Dr Amber Earles

Dr Amber Earles is a Research Fellow at CSI Swinburne. Amber joined CSI after completing her PhD under the supervision of University Distinguished Professor Jo Barraket and Associate Professor Chris Mason in early 2020.

Amber’s PhD research focused on social enterprise governance; specifically, the governance of Bendigo Bank Community Bank enterprises. Her interest was in how this type of organisation governs the tensions inherent in having both social and business goals.

For social enterprises, the research provides insight into the indivisibility of social and business goals and therefore the need to perform not only towards business goals but also towards social goals, with measurement being the first step. The research has been well-received by the sector; Amber has presented her findings at the 2020 Bendigo Bank Community Bank National Conference as well as to individual Community Bank enterprises throughout the course of 2020.

Given her PhD research, Amber’s research interests include social enterprise (including regional and rural social enterprise), social enterprise governance and Bendigo Bank Community Bank enterprises.

Outside her research activities, Amber is heavily involved in the governance of for-purpose organisations on the Mornington Peninsula in Victoria. Since 2014, she has been on the board of Rye and District Community Financial Services Ltd. which operates three Community Bank branches of Bendigo Bank.

Since 2018, she has been on the board of Advance Community College which has sites across the Mornington Peninsula providing education and training opportunities to people experiencing unemployment and/or disadvantage. And, in 2020, Amber was elected President of Rye Community House Inc. which supports and builds the capacity of the local community through the provision of education and leisure programs as well as child care services.


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