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Co-operatives Research Group

Exploring how people work together
We provide a forum for research and teaching about all forms of mutual organisations.

About us

Co-operation can take various forms, including consumer, social, worker, finance, producer co-operatives and other membership-based democratic organisations. We seek to understand the co-operative sector, the contribution it makes or has the potential to make to social and economic development, and shape and inform public policy debate on the sector.

We aim to be the focal point for all co-operative research undertaken in Australia and the Asia-Pacific region.

Our research

Explore our projects.

Investigator: Greg Patmore

Investigating the development of the co-operative business model in Australia before 2012, the United Nations International Year of Co-operatives. We are constructing a Visual Atlas of Australian Co-operatives that charts their clustering, growth, decline and revival.

We are also studying Australian agricultural and consumer co-operatives to construct a long-term historical framework that explains the growth, decline and revival of this business model. Our aim is to help policymakers enhance consumer choice about healthy food and make Australian agriculture more internationally competitive.

Our people

Meet our academics and researchers.

Professor Greg Patmore, Chair

Dr Mark Westcott, Director

  • Ann Apps, University of Newcastle
  • Dr Nikki Balnave, Macquarie University
  • Sam Byrne, Director, Co-operative Federation of NSW
  • Grahame Danaher, Westfund
  • Peter Gates, Mercury Co-operative
  • Alan Greig, The Mercury Centre
  • Suzanne Henderson, Sommerson Communications
  • Dr Branka Krivokapic-Skoko, Charles Sturt University
  • Dr Olivera Marjanovic, University of Technology, Sydney
  • Peter Mason, Credit Union Foundation of Australia
  • Melina Morrison, Business Council of Co-operatives and Mutuals
  • Richard O'Leary, Chief Executive, Macleay Co-operative
  • Dr Eddie Oczkowski, Charles Sturt University
  • Neville Parsons, Holiday Coast Credit Union
  • Dr Zhang Ran, East China Normal University, Shanghai
  • Troy Sarina, Macquarie University

Our events

Explore our events, past and present.

Watch this space for our latest events.

The co-operative life

31 August 2018

Delivering person-centred care in an employee-owned social care business in a range of community settings across Sydney and the New England region.

Audacious rookie or solid performer

6 April 2018

Reflecting on the activities of the Business Council of Co-operatives and Mutuals.

Co-operatives from below: Forming and sustaining new co-operatives symposium

3 November 2017

The third annual joint research symposium of Co-ops NSW and the University of Sydney Business School’s Co-operatives Research Group featuring speakers from academia and industry.

Consumer co-operatives in Australia, the US and China

20 October 2017

Bringing together Australian contributors to the Global History of the Consumer Co-operation Project to discuss their findings.

Co-operatives Research Group Symposium

5 May 2017

Race Mathews discusses his new book, Of labour and liberty: Distributism in Victoria 1891-1966, with commentary by Tim Ayres, Jenny McAllister and Melina Morrison.


Headshot of Professor Greg Patmore
Professor Greg Patmore
Academic profile


Headshot of Dr Mark Westcott
Dr Mark Westcott
Academic profile