Western Sydney University celebrates April graduation

Celebrating grads 

Western Sydney University's Parramatta campus will be awash with colour as thousands of graduands don cap, gown and colourful hood and make the transition from dedicated student to proud University alumni, as part of April graduation.

The University is hosting its April graduation ceremonies from Saturday 9th April to Friday 15th April 2016.

During the week, thousands of graduands will receive their degrees from across a wide range of disciplines, including social sciences, psychology, computing, engineering, mathematics, education, business, law, science, health, humanities and communication arts, nursing and midwifery.

During the ceremonies, there will be a series of honorary awards presented by the University to outstanding individuals who have made a significant contribution to Australian public life. 

Members of the community will also be recognised, with Community Awards presented to recipients in recognition of their contributions to the Greater Western Sydney region. 

A highlight of each graduation ceremony is the Occasional Address. In April, Western Sydney University graduands and their guests will have the opportunity to hear from a range of distinguished guest speakers:

Institute for Culture and Society, Western Sydney University, Professor Bob Hodge

Bob Hodge 

The University is pleased to be awarding Professor Bob Hodge the title of Emeritus Professor for his distinguished contribution to teaching and research in the field of humanities and cultural studies, and for his service to the University. 

Professor Hodge came to the University in 1993 with expertise in linguistics, semiotics and social theory, and an international reputation as an influential figure in the development of cultural studies as a field of education. 

Professor Hodge has provided exemplary leadership within cultural studies at Western Sydney University. In 2008, he received the Vice-Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Postgraduate Research Training and Supervision. 

As the Dean of the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences (1998–2000), Professor Hodge helped develop the brand of humanities which now distinguishes Western Sydney University in this field. He provided the vision, devised a new curriculum and recruited outstanding staff. 

Professor Hodge became a Fellow of the Australian Humanities Academy (Cultural and Communication Studies, Linguistics) in 2000 and received a Centennial Medal in 2002 for services to higher education. 

Professor Hodge is an internationally recognised scholar, a highly respected leader in his field and has shown a deep commitment to the University's mission.

District Director, Western Sydney District, Department of Family and Community Services, Lisa Charet PSM

Lisa Charet
Lisa holds a degree in Environmental Science and an Executive Masters in Public Administration. She has over 20 years' experience in the public and private sector and has held the position of District Director, Western Sydney, Department of Family and Community Services since 2012. 

At the Department, Lisa leads all operational areas of housing, disability and ageing as well as community services. She also manages policy and creates partnerships with other agency and non-agency organisations. 

In 2014, Lisa was awarded the NSW Institute of Public Administration Australia's Collaboration Award. 

In 2015 she was named Southern Cross University's Alumni of the Year, and this year she was awarded the Public Service Medal for innovative service delivery and improved outcomes for vulnerable children in need of care and protection.

Vice Chairperson, The Jacka Foundation of Natural Therapies, Judy Jacka

Judy Jacka 

The University is pleased to be awarding Judy Jacka the title of Honorary Fellow of the University, in recognition of her distinguished service in the fields of natural therapies and complementary medicine. 

Judy is a published author and active advocate for research and the evidence base of naturopathy. 

Judy graduated from General Nursing Training and obtained a Naturopathic Diploma from the Southern School of Natural Therapies where she was later appointed principal, remaining in the role for 17 years. 

In 1999, she was awarded Life Membership of the Australian Natural Therapists Association for her contributions to the profession, education and industry. 

The Jacka Foundation of Natural Therapies (JFNT) was formed in 2010 to support research in naturopathy and the development of a community of researchers, scholars and leaders in the naturopathic profession. 

Over the last six years, JFNT has donated over $2 million to further the research of Western Sydney University's National Institute of Complementary Medicine, with a commitment of another $2 million over the next two years. 

In 2015, the JFNT Chair of Integrative Medicine Research was established in partnership with Western Sydney University.

Managing Director, Impact International, Dimitri Lajovic

Dimitris Lajovic

Upon graduating from Mechanical Engineering at Sydney University in 1974, Dimitri Lajovic went straight into the family business 'Impact' as a design engineer. At that time, Impact produced aluminium tubes, mainly for oral care and pharmaceutical customers. 

Today, Dimitri is Chairman and Managing Director of Impact International which manufactures at factories in Sydney, Surabaya in Indonesia, and Ljubljana in Slovenia. 

Dimitri has a strong interest in renewable energy, particularly its use in transport. He has led Team Alarus, a private team that designed and built three solar cars. Alarus entered and completed three World Solar challenges including the very first challenge in 1987 – where there were 25 entrants and Alarus came sixth. 

In 1997, Dimitri converted a Porsche 911 to use a fully electric drive system. Solar panels on the roof at home provided sufficient energy for his daily commute to Smithfield.

Chief Executive Officer, Dimension Data Australia, Rodd Cunico

Rob Cunico

Rodd Cunico is a seasoned executive with more than 25 years' experience in the IT industry. 

He spent 11 years at Telstra, before beginning his career at Dimension Data Australia in 1997 as an Account Manager in the Victorian branch. 

From there he became the Southern Region Manager, and then Director of Sales Operations, responsible for all day-to-day aspects of the Australian sales force. 

Since his appointment as CEO in 2011, Rodd has been driving a growth and innovation agenda. He is responsible for the strategy, revenue and operations of Dimension Data Australia and represents the Australian region on Dimension Data's Group Executive Committee. 

Rodd is a member of the International CEO Forum and the Australian Institute of Company Directors. He was appointed Director of Dimension Data Australia Pty Ltd in June 2014 and is based in Dimension Data's Melbourne office.

Mayor, Liverpool City Council, Councillor Ned Mannoun

Ned Mannoun

Mannoun is the Mayor of the City of Liverpool, elected in 2012 for a four-year term. At 30, Ned was the youngest popularly elected Mayor of Liverpool and is seen as a leading voice for the region. 

Before entering Council, he owned and operated a local registered training organisation with 15 staff. 

The big issues facing Liverpool and south-west Sydney include rapid urban expansion and population growth, and the related demands on local resources and infrastructure needed to create thousands of new local jobs. 

Ned is committed to delivering on major plans to rebuild the Liverpool city centre and ensuring the potential of Badgerys Creek Airport as an economic catalyst is realised. 

Ned and his wife Tina, with sons Solomon and Jacob, are long-time Liverpool residents. Ned has lived in Liverpool for the last 20 years since moving to Australia from Boston in the USA, where he was born.

Managing Partner, Western Sydney, Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu, Danny Rezek

Danny Rezek

Danny leads a team of around 350 professionals at Deloitte Western Sydney. 

Prior to this role, Danny was lead partner of Deloitte's national Motor Industry Services group where he worked with car brands and dealer networks to develop and execute strategies to increase competitiveness and profitability. 

Having built his career in the motor industry, Danny is now expanding his client portfolio to encompass other key sectors represented in the Western Sydney region and, in doing so, he plans to increase Deloitte's presence in the coming years. 

To achieve that goal, one of Danny's key ambitions is to help Deloitte clients realise their growth potential. 

He promotes collaboration amongst the wider Sydney business community and brings together local business, government and community leaders to not only foster growth in the region but also advance the economic transformation of Western Sydney.

Managing Director, UPDM Pty Limited, Alan Zammit AM

Alan Zammit

The University is pleased to be awarding Alan Zammit AM the title of Honorary Fellow of the University as part of this ceremony, in recognition of his distinguished service to the University. 

Alan Zammit has over 45 years' experience in urban, regional and community development, and a long association with Western Sydney University. 

From 1996 to 1998, Alan was a council member of the Nepean College of Advanced Education, one of the institutions that would become part of the University. 

He became a Director of the UWS Foundation Limited (1993 to 2008) and was Chair of the Foundation (1997 to 2002). He was a member of numerous University committees including as Chair of the Audit and Risk Management Committee since 2011. 

Alan has served as Chair of the Salvation Army Greater Western Sydney Advisory Board since 1996 and was Chair of the Partnerships and Alliances Committee of Affordable Community Housing Limited in 2014 and 2015. 

In June 2009 Alan was admitted as a Member of the Order of Australia in recognition of his service to the community of north-western Sydney.

Dr Nicholas Whitlam

Nicholas Whitlam

The University is pleased to be awarding Dr Nicholas Whitlam an Honorary Doctorate of Letters in recognition of his distinguished service to business and the broader community. 

Dr Whitlam has had a distinguished career. He was CEO of the State Bank of NSW (1981 to 1987) before establishing investment bank Whitlam Turnbull & Co. He was President of the NRMA (1996 to 2002) and Chair of NRMA Insurance (1996 to 2001). 

Dr Whitlam has devoted much of his energy to the broader community. He served on committees in the lead up to the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games and proudly served as Olympic Attaché for Hong Kong at the Games. He was also Chair of the Sydney Symphony Orchestra (1991 to 1996). 

Dr Whitlam was the inaugural Chair of the Whitlam Institute, established in April 2000 to honour the work of Gough Whitlam, and served on the Institute's Board until 2015. He remains Chairman of the Port Authority of NSW. 

Dr Whitlam holds a Bachelor of Arts cum laude in History from Harvard University and a Master of Science from the University of London.

Group Chief Executive Officer, Cronulla Sharks, Lyall Gorman

Lyall Gorman

Lyall has over 30 years' experience in senior management and administration in both the public and private sectors. 

He holds a Masters degree in Administration and is the former Executive Director of an ASX listed merchant bank and investment holding company. 

Lyall was also the inaugural CEO of the NSW Combined Independent Schools Sports Council, the largest private school sporting infrastructure in Australia. 

In 2004 he took up the position of founding CEO and, subsequently, Executive Chairman of the Central Coast Mariners, one of the eight founding clubs in the national A-League football competition. 

In 2010 he was appointed by Football Federation Australia as Head of the A-League and in 2012 as the founding Executive Chairman of the Western Sydney Wanderers. 

In November 2014 he was appointed as the Group CEO of Cronulla Sutherland Sharks.

Dean, School of Science and Health, Western Sydney University, Professor Gregory Kolt

Gregory Kolt

Professor Kolt has an academic background spanning several disciplines including psychology, physiotherapy, education, and exercise science. 

He was awarded his Doctor of Philosophy, Bachelor of Applied Science (Physiotherapy), and Graduate Diploma in Behavioural Studies in Health Care from La Trobe University; his Bachelor of Science from The University of Melbourne; and Graduate Diploma in Education from the Hawthorn Institute of Education. 

A registered psychologist and registered physiotherapist, much of his work has focused on integrating the psychological and physical aspects of health promotion, healthy ageing and rehabilitation. 

He has unique expertise developing national research agendas for physical activity, nutrition and obesity, and has consulted to several government agencies on policy and strategy development in this area. 

Professor Kolt has published widely, is the editor of several books and author of over 140 academic papers, and has recently completed a seven-year term as the Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport. Much of his research has been funded through grants from national health research funding agencies.

Joint Managing Director, Medich Corporation, Roy Medich OAM

Roy Medich

The University is pleased to be awarding Roy Medich OAM the title of Honorary Fellow of the University in recognition of his distinguished service to business and charitable organisations. 

Roy has been an active member of the south-western Sydney community for over 50 years. 

He received the Companion of the Order of Liverpool (1997) and the Medal of the Order of Australia (1999) for his services to the community through fundraising. In 2003, he was awarded the Centenary of Federation Medal for services to the Liverpool community. 

Roy served on numerous local, regional and state committees. He contributed to the South Western Sydney Bowel Cancer Foundation and was a member of the South Western Sydney Area Health Service and Greater Western Sydney Economic Development boards. 

Roy remains engaged with the Salvation Army Advisory Board for Greater Western Sydney and was involved in the creation of the Ingham Medical Research Institute for south-western Sydney. 

His involvement with Western Sydney University spans over a decade including through boards and committees, and continues today via the Roy Medich Bachelor of Medical Research Scholarship.

Executive Chairman, Yellow Brick Road, Dr Mark Bouris AM

Mark Bouris

Dr Mark Bouris has established a successful career by building disruptive businesses that challenge markets and provide smarter solutions for consumers. 

He is the author of three books on business and finance and writes for some of Australia's most recognised publications including Money Saver HQ, The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age. 

Dr Bouris is currently Executive Chairman of Yellow Brick Road Group, Executive Chairman of TZ Limited and Chairman of Anteo Diagnostics. He is also Adjunct Professor for Banking and Finance, as well as Business Law and Tax at UNSW Australia Business School. 

He is on the Chief Minister's Advisory Council and Western Sydney University's Foundation Council. He is also a board member of the Sydney Roosters, host of Channel 9's The Apprentice Australia and The Celebrity Apprentice Australia. 

In 2015, he was appointed a Member of the Order of Australia for service to the finance industry, education and charitable organisations. He also holds an Honorary Doctorate of Letters from Western Sydney University.

Director of News, ABC, Gaven Morris

Gaven Morris

Gaven Morris oversees ABC News's television and radio news and current affairs, online and mobile news services, ABC News 24, NewsRadio and the Asia-Pacific News Centre. 

ABC News has 1,300 staff around the world and is responsible for producing programs including AM, PM, 7.30, Australian Story, Four Corners, Q&A, Lateline, Insiders and Foreign Correspondent. 

Gaven spent almost a decade in international news. During this time, he covered stories including the war in Iraq, the 2nd Intifada in the Middle East, the Liberian civil war and terrorist attacks in London and Europe. In 2005, he spent three years in Doha as part of the team that set up Al Jazeera English. 

In 2008, Gaven was appointed National Editor for ABC News Online, then ABC Head of Continuous News, where he spearheaded the launch of ABC News 24. He was Head of News Content from 2012 until he was appointed Director of News in 2015.

Labor Member for Blacktown, John Robertson MP

John RobertsonJohn left school at 16 and completed an apprenticeship as an electrical fitter mechanic. He worked on building sites across Sydney before playing a leadership role in the trade union movement, and leading the successful Your Rights at Work campaign for the 2007 Election. 

In October 2008, John was appointed to the NSW Legislative Council where he served as a Minister in the former Labor Government. 

John was NSW Labor Leader and Leader of the NSW Opposition from 2011 – 2014. 

John has been an active member of the Western Sydney community for many years. He has served on the Heritage Council and as a Director of Workcover NSW, Energy Australia, the Parramatta Stadium Trust and broadcaster 2KY. 

He is patron of the Prospect Heritage Society, a member of Alzheimer's NSW and a White Ribbon Ambassador. 

John and his family live in Blacktown and have proudly called Western Sydney home for more than 20 years.

Dean, School of Humanities and Communication Arts, Western Sydney University, Professor Peter Hutchings

Peter Hutchtings

Professor Hutchings has held a number of senior positions at Western Sydney University, as well serving on the University's Academic Senate. 

Between 2008 and 2010, he was General Manager, Programs and Engagement, for the Australian Learning and Teaching Council, with responsibility for the development of the Council's grants, awards and fellowships. 

He has taught art history, cinema, communication, and cultural studies. His current research interests are in the interdisciplinary field of critical legal studies and the visual arts. 

Professor Hutchings' publications have appeared in local and international journals as well as the mainstream media. He is the author of The Criminal Spectre in Law, Literature and Aesthetics: Incriminating Subjects. He is currently completing a book on cinema and sovereignty after 9/11. 

He is the past president and vice-president of the Law and Literature Association of Australia, and is currently a non-executive board member of FORM Dance Projects.

Director, Institute for Culture and Society, Western Sydney University, Professor Paul James

Paul James

Paul James is Professor of Globalisation and Cultural Diversity at Western Sydney University. 

He is on the Council of the Institute of Postcolonial Studies in Melbourne, a Fellow of the Royal Society of the Arts in London, and Scientific Advisor to the Senate Department for Urban Development in Berlin. 

Professor James is an editor of Arena Journal, as well as an editor and/or board member of nine other international journals, including Globalizations and Global Governance. 

He has authored or edited 33 books and has been an advisor to numerous agencies and governments including the Helsinki Process, the Canadian Prime Minister's G20 Forum and the Commission on Reception, Truth and Reconciliation in East Timor. 

His work for the Papua New Guinea Minister for Community Development became the basis for their Integrated Community Development Policy. 

Professor James was also Director of the United Nations agency, the Global Compact Cities Programme from 2007 to 2014.

Director, Nursing and Midwifery, South Western Sydney Local Health District, Jacqui Cross

Jacqui is responsible for providing effective leadership to the nursing and midwifery professions across the South Western Sydney Local Health District. 

She develops and implements frameworks for continuous improvement in the quality of service and practice, safeguarding high standards of care, encouraging excellence in clinical practice and innovation. 

In her role, Jacqui also ensures workforce planning and effective people management strategies are in place to attract, recruit, develop and retain quality nursing and midwifery staff and provide excellent patient care to the community served by the district. 

Jacqui has extensive experience in facilitating and leading clinical leadership programs and has previously been the Project Manager for the state level Essentials of Care Program. 

Jacqui is committed to leading and contributing to personcentred care, and the development of effective workplace cultures that support the provision of quality care.

Chief Executive, Nepean Blue Mountains Local Health District, Kay Hyman

Kay HaymanThe Nepean Blue Mountains Local Health District (NBMLHD) covers all public health facilities within the Penrith, Blue Mountains, Hawkesbury and Lithgow local government areas. 

Kay works with the local community and clinicians to deliver the best possible health care for the region. She champions local decision-making and runs NBMLHD in partnership with a governing board. 

As the Chief Executive, Kay provides strategic leadership and, with the Board, ensures high-quality services are delivered efficiently and effectively. 

With more than 20 years' health management experience in Auckland, New Zealand, Kay provides extensive experience and skill in change management and service development, as well as the new activity-based funding system. 

Kay's vision for the NBMLHD is to be a health service the community will be proud of. She aims to achieve this by providing excellent care for the local population and by establishing a great place for staff to work.

Emeritus Professor Judy Lumby AM

Professor Lumby spent 16 years as a nurse before joining the university sector. 

In 1984, Professor Lumby was appointed Head of School of Nursing at the Australian Catholic University. Five years later, she became Head of School at Kuring-gai College of Advanced Education and was involved in the amalgamation of Kuring-gai CAE with the University of Technology Sydney. 

Later, she was invited to take up one of the first clinical chairs in nursing, the EM Lane Chair of Surgical Nursing, where she remained for five years before spending ten years as Executive Director of the College of Nursing. 

Professor Lumby has been involved in many NSW Ministerial Advisory committees, the inaugural NSW Quality Council and the NSW Higher Education Accreditation panels for non-self-accrediting education institutions. 

She has numerous academic publications and has authored two books. 

Professor Lumby is an Emeritus Professor at UTS and Honorary Professor at the universities of Sydney and Adelaide.

What: April graduation 2016
When: Saturday 9th April to Friday 15th April 2016
Where: Ian and Nancy Turbott Auditorium (Building EE), Parramatta campus, corner Victoria Road and James Ruse Drive


8 April 2016

Amanda Whibley, Media and PR Manager