Distinguished guest speakers address new graduands

Josephine Chow

(Guest speaker photo gallery - Click the photo to view the gallery.)

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

Ceremony 1 - 9.30am, Monday 11 September

Professor Jospehine ChowJospehine Chow
Associate Director of Strategic Projects, South Western Sydney Local Health District

With a career specialty background as a renal nurse, Professor Josephine Chow is currently the Associate Director Strategic Projects within the Clinical Innovation and Business Unit of South Western Sydney Local Health District.

In this role, she manages a budget portfolio of over $87 million and a team of staff that supports a large number of innovations, major contracts and tenders, and is responsible for the implementation of redesigned models of care.

Having previously specialised as a renal nurse, Josephine, is also the Co-Director of the Liverpool Renal Clinical Research Centre and remains active in both international multi-centre clinical trials and clinical research.

Professor Chow's contributions to academic activities, includes over 150 publications in peer-reviewed journals and the supervision of a number of postgraduate and PhD students in nursing, psychology and management.

She has been a guest speaker at many national and international conferences, and is also the Australian representative and advisor on a number of national and international renal projects.

Professor Chow is an Honorary Clinical Associate Professor with The University of Sydney and an Honorary Clinical Professor with the University of Tasmania. Her qualifications include a PhD and a Master of Business Administration.

In 2012, Professor Chow was awarded the prestigious Winston Churchill Fellowship, for which she travelled overseas to investigate strategies to improve the uptake of home-based dialysis therapies. Josephine is also the Project Lead on a number of local and international awards and major funding grant projects.

Ceremony 2 - 12.00pm, Monday 11 September

Mr Ned MannounEd Mannoun
Associate Director with Commercial Real Estate Services (CBRE) Asia Pacific

Before joining CBRE Asia Pacific, Mr Mannoun served with Liverpool City Council for eight years, first as a Councillor and Deputy Mayor from 2008 to 2012, and then as Mayor for the City of Liverpool. As the youngest elected Mayor in the City's history, he held the position of Mayor for four years, from 2012 to 2016, and, in this time, established himself as one of the most high-profile, progressive and prominent leaders in one of the fastest growing regions in Western Sydney. At the conclusion of his term in 2016, Ned was awarded the title of Emeritus Mayor.

Prior to working in local government, Mr Mannoun was a small business owner in the Liverpool region and, between 2008 and 2012, he was the CEO of the Skills Training Group. In his eight years with Liverpool City Council, Ned established a reputation as a champion of the Western Sydney region. He supported the development of a new airport at Badgerys Creek as well as advocating for the construction of a north-south rail connection, linking South West and North West Sydney.

Ned has always understood the pivotal role that centres of education play in the development of vibrant, prosperous and modern cities. Under his leadership, Liverpool City Council worked with Western Sydney University on the establishment of a campus within the Liverpool CBD. Construction is now well underway for Western Sydney University's new world-class vertical campus situated in the heart of Liverpool. This new campus development represents a joint vision to expand higher education opportunities in Western Sydney and to help drive the economic development of the region.

Mr Mannoun is also a committed advocate for organ donation. In his capacity as Mayor he introduced organ donation presentations at the Council's monthly citizenship ceremonies to help raise awareness of the importance of organ donation. Ned's commitment to the advocacy of organ donation has its foundations in his own personal story. In 2014, he donated his own kidney to his then two year old son, Solomon; today marks the three-year anniversary of this life-saving operation.

Mr Mannoun, a Lebanese-African, Australian Muslim, and his family are longtime residents of Liverpool. Ned has lived in the area since the age of 11, when he and his family migrated to Australia from the United States. He attended Moorebank High School, a selective, comprehensive public school in Sydney's South West.

Ceremony 3 - 2.30pm, Monday 11 September

Mr Tristan SharpTristan Sharp
Director of Programs and Engagement at the Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences (MAAS)

As Director of Programs and Engagement, Tristan is responsible for the Museum's public facing programs and online activities.

Tristan joined MAAS with over 15 years' experience in public engagement and education programming in both the public and private sector, with a strong focus on delivery, customer service and audience engagement.

With a background in arts education, Tristan has held roles at Campbelltown Bicentennial Art Gallery, Newcastle Art Gallery, the Art Gallery of New South Wales, the Australia Council and most recently the Westpac Group.

Tristan began his career as a visual arts teacher and holds a Master of Arts Administration from the University of New South Wales.

He has curated several exhibitions and has received industry awards from Museums Australia and the Art Gallery Society of NSW.

Ceremony 4 - 9.30am, Tuesday 12 September

Mr Greg Warren MPMr Greg Warren MP
Member for Campbelltown

Greg Warren was elected as the Member for Campbelltown in the NSW Parliament at the March 2015 State election. Greg is a former Mayor and Deputy Mayor of Camden Council, and has a broad professional background.

Greg was born and raised in Dubbo and left high school at the age of 16 to join the Australian Army. As an Infantry Soldier, he served as a rifleman, marksman and paratrooper for eight years. Following this, Greg then served in the Royal Australian Corps of Transport as a non-commissioned officer for two years.

He has been awarded the Australian Defence Medal, and has received a Commanding Officer's Commendation, for good conduct during his service.

Greg left the military in 2000 and went on to work in a series of roles in the transport industry, predominantly as a truck driver. It was during this time that Greg became involved in the labour movement through the Transport Workers Union.

More recently, Greg has studied business, majoring in marketing and finance, completing his Master of Business Administration from the Australian Institute of Business.

Greg has served as the Deputy Opposition Whip in the Legislative Assembly and was recently appointed as a member of the Legislative Assembly Committee on Transport and Infrastructure.

Ceremony 5 - 12.00pm, Tuesday 12 September

David PringDavid Pring
Managing Partner, Western Sydney at KPMG

In addition to being the Managing Partner of KPMG's Western Sydney office, based in Parramatta, David is also a Tax Partner with KPMG's Private Enterprise group in Sydney.

For over 25 years, David has provided advice regarding all aspects of growing and managing business to private companies, family owned businesses and their shareholders.

David has a thorough knowledge and understanding of the unique characteristics and issues affecting private and family groups. In addition to providing traditional advisory business services, he has extensive experience in equity succession, estate and exit planning, shareholder agreements, corporate governance policies, structuring advice, and business and strategic planning.

As a Western Sydney resident, David is committed to supporting local businesses and works with his clients to assist them in achieving sustainable business outcomes, run profitable businesses and manage risk.

Ceremony 6 - 2.30pm, Tuesday 12 September

The Honourable Anthony Whealy QCAnthony Whealy

After nearly two decades of serving as a solicitor and barrister, His Honour was made a Queen's Counsel in 1984. In 2000, he was appointed a Justice of the Supreme Court of NSW, before being named a Judge of the NSW Court of Appeal in 2010.

His Honour has served as Chair on the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) Committee on Counter-Terrorism Laws, Acting Judge of Appeals in Western Australia, Assistant Commissioner of the NSW Law Reform Commission, Assistant Commissioner at the Independent Commission Against Corruption, and Deputy Chair of the NSW Sentencing Council.

He is currently a member of the Victorian Judicial Commission, consultant at the Judicial Commission of New South Wales, University Visitor at the Australian Catholic University, as well as the Assistant Commissioner of the Police Integrity Commission in New South Wales, and Chair of Transparency International Australia. Most recently His Honour was appointed the Reviewer by the New South Wales Government of the Mental Health Tribunal.

Ceremony 7 - 5.00pm, Tuesday 12 September

Ms Lucy Turnbull AOLucy Turnbull
Chief Commissioner, Greater Sydney Commission

The University is pleased to confer an Honorary Doctorate of Letters on Ms Lucy Turnbull AO in recognition of her substantial and sustained service and contribution to the University and to the Greater Western Sydney region.

Lucy is a successful Australian businesswoman, corporate lawyer, philanthropist, and former local government politician. She is also an urbanist with a long standing interest in cities, and technological and social innovation.

Lucy obtained a law degree from the University of Sydney, and an MBA from the University of New South Wales. She practiced as a lawyer and worked as an investment banker and venture capitalist before becoming involved in local government.

Following in the footsteps of her great grandfather, Sir Thomas Hughes, Lucy has had an eminent career in Local Government. Immediately after being elected to Council in 1999, Lucy became Deputy Lord Mayor of Sydney and then Lord Mayor from 2003 to 2004. Quite notably, she was the first woman to hold such a position. As Lord Mayor, Lucy had the honour of awarding Nobel Peace Prize laureate Aung San Suu Kyi with the keys to the City of Sydney in 2003.

Lucy's passion and interest in city planning and urban issues saw her publish Sydney – Biography of a City in 1999. Through this book, she brings the history of Sydney to life through a fascinating account of the City's social, political, architectural and cultural developments.

Lucy's community and philanthropic activity has been considerable. She has served as a Member of the Board of the Museum of Contemporary Art (2001 – 2006), and a Director of the Sydney Cancer Foundation (2002 – 2006), which supports cancer services at Royal Prince Alfred and Concord hospitals. For many years she served as President of the Sydney Children's Hospital Appeal and Foundation (1993 – 2000), and from 2001 to 2003, she chaired the NSW Ministerial Advisory Council on Biotechnology, which assisted the Government in developing its BioFirst strategy, and between 2010 to 2013, she served on the Board of Directors of the Biennale of Sydney. She was an independent member of the Redfern–Waterloo Authority from its establishment in 2004 until its repeal in December 2011, and was on the Board of the Australian Technology Park from 2005 to 2015.

Between 2007 and 2009, Lucy chaired the Salvation Army's Sydney Red Shield appeal, and in 2006 and 2008 she was Commissioner of the Australian Pavilion at the Venice Architecture Biennale. She was a member of the Grattan Institute from 2012 to 2016, and was the honorary president of the German – Australian Chamber of Business and Commerce from 2013 to 2016.

In addition to devoting much of her of time to philanthropic endeavours, Lucy has achieved a successful business career. She is currently Chair of Pria BioMed Limited, an ASX-listed biomedical company undertaking clinical development of an immune-therapeutic cancer treatment. She is also a Director of Turnbull & Partners Pty Ltd, a private investment company.

Lucy is a strong supporter of the WesternSydney region. From 2012 to 2015, she chaired the Committee for Sydney, a think tank for Greater Sydney representing the public, private and not-for-profit sectors. In 2016, she was appointed Chief Commissioner of the Greater Sydney Commission and Honorary President of the Committee for Sydney. As Chief Commissioner, Lucy has been tasked by the New South Wales State Government to help deliver strong and effective strategic planning for the whole of metropolitan Sydney. Through these roles, Lucy has been instrumental in the championing and positioning Parramatta as Sydney's second CBD.

On 26 January 2011, Lucy was appointed an Officer of the Order of Australia for her distinguished service to the community, particularly through philanthropic contributions to and fundraising support for a range of medical, social welfare, educational, youth and cultural organisations, to local government, and to business.

Ceremony 8 - 9.30am, Wednesday 13 September

Dr Tim WilliamsTim Williams
CEO, Committee for Sydney

an Honorary Doctorate of Letters on Mr Tim Williams in recognition of his substantial and sustained service and contribution to the University and to the Greater Western Sydney region.

Dr Tim Williams is CEO of the Committee for Sydney, which has been described by NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian as providing 'key thought leadership for the city we love'. Dr Williams is an Adjunct Professor with the School of Social Sciences and Psychology at Western Sydney University, and a member of the international advisory panel on the Fourth Regional Plan being developed by the Regional Plan Association of New York. Tim was recently appointed to the inaugural National Cities Reference Group by the Australian Minister for Cities.

Before coming to Australia in late 2010, Dr Williams was recognised as one of the UK's thought-leaders in urban regeneration. Between 2000 and 2010, he wrote 400 weekly columns for the specialist professional journal Regeneration and Renewal and in 2003, he was named as the leading personality in the UK sector by readers of the journal. This award can also be considered a reflection of his achievements as CEO of the Thames Gateway London Partnership between 1998 and 2003. In this position, he played an important role in attracting substantial new investment for infrastructure in East London and for establishing the urban renewal case which helped to secure the 2012 Olympic Games for the area.

In recognition of his work, Dr Williams was appointed a founding associate member of Tony Blair's Prime Minister's Delivery Unit in 2002. Between 2005 and 2010, Tim was a special advisor on housing, urban regeneration and planning to five successive senior UK ministers, which is a unique record. In this role he helped to create a new national urban regeneration and affordable housing organisation, the Homes and Communities Agency, which managed a multi-billion budget. He also helped to re-ignite the $30 billion CrossRail project with its innovative value capture model. From 2005 to 2007, Tim was part of the government team which started the journey to 'UK City Deals'; an initiative now being implemented in Australia.

In 2007, on behalf of the UK Government's Social Housing Corporation, Dr Williams chaired an inquiry into the quality of housing in East London which led to the publication of the Williams Report. As an expert in social housing, he wrote London Mayor Boris Johnson's first Residential Design Guide for London in 2009 and in the same year accompanied the London Mayor to New York for discussions with Mayor Bloomberg's team.

Dr Williams has also worked at a senior level in the private sector. His last role in the UK was as Managing Director of Navigant Consulting Public Services' team where he acted as a strategic advisor to the CEO of Lend Lease on the building of the Olympic Athletes' Village in Stratford, East London. Since arriving in Sydney in late 2010, Tim has written some ground breaking and influential reports on housing, urban policy, transport, Smart Cities and the need to rebalance Sydney's development around a transformed Western Sydney. His report on Sydney's fintech sector was influential in the establishment of the Sydney's fintech hub Stone and Chalk. He is a frequent columnist on public policy, housing and urban issues in the Sydney Morning Herald, the Daily Telegraph and the Fifth Estate, and regularly appears on radio and TV. He is a regular lecturer on urban policy issues for universities and civic bodies across Australia.

His knowledge of 'big city' policy issues has helped to make the Committee for Sydney a key player in policy-making for Sydney with a broader influence across Australia. The Greater Sydney Commission represents Australia's first attempt at a metropolitan planning agency, and its establishment is testament to the work of the Committee and Dr Williams, who advised the NSW Government on the design of the Commission based on experiences as a ministerial advisor for the London Mayor from 2005 to 2006.

Dr Williams was raised in public housing in a mining community in South Wales and attended a number of universities in Cambridge, Oxford and Wales. While a student at Peterhouse, a College of Cambridge University, he won the PC Vellacott History Essay competition before graduating in 1978 with a degree in history from the University of Cambridge. In 1984, Tim gained a teaching qualification from the University of Oxford, followed by a PhD from the University of Wales in 1990, and was called to the Bar from the Inner Temple in 1998. Dr Williams published Patriot Games, a series of essays on Wales, and wrote and presented a 50-minute television documentary based on his PhD which was broadcast by the BBC in 1995. Between 1997 and 2000, he wrote a weekly column for The Scotsman newspaper.

Ceremony 9 - 12.00pm, Wednesday 13 September

Jonathan NicholasJonathan Nicholas
CEO, ReachOut Australia

Jonathan was a founding member of ReachOut when it launched in 1998 as the first digital mental health service in the world. A passionate advocate for the mental health of young people. Jonathan spent the early part of his career developing and leading the ReachOut service before establishing ReachOut Ireland in 2009. Since his appointment as CEO of ReachOut Australia in 2010, the organisation has gone on to become the digital entry point to the mental health system for young people and their parents, providing support for a range of issues facing young people, from exam stress and relationship difficulties to suicidal thoughts. ReachOut is now accessed by over 1.58 million young Australians per year. By 2020 ReachOut aims to help a further one million people per year.

Jonathan is a director of Mental Health Australia and the Foundation for Alcohol Research and Education. He is co-chair of the Telstra Technology and Wellbeing roundtable, member of the Federal Department of Health's Digital Mental Health Advisory Committee, and the NSW Mental Health Commission's Suicide Prevention Advisory Group.

Jonathan holds an Honours Degree in Psychology and a Master in Public Health and is a father of three young boys.

Ceremony 10 - 2.30pm, Wednesday 13 September

Professor Janusz NowotnyJanusz Nowotny

The University is pleased to confer the title of Emeritus Professor on Professor Janusz Nowotny, in recognition for his distinguished contribution to the development of materials for solar energy conversion, as well as his services to the University.

Professor Janusz Nowotny has a long and distinguished academic career spanning five decades and five countries. He obtained his PhD in physical chemistry and chemical engineering from the Polish Academy of Sciences in 1968 and a Doctor of Sciences (ScD) in energy materials from AGH University of Science and Technology, Poland in 1974. Since then Professor Nowotny has held many academic positions at universities and institutions in Poland, Germany, France, Japan and Australia. Between 1998 and 2008, he served as Professor and Director of the Centre for Materials Research in Energy Conversion at UNSW before becoming a Professor of Solar Energy Technologies at Western Sydney University in 2008.

Since joining the University, Professor Nowotny has made a number of significant research contributions. He played a key role in obtaining a $10 million government grant for solar research at Western Sydney University, and established the Western Sydney University research program into the development of materials and devices for solar energy conversion. Professor Nowotny was instrumental in establishing a PhD research program in solar energy and promoting it through publications in the high profile international journals of the American Chemical Society, American Ceramic Society, the Electrochemical Society, the Royal Society of Chemistry and the International Association of Hydrogen Energy. Professor Nowotny was the lead scientist on the international project on the defect engineering of oxide materials for nuclear fusion, which was published in the Chemical Society Review 44 (2015) and the International Journal of Hydrogen Energy 41 (2016).

During his tenure with Western Sydney University, Professor Nowotny has been very active in developing research collaborations within the University, with external research institutions such as the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO), as well as with research organisations in Australia, USA, Europe, Japan, and Canada. The collaboration with ANSTO was focused on the processing of novel materials for energy conversion, which led to the discovery of segregation-induced bidimensional surface structures with outstanding properties. This partnership was recently acknowledged by the International Atomic Energy Agency, Vienna, for the level of excellence towards the development of next generation solar materials.

Professor Nowotny has been invited by the United Nations, through its Future Earth program, to establish and coordinate the Sustainable Energy Network. The Network brings together experts from the USA, the European Union, Japan, Canada, and Australia for the purpose of developing education courses on Sustainable Energy for universities and high schools. An Australian Network, comprised of Western Sydney University, ANSTO, the University of Newcastle, UTS and UNSW has been established as part of the UN program. Other notable partnerships include the Japan Atomic Energy Association on nuclear fusion, and the partnership with Rotary International on water purification using solar energy.

Professor Nowotny has a prolific publication record of high quality papers, with 460 refereed journal articles, 19 books including one research monograph, and two patents. His scholarly excellence and international eminence in the development of materials and devices for solar energy conversion has been acknowledged by numerous awards, including the 2008 Sir William Grove Award of the International Association for Hydrogen Energy, a Western Sydney University award for Excellence in Environmental Research in 2014, USA, the 2014 UK Pfeil Award of the Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining, and the USA's 2014 Outstanding Achievements in High Temperature Materials of the Electrochemical Society.

He has been a member of the Polish Academy of Arts and Sciences since 2009, and a Fellow of the London Institute of Materials, Minerals, and Mining since 2015.

Ceremony 11 - 5.00pm, Wednesday 13 September

Dr Ken SilburnKen Silburn
Head Teacher (Science), Casula High School

Dr Silburn is a science educator and communicator, with a commitment to increasing theeducational opportunities for students on a global scale.

>Earlier this year, he received the prestigious Dr Paul Brock Medal from the Australian College of Educators and was recognised as one of the top ten teachers in the world, from over 23,000 nominations, through the Varkey Global Teacher Prize.

In addition to being Head Teacher (Science) at Casula High School, Dr Silburn is also President of LAZSTA, which is the Metropolitan South West Science Teachers Association, and coordinator and founder of the iSTEM (Invigorating Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics) project, which delivers science enrichment programs to high school science students and the US Space Academy Program.

Dr Silburn is a graduate of the University of Wollongong, Western Sydney University, and the Honeywell US Space Academy for Educators Program.

He is internationally renowned in science education, especially in the area of environmental and space science. He is a strong advocate for engaging students in STEM careers, and is currently a member of the Advisory Board for the International Mars One project and a Director of the Australian Mars Society.

In 2016, Dr Silburn commenced a personal project to provide science outreach programs and teacher professional development activities to schools in India, which he hopes to replicate around the globe. As part of this program, Dr Silburn worked with the Indian Department of Education to produce a training video on science education, which will be broadcast to more than 2.5 million students.

Dr Silburn received the NSW State Award for Innovation in Science and Mathematics Teaching in 2013, and the NSW Australian Academy of Physics Award for Community Outreach in 2014.

In 2015, he was the recipient of the Australian Prime Minister's Science Prize for Excellence In Secondary Science Teaching, and this year his work in the community was recognised as a recipient of a 'Hero of Liverpool' award.

Ceremony 12 - 9.30am, Thursday 14 September

Professor Kevin BellKevin Bell
Pro-Vice Chancellor (Digital Futures), Western Sydney University

Professor Bell leads Western Sydney University's efforts in developing and implementing high-quality digital initiatives and online programs based on industry and academic standards. He works closely with senior leadership to ensure that the University's online strategy aligns with the University's academic and regional campus goals.

Prior to his arrival in Australia last year, Kevin worked in the United States at Northeastern University, where he led the University's online program development as well as a fourmillion- dollar initiative to retain under-represented minorities in STEM programming.

He also served as Chief Academic Officer at Southern New Hampshire University led their College for America project.

Kevin gained his Bachelors degree in the Analysis of Science and Technology (with Life Science) from Manchester University, UK; a Master of Arts in Teaching with Technology from Marlboro College in Vermont, USA; and was awarded a double distinction in the Higher Education Management Doctoral program at the University of Pennsylvania.

Ceremony 13 - 12.00pm, Thursday 14 September

Ms Jessica KnightJessica Knight
PhD Candidate, Western Sydney University

Jessica begun her university education as part of the first science cohort to go through The College.

She graduated with her Diploma in Science and, for her outstanding performance, attained an academic scholarship.

She went on to complete a Bachelor of Science, majoring in Microbiology and sub-majoring in Biochemistry and receiving First Class Honours for her research into the effects of antibiotics on persistent bacterial populations.

Following the completion of her Honours degree, Jessica commenced her PhD studies, specialising in medical microbiology.

In July this year she submitted her PhD on microbial contamination of hospital surfaces.

WHERE: Western Sydney University's Parramatta South campus, corner Victoria Road and James Ruse Drive, Rydalmere
WHEN: Monday 11 September to Thursday 14 September 2017
TIME: Ceremonies begin from 9.30am each day
FOR JOURNALISTS: Please advise the Media team if you plan to attend, who can assist with parking. Email media@westernsydney.edu.au

Return to Western Sydney University celebrates September graduation


8 September 2017

Media Unit