University of Tasmania
Professor Rathjen studied as an undergraduate in the Department of Biochemistry at the University of Adelaide. As a 1985 Rhodes Scholar, he undertook a DPhil at Oxford University, studying mobile genetic elements in yeast and mammals.
Professor Peter Rathjen has been the Vice-Chancellor and President of the University of Tasmania since March 2011. During this period, he has been instrumental in positioning the University as a driver of socio-economic prosperity in Tasmania, including through the creation of vibrant new University precincts and facilities within the CBDs of Hobart, Launceston and Burnie.
Prior to taking up this position in March 2011, Professor Rathjen was Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) at the University of Melbourne, where he also held the position of Dean of Science from 2006. Before joining the University of Melbourne, he was Executive Dean, Faculty of Sciences, at the University of Adelaide.
Peter Rathjen is a Board member of the Australian Science Media Centre and is a patron of the Australian Institute of Policy and Science Tall Poppy Campaign.
Andrew Walters is the Vice-President, Finance and Operations, at the University of New South Wales, having commenced in August 2015. His key responsibilities in the portfolio are finance, information and digital technology, facilities management, internal audit and campus life and community engagement.
Prior to this appointment Andrew was Chief Financial Officer at Deakin University in Victoria for 9 years. He was responsible for the effective management of finance, investments, and enterprise projects at Deakin University.
Prior to Deakin, Andrew was the Group Finance Director of a publicly listed holding company with a diverse set of investments and was responsible for restoring profitability and investor confidence. He has extensive experience in the mining industry as Chief Financial Officer of the Botswana operations of diamond mining company DeBeers.
Andrew holds degrees in commerce and accounting and is a member of Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand. He has extensive experience operating on boards of directors both in an executive and non-executive capacity across a large range of businesses. He is currently a UNSW representative director on the UNSW Global Ltd Board.
The Division of Finance and Operations was established in January 2009. Key responsibilities in the portfolio are Finance, UNSW IT, Facilities Management, Internal Audit, Campus Life and Community Engagement.
University of Waterloo Canada
Dr. Marilyn Thompson is Associate Provost, Human Resources at the University of Waterloo where she oversees the administration and long-term planning of all human resources, organizational and human development, and compensation activities and programs across the University. She provides vision for university-wide initiatives and human resources leadership, and plays a key role in strategic planning and decisions that will enable success through people. Before joining the university, Marilyn held executive and senior leadership positions within healthcare, government, and the private sector. Marilyn is a recipient of the Queen’s Jubilee Medal for contributions to the communities of Newfoundland and Labrador.
With 18 years’ experience as a Finance Executive in senior roles within the higher education sector including Victoria University, University of Sydney and University of NSW, Ian has a record of achievement delivering strategic leadership and effective business success. He has a comprehensive understanding of the higher education sector and the need for University’s to remain flexible and adaptable in a highly dynamic domestic and global environment.
Having completed his Master of Business Administration in 2011 at the University of New England, Ian has worked extensively in senior finance roles and has been a key player in the delivery of continuous financial improvement. Currently, his major focus at Victoria University is a program of reform entitled “Towards Success” which aims to return the University to a surplus by 2018.
Central Queensland University
Roy Pidgeon is the Chief Information and Digital Officer at CQUniversity who has over 20 years of experience in the Higher Education and VET sectors. CQUniversity is an innovator in the use of collaborative teaching technologies, online learning, system implementations and library services to support its highly distributed footprint. Roy has led numerous projects at the university, including enterprise system implementations, software development, infrastructure upgrades and departmental mergers.
The University of Western Australia
Pranay is the Interim Chief Operating Officer of the University. He has a Bachelor of Commerce from The University of Auckland and a Masters of Business. Administration from Massey University (New Zealand). He is also a CPA and a Graduate member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors (AICD).
Pranay has held senior management and executive roles with The University of Melbourne, Victoria University and La Trobe University prior to UWA and has been a key driver for change and focus on financial sustainability. He is a past recipient of the Association of Tertiary Education Managers (ATEM) Higher Education Award for Excellence in Financial Management in 2013.
Pranay is currently serving on the board of Engagement Australia and is on the Finance Committee for the Asylum Seekers Resource Centre.
The University of Auckland
Since joining the University of Auckland in 2009, Andrew has been a key player in most of the transformational change programmes that have been undertaken. These include a recent University wide faculty administrative review that streamlined and standardised faculty administration structures, roles and processes and led to the establishment of a shared transaction centre and staff service centre within the Shared Service group.
With a focus on delivering outstanding customer service to support the University mission of being recognised for excellence in teaching, learning and research, both the shared transaction centre and staff service centre are delivering benefits ahead of plan.
Prior to joining the University, Andrew held senior finance and general management roles across the pharmaceutical, medical device and telecommunications industries at organizations which included GlaxoSmithKline, Becton Dickinson and Cable & Wireless.
Dr Michael Nelson is the Director of SmarterKnowledge, which focusses on business improvement, innovation, empowerment and digital transformation. Michael is a senior business improvement expert with over 20 years of industry experience, including 17 years in consulting. He has worked for major global and Australian consultancies up to Partner level (Arthur Andersen, Third Horizon, Deloitte).
Michael has had a long-term interaction with the Higher Education sector, most recently being Director, Service Improvement Group at ANU. At UNSW he studied, tutored, mentored, guest lectured and is now a member of an Industry Advisory Board focussed on addressing Australia’s current and future Information Systems and Information Technology skills gaps. Michael also has a first class honours degree in Information Technology, and a PhD in Business Decision Making (Behavioural Economics), both from UNSW.
The University of Adelaide
As Director, Business Transformation, Leah is responsible for the effective implementation of a new operating model for the University, which includes establishing a new governance framework to maintain an appropriate level of transparency and accountability with respect to cost and performance of professional service functions.
Based broadly on the principles of the Norton and Kaplan’s Balanced Scorecard Leah has lead the design and strategic execution of a new reporting framework to monitor operational effectiveness and customer satisfaction; ensuring the success and reinforcing the value of the new shared services operating model.
In her substantive position as Executive Manager of the Faculty of the Professions, Leah is responsible for the strategic and operational requirements of the Faculty. Consideration of the global context and the ability to connect with external stakeholders is at the forefront of Leah’s leadership approach.
Leah empowers a high performance team and encourages an evidence based approach to decision-making in a creative, innovative and multidisciplinary environment.
The ability to design a distinctive and memorable experience is at the centre of the Faculty’s service-oriented culture. Leah is passionate about developing a culturally diverse group of work-ready graduates that will be an asset to their future employers and become long term Ambassadors for the University of Adelaide.
An MBA graduate with a strong background in developing and managing international partnerships in China and South-East Asia, Leah is an active member of several Advisory Board’s, including Shanghai’s AustCham Education Industry Board and the European based SCRIBE21 Consortium.
Australian National University
Lakshmi has over 20 years’ experience in various roles in the Management Consulting, Information Technology and Higher Education sectors.
Since joining the Australian National University in 2009, Lakshmi has led the delivery of several University wide end-to-end business transformational change projects aimed at increasing productivity and improving customer experience. Lakshmi has been a member of University executive level committees and has been Project Director for a number of service improvement flagship projects.
In 2014, Lakshmi was appointed to lead Digital Transformation at the ANU and has successfully established an agile centre of excellence, delivering key digitally transformed, streamlined, standardised and system integrated processes to a customer base of circa 30,000.
Prior to joining the ANU, Lakshmi worked as a management consultant on various Accenture client projects in the areas of Superannuation, Banking, Shared Services and Telecommunications both in Australia and overseas.
Martin is currently Acting Director of the Business Process Improvement Initiative (BPII) at Macquarie University in Sydney. The BPII was formed in mid-2014 and in that time has delivered over 30 Rapid Improvement Events on a wide range of Macquarie University’s processes.
Martin joined the team as a Business Process Improvement Manager in early 2015 having moved over from Strathclyde University in Glasgow, Scotland where he helped set up their Business Improvement Team in his role of Business Improvement Manager.
Lin Stevenson has been working at RMIT University for over seven years, having previously worked in various UK local government sustainability roles. As the Senior Manager, Sustainability and Deputy Chair of the RMIT Sustainability Committee she leads a team which provides strategic advice to the executive and the wider community on sustainable management of assets and operations. Based within the Property Services Group, responsibilities include strategy development, project coordination, infrastructure planning, reporting, partnership development and communication to enhance the University’s profile as a sustainable organisation. Lin is also a Board member of Australasian Campuses Towards Sustainability (ACTS), an organisation which aims to inspire, promote and support change towards best practice sustainability within the tertiary education sector.
University of Wollongong
Cathy began her professional career as a physiotherapist and ended up a process improvement specialist at the University of Wollongong. She commenced at Wollongong as OH&S Manager in 2002, with responsibility for legislative compliance, self-insurance management systems, continuous improvement, workers compensation and injury management. It was in the OH&S Unit that Cathy got her first taste of the technology bug and how to use it to improve performance and add business value. Cathy has worked in numerous areas across Wollongong, and assumed the role of Senior Manager, Strategic Projects, in 2008. In this role Cathy has undertaken many projects aimed at improving the performance of business units and removing strategic bottlenecks, using technology where appropriate. With an administrative restructure occurring in 2014, Cathy was given a leadership role within the process improvement space across the whole institution, including introducing LEAN. With over 15 years sector experience Cathy is able to manage the complexities of implementing process improvements and leveraging technology. As the lead practitioner in this space at the University of Wollongong, Cathy is responsible for the prioritisation, design and implementation of business process management (BPM) activities at her institution. Cathy will share her recent experience in implementing BPM, using a case study on feedback@UOW.
Ian Smith Consulting
Martin Halmarick is an Senior Executive with over 15 years of experience in delivering solutions to the Higher and Further Education sectors. Leading the sales team at Callista Software Services, he successfully negotiated the sale of Callista Student Management Systems into 8 Universities and was responsible for generating over $10 million worth of revenue in 3 years. In 2003 Martin was a founding partner of S1 Consulting & Software Services and where he lead and delivered more than 100 projects to over half of Australian Universities. S1 successfully implemented Student Management Systems, Curriculum Management Systems, Research Management Systems and customised solutions over a 13 year period. In 2006, Martin was integral in S1 Consulting developing a partnership with PNP Solutions to develop a suite of Student Experience and Commercial Engagement solutions designed specifically for the Education sectors. The suite of solutions are called EduRe and are built on the Microsoft Dynamics 365 platform. The EduRe suite have been showcased at Microsoft’s Global Education Summit and ECLEVA has been recognised as a global leader in Microsoft’s Cloud Solution Provider model. Martin presented to Microsoft’s selected global Education partners earlier this year in Seattle. Martin has helped over 15 Institutes in developing their commercial engagement strategies and associated implementation plans. Recently, Martin has led a team to implement a commercial engagement solution for TAFE Queensland across 7 regions and 52 campuses. Martin is passionate about the Education sector and helping clients obtain valuable commercial partnerships.
Fiona Neilson is the Director, Research Services Transformation in the Office of the Provost at Monash University and is leading a suite of initiatives to improve research services. She successfully led the business change strategy for an enterprise-wide research management system and process implementation, myResearch. Her background is in university research and graduate student operations management and strategy development. She is passionate about building collaborations across organisational boundaries and creating strong interdisciplinary partnerships.
Tim has been working in the IT industry for more than 20 years with a focus on digital transformation and user experience. Tim has been with Adobe Australia for 10 years in a variety of senior roles, including establishing the first enterprise partner ecosystem and program across Asia Pacific for partners deploying digital transformation projects in the Public Sector as well as other verticals. Tim has been leading the digital transformation solutions approach for the Adobe Digital Government team over the past three years.
Prior to Adobe Tim led globalization and operational strategies for US based software vendors looking to establish a global presence and drive global best practices. Tim has worked for a variety of IT vendors, including SAP. Prior to that, Tim was a teacher and Fulbright scholar, and he graduated with Honors from Stanford University.
Adobe is changing the world through digital experiences. For more information visit: www.adobe.com
Queensland University of Technology
David Fagan is Director of Corporate Transition at QUT where he is responsible for projects that position the university at the forefront of change, including the Real World Futures program. Prior to joining QUT he was one of Australia’s most experienced media executives, having spent 11 years as News Corporation’s senior editorial executive in Queensland and five years in a senior editorial role at The Australian.
He now pursues his interests in innovation through the university and a range of board positions. He is the author of Wake Up – The Nine Hashtags of Digital Disruption which will be released in October this year.
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