Andrew Johnstone-Burt and Anthony Lawrie join Proximity

05 January 2023 5 min. read
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Canberra-based consulting firm Proximity has added two high-profile names to its team – experienced leader Andrew Johnstone-Burt and public sector veteran Anthony Lawrie. The pair bring over five decades worth of combined experience to the firm, including high profile work on legislative reform and in leading largescale consultancies.

Founded in 2011, Proximity offers integrated consulting, legal and commercial services to government clients and large organisations via outlets in Canberra, Sydney, Melbourne and Adelaide.

Last year’s purchase of government specialist Alliance Consulting saw the firm’s headcount swell to above 100 experts and professionals. Joining them are Johnstone-Burt and Lawrie.

Andrew Johnstone-Burt and Anthony Lawrie join Proximity

“I am thrilled to have someone of Andrew’s caliber in the digital sector join our team,” said Proximity’s outgoing national transformation lead Kerri Hartland, who will serve as the head of ASIS. “I’m excited for the opportunities his appointment brings for clients and their projects but also, the benefits our Proximity team will gain from working with and learning from Andrew.”

A one-time member of the British and Australian royal navies, where Johnstone-Burt rose to the rank of Lieutenant Commander, he first kicked off his consulting career with PwC in Sydney in 1993, before then joining the partnership of EY as the Big Four firm’s national Consumer Products, Retail & Distribution leader.

From there, he has served as Chief Operating Officer and Public Sector Lead for Capgemini, and as the global and national public sector leads for Booz Allen Hamilton, Strategy& and Deloitte. More recently, he was the A/NZ managing partner of IBM Consulting, before in 2018 founding strategy and digital consulting firm 3 Points Digital.

“The Proximity transformation and organisational change service offering is already strong with experienced personnel and depth of project experience, including working on some of our nation’s biggest and most impactful projects,” Johnstone-Burt said of his appointment. “I am looking forward to bringing increased digital and technology capability to these projects.”

Anthony Lawrie joins Proximity after a two-decade career working in and for the NSW and Victorian governments, including helping to establish the latter state’s Independent Anti-corruption Commission. Lawrie’s other diverse policy work includes a wide-ranging mix covering everything from major crime and terrorism to road safety and child protection.

Other career highlights include work on establishing other institutions such Victoria’s Orange Door family violence support services, as well as serving as a member of both the Royal Commissions into Family Violence and the Management of Police Informants. According to Proximity, Lawrie wishes to now continue making a social impact while learning new skills.

Anthony has extensive experience delivering complex legislative change. He prioritises genuine, structured engagement, and quickly builds rapport with government, legal, community and industry stakeholders,” Hartland stated. “Anthony is known for navigating sensitive policy issues, finding innovative solutions, and bringing clarity to complex reform projects.”