Board of Directors
Professor Todd Walker
Todd Walker is an accomplished leader, board director, biomedical scientist and philanthropist with over 20 years’ experience working with regional multi-campus universities. Chairman of UNE Partnerships and Provost and Deputy Vice Chancellor of the University of New England, he is a senior executive with an established reputation for engagement, innovation and transformation, as well as a specialist in clinical cytology with a strong research, teaching and consultancy profile.
Todd holds a first-class Honours in Medical Biotechnology, a PhD in Molecular Oncology, a Graduate Certificate in University Leadership and Management, and is a National White Ribbon Ambassador and Graduate Member of the Institute of Company Directors. He has significant experience in the areas of university mergers and acquisitions, international higher education and government liaison.
Professor Aron Murphy
Aron Murphy is an experienced leader and kinesiologist with an extensive research and publication record. He is a Director on the board of UNE Partnerships and Dean of the Faculty of Science, Agriculture, Business and Law at the University of New England. He has worked with a variety of athletes across a number of sports and organisations including the Sydney Academy of Sport, the Australian Football League and the Australian Rugby Union.
Aron has a Bachelor of Applied Science, and Bachelor and PhD in Human Movement Science. He is on the editorial boards for the journals of Strength and Conditioning Research and Open Sports Medicine, and is a member of the International Society of Biomechanics and The Australian Strength and Conditioning Association.
Dr Exmond DeCruz
Exmond DeCruz is an experienced executive and consultant in the Asia-Pacific region, specialising in innovation and commercialisation in education and research. He has a PhD in Molecular Oncology and is an Independent board member of UNE Partnerships.
Exmond has developed and delivered educational programs and services through numerous local and international corporate and government organisations, with significant achievements in his work with the Asia-Pacific School of Economics and Government (later the ANU Crawford School of Public Policy) and the Australian National Institute of Public Policy.
Dr Jessie Harman
Jessie Harman is a dedicated humanitarian and a recognised leader in the promotion of engagement and partnerships across a broad range of regional and international organisations. Jessie has extensive senior executive leadership, academic teaching and research experience and was Pro Vice-Chancellor (International and Partnerships) with Federation University Australia.
Jessie holds a Bachelor's Degree with Honours in Sociology, an MBA and a PhD in Social Entrepreneurship. She has lectured in the areas of Human Resources and Marketing at Federation University and was involved in research and development projects for the University involving commercialisation, regional competitiveness and dual-sector partnerships. During this time Jessie has also served in a number of positions at Rotary International at club, district and international levels, and is currently Chair of the international Membership Committee.
Mr Brendan Peet
Brendan Peet is a lawyer and Chartered Secretary with over fifteen years’ experience. Brendan’s legal career includes roles with leading Australian firms Clayton Utz and Minter Ellison, prior to moving to his current in-house role with the University of New England in 2010.
Brendan is a member of the senior executive at the University with responsibility for the legal, audit and risk, records management, policy and governance, and secretariat functions. His role includes acting as the General Counsel and University Secretary.
Brendan is the Company Secretary of UNE Foundation Limited and UNE Life Pty Ltd.
He is a member and former Vice President of the Association of Australian University Secretaries and the Secretary on the Board of the Presbyterian Ladies College Armidale Foundation.
Acting CEO and Director of Education
Meg Michell has wide experience and high-level capability and responsibility in the development, management, delivery and administration of education and training programs for organisations and individuals, developed over 20 years in the Australian VET sector. Meg is an expert in the quality management, regulation, recognition and funding mechanisms in the sector, leading UNE Partnerships through successive registration renewal processes and achieving maximum approval terms with the National VET regulators.
Director of Education with UNE Partnerships since 2002, Meg oversees the delivery and ongoing quality management for a range of AQF and non-AQF qualifications and courses, ensuring ongoing response to industry and client needs and audited quality assurance mechanisms as designated under the National VET Regulator Standards for RTOs.
Director of Learning and Innovation
Benjamin Gilmore is an established innovator, education executive and learning technologist working across a wide range of industries in Australia and overseas over the last 15 years, with a passion for great student experience through effective strategy and design.
Prior to joining UNE Partnerships, Benjamin held senior roles at the largest private RTO in the country, including Head of Strategy and Experience, Learning Design and Technology Manager, and Marketing Manager. Each of these roles boast initiatives at the forefront of the application of technology in education, marketing and communications.
Director of Finance
Caleb Dobos has significant experience with cloud accounting systems and applications for small and medium businesses to help them be more efficient and improve reporting and governance. He has worked for over 10 years in various senior accounting and management roles in private firms and has recently moved into the education sector.
Caleb has enhanced his Bachelor of Business (Accounting) with the CPA Professional Program and is a Xero Certified Advisor.
Director of Business Improvement
Louise Hill has over 12 years’ experience working in project and portfolio management, quality assurance and governance, business process improvement and strategic planning. Louise started her career in the health industry as a Physiotherapist before moving into strategy and development. In 2016, she moved into the vocational education sector and applied her experience and skills within UNE Partnerships.
Louise holds a Master of Business Administration and is dedicated to ongoing professional and personal development through education, supporting individuals to evolve their careers over time.
Cathy Baynie is Co-Director of UNE Partnerships’ Practice Management portfolio and has worked as a practice manager and consultant in the Australian healthcare sector for more than 30 years. She has a strong background in nursing and paediatrics and a focus on health policy and governance.
Cathy presents and assesses for the Medical Assisting qualification at UNE Partnerships, and her dedication to professionalism and quality in practice management has seen her hold a number of positions in the Australian Association of Practice Management, including NSW/ACT State President and election to National President in 2017.
Doug Wheeler is Academic Director of UNE Partnerships’ Project Management program and is an eminent Australian project management professional. He has worked as an engineer and consultant for over 30 years, and for the past 20 years as an educator, mentor and coach in engineering and project management.
Doug has a Bachelor of Civil Engineering, a number of postgraduate qualifications and is pursuing a Doctor of Philosophy after completing a research Master in Project, Program and Portfolio management. As well as being a presenter and assessor for UNE Partnerships, Doug is an active contributor to industry, including being a sessional academic for Queensland University of Technology, a Fellow of the Institution of Engineers Australia, and Fellow of the Australian Institute of Project Management (AIPM).
Gary Smith is Co-Director of UNE Partnerships’ Practice Management portfolio and a successful practice manager of extended-hours and large, multi-services medical practices in the Western Sydney area. He is a dedicated Australian practice management professional with a long history as a presenter, assessor and past Academic Director of UNE Partnerships’ Professional Practice Management program.
Gary has made significant contributions to quality and professionalism in the Australian healthcare sector through education and representation, having held a number of positions with the Australian Association of Practice Management including NSW State and National President. He continues to serve in a number of positions and associations related to quality in general practice across Australia.
John Ross is a highly experienced business manager, consultant and trainer, and is Academic Director of UNE Partnerships’ Business Management program. John has extensive experience in senior management and community relations, holding a number of positions with Sydney Water and consulting widely with organisations nationally and internationally.
For more than two decades John has developed and delivered training, coaching and mentoring for public and private organisations in industries including health, infrastructure and government. He specialises in capability development and organisational operations, as well as supporting community and stakeholder relations and governance through his work as a licensed trainer for the International Association for Public Participation (IAP2).
Sean O’Toole is Academic Director of UNE Partnerships’ Government programs, with more than 20 years’ experience in adult learning and a focus on optimising the performance of organisations, teams and individuals. He has worked in both vocational and higher education sectors, served on university curriculum advisory boards, and managed industry-leading and award-winning capability-building initiatives in large government organisations.
Sean is a Churchill Fellow and the 2015 Fulbright professional scholar in vocational education and training, has Master degrees in Education and Australian Studies and postgraduate qualifications in management and organisational behaviour. He is extensively published, including authoring five books and more than 60 articles on adult learning and organisation development.