Our Story

Some of the first patients Dr. Bronwyn King cared for at Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre were suffering from lung cancer. However, while doing her best to treat these people, Bronwyn was unaware she was also supporting the global production of cigarettes.

It was only during a meeting with a representative of her superannuation fund in 2010 that Bronwyn learnt some of her money was flowing to tobacco companies through the default option of her superannuation fund. “I thought it was a very bad fit for me as a cancer doctor. I had watched hundreds of people die from tobacco-related disease,” Bronwyn reflects.

In the knowledge that many of her colleagues would be similarly unhappy with their unwitting investment in the tobacco industry, Bronwyn approached First State Super which had shortly before merged with Health Super. Following numerous meetings and a presentation to the Board, First State Super undertook a detailed analysis of the issue and in 2012, proudly made the decision to go tobacco free.

Scores of coffees and countless boardroom presentations later, Bronwyn is delighted with the willingness of the finance industry to engage and act on this issue. The work of Tobacco Free Portfolios now has a global focus after gaining the support of the Union for International Cancer Control, backed by the World Health Organisation.

In June 2015, Clare Payne – a lawyer with a background in ethics in banking and finance – joined Bronwyn to further the influence and impact of Tobacco Free Portfolios.

Our People

Dr. Bronwyn King

Founder and Chief Executive Officer
  • Radiation oncologist at The Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre and Epworth Healthcare, Victoria, Australia
  • Project Manager for the Global Taskforce on Tobacco Free Portfolios
  • Tobacco Control Ambassador for Cancer Council Australia
  • Recipient of the 2014 President’s Award for Leadership in Tobacco Control from the Thoracic Society of Australia and New Zealand
  • Named by Westpac and the Australian Financial Review as one of 2014’s 100 Women of Influence
  • Former elite swimmer
  • Served for ten years as Team Doctor of the Australian Swimming Team
  • Australia Day Ambassador
  • Ambassador Big Brother Big Sisters Australia
  • Fellow of Leadership Victoria’s Williamson Community Leadership Program

Clare Payne

Chief Operating Officer
  • Consulting Fellow for Ethics in Banking and Finance, The Ethics Centre
  • Founder and Board Member of The Banking and Finance Oath (The BFO)
  • Working Group of the Financial Services Professional Board of Malaysia
  • Lecturer and Tutor, Macquarie University and The University of Melbourne
  • Former employment lawyer
  • Managed the Integrity Office of a global investment bank
  • Awarded the inaugural Robin Cosgrove Prize for Ethics in Finance in 2007
  • Recognised as a World Economic Forum Young Global Leader
  • Nominated for ‘Most Outstanding Thought Leader’ in Financial Services in FINSIA Pinnacle Awards 125
  • Future Summit Leadership Awardee, Australian Davos Connection
  • Life Education Australia Board member
  • Former marathon swimmer

Dr Rachel Melsom MBBS, BSc.

UK Director
  • Completed her first degree in Genetics in London in 1987
  • Extensive career in advertising, commercial media negotiations, including founded an intellectual property consultancy and developed interactive media programming for production in the USA
  • 2008 retrained as a Doctor and works part time in the Department of Medicine for the Elderly (DoME) at Worthing Hospital in Sussex
  • Has been advising independent medical businesses on company structure, commercial project development, partnership development and business growth since 2010
  • Business Leader for Founders 4 Schools
  • Works with Partnership for Change, a not for profit organization created by leaders in the UK Pension industry


Governance –
Our Board

Mark Engel

  • Mark is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors with more than 30 years’ experience across the insurance, financial services, healthcare and higher education sectors
  • Mark has held senior executive roles with Mutual Community, HBA, National Mutual, AXA and Bupa
  • Currently Executive Director and Chief Marketing Officer at La Trobe University
  • Mark is a Director of St John Ambulance Australia (Vic) and St John Holdings Limited

David Rickards

  • David trained as an engineer and practised in Australia, Hong Kong and London
  • For over 16 years (until 2012), David was the Head of Research at Macquarie Bank
  • David co-founded Social Enterprise Finance Australia (SEFA) and continues to be an executive with the SEFA business
  • David is a Director of Bush Heritage Australia and the Australian Museum Foundation

Our Affiliations

Tobacco Control a Global Priority

  • In 2013, 180 Parties of the World Health Organisation Framework Convention on Tobacco Control committed to reduce tobacco consumption globally by 30% by 2025 (source).

The Global Taskforce for Tobacco Free Portfolios

  • In 2015, at the 16th World Conference on Tobacco or Health in Abu Dhabi, the Union for International Cancer Control (UICC) launched the Global Taskforce for Tobacco Free Portfolios. This project is supported by:
    • Professor Tezer Kutluk, President – Union for International Cancer Control
    • Dr Cary Adams, CEO – Union for International Cancer Control
    • Her Royal Highness Princess Dina Mired of Jordan – Honorary Chair of the Global Steering Committee
    • The Honourable Nicola Roxon, Former Minister for Health, Parliament of Australia – Special Advisor
  • Bronwyn King is Project Manager