminent advisor in Australia to oversee and materially deliver on your vision.

Dr Saunders provides strategic advice, overall project co-ordination and financial delivery of major projects at Australian Presence.  He has mandated and/or teamed with a number of the world’s leading global companies in the areas of energy and resources, environment and technology, and property and infrastructure. Dr Saunders will identify, analyze and negotiate new business opportunities through to financial close in Australia and Asia.

Dr Saunders was contracted for five years as the Chief Executive of the Office of Economic Development for the New South Wales Government, until 1994. He was Chairman of the joint NSW Government – Guangdong Province Economic Development Committee. From 1990 to 1994, he was Co­-ordinator General for the Government of Nick Greiner and responsible for a number of senior inter­-governmental infrastructure-related committees, negotiating investment, environmental and planning approvals for property and major projects. During this time, he sourced US$7 billion in property, project and infrastructure investments in R&D infrastructure, IT and telecommunications, Co­-operative Research Centres, resource processing and private infrastructure financing.

In 1987 Dr Saunders was contracted as the Deputy Managing Director of the Australian Trade Commission, initiating the inwards investment scheme of Invest Australia and responsible for a number of key organisational and administrative functions in an organisation operating 66 international offices in 51 countries and providing market intelligence and project consultancy support to Australian clients and SMEs and foreign investors. He has wide experience in the private and public sectors covering high level corporate advice and strategic planning, new business development and project structuring, and international negotiations in the United States, Europe, North and South East Asia and Australia.

Until September 1987, he led John Saunders & Associates, working with a number of large energy and resource clients, including the Government of Western Australia as Chairman of the Energy Policy and Planning Work Party, Special Advisor to the State Energy (Electricity and Gas) Commission, and on the Joint Committee for North­-West Shelf Gas Utilisation. From 1980 to 1982, as a Senior Consultant of the major Australian management consultancy W.D. Scott & Company, he developed the new Resources and Energy Planning Studies Group leading multi­-disciplinary teams of strategy, economic, marketing, engineering and technology­-based professionals on assignments for corporate and public sector clients.

Dr. Saunders was the Convenor of the Master of Technology and Society Program at UNSW in 1977. He is an Australian Centenary Medallist and Chevalier of the l’Ordre National du Merite, France. He is a Fellow of the Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering, and a Fellow of the Institute of Company Directors. He is former Chair of the Business Advisory Council, Faculty of Business, Australian Catholic University
and the Asia Council, Macquarie University and is currently Chairman of the Advisory Board of the UNSW School of Petroleum Engineering.