Harley Dale has spent over 25 years in economics and finance covering a wide range of roles in New Zealand, Australia, Hong Kong, and the United Kingdom.
Originally from New Zealand, Harley studied economics at the University of Auckland where he completed a Bachelor of Arts majoring in economics and political science and a Master of Economics with First Class Honours. During the recession of the early 1990’s Harley was on the staff of the Department of Economics at the University of Auckland and, in time held a dual role where he was also on the Economics staff at the Auckland Institute of Technology. The AiT named Harley lecturer of the year in 1992.
Harley moved to Australia at the end of 1992 to take up an ANU PhD scholarship where the head of his advisory panel was Professor Ross Garnaut. Harley taught extensively during his time based in Canberra as well as undertaking economic consultancies, but his core focus was his PhD – the economic integration of Hong Kong and Taiwan with Southern China. Throughout a significant period of 1995, he travelled the region extensively and was a Visiting Scholar at the University of Hong Kong.
After completing his thesis, Harley decided against a career in academia, preferring to work at the coalface of financial markets. He moved to Sydney and quickly secured a position with Westpac Economics. He moved to London on a job swap in 2001 as Westpac’s International Economist, where he began his term the day before 9/11. During the chaotic months that followed, Harley managed the financial fallout for the bank in UK time as US and global markets crashed and then fluctuated in the wake of the terrorist attacks.
“These were some of my proudest career achievements.”
Returning to Australia, Harley continued to work for Westpac and recommenced the close communication with the Housing Industry Association (HIA), which he instigated in the late 1990’s. After a stint at Credit Suisse First Boston as Senior Economist, Fixed Interest and Vice-President, Equities Division, he moved to Canberra and joined the HIA team in late 2003 as Senior Economist, where he subsequently married and became father to three daughters.
“Canberra is a great place to raise a family, it has excellent educational and sporting facilities, parks and recreational areas, clean air, less pollution and we are very happy here.”
Once an avid runner, Harley had to give up the pastime due to degenerative hips and now exercises three times a week at the Australian Institute of Sport as part of a recovery and fitness program. Three daughters undertaking a range of activities from gymnastics and dance to swimming keep him busy.
More than fourteen years in HIA Economics, including a decade as Chief Economist, required Harley to be involved in many policy areas outside the economics discipline. In light of this experience Harley accepted a new role as HIA Executive Director – Skills and Industry Development in mid-2018.
“Getting skills and training right in the residential construction industry, including for apprentices, is crucial to the success and long-term viability of an industry that is vital to the Australian economy. It is an area I am very passionate about.”