Meet the Team

Ron Manners


Ron Manners is the Managing Director of the Mannwest Group. He is also Emeritus Chairman of the Australian Mining Hall of Fame Ltd. He is a Fellow of both the Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy, and the Australian Institute of Company Directors, and his contributions to industry and Australia have been marked by several awards including being elected as a Mining Legend at the 2005 Excellence in Mining & Exploration Conference in Sydney. In 2010 Ron was appointed to the Board of Overseers for the Atlas Economic Research Foundation, Washington, DC.

Ron was born in Kalgoorlie, Western Australia, to a family that had a long association with the mining town. A fourth generation prospector, Manners studied electrical engineering at the Kalgoorlie School of Mines before he assumed management of the family mining/engineering business, W.G. Manners & Co. (originally established in 1895) in 1955. He expanded and diversified the company which has evolved to become the Mannwest Group.

Between 1972 and 1995 Ron floated several Australian listed mining companies, one of which became Australia’s third largest gold producer, before joining the board of a Canadian company with operations in Mexico, Brazil and Turkey. In addition to his mining interests, Ron has pursued an interest in economic education, establishing the Mannkal Economic Education Foundation in 1997. He is a life member of the Mont Pelerin Society and is on the coordinating Committee for the Commonwealth Study Conference. Ron is also the author and editor of five books:

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Andrew Pickford

Executive Director

Andrew Pickford is the Executive Director at Mannkal Economic Education Foundation and works between North America and Australia in the areas of strategy, economic analysis and energy with a range of organisations, both private and public.

He has particular expertise with natural gas markets, electricity utilities, industry-driven applied research and the reform and transformation of businesses and governments during periods of turbulence. Andrew maintains a mix of appointments and engagements in both Australia and North America, working with decision makers in corporate, government, academic and civil society settings. His initial training within KPMG in internal audit and risk management results in an understanding of business and management realities.

From traversing grand strategy to long-term economic trends, he has been fortunate to work with some of the world’s most distinguished strategists and experienced company directors. This background and experience produce insights and advice which are easily understood and actioned by directors, government ministers and CEOs, while at the same time maintaining a deep and unique approach to rigorous analysis.

Kate Wagstaff

Scholarships Manager

Kate came to Mannkal with a background in Psychology and International Marketing. These interests lead her to a career in Marketing and Communications in the International Education sector. For 13 years Kate has worked with Australia’s top universities to provide expertise in marketing strategy, stakeholder relations and student recruitment. She has enjoyed meeting students and families all over the world during her professional and personal travels, and has visited many of the cities where Mannkal’s partners are located. She is inspired by the Mannkal program and enjoys working with students towards a wonderful future.