Meet Our Board

Meet the Board of Excelsia

BOARD OF DIRECTORS*

Mr Phillip Cave AM (Chairman)
B Bus, FCPA

Phillip is Chairman and founding member of Anchorage Capital Partners and has been investing in operational turnarounds for over 30 years, prior to the establishment of Anchorage. He is also Chairman of Scotts Refrigerated Logistics and of the Not-for-Profit, Ability First Australia.

Emeritus Professor David C. Barr AM

BA, MA, EdM, PhD

David was formerly Deputy Vice Chancellor of the University of Western Sydney and President of UWS Macarthur. He has chaired the Board of the Australian College of Theology as well as chairing a number of Government Panels assessing private higher education providers in New South Wales. David was the founding CEO of the Urological Society of Australia and New Zealand and was made a Member of the Order of Australia for services to education.
Alan Bowen-James | Excelsia College

Professor Alan Bowen-James
MB BS, BA, BLitt, MBA, MA, MSc (Education), MInfoTech, MBEnv, MCogSc, LLM, MJuris, MPH, MScComms, MSc (Info Science), PhD, ScEdD

As Chair of the Academic Board, Prof Alan Bowen-James provides leadership and direction for the College’s senior academics in achieving Excelsia College’s vision of transforming lives through excellence in Christian higher education.
Alan holds qualifications in several disciplines including medicine, philosophy, law, cognitive science, informatics, business, education and the history of ideas. Alan has held senior academic and managerial appointments with the University of Sydney, the University of Technology Sydney, the University of New South Wales, Deakin University, Cengage Education (formerly Thomson Education), and the Australian Catholic University, where he was a Professor and foundation Associate Dean (Learning and Teaching) for the Faculty of Law and Business.

Dr Greg Clarke

BA, PhD

Currently on leave of absence
Greg is the former Group CEO of Bible Society Australia and before that was Co-Founder of the Centre for Public Christianity. He has directed two tertiary centres for Christian studies (Macquarie Christian Studies Institute at Macquarie University and the Centre for Apologetics, Scholarship and Education at New College, University of New South Wales). Greg was a Council Member of Anglicare NSW (2006-2010) and a Member of the Standing Committee of the Sydney Anglican Diocese (2005-2008).

Mr Neville Cox OAM
FPNA, FCIS, FFin. Grad.Dip.CM

Neville has had an extensive and diverse commercial career, including numerous turnarounds. He was a member of the Executive Committee of the Commonwealth Bank and a director of twenty-six companies in the Commonwealth Bank Group. He was Chairman of AMP Bank Limited, and is Chairman of Christian Super, Advertiles Corporation Pty Ltd, Australian College of Ministries and Vision Christian Media. He is a director of Focus on the Family Australia and Chairman of the Sydney Prayer Breakfast.

Mr Richard J. Grellman AM

FCA

Richard has been a professional non executive director since 2000. Previously, he worked with accounting firm KPMG for 32 years. The majority of this time was spent in the Corporate Recovery Division, with the last 10 years more specifically focused on the provision of strategic advice and services to the Financial Services sector. In 2007, Richard was appointed a member of the Order of Australia for service to the community, particularly through leadership roles with Mission Australia and fundraising with Variety, The Children’s Charity, and to the finance and insurance sectors. Richard is Chairman of IPH Ltd, FBR Ltd, and also the National Health and Medical Research Council Institute for Dementia Research. He is also Lead Independent Director of The Salvation Army in Australia.


Mr John Holt
FCPA, FAICD, SAFin

John has held many senior roles in accounting and finance, property, performing arts, tourism, entertainment, medical and stevedore industries and has provided strategic and financial assessment of various projects in those industries. He holds director, treasurer and member roles including in not-for-profit companies and has done so over many years. He is a founding member and director of the Christian arts company Logosdor with partnership opportunities throughout the world.

Emeritus Professor Rosemary Johnston AM

BA, DipEd (Syd). MA, PhD (Macq)

Emeritus Professor R Johnston AMBA, DipEd (Syd) MA, PhD(Macq) Rosemary was formerly Professor of Education and Culture at UTS and Director of the International Research Centre for Youth Futures. She serves or has served on the executive of a number of national and international Boards, including as Vice President of the Fédération Internationale des Langues et Littératures Modernes (affiliated to UNESCO). She is lead investigator on several large Commonwealth-funded research grants, including two working with remote Indigenous communities. She is also one of three chief investigators on a Leverhulme (UK) Grant. She led a growing number of projects which are funded by national and international corporates, and which aim to expand the horizons of thinking of disengaged youth and develop opportunities and pathways for their educational enhancement.

Mr Peter McKeon (CEO / Managing Director)
BBus

Peter held the role of Managing Director Oceania at Sony. He has also held senior management roles in Australia and overseas for over 30 years with companies such as Sony, Telstra, Panasonic, Sharp, Bridgestone, Citizen and Philips. He is currently a Board Director at Gift of Life Foundation, former Board Director of Australia-Japan Society and AMTA (Australian Mobile Telecommunications Association) and a current Governor of the American Chamber of Commerce. Peter is a Member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors (MAICD).

Rev Rex Rigby

BA in Ministry, DMin

Rev Rex Rigby is currently the District Super intendent South Queensland and the National Superintendent of the Wesleyan Methodist Church of Australia. He is the first Indigenous National Head of a denomination in Australia. Rex has been in the pastoral ministry for 28 years, serving in Brisbane, Melbourne and country Queensland. He has planted four churches and overseen the planting of a further ten.

Ms. Amanda Rose

BBA, MA in Comms Mgmt

Amanda is a pioneer for women in business in Australia. As the founder and CEO of The Business Woman Media, Amanda has the ability to bring to the table, detailed views of millions of women across Australia and the globe. She is also the Founder and Director of Western Sydney Women, the only advocacy group for women across all areas of the inner-west, greater-west, south-west, north-west and inner-west of Sydney. She is also one of the most influential people on Linkedin and is quoted as an “internet winning blogger” by TIME.com. She contributes regularly to ABC The Drum, HuffPost, The Sydney Morning Herald, Australian Financial Review and Sky Business.

Dr David Wright

BA, MA, PhD

David serves as President at Indiana Wesleyan University. Dr. Wright was Provost and Chief Academic Officer for five years prior to his election as President in May 2013. Before coming back to Indiana Wesleyan University in 2008, he was Dean of the School of Theology at Azusa Pacific University. Previously at Indiana Wesleyan University he served as Associate Professor of Intercultural Studies, Chair of the Department of Graduate Studies in Ministry, and Vice President for Adult and Graduate Studies.

Dr Beng Yeoh
PhD, MSC, MA

Beng Yeoh served as regional leader of World Vision in the Middle East and Eastern Europe, after having led the international development and humanitarian organisation in East Asia. Before that, he was Asia Pacific Vice President of Leading The Way, a not-for-profit Christian media and broadcasting organisation, and held several CEO and managing director roles in international telecommunications, information technology services and IT education in Asia and Australia. He has postgraduate degrees in engineering, management,and theology, and has served previously as a board member of Wesley Institute.

Ms Sophie York
BA, LLB (UNSW), GDLP (UTS)

Sophie York is a barrister and legal philosopher who lectures in both Jurisprudence and Legal Ethics, in the Faculty of Law, for the University of Sydney. She was admitted as a legal practitioner in 1991 and was called to the Bar in 1995. She is an Officer in the Royal Australian Naval Legal Reserves, author, and public speaker. She is a Red Cross trained instructor in International Humanitarian Law. She is an active member of a number of community clubs and associations, and together with her husband is a sponsor of the School of St Jude in Tanzania. Sophie served on the Board of Campion College for 8 years, prior to joining the board of Excelsia College.
* Excelsia College (ACN 110 639 435) is a registered public company limited by guarantee in the State of New South Wales, Australia, under the Corporations Act 2001.
ACADEMIC BOARD

Professor and Deputy Dean, Le Cordon Bleu Australia

Alan Bowen-James | Excelsia College
BA(Hons) BLitt(Hons) MBBS MBA MA MSc(Education) MInfoTech MBEnv MCogSc LLM MJuris MPH MScComms MSc(Info Science) PhD ScEdD
As Chair of the Academic Board, Professor Alan Bowen-James provides leadership and direction for the College’s senior academics in achieving Excelsia College’s vision of transforming lives through excellence in Christian higher education.

Alan holds postgraduate qualifications in a number of disciplines, including medicine, philosophy, law, cognitive science, informatics, business, education and the history of ideas. Alan has held senior academic and managerial appointments with the University of Sydney, the University of Technology Sydney, the University of New South Wales, Deakin University, NextEd Ltd, Cengage Education (formerly Thomson Education), and Australian Catholic University.

Senior Lecturer, Teacher Education, Australian Catholic University

Colette Alexander
BEd(Prim) GradDipEd(Teacher-Librarianship) MEd(Hons) PhD
Dr Colette Alexander has served Christian education since she commenced her career as a primary school teacher. She has been engaged in the higher education sector for over 25 years, commencing first as a sessional lecturer at Christian Heritage College (CHC) in Brisbane. Over this time, she quickly moved into higher education full-time and has taken on a wide range of leadership roles in course review, development, accreditation and implementation in both the private and public sectors. She served as the inaugural Chair of CHC’s Teaching and Learning Committee, during which time she oversaw the development of teaching and learning policies, and the introduction of eLearning. Since completing her PhD studies with the University of Adelaide in 2016 in the area of political policy, reform and standards in initial teacher education, Colette has been working at the Australian Catholic University where she has led accreditation for the Faculty of Education and Arts. She currently leads the implementation of the Graduate Teacher Performance Assessment (GTPA) Project for the national School of Education. Recently she has developed her profile as a researcher through opportunities to work as a Research Fellow with the Institute for Learning Sciences and Teacher Education. She has continued to develop her research interests and publications in policy and reform through the lens of the assessment of professional practice in alignment with educational standards.

Chief Student Services and Academic Registrar, Excelsia College

Gordon Bobin
BA GradDipEd CertTAA GradCertEdLead
Gordon has spent his entire career working in education, holding numerous positions across both the primary and secondary sectors before now working in higher education. These positions include stints as a Head of Department, Pastoral Care Coordinator, Head of Curriculum, and Regional Facilitator, as well as management positions in accreditation, regulation and eLearning. In addition, he has held roles involving teacher training and development, curriculum and assessment writing, advising strategy for eLearning, adoption of new technology, policy writing, and regulatory compliance.

He was a regular presenter at a number of education conferences and training seminars, such as the annual All Schools Technology Day Conference, as well as at various TeachMeets and Building Capacity forums run throughout the Sydney region.

Gordon has also spent time volunteering for St Vincent de Paul Society and the Australian Red Cross, and still actively volunteers and participates in a number of charities.

Director of Research, Excelsia College

BSc(Hons) DipCrim DipEd MClinPsy DipBS PhD
Dr Maureen Miner Bridges is Excelsia College’s Director of Research. She also holds honorary/ adjunct research positions at Western Sydney University and Australian Catholic University. Previously Maureen held the position of Senior Lecturer in the School of Psychology, Western Sydney University, where she chaired the Psychology and Spirituality Society funded jointly by Western Sydney University and the Metanexus Foundation. Her research and scholarship in the fields of psychology, religion and spirituality have been recognised by a Crawford Miller Fellowship (St Cross College, Oxford) and a fellowship for the John Templeton Oxford program of seminars and research into Christianity and science. Maureen has served on Academic and Advisory Boards of major Sydney theological institutions (Australian College of Theology, Sydney College of Divinity). She has authored several books and almost 50 peer refereed publications and reports in key areas of psychology including abnormal psychology, organisational psychology, and psychology of religion. Maureen is an invited reviewer for major journals in her field, including the Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, Journal of Psychology and Theology, Review of Religious Research, and Theology and Science.

Head of Humanities, University of Adelaide

Professor Jennifer Clark
BA(Hons) DipEd PhD
Professor Jennifer Clark is currently Head of Humanities at the University of Adelaide. Before that she was Academic Director of Teaching and Learning for Arts and Sciences at the University of New England. She is a historian by training with research areas in American and Australian history, especially automotive history, memorial culture and the history of post-war Australian society. She also publishes on museology and history teaching in the tertiary sector. She has been recognised for her teaching at the local and national levels and currently holds an ARC Linkage Grant for research into the social history of Holden. Her most recent book is the co-edited volume Teaching history for the contemporary world: Tensions, challenges and classroom experiences in higher education (Springer, 2021).

Head School of Counselling, Excelsia College

Ebi Cocodia | Head of school of Counselling | Excelsia College
BEd(Hons) MEd MCouns PhD

Associate Professor Ebi Cocodia completed a PhD from the University of New South Wales in 2004. She is an academic leader, researcher and integrative counsellor with an interest in person-centred approaches. Research interests include: young people and mental health; counsellor education; reflective practice; cross-cultural approaches; and psychology of human intelligence.

Provost, Excelsia College

Professor Jane Fernandez holds the position of Provost at Excelsia College. Jane was until recently also Vice-President, Quality & Strategy at Avondale University College (2011–April 2020). In her role at Avondale, Jane successfully led Avondale’s University College and Self-Accrediting projects. She led in the set-up and management of Avondale’s Joint-Conferral Scheme with Charles Sturt University. Jane also founded and continues to lead the national-based Higher Education Private Provider Quality Network (HEPP-QN). Jane is a Member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and is also a member of the TEQSA Register of Experts. She is committed, through collaborative practice, to contributing to the national reputation of higher education in Australia.

Head School of Creative and Performing Arts, Excelsia College

Lotte Latukefu | head of Creative & Performing Arts
BMus MMus PhD(Music Education)

Lotte holds a PhD in Music Education from the University of Wollongong, Master of Music from the Manhattan School of Music (NY) and a Bachelor of Music from the ANU School of Music. Collaborative learning in music, particularly singing, has been a research interest for Lotte for about 7 years. In her PhD thesis she examined the work of Lev Vygotsky and socio-cultural theorists who have followed in order to address questions concerning the nature of learning singing in collaborative settings. Her thesis demonstrated that there is a rich resource of learning to be found in the way that students interact with each other and learn from each other. Forming a nexus to this research is her own creative practice as a mezzo-soprano. Lotte’s practice-led research is concerned firstly with developing a canon of Australian contemporary art song that is influenced by Asia and the Pacific and secondly, experimenting with different kinds of folk music such as Klezmer, Gypsy, Balkan and Italian in order to extend the genre known as Australian Folk Music. She is a member of The Con Artists Community Gypsy Orchestra and Zumpa (Italian folk band).

Chief Executive, Excelsia College

Peter held the role of Managing Director Oceania at Sony. He has also held senior management roles in Australia and overseas for over 30 years with companies such as Sony, Telstra, Panasonic, Sharp, Bridgestone, Citizen and Philips. He is currently a Board Director at Gift of Life Foundation, former Board Director of Australia-Japan Society and AMTA (Australian Mobile Telecommunications Association) and a current Governor of the American Chamber of Commerce. Peter is a Member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors (MAICD).

Chief Academic Officer, Excelsia College

BEd MSc PhD
George is a scholar in educational leadership and management. He held different academic positions at the University of Sydney for about 15 years before joining Excelsia College in 2018. He completed his PhD at the University of New England, Australia with a focus on educational leadership; MSc (Governance of Education) from the University of Oxford, England, and BEd (with Distinction) from the University of Stirling, Scotland.

He is outstanding in his field with a productive and diversified program of research. He has been Director of the Leadership and Management Program at the University of Sydney, School of Education and Social Work; member of the Association for Tertiary Education Management; panel member of the New South Wales Teachers Scholarship Committee (Educational Leadership); member of the University of Sydney’s International Regional Expert Group (Africa); and Coordinator of the Faculty Research Ethics Committee among others. He has been a referee for numerous international academic journals, including: Journal of Educational Administration; Teaching and Teacher Education; International Journal of Leadership in Education; School Leadership & Management; Journal of Higher Education Policy and Management; and Journal of University Teaching and Learning Practice. George’s philosophy of education is governed by equity, social justice and democratic values.

Dean of Law, Australian Catholic University

BA/LLB LLM PhD Admitted as Legal Practitioner in NSW and the ACT

Professor Rocque Reynolds is the Dean of Law at Australian Catholic University and has held academic leadership positions across the higher education sector. She is a leading authority on administrative law, intellectual property and regulatory theory and has been Chief Investigator on two ARC and two Rural Industries Research and Development Corporation research projects, identifying the social and legal impacts of contract growing in Australian agriculture.

Rocque has worked in private practice and has experience in the not-for-profit sector and in government. She was a founding member of Australia’s first Women’s Legal Centre and a Board Member of the Disability Rights Service. She has worked for and provided consultative services for the Australian Attorney General’s office, the New South Wales Premier’s Office, and the Department of Youth and Community Service. She led the Australian contingent in ajoint project between the University of San Francisco and University of New South Wales to establish a law school in Cambodia.

Her volunteer work has included Citizen Advocacy for people with intellectual disabilities and mental illness, and Riding for the Disabled.

Adjunct Professor at Avondale University College

RN BA(Theology) MA(Religion) PhD(Systematic & Historical Theology)

Ray Roennfeldt | Excelsia Board Member
Professor Ray Roennfeldt has recently retired as President and Vice Chancellor of Avondale University College where, for 11 years, he provided leadership as Avondale transitioned to Self-Accrediting Authority status and then to Australian University College. Ray has worked as a nurse, pastor, theological educator in Papua New Guinea and Australia, and as a higher education administrator. During the past three decades he has been very engaged in course development, academic governance, and institutional direction and strategy. In retirement, Ray continues to engage with the higher education sector through involvement with a number of independent providers and as a higher degree by research supervisor.

Ray also presently chairs the Human Research Ethics Committee at Sydney Adventist Hospital. He is enthusiastically committed to fostering the continued advancement of Christian higher education in Australia.
Dr Barbara Rugendyke Excelsia
BA DipEd PhD

Adjunct Professor Barbara Rugendyke served as Professor and Dean of Arts and Social Sciences at Southern Cross University. Prior to that, Barbara was Head of School of Arts and Sciences at the Australian Catholic University in Melbourne, following an appointment as Dean of Graduate Studies at the University of New England. Before taking up leadership roles, Barbara was a teaching and research academic in human geography at the University of New England. Her research and publications focused on community development and sustainable development, primarily in Indigenous communities in Australia and Vietnam, the work of non-government organisations in improving livelihoods, and the advocacy of NGOs with the aim of poverty reduction. Most recently, Barbara’s collaborative work with Anglicare North Coast on improving the circumstances of culturally and linguistically diverse women in non-metropolitan areas, mostly humanitarian arrivals, has been recognised in awards, locally and nationally. Barbara continues to be an active researcher, currently working on research related to service provision for homeless persons. A graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors, Barbara has served as a non-executive director on a number of not-for-profit boards.

Director of Quality, Excelsia College

Alistair Symons | Excelsia College Board Member
Alistair is the Director of Quality at Excelsia College. He is responsible for leading the continuous improvement agenda at the College, as outlined in the Strategic Plan. This includes guiding the College to achieve excellence in governance, risk management, course accreditation and renewal of accreditation, and moderation.

Alistair is passionate about contributing to Excelsia’s goal of achieving University College status by 2025 or earlier. He brings to the role extensive experience in leadership in independent education, in both the secondary sector and higher education. His teaching expertise is in the area of initial teacher education and continuing professional learning. Alistair’s area of research is in the role of context and culture in organisational improvement.

Associate Professor, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, The University of Sydney

BSc GradDipAud GradDipHEd PGCE MSc DPhil

Associate Professor Rachel Wilson teaches and researches at the Sydney School of Education and Social Work at the University of Sydney. Rachel is currently Director of the Master of Education – Management and Leadership program,and researcher at the Centre for Educational Measurement and Assessment. She has particular expertise in educational assessment, research methods and program evaluation. As such she has broad interests across educational evidence, policy and practice, and she leads policy-relevant research on a diverse range of educational issues. She is interested in system-level reform and innovation and has been involved in many university and education sector-wide reforms. Rachel holds multiple qualifications, including a psychology degree, teaching qualification, and a PhD in educational psychology and child development from Oxford University. She is a distinguished researcher with more than 100 academic publications, an education advisor at the ABC, and a frequent keynote speaker and media commentator on Australian education.
Inonge P Mubita | Excelsia Student Representative
Inonge Mubita is originally from Zambia (Southern Africa). Inonge lived and worked in Malawi, England, and Denmark before moving to Sydney, Australia in 2017. Inonge studied Social Work (Diploma), Pastoral Leadership for 3 years (Adv Dip), and is currently pursuing a Master of Counselling. She has worked as a facilitator for women’s support groups in both Sydney and Zambia. A social justice advocate (against modern-day slavery), she volunteered with the A21 organisation in Copenhagen, fighting against modern-day slavery and human trafficking. She is about to start contributing articles to STARTTS’s online publications (voluntary) as she loves to write. Inonge is also a strength coach and loves working with people in whatever capacity. She is called to pastor, coach, and counsel people.
Sabina Maharjan | Excelsia Students Representative
Sabina is an international student from Nepal studying a Bachelor of Early Childhood (Birth to 5 years). She is currently enrolled in sixth semester and has been working part-time as an Early Childhood Teacher in Minimi Academy, Campsie since September 2019. She has successfully completed a Bachelor’s degree in Humanities and Social Sciences from Tribhuwan University, Nepal in 2012. Her special interests are social work and being involved with non-profit organisations. She was involved with Raleigh International on the Raleigh Expedition to Nepal in July–August 2016 in the volunteer role of Project Manager.
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