Professor Olekalns received his B.Ec. with Honours in economics from the University of Adelaide in 1982 and completed an M.Ec. at the Australian National University in 1984. He was awarded his Ph.D. in economics in 1993 from LaTrobe University. He began teaching in the Department of Economics at the University of Melbourne in 1994 where, for the last thirteen years, he has lectured to first year students in Macroeconomics. He has been a visiting scholar at the International Monetary Fund, a guest lecturer at the Monetary Authority of Singapore and an invited lecturer for the Australian and New Zealand School of Government.
Professor Olekalns has published on a variety of macroeconomic topics including fiscal and monetary policies, exchange rates, output and inflation volatility, and interest rates. His papers have appeared in The Journal of Political Economy, The Review of Economics and Statistics, The Journal of Macroeconomics, The Journal of International Money and Finance, the Southern Economic Journal, The Economic Record, as well as many other international journals. He has also received numerous awards for his teaching including the inaugural Edward Wood Prize for Teaching Excellence. He is currently the Vice-President of Academic Board at the University of Melbourne.