Alumni profile

Ian Carson AM

Post Graduate Diploma of Accounting, 1984

Co-Founder and Chairman of SecondBite

Ian Carson is Co-Founder and Chairman of SecondBite, an organisation that provides access to fresh, nutritious food for people in need across Australia.

In 2014, SecondBite sourced and redistributed enough high-quality surplus food for more than 14 million meals, supporting people who are homeless, women and families in crisis, youth at risk, Indigenous communities, asylum seekers and new arrivals. 

Ian says SecondBite was founded out of his hatred for waste. 

“For me, it was going along to functions and seeing that there was food that you knew was being thrown away. One day, I went to a function and I asked the waiter what they were going to do with the food," Ian said. 

“We started it really in restaurants and then going to the Prahran Market, where we got fresh, nutritious food, and the focus became nutrition and health.

“Everything starts from food. So, if you don’t have healthy, nutritious food, then no one can function. By coming in for a meal, they get to socialise and they can also get access to other services."

Ian was recognised by the Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship as "Social Entrepreneur of the Year" in 2015 (Asia/Asia Pacific). The award recognised Ian's innovative approach and potential for global impact, which can be found in his attitude towards providing help to people in need. 

“There’s actually nothing more rewarding, I think, than helping people," he said.

One of my favourite things about [SecondBite] is it really shows that individuals can make a difference. Anyone can make a difference and if we add that all up then we can change society.

Ian is also a founding partner of PPB Advisory, a leading professional advisory firm. For over 30 years he has been instrumental in saving organisations and helping clients grow their businesses. 

Ian is well known for developing pragmatic solutions to intractable commercial problems such as the settlement for Australian Thalidomide victims. He led the pro bono PPB Advisory team that assisted the settlement negotiations with Diageo in 2010.

Ian completed a Post Graduate Diploma of Accounting at La Trobe. He notes that he enjoyed the culture of learning at the University.

“I think my fondest memory was the people that I was working with that were exploring learning," he said.

"That was the environment that I felt La Trobe gave me. I felt as though it was a learning journey together between business and La Trobe."

Distinguished Business and commerce

Last updated: 9th May 2019