Austin is an economist with a master’s in urban planning and over twenty five years’ experience in strategic planning, economic and market research in both the public and private sectors. He is on the Industry Advisory Committees, for RMIT’s Centres for Business Education and Urban Research.
Austin joined the City of Melbourne in 1995 to establish the Research Branch which today is a team of 16 staff responsible for coordinating research across the Council.
The Research Branch provides a consulting service to Council and the public.
It is also responsible for delivery of the “Knowledge Melbourne” program enable greater access to the research/knowledge sector, brokering research partnerships based on Council’s needs and priorities. This program also involves showcasing the city’s knowledge strengths and building networks to increase collaboration.