Board of directors and staff

  • Derek Whitehead, OAM

    Chairman of the Board

    Derek Whitehead, OAM, has been Chair of the Australian Digital Alliance since January 2008. He has also been Vice President and President of the Australian Library and Information Association (2007-2009) and chaired a review of Australian domain name policy in 2010-2011.

    Derek is the former Director of Information Resources and University Copyright Officer at Swinburne University of Technology, where he was responsible for management of the university library,  university information (website, records, and other content), and the Copyright Office.

    From 1996 to 1999 Derek was Deputy State Librarian at the State Library of Victoria. In 2002 he was awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia in the Australia Day honours for his contribution to libraries and the internet.

  • Margaret Allen

    Director, Cultural and community bodies

    Margaret Allen is the CEO and State Librarian at the State Library of Western Australia. Previous roles include senior roles with state, public and special libraries in other jurisdictions and more than 15 years in the information technology industry.  Margaret’s current professional activities include President of the Australian Library and Information Association, Deputy Chair of National and State Libraries Australasia and Chair of the 2012 National Year of Reading Founding Partners.

  • Paula Bray

    Director, cultural and community bodies

    Paula Bray is the Manager of the Visual and Digi­ti­sation Services department at the Power­house Museum that includes: Photog­raphy, The Image Resource Centre, The Photo Library and Rights and Permis­sions and Audio Visuals. Paula is respon­sible for managing the digital collec­tions to the highest standard whilst coör­di­nating photo­graphic and AV projects for exhi­bi­tions, publi­ca­tions, events and the website. Paula runs a blog for the Museum called Photo of the Day and manages the Museum’s two Flickr accounts and numerous public groups.

    Paula has also worked as a photog­rapher in the Arts for many years including: the Art Gallery of NSW, The State Library of NSW and The Australian National Maritime Museum. Paula has worked as a free­lance photog­rapher and had several exhi­bi­tions of her work including a solo show at Blender Gallery in 2007. Her work has been collected by the College of Fine Arts and private collectors. Paula studied photog­raphy at the College of Fine Arts for 5 years doing a Bachelor of Art and a Master of Art whilst also receiving the Agfa Gevaert award for the most inno­v­ative use of photog­raphy upon grad­u­ating.

  • Delia Browne

    Director, Education

    Delia Browne is a Sydney based policy lawyer specialising in Copyright issues. She is the National Copyright Director of the National Copyright Unit for the Copyright Advisory Group to COAG Education Council. The NCU provides copyright advice to the School and TAFE sector. See for information sheets and online educational resources on copyright. The NCU also advocates for copyright law reform on behalf of the School and TAFE sector.

    She is a co founder and President of Peer 2 Peer University (P2PU) a free online disruptive education initiative, the deputy chair of the Australian Centre of Photography and an iCommons Board Director. She is a passionate advocate of Creative Commons and Open Education and was one the drafters of the Cape Town Declaration on Open Education. She is on the editorial boards of the Media and Arts Law Review and the NZ Intellectual Property Review and is a sought after conference presenter.

  • Professor Tom Cochrane

    Director, Education

    Emeritus Professor Tom Cochrane is currently Adjunct Professor in the Faculty of Law at the Queensland University of Technology (QUT) in Brisbane, Australia. He was formerly, (until retiring from the position in December 2013), Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Vice-President) at QUT. In his current role, Professor Cochrane's external duties include: Director, Australian Digital Alliance; Member, Library Board of Queensland; Director, Board of Knowledge Unlatched (UK); Member, Board of Enabling Open Scholarship (Europe). He has also been co-leader of the Creative Commons project for which QUT is the institutional partner for Australia. This project, together with other open access initiatives locally based at QUT, signals a long standing commitment to improving access to research outputs and the supporting infrastructure worldwide. This is part of a wider general commitment to promoting access to knowledge and a fair go for every person in the copyright ecosystem.

  • Michael Cooley

    Director - Industry

    Michael is a Public Policy and Government Relations Counsel at Google Australia. Prior to joining Google, Michael worked as Senior Lawyer specialising in intellectual property at Gilbert + Tobin Lawyers. Michael has also worked in Federal politics, including as a senior adviser to Prime Minister Kevin Rudd and as an adviser to Senator John Faulkner.

  • Paul Gordon

    Director, Industry

    Paul Gordon is the Regional Counsel (Australia) and Company Secretary for Redbubble. Paul joined Redbubble in early 2015. Paul has broad corporate and commercial legal experience, gained in-house and in private practice in Australia, the UK and New Zealand. Before joining Redbubble, Paul was the General Counsel at ASX-listed REA Group. Before that Paul was a Senior Corporate Associate at Nabarro LLP in the UK and also practiced at Hogan Lovells (UK) and Chapman Tripp (NZ). Paul holds a Bachelor of Laws (Hons) and Master of Commerce from the University of Canterbury NZ and a Certificate in Governance Practice from the Governance Institute of Australia.

  • Rebecca Harris

    Director Education

    Rebecca Harris is the Director of Copyright at Universities Australia.

  • Nicholas Gruen

    ADA Patron

    Nicholas Gruen is a widely published policy economist, entrepreneur and commentator on our economy and society and innovation. He is currently Patron of the Australian Digital Alliance, CEO of Lateral Economics, Chair of: the Innovation Australia Board; the Australian Centre for Social Innovation; Deakin University’s Arts Participation Incubator and the Open Knowledge Foundation (Australia), and is also a member of the Council of the National Library of Australia.

    He was a founding shareholder and Chairman of successful San Francisco based startup, data analytics crowdsourcing platform He is an investor in numerous other startups in Australia and the US.  He has advised Cabinet Ministers, sat on Australia’s Productivity Commission and founded Lateral Economics and Peach Financial. He has had regular columns in the Courier Mail, the Australian Financial Review, the Age and the Sydney Morning Herald and has published numerous essays on political, economic and cultural matters several of which have been published in annual “Best Essays” anthologies.

    He was a member of a major review into Australia’s Innovation System in 2008, a review of Pharmaceutical patent extensions in 2013. In 2009 he chaired Australia’s internationally acclaimed Government 2.0 Taskforce.  He has a BA (Hons - First Class) in History (1981) a Graduate Diploma in economics and a PhD from the ANU (1998), and an LLB (Hons) from the University of Melbourne (1982). 

  • Jessica Coates

    Executive Officer

    Jessica Coates is a copyright and communications policy expert with 15 years of experience working in Australia and overseas. She comes to the ADA directly from working as the Global Network Manager of Creative Commons. In this role she worked out of their San Francisco HQ to support the activities of its international community and represent CC in discussions globally. Prior to joining CC, Jessica spent time as the Project Manager of Creative Commons Australia and the Creative Commons Clinic, a research program at the Queensland University of Technology. She has also had stints working as a copyright and broadcasting policy adviser for the Australian government (DCITA) and Australia’s commercial television broadcasters (FreeTV), as well as an academic, lecturer and educator. She has a Master of Laws from the University of Melbourne and both a Bachelor of Laws and a Bachelor of Arts (English Hons) from the Australian National University.


  • Elliott Bledsoe

    Copyright Officer

    Elliott Bledsoe is ADA's Copyright Officer. He has more than 10 years experience working in the arts. He has held marketing and communications positions at a number of organisations including the Australia Council for the Arts, ABC RN at the Australian Broadcasting Corporation and Queensland Writers Centre. He has a strong interest in copyright and creative practice and worked at the Creative Commons Australia project. He also runs Agentry, a communications agency delivering tailored solutions for individual arts practitioners and small-to-medium arts organisations and groups.

The Australian Digital Alliance is governed by a Board of Directors from each category of membership, including:

  • Education
  • Cultural or community bodies
  • Industry (information technology, communications and research); and
  • Individuals

The Executive Officer for the ADA reports to the Board regularly on activities being undertaken by the organisation, and seeks their input into policy and law submissions.

The ADA appoints patrons who lend their name and public prominence to the organisation. Patrons are kept up to date on ADA activities and encouraged to provide input into topical copyright debates and policy submissions.

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