Distinguished guest speakers address new graduands

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

Ceremony 1 - 9.30am, Saturday 28 April

Michael Smith
Clinical Nurse Consultant, HIV Outreach Team, South Eastern Sydney Local Health District Michael Smith

Michael Smith has been a mental health nurse for 25 years and has master’s degrees in public health and mental health nursing.

He has extensive experience in all areas of mental health nursing, including forensic, acute, community, consultation-liaison psychiatry, psychiatry liaison, GP liaison, and homeless mental health in both England and Australia.

Michael is currently working as a clinical nurse consultant in HIV Mental Health, located in metropolitan Sydney, and provides care for people presenting with complex physical and mental health issues. He is a strong advocate for person-centred care and assisting people to work within complex and challenging health care systems.

Michael is a co-coordinator for the mental health special interest group for the Public Health Association of Australia, and is involved in mental health policy and advocacy at a national level. This includes the mental health of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders, asylum seekers and refugees and the current high rates of suicide in Australia.

Ceremony 2 - 12.00pm, Saturday 28 April

Associate Professor Robynne Cooke
Acting Chief Executive, Western Sydney Local Health District
Robynne Cooke

Associate Professor Robynne Cooke began as the Acting Chief Executive of the Health District in January 2018. As the Chief Executive, she is largely accountable for the operations of the Health District.

Previously, Associate Professor Cooke was the General Manager of Liverpool Hospital, a position she held from 2014 to 2017. With a distinguished 20-year record of service in healthcare and dealing with corporate and clinical sectors, her experience has equipped her with an extensive understanding of the particular healthcare challenges in Sydney’s west, as well as executive-level health service management.

She has a deep commitment to innovation in the healthcare sector. Under her stewardship, a robotic surgery program at Liverpool Hospital was implemented.

A Registered Nurse, Associate Professor Cooke’s other qualifications include a Bachelor of Nursing, a Graduate Diploma in Gerontology, a Master of Health Services Management. She is also a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

Ceremony 3 - 2.30pm, Saturday 28 April

Professor Brenda Happell
Executive Director, Synergy Nursing and Midwifery Research Centre at the University of Canberra and ACT Health
Brenda Happell

Brenda Happell has held senior roles in a number of universities, including inaugural Director of the Centre for Psychiatric Nursing Research at the University of Melbourne, and Director of the multidisciplinary Institute for Health and Social Science Research at Central Queensland University. She is currently Professor of Nursing and Executive Director of Synergy: Nursing and Midwifery Research Centre at the University of Canberra and ACT Health.

Brenda has nurtured a lifelong love of academia and nursing. She commenced her first degree in 1976. Over the next two decades she completed a Bachelor of Arts (with Honours), a Diploma, Bachelor’s degree and Master’s degree in Education, and a PhD, whilst holding positions in hospital-based general and psychiatric nursing. Her wealth of experience has led to the publication of more than 400 peer reviewed journal articles and receiving over $13 million in competitive research funding.

Brenda is a Fellow and Board Director of the Australian College of Mental Health Nurses, former Editor of the International Journal of Mental Health Nursing, consultant to the World Health Organisation and member of the inaugural Queensland Mental Health and Drug Advisory Council. She led the introduction of the first known academic position for a consumer of mental health services and last year secured a National Health and Medical Research Council grant to trial an innovative, nurse-led approach to address poor physical health outcomes of Australians diagnosed with mental illness.

Ceremony 4 - 9.30am, Monday 30 April

Michael Pratt AM
Secretary, NSW Treasury and NSW Industrial Relations
Michael Pratt

Michael Pratt has made significant contributions to the NSW public sector, the banking industry of the Asia-Pacific region and the Western Sydney University community.

Michael is currently the 27th Secretary of NSW Treasury and NSW Industrial Relations. He was appointed to this position on 1 August 2017. The Treasury Cluster includes NSW Treasury, NSW Treasury Corporation, NSW Industrial Relations, icare (Insurance and Care NSW) and SAS Trustee Corporation. As Secretary, Michael is responsible for the strategic management of the State’s finances, budget, assets, liabilities and financial risk management framework and transformation.

Prior to his role with NSW Treasury, Michael spent five years as the inaugural NSW Customer Service Commissioner where he revolutionised the way the Government delivers services. Michael’s focus as Customer Service Commissioner was to put the people of NSW at the heart of service delivery. He led major service reform across the NSW Government including chairing the NSW Customer Advisory Board - the governance entity responsible for the delivery of State Government services to the citizens of NSW. Michael has been credited with cementing a strong customer-centric ethos into the state’s public sector agencies through unification of separate bodies into one brand and identity - Service NSW. In creating Service NSW, Michael and the Service NSW team, led by CEO Glenn King, helped re-engineer many government transactions, fundamentally improving the customer experience through greater efficiencies, value and the simplification of Government interaction experiences.

Prior to his role as Customer Service Commissioner, Michael had an extensive career in banking and wealth management throughout Australia, New Zealand and Asia. Michael was CEO of Consumer and SME Banking, North East Asia, with Standard Chartered Bank based in Shanghai. He is a former President of the Australian Institute of Banking & Finance and was the inaugural Joint President of Finsia.  Michael’s previous roles also include senior executive positions as Group Executive of Westpac Business and Consumer Banking, CEO of National Australia Bank, CEO of the Bank of New Zealand and CEO of the Bank of Melbourne.

Michael's prior directorships also include Non-Executive Director roles at TAL Dai-ichi Life Australia and Credit Union Australia where he chaired their respective risk committees, MasterCard International Inc New York, MasterCard Asia Pacific, BT Financial Services, Chairman of Bennelong Funds Management and, Chairman of Shenzhen Credit Corporation.

Michael has also made a significant contribution to Western Sydney University as a former Board Member and Deputy Chancellor. He was elected to the Board of Trustees on 1 January 2013 and became Deputy Chancellor on 1 January 2014.  He was Chair of the University Infrastructure Committee from 1 January 2014 until August 2017.  On 9 August 2017, Michael resigned from the Board to take up the role of Secretary of NSW Treasury and NSW Industrial Relations.

Michael was honoured as a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) in the 2016 Queen’s Birthday Honours List in recognition of providing significant service to public administration through reforms in customer service and communication, and to the finance and banking industry.

Ceremony 5 - 12.00pm, Monday 30 April

The Honourable Mike Baird
Chief Customer Officer (Corporate and Institutional Banking), National Australia Bank
Mike Baird

Michael ‘Mike’ Bruce Baird works at the National Australia Bank and is a former politician who served as the 44th Premier of New South Wales and, previous to that, spent three years as the NSW State Treasurer. Mr Baird’s achievements in government include recognition for repairing the NSW State Budget, strengthening the economy, facilitating unprecedented job growth, boosting frontline services, and implementing an infrastructure boom in Sydney and regional New South Wales.

During his childhood, Mr Baird lived in the United States of America while his father, Bruce Baird, served as head of the Australian Trade Commission in New York City. Upon his family’s return to Australia in 1980, Mr Baird began high school at The King's School, Parramatta.

Following high school, Mr Baird commenced a Bachelor of Arts (Economics) at the University of Sydney. In 1989, he graduated from university and started his career at the National Australia Bank (NAB) in Sydney. Mr Baird went on to hold senior roles in NAB’s corporate and institutional banking team in Australia and London, including Global Relationship Manager and Head of Debt Capital Markets Originations based in London. He was a Senior Corporate Finance Manager at Deutsche Bank and Head of Corporate and Institutional Banking at HSBC in Australia and New Zealand. While fulfilling these roles, Mr Baird also completed executive management courses at Harvard and Duke University.

Mr Baird entered NSW state politics in 2007, upon his election to the NSW Legislative Assembly in the seat of Manly. Less than two years after entering parliament, he was appointed to Shadow Treasurer, having previously held the shadow portfolios of Finance, Energy, Commerce and Youth Affairs. In 2011, Mr Baird was appointed NSW Treasurer, which reflected his strong finance sector background, communications skills and as attested to by Barry O’Farrell, his demonstrated capacity to handle the big issues. Under his leadership as Treasurer, he helped reinvigorate the country's largest state economy and revived the private sector's role in Australian infrastructure.

On April 14, 2014, Mr Baird became the 44th Premier of New South Wales, as well as the Minister for Infrastructure on 23 April 2014 and the Minister for Western Sydney on 23 April 2014. While Premier of New South Wales, he made significant contributions to the Western Sydney region, particularly in his commitment to improving infrastructure in Sydney’s west. Mr Baird instigated the WestConnex project – the 33-kilometre motorway links the city's major road systems and is one of the largest transport infrastructure projects in Australia, creating more than 10,000 jobs and easing congestion for Western Sydney. WestConnex provides crucial support for Western Sydney’s long-term economic and population growth.

Mr Baird has said that he lives by a mantra of “integrity, passion and results”. Among the leaders that have inspired him are William Wilberforce, a driving force for the abolition of slavery; US civil rights activist Martin Luther King Jnr; and the former and longest-serving NSW Governor, Sir Roden Cutler, who was awarded a Victoria Cross for bravery.

During his time in office, Mike’s integrity and passion was demonstrated frequently. A devout Christian, he was an outspoken advocate for increasing Australia’s humanitarian intake for refugees, particularly those fleeing conflict in Syria and Iraq. Mr Baird was a passionate backer of public education and the Gonski education reforms, and maintained the O'Farrell's Governments controversial lock-out-laws to curb alcohol-fuelled violence.

Following his retirement from politics after 10 years of public life, Mr Baird re-entered the banking sector as National Australia Bank’s Chief Customer Officer (Corporate and Institutional Banking), a role that he still holds today.

Ceremony 6 - 2.30pm, Monday 30 April

David Wenham
Actor and Director
David Wenham

David Wenham is a remarkable Australian actor who has played an eclectic range of characters in feature film, television and stage productions. His international film credits include the roles of Faramir in The Lord of the Rings trilogy, Carl in Van Helsing, Dilios in 300 and its sequel 300: Rise of an Empire, Harry ‘Pete’ Pierpont in Public Enemies and Lieutenant John Scarfield in Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales.

Mr Wenham grew up in the multicultural Inner-West Sydney suburb of Marrickville. He attended the Christian Brothers' High School, Lewisham, before commencing tertiary study at the University of Western Sydney’s Theatre Nepean. Mr Wenham graduated in 1987 with a Bachelor of Arts (Performing Arts) and has said that the three years spent at Western Sydney University’s former incarnation unquestionably laid the foundation for his career and shaped his thinking and approach to his work, more so than any one single professional engagement since.

Mr Wenham’s early acting roles included parts in Australian soap operas such as Sons and Daughters and A Country Practice. He supplemented his income in these early years by calling bingo at the Marrickville Town Hall and hustling lawn bowls. Mr Wenham's television credits have since included several telemovies, including his Australian Film Institute Award winning role in the 1996 telemovie Simone de Beauvoir's Babies; and his role as enigmatic diver Dan Della Bosca in the 1998 and 1999 seasons of SeaChange.

Mr Wenham’s cinematic breakthrough came in 1998, starring as suburban monster Brett Sprague alongside Toni Collette and John Polson in The Boys. The Boys was a chilling study of suburban evil that drew on the circumstances of a horrific Sydney murder.

Mr Wenham then went on to star in a number of Australian films including: Molokai: The Story of Father Damien,The Bank, Gettin’ Square, Stiff, The Brush Off, Three Dollars and Baz Luhrmann’s 2008 blockbuster Australia. He also starred in the drama film Oranges and Sunshine, based on the true story of Nottingham social worker Margaret Humphreys.

In 2010, Mr Wenham worked on Killing Time, a ten-part TV mini-series based on the story of lawyer Andrew Fraser and his deepening involvement in the world of the criminals he represented. In 2013, he portrayed New Zealand detective Al Parker in the BBC series Top of the Lake before returning to stage to play the lead role of John Proctor, in the Melbourne Theatre Company's production of Arthur Miller's The Crucible. Mr Wenham also starred as Patrick Jones in the 2015 Australian film Paper Planes, and that same year, voiced the role of Jacko the frilled-neck lizard in the computer animated film Blinky Bill the Movie.

In 2017, Mr Wenham played the role of Harold Meachum in the Netflix original TV series Iron Fist. Executive Producer and Showrunner, Scott Buck, has said that Mr Wenham is capable of displaying “raw, visceral strength” and “extremely keen intelligence”, qualities that lend gravitas to the Netflix superhero series.

In 2017, Mr Wenham pursued a new avenue, directing his first micro-budget feature film Ellipsis. Set in Sydney, the film depicts a chance occurrence that sets in motion a chain of events that sees two strangers embark on a night of adventure and connection that challenges their separate lives. Described by the Hollywood Reporter as ‘striking’, fellow Director Robert Connolly has said that Ellipsis is a “really beautiful film which very much reflects David’s personality. It’s got a combination of affection…mischief… playfulness and heart – all the qualities that make David such a strong actor”.

Mr Wenham’s work has been recognised by the Australia Academy of Cinema and Television Arts Awards. In 1997, he was awarded Best Lead Actor in a Television Drama series for Simone de Beauvoir's Babies and again in 2006 for Answered by Fire. In 2003, Mr Wenham was also awarded Best Lead Actor for his role in Gettin' Square.

Mr Wenham has been a Patron of CinefestOZ since 2012 and was appointed Chairman of the Cinefest Oz Film Prize Jury for 2015. Held in Western Australia each year, the festival showcases the best of Australian and French independent film.

In addition to his vast range of professional successes, Mr Wenham is also committed to promoting equality. For more than a decade, Mr Wenham has served as an ambassador to The Wayside Chapel, a homeless charity in Sydney’s Kings Cross that helps support the most disadvantaged in the community.

The achievements and efforts of Mr Wenham to the performing arts and community have also been recognised by the Australian Catholic University who awarded him an honorary doctorate in 2006.

Ceremony 7 - 5.00pm, Monday 30 April

Joseph Carrozzi
Managing Partner, PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC)
Joseph Carrozzi

Joseph Carrozzi has been a Partner at PwC for 12 years and has over 30 years of experience in the accounting profession. He is responsible for managing PwC’s relationships with some of the largest organisations in Australia, including a number of ASX100 listed companies and major multi-nationals.

He has led PwC’s client service program in Australia and has particular expertise in the infrastructure and government sector.

In addition to his commitments with PwC, Joseph holds a number of key positions with other institutions and not-for-profit community groups, including roles on the Boards of the Sydney Harbour Federation Trust and the New South Wales Institute of Sport, and is Chairman of the Centenary Institute and the Italian Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Australia. Raised in the western suburbs of Sydney, Joseph’s passion for the growth and progress of the Greater Western Sydney region is reflected in his positions as a member of the Board of Trustees of Western Sydney University and Deputy Chairman of the GWS Giants AFL club.

Joseph is also a Barrister at Law in New South Wales, a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Australia and New Zealand, and a Fellow of the Tax Institute of Australia.

Ceremony 8 - 9.30am, Tuesday 1 May

Louise Herron AM
Chief Executive Officer, Sydney Opera House
Louise Herron

Louise Herron became CEO of the Sydney Opera House in 2012. She was the first woman appointed to the role, which came after a decade of working in investment banking and serving as Chairperson of the Belvoir Street Theatre in Sydney.

Since 2013, Louise has led the development and delivery of the Opera House’s renewal program, to ensure this World Heritage-listed icon and one of the world’s busiest performing arts centres meets the needs and expectations of 21st-century artists, audiences and visitors.

The renewal program includes more than $270 million in capital works to upgrade performance halls and open new spaces to the public, as well as improving the artistic and visitor experiences for the Opera House’s 8.2 million annual visitors and the 1.5 million people who attend a performance each year.

Ceremony 9 - 12.00pm, Tuesday 1 May

Gillian Shadwick
Educator and Senior Executive, Former Deputy Chancellor, Western Sydney University
Gillian Shadwick

Gillian Shadwick is an experienced educator, senior executive and former Board Member and Deputy Chancellor of Western Sydney University who has dedicated her career to the public education and training sector.

Gillian attended Cowra High School from 1959 to 1963, where she was School Captain and Captain of Kurrajong House. Continuing her studies after high school, Gillian’s extensive tertiary achievements include completion of a Master of Arts, Master of Letters, Bachelor of Arts, Diploma in Education, and Graduate Diploma in Adult Education.

Gillian began her career in the education sector as an English and History teacher. She then went on to spend six years as a teacher in TAFE, followed by five years as a teacher-educator at the Institute of Technical and Adult Teacher Education and later at the Sydney College of Advanced Education where she developed and managed the Graduate Diploma in Adult Education (Basic Education). During this time, she also undertook a study of part-time teachers in Technical and Further Education across three states and was the Australian researcher in an international UNESCO project on Civics Education for Illiterate Women.

Gillian has substantial experience as a senior executive in both the public school and TAFE sectors in NSW. From June 2005, Gillian spent over two years as the General Manager of Learning and Development within the NSW Department of Education. Prior to this appointment, she was Institute Director of TAFE NSW’s Western Sydney Institute from 2001 to 2006. Earlier still, Gillian held senior executive positions with the NSW Department of School Education, including Assistant Director-General (Community Relations and Marketing); Assistant Director-General, Metropolitan South West Region; Director, Human Resource Development, and; Leader of the Staff Development Unit.

Gillian also served as Chair of TAFE Directors Australia for four years and was Deputy Chair of the Western Sydney Economic Development Board from 2000 to 2004. She is a Fellow of the Australian College of Educators and the Australian College of Educational Leaders. Gillian’s memberships on state and national committees, including ministerial advisory councils on quality teaching, have enabled her to further contribute to the quality of teaching and teacher education.

Gillian has also made a significant contribution to Western Sydney University as a member of the Board of Trustees and a number of Board Committees. Her first term on the Board began in May 2009 and concluded in March 2013. Gillian then served a second term from March 2013 until her resignation in March 2016. She was appointed as a Pro Chancellor in March 2011 and elected Deputy Chancellor from September 2013 until the end of her term on the Board. Gillian also served as a UWS Nepean Council Member from January 2000 to December 2000, and as a UWS Regional Council Member from October 2001 to November 2004. She was a member of the Audit and Risk Management Committee from November 2001 to January 2005 and from July 2007 to April 2011. Gillian was also a member of the Remuneration and Nominations Committee from April 2011 to March 2016, and a Board Standing Committee Member from April 2011 to March 2016. She has chaired the University’s Quality Teaching Awards panel for the last three years.

Ceremony 10 - 2.30pm, Tuesday 1 May

Professor Paul X. McCarthy
Author, speaker and technology consultant
Paul X McCarthy

Professor Paul X. McCarthy is an author, speaker and technology consultant with over 20 years’ experience as a senior executive and innovation leader creating, advising and investing in enterprises that apply new business models and emerging digital technologies to financial, government and media services.

Professor McCarthy began his career at IBM in 1991, as part of the foundation management team of GraFXlab, a new business unit created to focus on professional service delivery in digital art, animation and interactive design. In 1997, he co-founded and led The Digital Media Group Ltd, an online financial services company, where he developed three major national flagship consumer products: EquityCafé, FreeLiveQuotes, and GraFXchange.

Professor McCarthy was the Senior Program Manager and Strategic ICT Industry Manager for the NSW Government between 2001 and 2011. During this time, Professor McCarthy led several whole-of-government programs in online services delivery, innovation and strategic industry development. This included the first government-wide online open document repository, OpenGov, and the popular NSW Baby Names Explorer.

Between 2012 and 2014, Professor McCarthy was Executive Director of Strategy and Innovation at Sirca Ltd.—a global technology company based in Sydney that provides online services for data-intensive researchers and analysts in financial services and other domains. Professor McCarthy was also Co-Founder, Chief Strategist and General Manager of five successful and innovative new business ventures at IBM, Digital Media Group, the NSW Government, NICTA and CSIRO that have collectively attracted over $50 million in foundation investments and resulted in the creation of over 1,000 new, high value jobs.

Since 2000, Professor McCarthy has been CEO and Managing Director of Online Gravity, a global digital consultancy firm that specialises in management consulting, strategy, innovation and investment advisory services. He is also the CEO and Co-Founder of League of Scholars, a global online analytics platform for identifying, attracting and recruiting high-potential talent, and Founding Board Member and Chairman of The Studio — a new global media tech hub that will launch in Sydney in 2018.

Professor McCarthy is an alumnus of the University of Sydney, Western Sydney University and Macquarie University. He graduated from the then University of Western Sydney in 1994 with a Master of Design, Digital Media. Professor McCarthy achieved excellence throughout his studies, receiving the Ian Langham Memorial Prize in History and Philosophy of Science while studying a Bachelor of Computer Science at the University of Sydney and the MGSM Award for Advertising and Marketing from Macquarie University, where he completed his MBA in 2000.

Since 2013, Professor McCarthy has been an Adjunct Professor and adviser on Startups, Technology Entrepreneurship and the Digital Economy at the University of New South Wales.

Professor McCarthy is also a published author and accomplished keynote speaker. He has contributed eleven articles to The Conversation, an independent, not-for-profit organisation that works with universities, the CSIRO and research institute experts to unlock their knowledge for use by the wider community. In 2015, Professor McCarthy’s book Online Gravity was published by Simon and Schuster. Based on twenty years of experience and private research, Online Gravity explains how you can benefit from a better understanding of the true nature of the web and the amazing power it offers to improve your personal and professional life.  In a review for Online Gravity, Dr Terry Percival AM, Co-inventor of Wi-Fi, said that the publication provided ‘extraordinary insight into how the digital revolution is changing our lives forever’.

Professor McCarthy was also the Chair of the most prestigious digital industry awards in Australia and New Zealand — the AMY Awards for almost 10 years. In 2015, he was inducted into the AMY Hall of Fame as the recipient of the Outstanding Industry Contribution Award.

Ceremony 11 - 5.00pm, Tuesday 1 May

Murali Sagi
Deputy Chief Executive, Judicial Commission of New South Wales
Murali Sagi

Murali Sagi is an electronics and communications engineer, computer specialist, professional and lawyer. He has over 30 years’ experience in managing policy challenges and complex, world-leading programs in both the government and private sectors.

Mr Sagi works in close partnership with the Chief Executive of the Judicial Commission of New South Wales. He examines complaints against judicial officers, and provides leadership to ensure that internal governance, planning, policies and systems enhance the Commission’s capability and capacity.

Over the last two decades, Mr Sagi has provided high-level technical assistance to many agencies including United Nations, Asia Development Bank, the British Commonwealth Secretariat and AusAID, to improve organisational capacity in Indonesia, West Bank and Gaza, Cambodia, India, Sri Lanka and Papua New Guinea.

He was awarded the Public Service Medal in the 2007 Queen’s Birthday Honours. The citation for the award reads:

“ … Mr Sagi has had a huge impact, not only in relation to the work of the Judicial Commission and its judicial officers but also in relation to the legal system in New South Wales and other Australian jurisdictions generally. As a direct result of his contribution, the consistency of approach to sentencing has been promoted to all New South Wales judicial officers...He is recognised both nationally and internationally for his high-level expertise, innovative ideas and diligence.”

Mr Sagi was also recognised as the ‘Chief Information Officer – Government’ of the year at the National IT&T awards in 2003.

In November 2007, Mr Sagi was made a Fellow of the Australian Computer Society and is the present Chair of the Society’s NSW Fellows Committee.

Ceremony 12 - 9.30am, Wednesday 2 May

Liz Ann Macgregor OBE
Director, Museum of Contemporary Art  Australia
Liz Anne Macgregor

As Director, Liz Ann Macgregor has transformed the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia into a thriving public gallery, with artists at its heart. She is passionate about making complex and challenging artworks accessible to a diverse range of audiences, and taking a leadership role in shaping an Australia that values contemporary art and artists.

Having trained as an art historian at Edinburgh University, Liz Ann began her career as a curator for the Scottish Arts Council’s travelling gallery, which used a converted bus to take exhibitions to local villages, inner-city estates, schools, hospitals and prisons. Her next stop was the Arts Council of Great Britain in 1985, and in 1989 she became director of one of the UK’s leading contemporary art galleries, the Ikon Gallery.

In 1999, Liz Ann moved to Sydney to take up the directorship of the MCA, at a time when the Museum was facing great challenges. She negotiated a sponsorship deal with Telstra in 2000 to introduce free admission and since then attendances have increased dramatically, with more than one million visitors each year. Her vision to connect audiences with artists was also a crucial part of Liz Ann’s vision for the redevelopment of the landmark MCA building, completed in 2012.

Liz Ann sits on the Advisory Board of the University of Technology Sydney’s BusinessSchool, was awarded the Veuve Clicquot Business Woman Award in 2008, has received an OBE in the Queen’s birthday honour list and the Australia Council Visual Arts Medal in 2011 and was voted President of the International Council of Museums of Modern and Contemporary Art in 2016. She was also named NSW Creative Laureate and one of Australia’s 25 True Leaders by the Australian Financial Review.

Ceremony 13 - 12.00am, Wednesday 2 May

Hania Radvan
Chief Executive Officer, Penrith Performing and Visual Arts
Hania Radvan

Hania Radvan has been Chief Executive Officer of Penrith Performing and Visual Arts – operators of the Joan Sutherland Performing Arts Centre, Penrith Conservatorium of Music, Q Theatre and the Penrith Regional Gallery and Lewers Bequest – since 2013. She has also recently joined the board of Westwords and is an occasional peer assessor for Create New South Wales.

Hania originally trained as a theatre professional in the United Kingdom, and has previously spent 22 years in the Northern Territory, where she worked as an arts marketer and ticketing professional at the performing arts centre. She later moved across to government, where she worked in various roles across audience and industry development – in policy review, funding programs, ministerial liaison, and ultimately as Director of Arts NT.

At Arts NT, Hania was responsible for the unit providing all arts funding, development implementation and policy advice to government. During this period, she was an active member of the then Cultural Ministers Council Statistics Working Group and Officials Working Group, as well as a Board Director for Regional Arts Australia.

Ceremony 14 - 2.30pm, Wednesday 2 May

Kate Muir
Public Relations and Communications Manager, The Australian Ballet
Kate Muir

Kate Muir is the Public Relations and Communications Manager for The Australian Ballet, a position she has held since 2016 She is a proud Western Sydney University graduate, having completed her Bachelor of Communication degree in 2009.

While she was studying, Kate also undertook a public relations internship in a boutique Sydney-based PR agency. Since then, she has gone from strength to strength, developing a career over the past ten years that has been about building and delivering multi-faceted, retail minded and creative communication strategies.

Kate has honed and developed her skills working with iconic international and Australian brands, including The Woolmark Company, Neiman Marcus, Ermenegildo Zegna and most recently, The Australian Ballet.

Earlier this year, Kate was nominated for PR Professional of the Year (Inhouse) at the CommsCon Awards. Kate is known for approaching her work with a great sense of custodianship, infused with a style that is creative, collaborative, can-do, and punctuated with ‘dream big’ ideas.

Ceremony 15 - 5.00pm, Wednesday 2 May

Marty Murphy
Film maker and comedian, Education Mentor, Australian Film Television and Radio School (AFTRS)
Marty Murphy

Marty Murphy is a filmmaker, a self-confessed “obscure comedian,” a PhD candidate, and a lecturer with the Australian Film, Television and Radio School (AFTRS).

In his film and television career, Marty has been credited as having worked in a number of hazardous environments – from “directing tigers, shooting car chases, and dying on stage in front of inebriated office workers.” His screen credits include the horror film Lost Things (2004) and directing stunts for Channel Nine television series Water Rats and the US Showtime series BeastMaster.

As a comedian, Marty has enjoyed success with a series of one-man shows in the Sydney independent theatre scene, and has also toured with fellow comedian, Flacco.

He has been a regular speaker at the Art Gallery of New South Wales, and in recent years has worked as a lecturer at AFTRS, where he is also Education Mentor for the Indigenous Unit.

As a PhD Candidate at the Writing and Society Research Centre within Western Sydney University, Marty is completing his PhD on the topic of the shared grammar of literary and screen comedy narratives.

He also recently appeared alongside Hollywood icon Susan Sarandon at the TropTalks event Adaptation – Bringing Stories to Life, held at the University’s Parramatta City campus.

Ceremony 16 - 9.30am, Thursday 3 May

Helen Emmerson
Head of Care Services, Southern Cross Care
Helen Emmerson

Helen Emmerson is a Senior Operations Manager and Registered Nurse. She has worked in a variety of community and residential-based services in both Australia and the United Kingdom over the past two decades. Helen’s extensive experience spans across a broad spectrum of health, aged and community care, including work with a military charity and mental health and disability services.

As the current Head of Care Services at Southern Cross Care, Helen oversees three care streams – Residential Aged Care, Retirement Living and Home Care. Southern Cross Care is a not-for-profit organisation that cares for more than 3,500 clients, operating in over 40 locations across New South Wales and the ACT.

Helen is passionate about changing the perception of how we view ageing and end of life care, and making ageing everyone’s business, no matter what stage we are in life.

Ceremony 17 - 12.00pm, Thursday 3 May

Dr Kerry Chant PSM
NSW Chief Health Officer and Deputy Secretary, Population and Public Health, NSW Health
Kerry Chant

As NSW’s Chief Health Officer, Dr Kerry Chant leads the Population and Public Health Division within the NSW Ministry of Health, which is accountable for a broad portfolio of issues, including tobacco control, reduction of risk drinking and obesity, the promotion of physical activity, end of life care, and organ donation.

She was appointed to the role of Chief Health Officer on 1 February 2009. She has a particular interest in the response to HIV, hepatitis C and hepatitis B, Aboriginal health and obesity.

Dr Chant is also responsible for the public health aspects of major incidents and disasters in NSW, by monitoring health, identifying trends and evaluating the impact of health services.

She works closely with the Office for Health and Medical Research which supports the State’s leading health and medical research efforts, to promote growth and innovation in research to achieve better health, environmental and economic outcomes for the people of NSW.

Ceremony 18 - 2.30pm, Thursday 3 May

Rob Khamas
Chief Executive Officer and Founder, REND Tech Associates
Rob Khamas

Rob Khamas is the Chief Executive Officer and founder of REND Tech Associates, a Healthcare IT company that offers technological solutions for healthcare professionals, clinics, specialists and government organisations.

Rob Khamas is a Western Sydney University alumnus, having graduated from the University’s Bachelor of Engineering program. He has over twelve years’ experience working within the IT sector, specifically within the healthcare industry. His personal areas of expertise include private practice IT design; eHealth integration and workflow
design; eHealth security and disaster recovery; and cloud computing platforms for healthcare enterprise.

Rob founded REND Tech Associates in 2012. As Rob’s first solo business venture, the company came from humble beginnings, “with $500, a laptop and a website” and has now grown to become an industry leader in Healthcare IT, Healthcare Cloud Computing and Healthcare Consultancy, which supports more than 100 clinics nationwide.

Rob regularly contributes articles to a wide range of industry publications, including Pulse IT, in a bid to inform healthcare professionals on the ways technology can benefit their businesses.

Ceremony 19 - 5.00pm, Thursday 3 May

Behyad Jafari
Chief Executive Officer and Founder, Electric Motor Vehicle Council of Australia
Behyad Jafari

As the CEO of the Electric Vehicle Council of Australia, Behyad Jafari represents companies from across Australian industries, working with governments to accelerate the electrification of road transport, for a more sustainable and prosperous Australia.

Behyad is a strategic thinker in disruptive industries and is a respected voice in the Australian political, corporate and media landscape. His broad-ranging experience includes providing strategic advice to companies across a variety of sectors, including clean energy, technology, infrastructure, and non-profit, as well as to government and ministers.

This experience, coupled with an interest for driving positive social outcomes, provides Behyad with a unique outlook on opportunities for Australian policy and industry development.

Ceremony 20 - 9.30am, Friday 4 May

Professor Chris Knapp
Chair of Architecture, Western Sydney University
Chris Knapp

Having trained as an architect, Chris Knapp is an educator, practitioner, and researcher responsible for developing Western Sydney University’s new postgraduate and
architecture programs.

Chris is a Co-Director of Studio Workshop – a digital fabrication and design practice – and is currently completing a PhD in the practice-based research program at the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology’s School of Architecture and Design.

Chris has a Master of Architecture from Princeton University and a Bachelor of Science in Architecture from the University of Michigan. For four years he also taught at the University of Michigan, and also helped establish the architecture program at Bond University in 2011, where he taught until 2017.

Chris is the recipient of an Australian Office of Learning and Teaching Citation, and at Bond University he received a Vice Chancellor’s Award for Teaching Excellence.

He contributes widely to the development of architectural education and practice in Australia, principally in his role as a member of the executive committee of the Association of Architecture Schools of Australasia, and on the NSW Education Committee of the Australian Institute of Architects.

Ceremony 21 - 12.00pm, Friday 4 May

Andrew Scipione AO APM
Former NSW Police Commissioner
Andrew Scipione

Andrew Scipione was the Commissioner of the New South Wales Police Force for 10 years, from 31 August 2007 to his retirement on 31 March 2017. He served in the NSW Police Force for over four decades and was one of the longest serving police chiefs in New South Wales history. Mr Scipione provided strong leadership during his time as Commissioner, with crime rates in NSW falling to an all-time low. He was commended by those who had dealings with him, including politicians, journalists and victims of crime, for his integrity, compassion and honesty.

Mr Scipione has strong ties to the Western Sydney Community, which date back to his early childhood. He was raised in Sydney’s South West, attending Padstow North Public School and then Sir Joseph Banks High School in Revesby. Following the death of his father, Mr Scipione left school at 15 to begin an electrical apprenticeship.

Mr Scipione joined the NSW Police in 1980 following a period of employment with the Australian Customs Service. During his time with the NSW Police Force, Mr Scipione held a range of positions and appointments. Following experience in general and traffic duties, Mr Scipione worked as a detective in the Criminal Investigation Branch and Bankstown Detectives. In 1985, he was seconded to the National Crime Authority, targeting organised crime. In 1992, Mr Scipione was appointed to the rank of Detective Inspector at the Joint Technical Services Group (JTSG) and in 1995 was promoted to the rank of Detective Superintendent (Commander) at the Special Technical Investigation Branch (formerly JTSG). During the period 1992 to 1998, he was also a Senior NSW Police Counter Terrorist Advisor to the Standing Advisory Committee on Commonwealth and State Cooperation for Protection Against Violence. In 1998, Mr Scipione was appointed to the position of Chief of Staff to the then NSW Police Commissioner, Peter Ryan, and in 201 was appointed as the Assistant Commissioner in charge of Special Crime and Internal Affairs. Mr Scipione went on to become Deputy Commissioner in February 2002 and Commissioner of Police on 1 September 2007.

Mr Scipione’s time as Commissioner coincided with some of the most challenging events in the State’s history, including the Lindt Cafe siege and the terror-related assassination of police accountant Curtis Cheng outside Police Headquarters in Parramatta. Following the murder of Mr Cheng, his son Alpha said that the force showed the ‘utmost respect’ for his family with Mr Scipione making a heartfelt and compassionate speech at the renaming of a building in Cheng’s honour.

Mr Scipione was awarded the National Medal in 1996 and Australian Police Medal in 2003. In June 2016, he was named in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List and received the award of Officer in the General Division of the Order of Australia “for distinguished service to law enforcement as Commissioner of Police in New South Wales, through advancing the professionalism of policing and leadership of international investigations and counter terrorism activities”.

Mr Scipione’s academic achievements include the completion of a Masters Degree in Management and a Graduate Diploma in Police Management from Macquarie University, and a Graduate Certificate in Security Management from Edith Cowan University. He is a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Management, a Member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and a Graduate of the FBI National Executive Institute. In April 2013, Mr Scipione was awarded an Honorary Doctor of Letters from Macquarie University.

Mr Scipione has had a strong association with Western Sydney University. From 2008-2011, he was an Adjunct Professor in the School of Social Sciences and Psychology and was reappointed to this role in 2015 with the appointment continuing at present. The Western Sydney University community greatly appreciates and values this partnership with Mr Scipione and looks forward to this continuing into the future.

Ceremony 22 - 2.30pm, Friday 4 May

Daren Hill
Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder, Blockchange
Daren Hill

More than 20 years ago, whilst completing an internship at a media conglomerate in Minnesota, Daren Hill wrote a paper about how a new invention called “the world wide web” was going to change everything about how a newspaper would operate. Whilst all of his predictions didn’t come true, from that day forward, Daren has committed himself to working at the junction of technology and organisational behaviour.

Throughout his career, Daren has been involved in numerous transformations - ranging from digital transformations in insurance and utilities, to low-fidelity human-centred change in health care and social services.

His transformation and not-for-profit work has led him to his current project called Blockchange, where he is CEO and Co-Founder. Blockchange is a Sydney-based startup whose mission is to explore emerging technologies and how they can make positive social impact.

Daren is active in various digital, not-for-profit and design communities in Sydney, and is deeply passionate about bringing them all together to make social change here in Australia.

Ceremony 23 - 5.00pm, Friday 4 May

Leanne Pilkington
President, Real Estate Institute of NSW
Leanne Pilkington

Leanne Pilkington is one of the real estate industry’s most respected and sought after commentators. Leanne is Managing Director of leading NSW boutique real estate group, Laing+Simmons, and is President of the Real Estate Institute of NSW.

She is the only female Managing Director in real estate franchising in NSW and one of only a handful in Australia. Leanne is passionate about empowering women to take on leadership positions and improving the gender balance in the industry.

Leanne is the second woman to have been elected President of the Real Estate Institute of NSW, and as a long term Board member, has championed the growth of professionalism and stricter standards of education in the industry.

A licensed real estate agent, Leanne completed her Associate Diploma in Valuation at the University of Technology Sydney, and earned a Master of Business Administration from the Sydney Graduate School of Management at this University.

She was a finalist for the 2017 Optus Businesswoman of the Year Award and was awarded the Real Estate Business Thought Leader of the Year Award for 2017.