• The University of Western Australia (M251), 35 Stirling Highway,

    6009 Perth


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Personal profile


Professor David Gilchrist has worked in and around the human services sector for 30 years. He has held executive roles in, consulted to and been part of the governance team of various charitable human services organisations including in disability services, aged care and child protection. In all of these areas, David has contributed to policy and practice. Prior to joining the Academe, he was assistant auditor general for Western Australia and has taught at London School of Economics and Portsmouth University in the UK, and Curtin University and Edith Cowan University here in Australia. He was associate dean of the business school at Notre Dame where he was also adjunct professor of Not-for-profit leadership.

David has researched in the areas of nonprofit sustainability, economics and governance and has written over 100 industry reports and papers focusing on key issues related to the sector. He has written, edited or contributed to eight books, is currently chair of Australian Scholarships Limited and was co-founder and co-director of the NPO Research Unit at Hebei GEO University, People's Republic of China. David was made a Fellow of the Parliament of Western Australia in 2021.


Member: Practitioner Advisory Group, International Reporting for Nonprofit Organisations, 2021 -

Member: Asian Centre for Civil Society Research, 2021 -

Chair, Australian Scholarships Limited, 2019 -

Member: Australian Accountng Standards Board Academic Advisory Panel, 2014 -


Funding overview

Total Research Funding Achieved: $5,278,746

Current Year Funding & Projects


Funder: Western Australian History Foundation

Project: Western Australian Colonial Blue Book Digitisation & Public Access Provision

Funding: $7,580

Funder: Institute of Community Directors Australia

Project: The Australian Nonprofit Accounting Standards Research Project

Funding: $10,000

Funder: Queensland Council of Social Service

Project: The Economic Contribution and Sustainability of the Queensland Not-for-profit Human Services Sector

Funding: $25,000

Funder: National Disability Services (WA)

Project: NDIS Readiness Program

Funding: $8,500  

Current projects

The Australian Nonprofit Accounting Standards Project

Funder: Community Directors Australia

Focus: The development of proportionate and appropriate financial reporting standards for Australia's charities and nonprofit organisations.


Stewarding Thin Markets

Funder: Australian Reserch Council, Department of Social Services & National Disability Services

Focus: The methodological development in idnetifying thin markets within the NDIS.

Research Team: Professor Gemma Carey (CI); Professor Helen Dickinson; Professor Anne Kavanagh, Mr Gordon Duff, Professor Satish Chand, Dr Damon Alexander, Ms Eleanor Malbon


WA Human Services Data Collaboration Project

Focus: Building Data Assets for Comprehensive WA Human Services Research

Universities: University of Western Austraia (Professor David Gilchrist, CI); Centre for Social Impact WA (Professor Paul Flatau), Curtin University (Professor Kirsten Holmes), Murdoch University (Dr Megan Paull), Edith Cowan University (Professor Stephen Teo), WA Council of Social Service (Mr Chris Twomey), UWA Law School (Assoc. Professor Ian Murray), Curtin Business School (Dr Nigar Sultana), Not-for-profits UWA (Mr Tom Emery), and WA Council for Social Service (Mr Graham Hansen)


Economics of Human Services in Australia

Focus: Developing an understanding of the economic underpinnings of the human services sector in Australia in order to build greater understanding for policy development and evlauation.

Team: Professor David Gilchrist (CI), Professor Satish Chand (University of New South Wales) and Mr Tom Emery (Not-for-profits UWA)


Education/Academic qualification

Economic History, PhD, University of Notre Dame Australia

Award Date: 31 Dec 2015

Political Science and History, BA, Curtin University

Award Date: 31 Dec 2004

Accounting, BBus, Curtin University

Award Date: 31 Dec 1992

External positions

Member, Asian Centre for Civil Society Research

26 Apr 2021 → …

Member, Practitioner Advisory Group, IFR4NPO

22 Apr 2021 → …

Chair, Australian Scholarships Ltd

2019 → …

Chair, National Standard Chart of Accounts Advisory Body, Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission


Director, BaxterLawley Advisory


Member, Australian Accounting Standards Board Academic Advisory Panel

2014 → …

Member, Trans Tasman Not-for-profit Advisory Panel, Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand


Industry keywords

  • Disability
  • Government
  • Social and Welfare Issues
  • Ageing
  • Finance and Business
  • Health

Research expertise keywords

  • Not-for-profit Governance
  • Public Sector Governance
  • Not-for-profit Audit
  • Public Sector Audit
  • Public Policy
  • Human Services
  • Economic History
  • East Asian History
  • Not-for-profit Finance
  • Human Services Funding
  • Charities


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