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Australian Centre for Sustainable Business and Development

Enabling profitable and sustainable regional business

We help farmers, businesses and institutions to develop profitable and sustainable business.  We work closely with industry and government agencies to understand their challenges and opportunities and to develop solutions.  We believe that

  • Research that supports businesses innovation, collaborations and entrepreneurial activity is essential to the profitability of regional businesses.
  • Entrepreneurial leadership is needed to ensure rural and regional prosperity.
  • Innovation in business models and value chains is required to transform our agricultural industries
  • Multi-disciplinary research is critical to sustainability of production landscapes and to understand business systems.

The Centre works with Faculties and research teams across the university and we have four research programs:

  1. Entrepreneurial leadership, behaviour and activity.  Our Regional Entrepreneurial Leadership team investigates, supports and promotes entrepreneurial behaviour and activity to strengthen regional resilience and foster business sustainability.
  2. Innovative solutions for value added exports.  Our Agricultural Value Chainsteam assists local and national industries to better understand export opportunities, risks, pathways and consumer purchasing preferences.
  3. Farmer access to high value supply chains and growth capital.  Our Farm Business Futures research team enables the development and adoption of innovation in farm business models and practices including business collaboration, investment and extension.
  4. Sustainable land and livestock management.  Our Sustainable Agricultural Environments research team produces and delivers knowledge and solutions to problems faced by managers of natural resources in production landscapes.

We pride ourselves on independent and credible research, based on rigorous research methodologies and underpinned by relevant theoretical frameworks.  We strive to help business innovate and adapt towards transformational change by facilitating informed decision making.



A highly qualified adjunct faculty has been established to advise the development of the ACSBD. Our Adjunct Professorial and Industry Fellows are comprised of leading sustainability practitioners from Australia and overseas.

DirectorProfessor Julie Cotter

Professor Julie Cotter leads a multi-disciplinary group of researchers and PhD students in the creation of evidence based solutions to sustainable business and development problems. Julie and her colleagues engage with government, industry and community stakeholders to provide practical research and development outcomes for organisations and communities. Professor Cotter is highly regarded for her research in accounting, finance and governance. Professor Cotter is a graduate member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors (AICD), a Chartered Accountant and a Fellow of CPA Australia.

Founding DirectorProfessor John Cole

Professor John Cole OAM was appointed as the inaugural Centre Director in August 2009 and remained Centre Director until 2013. With a diverse 25-year background in industry and government, Professor Cole is well-known internationally for his leadership in addressing the issues of sustainable development, particularly through business innovation and public-private sector collaboration. He leads a team of university staff, postdoctoral fellows and PhD students in researching and developing innovative business models and technologies to help make sustainable business a reality.