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Founder & CEO, Tobacco Free Portfolios

The capacity for change does not just rest with the highly influential.


As a Radiation Oncologist, working on the lung cancer unit at Melbourne’s Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, Dr King saw the devastating impact of tobacco on her patients. Then she discovered her unwitting investment in tobacco companies through her pension fund and felt obliged to make a change.

Without any formal qualifications in economics or finance, she made the move from oncologist to CEO of a not-for-profit and set up Tobacco Free Portfolios. The result of her inspirational work has seen Tobacco Free Portfolios, which has contributed to over 30 Australian Superannuation Funds moving $8 billion moved away from investments in the tobacco industry. The initiative now has global reach with Tobacco Free Portfolios working with 100+ pension funds, Sovereign Wealth funds, banks, insurers and fund managers.

It was a challenge that wasn’t without hurdles, but in her words, “When you discover something unjust, even if by accident, you should have a go at fixing it.”

Bronwyn’s story of her journey (failures and wins) is nothing short of inspiring and reveals how a single person with a passion to make a change can influence unprecedented advances in the world around us.

Her story is engaging and enlightening and certain to leave an impression. Her recent TEDx talks in both Sydney and Mumbai left audiences in awe and inspired by her ‘Someone has to go first - it might as well be you’ attitude.

Current work

Outside of her work with Tobacco Free Portfolios, Bronwyn is also actively involved in a range of community initiatives. She is the Tobacco Control Ambassador for Cancer Council Australia, an Australia Day Ambassador, and an Ambassador for Big Brothers Big Sisters Australia.

Previous experience

Tobacco: In 2016, Tobacco Free Portfolios was delighted to see tobacco-free investment policies implemented by AXA (1.8B Euro divested), AP4 - one of Sweden's largest pension funds, Fonds de Reserve pour Les Retraites - France's largest pension fund, the Irish Sovereign Wealth Fund and CalPERS, the largest pension fund in the USA.

Awards: In 2014 Bronwyn was also listed as one of the Westpac/Australian Financial Review 100 Women on Influence. In 2015 Bronwyn was Awarded the VicHealth Award for Preventing Tobacco Use. In 2016 she received the Dr Bob Elphick medal for tobacco control from the Australian Council on Smoking and Health and in 2017 she was made the Inaugural Distinguished Fellow in a joint initiative between Kings' College London and the University of Melbourne.

Talking Points

Leadership and the impact of a great mentor

Someone has to go first - it might as well be you!
Early on in her career transition, from radiation oncologist to advisor and confidante of global finance leaders, Dr. Bronwyn King was subject to almost constant criticism for veering away from the ‘bread and butter’ of her job. Backed by one treasured mentor, she managed to side-step the negativity to launch and lead a global Not-For-Profit organisation, eventually collecting international support from the highest levels of government, business, health and philanthropy. Listen to her journey of success (and failure!) which will refresh and galvanise your commitment to lead, to follow your convictions and be confident in the unknown. Learn to speak, live and breathe your ideas into reality!

How to influence and create change

With no formal qualifications in economics, finance or commerce Dr. King’s initiative - Tobacco Free Portfolios, has shifted approximately $8 billion away from investment in the tobacco industry. From oncologist to CEO of a Not-For-Profit organisation, hear how Dr. King’s journey has been a one-of-kind case study in how to influence and inspire change. How can you take the first steps to create the change that you would like to see in your workplace or community? What if you are not sure of what lies ahead and you don’t know where to start? Be inspired by stories of how simple actions translated into unprecedented advances in global tobacco control that were once thought to be ‘impossible’.


Dr Bronwyn King AO is a cancer specialist turned global finance disruptor who works alongside leaders at the highest levels of international finance, health and diplomacy. In an unexpected and highly effective career move, Bronwyn uses her medical expertise to drive change towards a more ethical, transparent and trustworthy finance sector. Bronwyn leads Tobacco Free Portfolios, a charity which has redefined finance industry benchmarks by challenging finance leaders across the globe to rethink baseline ethical standards. She believes that the best business relationships are built on trust that can only be obtained during in-person meetings - a challenging principle to reconcile as the world moves rapidly away from the handshake towards the signature pad.


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