John is company founder and principal of the Clifton Group. He is a law graduate with extensive experience in the public and private sectors. After an early career in law, he joined the Departments of Defence and Foreign Affairs, accepting several overseas postings. Later as senior private secretary to the foreign minister, Hon Andrew Peacock, he advised on policy and media relations in Australia and overseas.
As director of Public Affairs for Alcoa of Australia he oversaw sensitive negotiations for the establishment of the Portland Aluminium Smelter and introduced a can recycling program. Then as state director of the Liberal Party - Victoria, John assumed the role of CEO for the state party, including running federal and state election campaigns, fund raising and candidate selection and training. He has been a councillor of the Shire of Upper Yarra Valley, a member of the Regional Planning Authority, and a board member of the Children’s Protection Society, Zoological Board of Victoria and Dandenong Ranges Gardens Trust. John led the formation of the Melbourne Forum. He is currently chair of the Australian Tapestry Workshop and is on the board of the Melbourne International Comedy Festival.
Specialist in issues management, strategy, government relations and advocacy. Highly-developed network of contacts at senior level.