|Born||13 February 1948|
Newcastle, New South Wales
|Alma mater||University of Newcastle, Australia|
|Awards||Member of the Order of Australia (AM)|
Ross Gittins AM (born 1948 in Newcastle, Australia) is an Australian political and economic journalist and author, known for "his ability to make dry, hard-to-understand economics and economic policy relevant".
Ross Roderick Gittins was born 13 February 1948 in Newcastle, New South Wales where his family were living at New Lambton. His parents, Salvation Army officers moved to Sydney and Ross started schooling at Fort Street High School. The family then moved to Bathurst before moving back to New Lambton. Ross completed his secondary schooling at Newcastle Boys High School (1962 – 64).
Ross then matriculated to the University of Newcastle where he studied in the Faculty of Economics and Commerce being graduated in 1970 as a Bachelor of Commerce. He had studied part-time for 2 years whilst working with a Newcastle chartered accountant before gaining a Commonwealth Scholarship which enabled him to finish his studies on a full-time basis.
Upon completion of his degree, he moved to Sydney where he worked for a large firm of chartered accountants.
Gittins regularly writes for Fairfax publications The Sydney Morning Herald, The Age and The Canberra Times, commentating on underlying economic issues and political economic policies. In 1993 he won the Citibank Pan Asia award for excellence in finance journalism.
In 2003 Gittins wrote that former Prime Minister "Honest John Howard" had been "a tricky chap" on immigration, by appearing "tough" on illegal immigration to win support from the working class, while simultaneously winning support from employers with high legal immigration.
Gittins was awarded a Centenary Medal in 2001 for service to economic journalism in Australia and made a Member of the Order of Australia on 26 January 2008 for service to journalism as a commentator on economic theory, policy and behavioural economics, and to the accountancy profession.
Gittins is a fellow of Chartered Accountants Australia & New Zealand. In 2015 he was appointed an eminent fellow in the practice of economics at the Research School of Economics, Australian National University. In 2017 he became a fellow of the Royal Society of New South Wales and a fellow of the Academy of the Social Sciences in Australia. In December 2018 the Australian National University awarded Gittins a Doctor of Letters honoris causa for his "exceptional contribution to journalism and economics in Australia".
The first high school I went to was Fort Street Boys', then my parents - who were Salvation Army officers - were moved to Bathurst for a year before being moved back to the suburb in which I'd been born, New Lambton. That means I was at Boys' High only for my last three years of high school, 1962, 63 and 64 - which was the second last year of the five-year leaving certificate before the introduction of the six-year HSC. The fact that two years after I left school no one left school in NSW proved particularly fortunate for me because, by then I'd finished my second part-time year of a commerce degree at Newcastle Uni. I wanted to switch to full-time, so I applied for a Commonwealth scholarship and, despite a checkered academic record, I got one - purely because they were going begging that year. ... A local chartered accountant, Ray Patrick, came to the school saying he needed to employ a junior audit clerk. Mr Kerr recommended me, I took the job with alacrity and worked for Ray Patrick for two years before going to uni full-time and then moving to Sydney to work for one of the big chartered accounting firms.
For service to economic journalism in Australia.
For service to journalism as a commentator on economic theory, policy and behavioural economics, and to the accountancy profession.