David Gilchrist

Role: Director, Centre for Public Value University of Western Australia

Country: Australia

Nationality: Australian


David Gilchrist is a chartered accountant and holds a PhD in economic history from the University of Notre Dame Australia. He is currently professor of accounting and director of the Centre for Public Value at the University of Western Australia. He was Foundation Director of the Curtin Not-for-profit Initiative for five years and is currently a Visiting Fellow in the Department of Accounting, Airlangga University, Indonesia and Visiting Professor in the School of Accountancy at Queensland University of Technology with a specialisation in nonprofit accountability.

David has undertaken significant long-term research related to not-for-profit and public sector sustainability, accounting, economics and financial reporting. He completed two terms as a member of the ACNC advisory board and has held many chair roles in Australian charities. He is currently director of the Australian Nonprofit Accounting Standards Research Program and a member of the Australian Accounting Standards Board Academic Advisory Panel amongst other relevant roles.  He is also a member of the Australian Economics Society. David has written over 200 industry and policy reports and written, edited or contributed to twelve books.

Importantly, David’s background includes significant practical work within the Australian human services sector, in government (where his last role was as Assistant Auditor General for Western Australia) and in commerce. As such, his research, writing and speaking all focus on communicating practical, implementable and impactful research outcomes. Further, he has worked in research and service delivery in most states and territories—with nonprofit sector entities and government—as well as internationally. This practical work has also ensured David has strong relationships within government and the nonprofit sector across Australia.

These relationships have been critical in establishing David’s research program wherein topics and focus areas are established based on demonstrable need within the human services sector. Indeed, he has consistently sought guidance directly from the sector in order to ensure value and utility are embedded in his research program. This strong relationship also ensures research is supported by the sector and governments so that research participants provide data and case study material and so that findings are able to be disseminated effectively.

David is currently expert advisor to the Commonwealth government’s nonprofit blueprint project setting the framework for Australia’s charities over the next ten years. He is a member of the Chartered Accountants Australia New Zealand Charities and NFP Advisory Committee and was awarded a Meritorious Service Award by that institution in 2023. David was appointed a Fellow of the Western Australian Parliament in 2021.