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Emerging Leader submissions 2020

Submissions listed alphabetically by university.

Louren David

Australian Catholic University

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IT Idea-Reality Model and Framework; and Build a collaborative and innovative team

Louren David is a natural leader. She looks at opportunities with different eyes, and asks questions and leads them to innovative, holistic solutions that positively impact the entire University. Her immediate team cite her passion and drive as her most inspirational qualities; qualities she models every day through her actions and fulfilling partnerships with diverse members of the University community. She is also the driving force behind introducing the IT industry-leading Idea to Reality process and framework of project discovery and initiation.
The model manages all non-production support demands through to the delivery of sustainable, scalable enterprise solutions collaboratively across the university;

  • Leading management and shaping of the university’s demand for IT enabled change
  • Assuring the university of alignment with enterprise strategy and architecture, risk/security, procurement and legal requirements;
  • Introduced separate processes and framework for managing IT Governance to approve and fund new initiatives
  • Introduce and chair the IT Innovation Hub

Aaron Whitehand

Deakin University

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Aaron is able to see the bigger picture at all times and though he is responsible for a number of high-level transformative activities, he is always available to his peers, is patient, kind and an exceptional communicator – a true role model. 

He has delivered significant value to both my team and the University as a whole through several key innovative initiatives which include: building up a Software Automation team; establishing an application development Community of Practice (COP); and creating a DevOps strategy for the portfolio, which is set to be rolled out to other areas in the very near future. 

Aaron is able to work with staff from all areas and levels of the University with ease, is detail-oriented and value-driven. He is a born leader.

Liz Walkley Hall

Flinders University

Flinders University

Leading change with agility: bringing an Agile approach to the Library

In 2019 we began an Agile journey in the Library’s Collection, College and Research Services team of 20 staff members. Under my leadership, the team is responsible for Library physical collections, Records management and archives, website and technical work, as well as front-facing services to the research community. It is a diverse team in skills and expertise as well as ways of working.

Pre-2019, the team was working within traditional structures, often siloed from not only other teams but sometimes even other members of the same team. Recognising that this was not going to deliver best value for the University, and learning of the benefits of Agile from colleagues both within the business as well as outside via the CAUDIT Leadership Institute (CLI), I initiated Agile practices with the team.  I was also able to use core learnings from the CLI in bringing this change, from ‘understanding the why’ to ‘empathetic leadership’.

The outcomes of our Agile journey so far have been an improved awareness of the workload across the team, greater transparency of our work, and an increased understanding of our priorities to maximise value for the University.

Tim Lane

Griffith University

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Griffith Integrity Program - Cyber Security Awareness

The Griffith Integrity Program was established with the aim of strengthening university culture and improving integrity awareness and capability across all university staff. The Integrity Program includes several key elements covering Cyber Security, Fraud and Corruption awareness, anti-discrimination and bullying and workplace health and safety. As part of the Integrity Program in 2019, Griffith University’s first cyber security training and awareness program was established, with activities aligned and coordinated in conjunction with the Integrity Program at Corporate Services level. The cyber security awareness and training program incorporated an 18 month plan, identifying ten activity areas of focus to provide an uplift in awareness and training maturity. These ten key focus areas included development and implementation of a fully Griffith customised cloud based cyber security Computer Based Training course (Cyber Security Essentials), introduction of simulated phishing, face to face presentations, physical and digital media, new initiative communications and an updated website.

Catherine Tan

Griffith University

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Catherine Tan joined the Griffith Digital Solutions team in July 2010 as a Storage Engineer and earned the position of Manager, Storage Management Services, through an open recruitment process in November 2014. She currently leads a team of seven (7) professional staff who are transforming the Griffith approach to corporate and research storage, data hosting, data protection, backup and archive.  Catherine has established herself as a strategic and positive leader within Digital Solutions and has refocused the operational and development direction for her team.  She is respected by her peers and clients and was instrumental in establishing a five-year road map for storage for Griffith across both research and learning and teaching domains.  The road map identified the new capabilities required within her team and the changes needed to establish a cloud fit storage  environment capable of supporting the Griffith Digital Strategy 2020.   

Seodhna Sims

Queensland University of Technology

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Business Analysis as a Service

Development of “Business Analyst as a Service” to build a centre of expertise focused on improving maturity, consistency, responsiveness and competency across the business analyst community to support the needs of digital initiatives and projects across the university.

Mitchell Bull

University of Newcastle

Newcastle uni logo

Exemplary Leadership During A Time of Change

Mitchell Bull has been responsible for leading and managing the End User Computing function at the University of Newcastle during a period of extensive change and uncertainty.  IT Services at the University has undertaken a detailed planning exercise leading to a significant transformation which will commence in 2020.  At the same time changes in the IT industry and the expectations of our staff and students are challenging the traditional notion of “desktop support”. 

Mitchell stepped into the role of Acting Team Leader for the EUC team and immediately set about improving the existing ways of working, setting up the team for success in the future state.  He extended the role of the team in the adoption and support of new technologies, streamlined service offerings to meet client needs, enhanced the security posture of the University, and has grown and nurtured his team members.


Jodie Crawford

University of Wollongong

uni of Wollongong logo

Student Information Systems (SIS) Program – UOWCHK

Jodie Crawford was the Program Lead on a multi-million dollar Student Information System (SIS) project for our new UOW Hong Kong campus (UOWCHK).

Jodie delivered this program in an extraordinary short amount of time, going live with a full Ellucian Banner SIS solution within 9 months to meet the business need for systems to support the newly accredited CAP320 degree program launch.

This was achieved on time and within budget and quality expectations with a small team of less than 10 people across multiple countries and time zones.

In addition to this Jodie also ran other successful projects in parallel and was activity engaged in the broader Higher-Ed community chairing the P3M (Project, Portfolio and Program Management) Community of Practice.

Irene Pridham

Western Sydney University

Western Sydney University logo

Leadership in Action

Changing the reputation of Information Technology and Digital Services (ITDS) to that of a trusted adviser.

The ITDS “Future Now, Securing Digital Success” strategy talks of ITDS becoming a Trusted adviser, partner and enabler.  However, an ever changing environment, primarily caused through technology advances and multiple organisational restructures, had caused fractures in the many relationships that ITDS has with other units within the University.

During the last twelve months Irene (holding both the roles of Service Delivery Manager role and as the Acting Manager of Specialist Application Systems) has significantly improved the reputation of ITDS especially with the Library, the Hub and with Digital Futures

Utilising the skills she learnt at the CAUDIT Leadership Institute, Irene has significantly improved the reputation of ITDS and built trust within her team, her peers, her customers and the broader University

Irene is a living embodiment of the four distinctions of trust; Sincerity, Reliability, Competence and Care.