Professor John Freebairn was the Director of the Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research at the University of Melbourne from 2005 t0 August 2007. "He holds a PhD from the University of California (Davis). Prior to this position, John worked closely with the Melbourne Institute as both an Adjunct Professor and a member of the Advisory Board.
"John began his career at the NSW Department of Agriculture and progressed to being senior economist. In 1974 he became a Research Fellow at the Research School of Social Sciences at ANU, before moving as a Professor of Agricultural Economics at La Trobe University from 1977 until 1984. For the next two years, John took over the responsibilities of Research Director at the Business Council of Australia.
"In 1986, John joined Monash University as Deputy Director in the Centre of Policy Studies. In 1991 he moved to the Department of Economics at Monash and at various times was Chairman of the Department, Deputy Dean and Dean of Faculty.
"John joined the Department of Economics at the University of Melbourne in 1996 and was Head of Department from 1997 to 2002.
"John’s research interests have included various aspects of applied economic and social research. He has a particular interest in the analysis of policy options for taxation reform, labour markets (particularly unemployment), infrastructure pricing and investment, and microeconomic reform." 
According to Cahill (2004) Freebairn was an activist for Crossroads - "a clandestine group that brought together about 40 radical neo-liberal activists with the specific aim of sharing and planning ways of furthering the radical neo-liberal agenda."  (Cahill, 2004: )
Resources and articles
- Director's Profile, Melbourne Institute, accessed August 13, 2007.
- Damien C. Cahill, "The radical neo-liberal movement as a hegemonic force in Australia, 1976-1996", University of Wollongong, PhD Thesis, 2004, pp.116-117. (Available online from all Australian Universities).