Our team.

Francis Grey – Founder and Senior Economist

Francis founded Economists at Large in 1989 when he saw the need for environment and community groups to better understand economics.  He left his career in the financial markets and at Federal Treasury to become the first Economist at Large. Over the years, Francis has worked as an advisor or author on a range of projects and papers investigating cost-benefit analysis, environmental valuation and sustainability, tourism, major developments and natural resources.

Francis is the principal economist at Economists at Large and acts in an advisory role. He is also the Director of Research at Transcap Pty Ltd, an investment fund with a focus on sustainability and corporate social responsibility.


Simon O’Connor – Senior Economist

Simon has been involved with Economists at Large for over ten years, as both senior economist, and more recently director. He began his career working within the risk management arm of a global insurance brokerage as an environmental risk consulting. His work covered cleaner production assessments, environmental management systems, energy and water efficiency projects and sustainability reporting across leading Australian corporations.

Simon then moved into the responsible investment industry, working in the UK and Australia as a senior analyst within a research firm leading research across the ASX200, with a focus on the resources sector. For the last five years, Simon has worked within a leading Australian environment organisation as economic adviser, delivering a program of work across environmental economics, sustainable finance and new economics.

Simon lives in Melbourne with his wife Rachel, and children Ada and Darcy. He enjoys time on his bike, growing vegetables and a range of other wholesome activities



Tristan Knowles – Economist

Tristan joined Economists at Large in January 2008 and has been involved with reports looking at forestry, tourism, infrastructure and policy.

Tristan holds a Bachelors Degree in Applied Economics from Victoria University.  Selected to participate in extensive international exchange programs, Tristan has lived in Hong Kong, Beijing and Kuala Lumpur, studying economics, business, language and history.  In 2007, Tristan was selected to participate in Green Steps, an organisational sustainability training program run by Monash University.  In 2008, Tristan was selected to participate in the Australia Indonesia Youth Exchange Program (AIYEP).  AIYEP took Tristan to the village of Gesang and the city of Surabaya, where he was involved in community development initiatives before working for the Surabaya EPA.  While in Indonesia, Tristan also worked at USAID in Malang and visited friends, forests and orang utans in Palangkaraya.

Tristan speaks Chinese at an advanced level and Indonesian at a basic level.


Roderick Campbell – Economist

Rod works full time with Economists at Large as an associate economist.  He leads projects relating to the economics of resources, tourism, development and animal welfare.

Rod joined Economists at Large in 2007 when we reviewed the economic analysis of Melbourne’s Channel Deepening Project.  “That project really showed how independent review of commissioned economic analysis can improve public debate and assist community groups in their campaigns.  It was also the first time I used a lot of what I learned in my economics degree!”

Rod spent nearly two years working for AusAID and the Australian Center for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR) in Western China, working with local farmers to research and promote sustainable agricultural/agronomic methods. He has also lived and worked in Brazil, Laos and Japan.  Rod speaks Chinese, Japanese and Portguese fluently and basic Lao.


Craig Robertson – Associate

Craig works as an advisor to Economists at Large and full time for an investment bank in Australian equity sales.  He holds a Bachelors degree in Commerce (Economics) and a Diploma of Modern Languages (Japanese) from the University of Melbourne and is currently completing his Masters of Applied Finance from Kaplan. During university, Craig completed internships at Merrill Lynch and later worked as a management consultant for Accenture.

Craig also worked as a coordinator for international relations for the Saitama Prefectural Government in Japan. He coordinated visits to Japan by leading environmental economists from Germany. He assisted with economic research into the potential of green energy in Saitama and the cost benefit analysis of environmental taxes.

Craig speaks fluent Japanese and now lives in Melbourne. He enjoys cycling, running and gardening at his organic hobby farm.


Other Associates

Economists at Large work with a number of associate consultants and economists in Australia and around the world.  These consultants have a variety of experience in economics with a focus on issues pertaining to sustainability.  Among our associates, we have experience environmental economic issues such as carbon markets and climate policy as well as ecosystem services.  We are also a highly multilingual organisation, with capabilities in:

  • Chinese (mandarin)
  • Japanese
  • French
  • Spanish
  • Indonesian
  • Lao