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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.

A project funded by the Business Council of Co-operatives that explores the role that co-operatives and mutuals can play in the economic recovery from COVID 19 and rebuilding Australia's manufacturing capacity.

The project explores the development of the Credit Union Foundation, which has played an important role in promoting credit unions and financial literacy, both in Australia and the Asia-Pacific Area. 

The project, which is funded by the Australian Research Council (ARC) Discovery Program (DP170100573) for the period 2017-2023, aims to investigate the development of co-operatives in Australia and provide other researchers with a tool to investigate the co-operative sector in interactive and visual ways.  

Download the project overview (pdf, 1.9MB)

Download Visual Atlas Bibliography (pdf, 215KB)

We are interested in attracting sponsors for the project, particularly after the ARC funding ends in 2023. Funding would be through the University of Sydney and if you or your organisation are interested, please contact Emeritus Professor Greg Patmore at

A research study about the history of the Macleay Regional Co-operative since its last commissioned history in 2005 and focus on the events that led to its decision to enter voluntary liquidation. The project will examine management structure, policy making and decisions. It also looks at Macleay Regional Co-operative’s relationship with its employees, members and community. This study is being funded by Co-operative Federation Ltd.

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
  • Peter Gates, Mercury Co-operative
  • Alan Greig, The Mercury Centre
  • Professor Mathew Hall, Monash University
  • Suzanne Henderson, Sommerson Communications
  • Dr Branka Krivokapic-Skoko, Charles Sturt University
  • Dr Olivera Marjanovic, University of Technology, Sydney
  • Melina Morrison, Business Council of Co-operatives and Mutuals
  • Richard O'Leary, Chief Executive, Macleay Co-operative
  • Dr Eddie Oczkowski, Charles Sturt University
  • Dr Zhang Ran, East China Normal University, Shanghai
  • Associate Professor Paul Thambar, Monash University
  • Luisa Unda, Monash University
  • Lance Wright


Our events

Explore our events, past and present.

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.

Our presentations

Watch the latest presentations from our academics and researchers.

Cooperatives Research Group Seminar Series: Learning from Alternatives & Alternative Ways of Knowing

Presented by Professor Leanne Cutcher


Professor Greg Patmore
Professor Greg Patmore
Academic profile


Dr Mark Westcott
Dr Mark Westcott
Academic profile