Our councillors

There are currently four councillors of the National Competition Council, with a variety of backgrounds and a wide range of skills and experience. The councillors are appointed by the Governor-General under section 29C of the Competition and Consumer Act 2010, with the agreement of a majority of the states and territories party to the Competition Principles Agreement.

Julie-Anne Schafer - President

Ms Julie-Anne Schafer is the President of the National Competition Council. Ms Schafer was initially appointed for a period of three years from 18 December 2015. In December 2018, Ms Schafer was reappointed as President for a three-year term to December 2021. On 4 March 2022, Ms Schafer was reappointed as President for a further three-year term.

Ms Schafer has 25 years of experience as a partner in the legal services sector. She has served on advisory committees for the law faculties of several universities in Queensland. She was also the Deputy Chancellor of the Queensland University of Technology. She has over 15 years of directorship experience in diverse and highly regulated sectors, including road and rail transport.

Ms Schafer has a Bachelor of Laws (Honours) degree and is a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

Katrina Groshinski

Ms Katrina Groshinki was appointed to the Council for a period of three years from 18 February 2021 and re-appointed for a further 18 months from 23 February 2024 to 17 August 2025. 

Ms Groshinski is a leading competition and regulatory lawyer and has been a partner at MinterEllison since 2010. She was previously a partner and associate at Clayton Utz from 2003.

Ms Groshinski has a Bachelor and Master of Laws.

The Hon Dr Craig Emerson 

Dr Craig Emerson is an eminent economist with 40 years’ experience in public policy, politics and public service. He is Managing Director of Emerson Economics Pty Ltd. He is Director of the APEC Study Centre at RMIT University, a Visiting Fellow at the Australian National University, Adjunct Professor at Victoria University and a columnist with the Australian Financial Review.

Dr Emerson was Australia’s Minister for Trade and Competitiveness from 2010 to 2013. Prior to that he was Minister for Small Business, Independent Contractors and the Service Economy, Minister Assisting the Finance Minister on Deregulation and Minister for Competition Policy and Consumer Affairs.

Dr Emerson was the architect of the 2012 White Paper on Australia in the Asian Century and was appointed Minister Assisting the Prime Minister on Asian Century Policy. He is also a former Minister for Tertiary Education, Skills, Science and Research and Chair of the Productivity Committee of Cabinet.

In 2021, Dr Emerson was appointed to an Expert Panel supporting the Deregulation Taskforce in the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet. In 2023, Dr Emerson was appointed Independent Reviewer of the Payment Times Reporting Scheme. In 2024, Dr Emerson was appointed Independent Reviewer of the Food and Grocery Code of Conduct.

Dr Emerson was economic, trade and environmental adviser to Prime Minister Bob Hawke in the 1980s. He has also held the positions of Assistant Secretary in the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, Director-General of the Queensland Department of Environment and Heritage and Policy Analyst at the United Nations in Bangkok.

Dr Emerson has a PhD in Economics from the Australian National University, and a Master of Economics degree and a Bachelor of Economics (Honours) degree from the University of Sydney.

Sally McMahon 

Sally McMahon has more than 25 years’ experience as an advisor and executive with economic regulators, governments, businesses, and investment funds in Victoria, New South Wales, South Australia, Tasmania, Western Australia, and Canada. 

Sally has held key roles in establishing access and pricing regimes, the evolution of jurisdictional energy markets and the establishment and ongoing development of the law and rules for the National Electricity and Gas Market. Sally specialises in economic regulation, its design and application and has experience in energy, water and transport. 

In addition to her role as Councillor, Sally is a Commissioner at the Australian Energy Market Commission and is the Independent Chair of the Market Advisory Committee, the Gas Advisory Board and the Pilbara Advisory Committee in Western Australia. 

Sally holds an Honours degree in Economics from the Flinders University of South Australia and is a GAICD. Sally is also a member of the Economic Society of Australia and a former Chair of Women in Economics Network of WA.