Catherine Harris

Catherine Harris AO PSM is one of Australia’s most respected business leaders and a woman who has been at the forefront of social change in the workforce.


The Chair and joint-owner of Australia’s most successful privately owned fresh food retailer, Harris Farm Markets, Mrs Harris has established a diverse career that has seen her recognised both nationally and internationally.

She brings to the Commission a wealth of experience in business, government, social justice and change management.

As Director of the Federal Government’s Affirmative Action Agency (1994-99), Catherine has been credited with dramatically changing the landscape of women’s employment issues by establishing these as strategic business imperatives.
The founder of Harris Communications, she has developed extensive international ties through her work in the food and tourism industry.

In 2000 Catherine was awarded the Public Service Medal for her role in the acceptance of affirmative action by Australia’s business community, and in 2001 the Centenary Medal for service to Australian society in business leadership. 

In 2006 she was made an Officer of the Order of Australia for service to community development through leadership roles in organisations related to education, health care, advancement of the status of women, the Catholic Church, the arts and sport and to international relations between Australia and Asia. She was awarded an Honorary Doctorate in Business from UNSW in 2008.  

Catherine currently holds board positions at Harris Farm Markets, the National Gallery of Australia, the Australian Ballet, the University of New South Wales Foundation and the Australian School of Business Advisory Board and has previously held a wide range of board positions including Deputy Chancellor at UNSW, the Australian Defence Force Academy, St Margaret’s Public and Private Hospitals and the Sydney Cricket and Sports Ground Trust.