Alliance Office, Deakin, Canberra

Alliance Office, Deakin, Canberra

Alliance Independent Consulting provides organisational governance support, specialising in the following areas:

  • technical and organisation policy review and development
  • legislation reviews, and development of Acts and Regulations
  • technical workshops
  • development of function-based organisational structures
  • organisational planning (business, strategic and corporate)
  • mentoring and leadership development
  • internal audit, risk, compliance, and corruption prevention
  • stakeholder engagement and consultation
  • public relations and communications
  • mediated settlement of disputes
  • data analysis and review, and
  • monitoring, control and surveillance reviews.

Steve head shot on boatSteve Dunn is a Director of Alliance Legal Services, and Principal Consultant of the Alliance Independent Consulting Division. He is an Associate of IC Independent Consulting. Steve worked in the public service in Australia and in the Pacific region for over 20 years before full-time consulting since 2011. He held a number of senior Government positions including: Director of Victorian Fisheries; Director General of NSW Fisheries; Deputy Director General of the Pacific Island Forum Fisheries Agency; Executive Director Compliance, Licensing and Corporate Services NSW Department of Natural Resources and Environment; and Chief Executive of the NSW Maritime Authority.

Since 2011, Steve has worked on a range of projects involving the New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, the Pacific Islands Forum Fisheries Agency (FFA), the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation, the World Bank, the Office of the Parties to the Nauru Agreement (PNAO), the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA), the Australian Fisheries Management Authority (AFMA), NSW Transport, NSW DPI, NSW Office of Environment and Heritage, DPI Victoria, the NSW Game Council, the PNG National Fisheries Authority, the Snowy Mountains Trout Farm, and Archipelago Marine Research (Victoria, British Columbia).

We have worked on a range of projects involving teams of Associates and can assemble multi-disciplinary teams of technical experts as required.

Term contracts are currently held with the:

  • New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade
  • PNA Office in Majuro, and
  • PNG National Fisheries Authority.
Tonga Policy Workshop

Tonga Policy Workshop November 2016

Current and recently completed consultancy project activities include:

  • New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (technical assistance project for Fiji Ministry of Fisheries)
  • PNG National Fisheries Authority (policy development; organisational governance reforms; IUU policy)
  • New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (technical assistance project for Tonga Ministry of Fisheries)
  • PNA Office (technical, legislation, and policy reviews)
  • FFA (EU IUU regulation compliance)
  • Snowy Mountains Trout Farm, Tumut, NSW (new farm development support, training policy, and governance advice).

Steve holds a Bachelor of Science Degree from Plymouth (BSc hons) majoring in fisheries and international law, a Masters of Management degree from Macquarie University Sydney (MMgt), is a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors (GAICD), and holds a Diploma in Government Investigations.


In June 2016 Steve was a Department of Public Prosecutions witness in the Supreme Court jury trial of former NSW Fisheries Minister Eddie Obeid. This trial related to the process of preparing a commercial lease policy for approval by the NSW Cabinet in 2007. Obeid was found guilty by the jury of misconduct in public office. At the time of Obeid’s offence Steve was employed as the Deputy Chief Executive of the Maritime Authority.  The Supreme Court heard that Obeid had lobbied (Steve) “under the cloak of acting for arm’s length constituents when in fact he was acting in his own private interests”. Mr Dunn was not accused of any wrongdoing. The Department of Public Prosecutions ignored statements and claims made in 2014 by the NSW Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) who had wrongly claimed an involvement by Mr Dunn. The ICAC’s conduct was by their own definition corrupt. No direct evidence was ever provided, their claims were in contradiction of all hearing testimony, and Mr Dunn’s evidence was unanimously accepted by the trial jury. The ICAC’s report contains direct lies, and is extensively incorrect. An ICAC investigator lied during an investigation interview. In responding to a formal complaint by Mr Dunn the Inspector of ICAC advised that all reference to the investigation had been removed from the ICAC website.  As a body with similar powers to a Royal Commission there is no appeal mechanism to have a wrongful finding overturned.

The ICAC’s conduct was the subject of a scathing assessment by the Inspector of ICAC for overstepping its powers. The Inspector was asked by Government to assess and report to the parliamentary oversight committee, and an expert panel, on the ICAC’s powers, the exercise of jurisdiction in relevant past and current investigations, and whether the ICAC’s powers are consistent with justice and fairness. The NSW Government subsequently passed legislation to introduce fundamental reforms changing the structure of ICAC so it will be led by three commissioners instead of one, and requiring the commission to publish guidelines for public inquiries that ICAC staff and Counsel Assisting the ICAC must follow. The ICAC now has to give those caught up in an inquiry a reasonable opportunity to respond before making an adverse finding; and must include that response in its report if the person requests it.  

The ICAC was accused of bullying cross examination. Acting Inspector of ICAC John Nicholson stated that ICAC’s public hearings had “predetermined” goals. “If goals are predetermined and the bullying of the questioning heads towards the designated goals, they have got their corrupt finding.” Mr Nicholson’s remarks follow those of his predecessor, David Levine, who clashed repeatedly with former ICAC commissioner Megan Latham over what he said was the agency’s “flamboyance and theatre”.  Latham publicly opposed the ICAC restructure approved by parliament. The changes require ICAC to issue guidelines to staff (which must be tabled in parliament) covering procedural fairness at public hearings. The guidelines are also required to deal with the investigation of evidence that might exonerate affected people, the disclosure of exculpatory or other relevant evidence, providing an opportunity to cross-examine witnesses as to their credibility, giving people access to relevant documents and allowing tem time to prepare before requiring witnesses to give evidence. The changes abolished the current structure, which gave the commissioner God like powers and responsibility for all aspects of ICAC decision making.

Early media reporting on this matter was not balanced.