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Autumn Members Meeting - Speakers



Chris Hancock - Chris is CEO of AARNet.  He came to the role in 2004 with 25 years of executive leadership experience, including 15 years in the media and telecommunications sectors.

As CEO, Chris has overseen extraordinary growth. Under his leadership, AARNet has extended the nation’s advanced network infrastructure and developed a suite of leading-edge technologies and solutions, enabling Australia’s participation on the world stage for research, science, education and innovation. Today, AARNet serves Australian universities and the CSIRO, as well as many health and research organisations, schools, vocational training institutions, cultural organisations and specialist content providers.  Chris has an Executive MBA from the University of New South Wales. Prior to joining AARNet, he held several senior executive positions at the Seven Television Network, Vodafone and Optus. At Optus, Chris was Managing Director of Optus Business and an integral member of the senior executive team that completed the IPO and subsequent sale of Optus to Singtel. Chris is a past Chair of the Internet Industry Association and a member of the Global REN CEOs' Forum, Cyber Security Group and Unified Communications Group. He is a director of the board of the Australian American Leadership Dialogue and the New England Girls' School, and has previously served as a director of the Smart Services CRC and the Starlight Foundation.  

Simon Tyrell - Simon has 15+ years in IT the last 4 working with the ASX listed global software start-up LiveTiles.  5 years’ experience in applying the practice and principles of design thinking to organisation and product innovation and creative problem solving.  Spends a significant amount of time training teachers in how to applydesign thinking in the classroom and working with students (including teaching a vocational education course in Hobart).  


Rebecca Armstrong - Rebecca is the Deputy Director of Projects and Innovation at the University of Canberra. She commenced in the role just over three years ago and has turned her focus to delivering high quality strategic projects and initiatives for UC, which improve the student experience, allow business to make better decisions and incorporate digital transformation. Recent projects launched include ‘Lucy’ the student facing chatbot, layered over the successful Dynamics CRM project being undertaken in house. Prior to commencing in the role Rebecca has an extensive consulting background, working in the project and advisory space with many federal government clients and UC. Her interest in design thinking is recent, and her passion in the space is design, disruption and transformation.



Richard Palmer - Joining Ovum in 2017 after 15 years in the higher education sector, Richard has held senior roles at both the University of Melbourne and Monash University, completing his engagement at the latter as interim CIO. Richard has significant experience in IT strategy, governance, service and project management, cybersecurity, and risk management within higher education. He has led university-wide IT reforms in IT security, service management, governance, organisations, and infrastructure. His research encompasses emerging issues for technology and business leaders, IT strategy, technology enablement, and digital transformation.

Bruce Callow - Bruce is the Chief Digital Officer for Griffith University.  Previous to this current role, Bruce was the Director of Information and Communication Technology Services at Griffith (four years) and Deputy Director ICTS.

Overall, Bruce has some 15 plus years’ experience in the Higher Education industry with some 30 plus years in total in the IT industry; government, private and education areas. During his time at Griffith, he has served on the Board of Directors for the global Higher Education Users Group and Chair of the ANZ Higher Education Users Group (six years). I am currently a member of the Global Oracle Education & Research Strategy Council (two years), Vice President of the Australian Access Federation and Chair of QUESTnet.

Sean Smith - Sean commenced in January 2018 as Director of the NCI and conjoint Professor at the ANU. He has extensive theoretical and computational research experience in the areas of chemistry, nanomaterial / nano-bio science and technology. He founded the Integrated Materials Design Centre at UNSW Sydney 2014-2018 to drive a program of materials design, discovery and characterization. Prior to this, he directed the US DOE’s Center for Nanophase Materials Sciences (CNMS) at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, one of five major DOE nanoscience research and user facilities, through its 2011-2013 review cycle. During his earlier career, he joined The University of Queensland as junior faculty in 1993; became Professor and Director of the Centre for Computational Molecular Science 2002-2011; and built up the computational nanobio science and technology laboratory the Australian Institute for Bioengineering and Nanotechnology (AIBN) at UQ 2006-2011.

Sean has published over 260 refereed journal papers. He is Fellow of the RACI (1998); Bessel Fellow of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation (2006); Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS, 2012) and Fellow of the Institution of Chemical Engineers (IChemE, 2015). He received his PhD at the University of Canterbury, New Zealand, in 1989.

Dragan Gasevic - Dragan is Professor of Learning Analytics in the Faculty of Education and Adjunct Professor in the Faculty of Information Technology at Monash University. Previously, he was a Professor and the Sir Tim O’Shea Chair in Learning Analytics and Informatics in the Moray House School of Education and the School of Informatics at the University of Edinburgh (2015-2018). He served as the immediate past president (2015-2017) of the Society for Learning Analytics Research (SoLAR) and holds several honorary appointments in Australia, Canada, Hong Kong, and USA. A computer scientist by training and skills, Dragan considers himself a learning analyst who develops computational methods that can shape next-generation learning technologies and advance our understanding of self-regulated and social learning. Dragan had the pleasure to serve as a founding program co-chair of the International Conference on Learning Analytics & Knowledge (LAK) in 2011 and 2012 and the Learning Analytics Summer Institute in 2013 and 2014, general chair of LAK’16, and a founding editor of the Journal of Learning Analytics (2012-2017). Dragan is a (co-)author of numerous research papers and books and a frequent keynote speaker.

Rolf Green - Rolf is the Director Information within the ICT and Digital Government Division at the Department of Finance, Services and Innovation. He is responsible for managing the Information Management Framework as well as realising value from data across NSW Government.

Rolf’s experience in data comes from a wide range of industries and roles including strategy, governance, architecture and change management.


Peter Gray - Peter is the Senior Director of Technology for the Dimension Data Global Sports Practice. He is responsible for overseeing the strategy, design and delivery of sports technology solutions including Dimension Data's technology partnership with the Tour de France, and Team Dimension data.



Brad Tucker - Brad is an Astrophysicist/Cosmologist, and currently a Research Fellow at the Research School of Astronomy and Astrophysics,  Mt. Stromlo Observatory at the Australian National University.  Brad received bachelor’s degrees in Physics, Philosophy, and Theology from the University of Notre Dame.  He then undertook a PhD at Mt. Stromlo Observatory at the Australian National University.  He is currently working on projects trying to discover the true nature of dark energy, the mysterious substance causing the accelerating expansion of the Universe, which makes up 70% of the Universe.  He’s one of the leads of the Kepler Extra-Galactic Survey, a Kepler Space Telescope Key Program, to understand why and how stars blow up. He is also leading a project to build a network of ultraviolet telescopes in the upper atmosphere, which are being built at Mt. Stromlo, a search to find Planet 9 – a hypothetical new planet on the edges of our Solar System, as well as a new mission to capture and mine an asteroid. In addition to his research, Brad frequently gives talks to school groups and the general public about Astronomy and has regular segments on various radio and TV stations talking about Astronomy news and events.  Among other things, Brad has also developed a series of Astronomy coins in conjunction with the Royal Australian Mint, consulted on science fiction movies such as Alien: Covenant, and has been featured in specials on the National Geographic Channel, Discovery Channel, and the BBC.  He is currently in the process of writing his first popular book and developing a series of Massive Open Online Courses (MOOC)s.

Anne Kealley - Anne joined CAUDIT in February 2014 as Chief Executive Officer. In this role she guides activities which support CAUDIT’s 62 members Prior to this Anne was with The Australian National University (ANU) in a number of roles including Acting Director, Information Services and Associate Director, Service Delivery & Engagement for Information Technology Services and College General Manager. While at the ANU Anne designed, brought together and led shared services for student administration, research administration, human resources, finance and marketing services and facilitated collaboration in IT support for more than 1,500 academic and professional staff across two science colleges. At the University of Western Australia (UWA) Anne facilitated UWA’s participation in the Western Australian Energy Research Alliance (WAERA) – a collaboration between UWA, Curtin University and the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) with private enterprise in oil and gas engineering research.

Anne brings 24 years’ experience in higher education along with a wealth of administrative and business experience in addition to qualifications which include a Bachelor of Business (Management, Information Management); Graduate Certificate Oil & Gas Engineering and Diploma of Teaching (Art, Mathematics). 

She is a graduate member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors (AICD), Vice-President (Membership) of the Coalition of Higher Education Information Technology Associations (CHEITA) and Co-Chair of the Australasian eResearch Organisations (AeRO)

Peter Elford - Peter manages AARNet’s relationships across a broad range of Federal and state government agencies, and AARNet’s engagement with the Australian research community. He is a strong and passionate advocate for the role Information and Communications Technology (ICT) plays in enabling globally collaborative and competitive research through ultra-high speed broadband connectivity. Peter is an ICT professional with over 30 years’ experience within the government, education, research and industry sectors having worked at the Australian National University, AARNet (twice) and Cisco. In his first stint at AARNet (in 1990) he engineered much of the original Internet in Australia.

Jacki Maple - Jacki is an Associate Director, Service Delivery and Improvement at Western Sydney University. As part of the IT leadership team, Jacki’s role as Associate Director Service Delivery and Improvement is accountable for ensuring new and enhanced services are delivered into production, ensuring a smooth transition and providing ongoing maintenance and supporting small scale enhancements so that operational services continue to effectively meet the needs of the university. She is also responsible for providing a service management framework and maintaining relationships with business owners and users of the systems it supports.

Gihan Khalil - Gihan is a BI and Data warehouse developer with over 15 years of professional and consulting experience. She has an extensive background working on different BI and Data warehouse projects to implement star schema, data marts and delivering multidimensional reports.

She has a strong technical knowledge of data warehousing in defining, analysing and gathering business requirements to be implemented in the ETL (Extract, Transform and Load) logic for data integration.

Sarah Chaloner - Sarah started her working life as an Artist and Illustrator and has meandered through a number of careers including sales, Real Estate Agent, Teaching, Entrepreneur and finally into IT. She has been in Higher Education for almost 20 years.  She joined Western Sydney University (Western) initially as the IT Support Manager but was quickly promoted to Associate Director of Support Services. In 2014 she persuaded her colleague to swap jobs with her, becoming the Associate Director of Infrastructure for 14 months after which she took on the role of Deputy Chief Information and Digital Officer and Head of Digital Strategy and Innovation.  In this role she developed the Digital Strategy for Western and the technology masterplan for their 14-storey new campus in Parramatta. Sarah is now the Head of ICT at UTS Insearch, the premium pathway provider for UTS. Sarah has been in Australia since 2009 and since then has been very active in CAUDIT, speaking at various events and actively collaborating with members in Australia and NZ. She led two CAUDIT Learning Space Tours and has been on the Faculty for the CAUDIT Leadership Institute since 2013.  Consistent throughout her career has been her dedication and passion for service, leadership and teamwork.