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Board of Directors

    • Emeritus Prof. Gerard Sutton AO (Chair) Independent Director

      Emeritus Prof. Gerard Sutton AO (Chair) Independent Director

      Emeritus Professor Gerard Sutton AO held the post of Vice-Chancellor of the University of Wollongong (UOW) from 1995 to 2011. He is currently a board member of the Bundanon Trust, the Port Kembla Port Corporation, the Illawarra Shoalhaven Local Health District and the Think Education Group.

      His awards include Doctor of Science (Honours) UOW, Emeritus Professor of UOW and University of Technology, Sydney (UTS), the Australian Centenary Medal and Officer of the Order of Australia.

    • Dr. Christine Burns Chief Information Officer University of Technology Sydney

      Dr. Christine Burns Chief Information Officer University of Technology Sydney

      Christine Burns is the Chief Information Officer at the University of Technology Sydney.  She has more than 20 years experience in ICT and has held leadership roles as Chief Information Officer and Director of Knowledge Management as well as leading a team that developed computer based legal training and compliance systems.

      Christine’s higher education studies have encompassed both on campus and distance education, and she has postgraduate qualifications from the University of Sydney, the University of Technology Sydney, the University of New England, and the University of New South Wales. 

      She is actively involved in the Council of Australian Directors of Information Technology (CAUDIT) and has served on the CAUDIT Executive Committee.  Christine has been a mentor in both the Females in Information Technology and Telecommunications (FITT) and Lucy mentoring programs.

    • Prof. John Dewar AO Vice-Chancellor and President, La Trobe University

      Prof. John Dewar AO Vice-Chancellor and President, La Trobe University

      Professor John Dewar AO is the Vice-Chancellor and President of La Trobe University, a position he has held since January 2012.

      Professor Dewar is an internationally-known family law specialist and researcher. He is a graduate of the University of Oxford, where he was also a Fellow of Hertford College from 1990-1995. He taught at the Universities of Lancaster and Warwick in the UK, and worked for the London law firms Allen & Overy and Farrer & Co.

      Professor Dewar came to Australia in 1995, and held leadership positions at Griffith University and the University of Melbourne, before taking up the position of Vice-Chancellor of La Trobe.

      Professor Dewar is a Director of Universities Australia until 2020; a member of the AHEIA Executive Committee; a Director of Education Australia Pty Ltd; a member of the Advisory Board for the Centre for Ethical Leadership at the Melbourne Business School and Ormond College and a Director of the Board of the Olivia Newton-John Cancer Research Institute. He is also Adjunct Professor in the Melbourne Law School, an Honorary Fellow of Hertford College, Oxford and an Adjunct Professor in the La Trobe Law School. He has held a range of advisory appointments in government and the Higher Education sector.

      Professor Dewar was named by The Australian as one of the most influential people in higher education in 2014 and 2015.

    • Mr. Rob Fitzpatrick Independent Director

      Mr. Rob Fitzpatrick Independent Director

      Rob has an extensive background in business and technology in the ICT sector globally, as a management consultant, corporate executive and entrepreneur. He has an active portfolio of information and communications technology (ICT) businesses, is an advisor to Australia’s research and higher education sector, is a member of Council at Charles Sturt University and is Director of Infrastructure, Transport and Logistics at NICTA (National ICT Australia).

      Rob has acted as a Strategic Advisor to AARNet since late 2004, working with the Board and senior management team shaping AARNet’s evolving strategic plans. In this capacity he consulted broadly with VCs, CIOs, the AARNet Advisory Committee and government stakeholders, developing a detailed understanding of AARNet's role and operating environment.

      He holds Economics and Law degrees from the University of Sydney and a Master in Business Administration from The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. 

    • Mr. David Formica Chief Digital Information Officer, University of Canberra

      Mr. David Formica Chief Digital Information Officer, University of Canberra

      David Formica is the Chief Digital Information Officer, Digital, Information and Technology Management, at the University of Canberra.

      He has worked in the higher education IT industry for over 15 years, 6 years as CIO, across research, teaching and learning, and administrative areas of universities.

      David is highly experienced in change management projects, including a significant restructuring program which resulted in a centralised single service operational model being implemented in IT services at the University of Canberra. David was instrumental in a major IT outsourcing initiative to revolutionise the delivery of IT in the university sector. The majority of business as usual IT functions were outsourced offshore successfully realising the first major IT offshoring completed by an Australian higher education institution.

      The innovation in outsourcing has been recognised with a Gartner Case Study and includes awards from ATEM and Computer World Honours for the innovative case study. David has also been awarded a Carrick Institute Citation for Outstanding Contribution to Student Learning.

      David holds a Bachelor of Communication (Broadcast Journalism) from Charles Sturt University and a Graduate Diploma Information Systems from the University of Canberra.

      David is also Chair of the AARNet Advisory Committee.

    • Mr. Chris Hancock Chief Executive Officer, AARNet

      Mr. Chris Hancock Chief Executive Officer, AARNet

      Chris joined AARNet in 2004, bringing 25 years executive leadership experience to the role, including 15 years in the media and telecommunications sectors.

      Prior to joining AARNet, Chris held several key executive positions at Optus, including Managing Director of Optus Business. He was an integral member of the senior executive team that completed the IPO and subsequent sale of Optus to Singtel.

      Chris holds an Executive MBA from the University of New South Wales. 

      He is a past Chair of the Internet Industry Association and a member of the Global CEO Forum, the Global Cyber Security Group and the Global Unified Communications Group. He is a director of the board of the Australian American Leadership Dialogue and has previously served as a director of the Smart Services CRC and the Starlight Foundation. 

    • Prof. Brigid Heywood Vice-Chancellor, University of New England

      Prof. Brigid Heywood Vice-Chancellor, University of New England

      Professor Brigid Heywood is the 14th Vice-Chancellor and CEO of the University of New England (UNE), following an academic career spanning several countries.

      From leadership positions in regional and online universities in the United Kingdom, New Zealand and Australia, Professor Heywood has successfully driven advances in academic excellence, research performance and engagement through innovation knowledge transfer.

      Prior to joining UNE, Professor Heywood was the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) at the University of Tasmania (UTas), where during her time in the role, UTas’s research income lifted above $100 million for the first time.  Before joining UTas Professor Heywood was at New Zealand’s Massey University as the Assistant Vice-Chancellor (2011-13) and Assistant Vice-Chancellor (Research), Academic and Enterprise (2013-15).

      In her native United Kingdom, Professor Heywood was Pro Vice-Chancellor – Research and Enterprise (2005-2011) at The Open Universities and Pro Vice-Chancellor – Research and Enterprise (1996-2005) at Keele University. Professor Heywood joined Keele as the first woman in the UK to hold an established chair (Professor of Inorganic Materials Chemistry), aged 33, and set her foot on the first rung of her executive career as Keele’s Head of Department of Chemistry a year later.

      Her first degree, from Manchester Univeristy (UK), was in Biological Sciences. She then completed her PHD – an investigation of the basic cellular processes that control biomineralisation at Liverpool University (UK).

    • Ms. Fiona Rankin Director, Information Managemet & Technology Services, University of Wollongong

      Ms. Fiona Rankin Director, Information Managemet & Technology Services, University of Wollongong

      Fiona Rankin is the Director of Information Management & Technology Services at the University of Wollongong (UOW). She is responsible for the development and delivery of key strategic initiatives, along with the operational and people management aspects of UOW’s core technology environment.

      Fiona is passionate about digital transformation and outcomes resulting from the strategic alignment between business, information, and technology, and understands the strength and competitive advantage created through collaborative cooperation.

      An accomplished change agent, Fiona brings to this leadership role more than 25 years technology and executive management experience. She has held multiple Chief Information Officer (CIO) roles in both the public and private sectors, as well as her Company Director qualifications and previous Board appointments. Fiona is currently Chair of the Australian Access Federation (AAF), Australia’s leading identity broker, enabling access to online resources for the Education and Research sectors.

      In addition to completing a Bachelor of Economics and Graduate Diploma in Financial Management (UNE); followed by a Masters in Business & IT Management (UTS); Fiona has also completed the Asia Link Leaders Program (Universities of Melbourne and Sydney and the Australian National University) and Leadership 3000 (University of Michigan, U.S.A.).

      Fiona is a graduate and member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors (AICD), a member of ‘Women on Boards’, was a 2008 NSW finalist for Telstra Business Women’s Awards, and in 2013 received the University of Technology, Sydney (UTS) Alumni Award for Excellence – Engineering and IT. In 2017, Fiona was named CIO of the Year in the Education category at the 2017 iTnews Benchmark Awards.

    • Mr. John Rohan Independent Director

      Mr. John Rohan Independent Director

      John Rohan has held Managing Director and General Management positions in major organisations in Australia and New Zealand, including CRA (Rio Tinto), Vodafone, James Hardie and Pirelli Ericsson. Has spent the majority of his working life, in high technology service and telecommunication industries.

      John has held numerous Board Director and Chairman positions over the past 25 years in listed, non-listed and not-for-profit organisations and has been Chairman of the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman organisation for the past 12 years.

    • Prof. Deborah Terry AO Vice-Chancellor, The University of Queensland

      Prof. Deborah Terry AO Vice-Chancellor, The University of Queensland

      Professor Deborah Terry AO is Vice-Chancellor and President of The University, of Queensland, a position she took up on 1 August 2020. Previous appointments include Vice Chancellor and President of Curtin University from 2014 to 2020 and Senior Deputy Vice-Chancellor at the University of Queensland (UQ) and a number of senior positions at UQ from 2000 to 2013.

      Deborah is a graduate of Australian National University and has a PhD in psychology. She is a Fellow of both the Australian Psychological Society and the Academy of Social Sciences in Australia (ASSA), and is currently President of ASSA and Chair of the Australian Council of Learned Academies.

      She also sits on the Strategic Advisory Committee for the Office of Teaching & Learning, Department of Education, is Associate Editor of the British Journal of Psychology, and previous Chair of the Australian Research Council’s College of Experts in the Social, Behavioural and Economic Sciences.

    • Emeritus Prof. Mark Wainwright AM Independent Director

      Emeritus Prof. Mark Wainwright AM Independent Director

      Emeritus Professor Mark Wainwright AM is currently Executive Director, International Engagement, at the University of New South Wales following his retirement from the position of Vice-Chancellor and President of the University (2002-2004). Previous positions include Acting Vice-Chancellor, Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research and International) and Dean of the Faculty of Engineering of the University of New South Wales.

      In 2006 he was appointed Chair of the Australia-China Council for a period of five years. In the same year, he was appointed Chair of the New South Wales General Sir John Monash Awards Panel. In 2007 he was appointed Chair of the National Computational Infrastructure Steering Committee. He is Chair of INTERSECT, a not-for-profit e-research company, and Chair of The New Horizons Project at Monash University. He is a member of the Queensland University of Technology Council, Chair of the National Institute for the Promotion of ICT in Health, Chair of the UNSW Faculty of Science Advisory Committee and a member of the board of Engineering Aid Australia.

      Mark holds an Honours Degree in Applied Chemistry and a Master of Applied Science in Chemical Engineering from the University of Adelaide, a PhD in Chemical Engineering from McMaster University in Canada and a DSc for his research into skeletal catalysts from the University of South Australia. In 2007 he was awarded a Doctor of Science (honoris causa) by the University of New South Wales.

      He is an Honorary Fellow of Engineers Australia, a Fellow of the Australia Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering, a Fellow of the Institution of Chemical Engineers and a Fellow of the Royal Australian Chemical Institute.

      In 2000 Mark was awarded the Centenary Medal for service to Australian society, and in 2004, was made a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) for his service to chemical engineering.
    • Dr. David Williams Group Executive Information Sciences, CSIRO

      Dr. David Williams Group Executive Information Sciences, CSIRO

      Dr Williams is a leader of information sciences-related research at CSIRO. Since November 2012 he has been CSIRO’s Group Executive – Information Sciences – a role that sees him lead CSIRO’s research in astronomy, digital productivity and services, mathematics and information and communication technologies.

      Prior to joining CSIRO, David was the Chief Executive of the United Kingdom Space Agency where he introduced a strategy for the long-term role for UK space and established the European Space Agency (ESA), among other achievements. He was Chairman of the ESA from June 2012, leading the 20-nation Council executive body that oversaw the ESA.

      He has also worked at the University of Reading, in industry, the Natural Environment Research Council, the British National Space Centre and the European Organisation for the Exploitation of Meteorological Satellites (EUMETSAT). At EUMETSAT he was responsible for strategic and international relations, including developing cooperation agreements with India, China, Russia and the USA.