Meet Our Board

Meet the Board of Excelsia


Mr Phillip Cave AM

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 Solgen Energy Group, and of the Not-for-Profit, Ability First Australia.

Emeritus Professor David C. Barr AM

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.

Dr Greg Clarke

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

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

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

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

Rosemary is 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 leads 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

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 former Member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors (MAICD).

Rev Rex Rigby

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

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 ‚Äúinternet winning blogger‚ÄĚ by She contributes regularly to ABC The Drum, HuffPost, The Sydney Morning Herald, Australian Financial Review and Sky Business.

Dr David Wright

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

Beng 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

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.

Professor and Deputy Dean , Le Cordon Bleu Australia

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 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 and Cengage Education (formerly Thomson Education), Australian Catholic University.

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 former member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors (MAICD).

Chief Academic Officer, Excelsia College

PhD (UNE); MSc(Oxon); BEd (Stirling)
George is a scholar in Educational leadership and management. He worked at the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (formerly Faculty of Education and Social Work) at the University of Sydney for 15 years where he was involved in teaching, research and service to the University, discipline, and community before joining Excelsia College. 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 NSW 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. His philosophy of education is governed by equity, social justice and democratic values.

DipT (KPTC); BA (UQ); B Ed (UQ); M Ed (Deakin); PhD (UQ)

Professor Tania Aspland is currently an educational consultant in higher education providing advice on curriculum development, design and evaluation, international studies, higher education policy, accreditation and regulation, pedagogies and assessment. She was previously Dean of Education and Policy, and Executive Dean, Faculty of Education and Arts at Australian Catholic University. She has held Dean posts at Adelaide University, University of the Sunshine Coast, ECU and QUT. She has been a leader in course development in Teacher Education for many years and has been engaged in a number of research projects in higher education undergraduate and graduate courses. Tania has completed a national research project on the quality of off-shore teaching funded by the Australian Learning and Teaching Council. Other research she has undertaken includes an investigation into the quality of off-shore doctoral supervision and she currently is involved in research and publications in leadership, work-integrated learning and international education.

Adjunct Professor to Western Sydney University

DipTeach, BEd, AssocDipMus; GradDipArts, Dalcroze II, MEd(Hons), PhD
Professor Deirdre Russell-Bowie has been lecturing in Creative Arts Education for over thirty-seven years and has authored a prolific number of music and creative arts books and other publications.
Her research interests include developing children’s self-esteem through the arts and preservice and inservice teachers’ attitudes to, and practices in arts education as well as technology mediated arts education.
She has written 32 books and numerous national and internationally published journal articles and conference papers. Her website offers teachers free creative arts resources developed from her many resource books.
Deirdre has won the prestigious national Australian Award for University Teaching as well as several University awards for Teaching, Community Service and Research. She is now retired and serves as an adjunct Professor to Western Sydney University.

BA(Hons), BTh(Hons), PhD, MEd

Rev Dr Graeme Chatfield has been involved full time in theological education in Australia and Europe since 1996. From 1996 ‚Äď 2008 he taught Church History at Morling College and coordinated the postgraduate research studies. From 2008 to the present he has been Associate Dean and Director of Research at the Australian College of Theology. Currently Acting Dean till 1 June 2020. From 2008-2016 he taught Church History and Historical Theology in Eastern Europe with an American based organisation TCMI International and was a Board Member of TCMI till 2016.
His research areas relate to Baptist ecclesiology, governance and history, Reformation studies, and theological education.
He an ordained Baptist minister and is an active member of Thornleigh Community Baptist Church, He shares a passion for multicultural ministry with his wife Heather.

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 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 NSW Premier’s Office, and the Department of Youth and Community Service. She led the Australian contingent in a joint project between the University of San Francisco and UNSW 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.

BSc (ANU), Grad Dip Aud (Melb), Grad Dip H.Ed. (Syd) PGCE, MSc, DPhil (Oxon)

Associate Professor Rachel Wilson teaches and researches at the Sydney School of Education & Social Work, at the University of Sydney. Rachel is currently Director of the Master of Education ‚Äď Management & Leadership program and researcher at the Centre for Educational Measurement & 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.

Registrar and Manager, Student Systems

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 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 Red Cross, and still actively volunteers and participates in a number of charities.
Professor Kirsty Beilharz is a composer, researcher, educator and author. She is the Integrative Studies Program Director at Excelsia College. Kirsty’s current research-led teaching interest is student formation, especially integration of diversity, in Christian Higher Education. Previously, she was a researcher at the University of Notre Dame (Australia) in bioethics, healthcare ethics and spirituality, in collaboration with St. Vincent's Health Network, a conjoint academic of the University of New South Wales Faculty of Medicine, University of Sydney’s Kolling Institute of Research, and Director of Music Engagement at HammondCare investigating the impact of music in dementia and palliative care. Her book, Music Remembers Me: Connection and Wellbeing in Dementia (2017) is a resource for supporting people living with dementia. Kirsty was a Senior Creative Fellow at Anglican Deaconess Ministries, Visiting Fellow at the University of Edinburgh U.K., Professor of Music and Interaction Design at UTS, and Digital Media program director at the University of Sydney, receiving grants from the Australian Research Council.

Kirsty completed performance and composition studies at the University of Sydney with a PhD and postdoctoral studies in music at the University of York, and a PhD in theology and philosophy at Sydney College of Divinity. Kirsty's music has been performed by international ensembles, major orchestras in Australia and her installations have been exhibited at the Media Architecture Biennale in Vienna, Bondi Sculpture by the Sea, Paris Cité International des Arts, Sydney Powerhouse Museum, and in the UK, Taiwan, Japan and Paris. She has won prizes at Gaudeamus World Music Days Amsterdam, Paris Rostrum, Hannover Biennale, Nouvel Ensemble Moderne Forum Montreal, Young Australian of the Year Arts Category, a Churchill Fellowship, and the Sir Charles Mackerras Prize of the British Council.

Kirsty is involved with leadership and pastoral care at Kirribilli Church by the Bridge, and she coordinates the North Sydney Council Coal Loader community garden sustainability project, reading avidly and practicing Japanese, Baroque, and contemporary music in her spare time.

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 the University of Western Sydney and Australian Catholic University. Previously Maureen held the position of Senior Lecturer in the School of Psychology, University of Western Sydney, where she chaired the Psychology and Spirituality Society funded jointly by UWS and the Metanexus Foundation. Her research and scholarship in the fields of psychology, religion and spirituality have been recognized 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.
Professor Eddie is an international expert in corporate governance, financial technology, financial analytics, venture capital and private equity finance, organizational leadership, and corporate accounting. His research is focused on the development and application of financial innovations via startup business enterprises and their application in market, community and city ecosystems. Contemporary research projects include modelling the fintech ecosystem, evaluating the quality of fintech startup enterprises, and the application of fintech and blockchain solutions to enhance business and government organizational innovation and efficiency. These projects include fintech applications in venture capital and private equity funding, smart cities developments, equity financial markets and corporate governance practices addressing cybersecurity risk.

Professor Eddie has a distinguished record of service to a range of organizations as a board member, audit committee member and consultant. Among these he served as a board member of the Corporations and Markets Advisory Committee to the Australian Federal Treasurer, a member of the Audit Committee of the Corporations and Markets Advisory Committee, Deputy Chairman of the Gold Coast Surf Industry Taskforce and Gold Coast Surf City Incorporated, a board member of the Australian National Business Schools consortium, a director of Eddie Private Equity Pty Ltd, a consultant to Grant Thornton International Vietnam, the State Securities Commission of Vietnam, the Asia Development Bank and the Securities Institute of Australia.

Professor Eddie has recently returned to Australia to Head the Business School at Excelsia College following a contract as the VinaCapital Professor of Private Equity at RMIT International University Vietnam where he taught postgraduate programs in corporate governance, venture capital finance, and corporate financial management. Prior to this appointment Professor Eddie has held executive positions as Professor of Accounting and Corporate Governance and Director of the Graduate College of Management at Southern Cross University, Professor of Accounting and Dean of the Faculty of Business and Government at the University of Canberra and Associate Professor and Head of the New England Business School at the University of New England. Professor Eddie is a Fellow of CPA Australia, holds a PhD from the University of New England and Master of Economics and Bachelor of Economics Honours degrees from the University of Sydney.
Ms Gemma Matson is our student representative on the Academic Board. Gemma has a Bachelor of Communications and more than 8 years of experience working in the Marketing and Communications industry. After returning to work from maternity leave, she decided that it was time for a change in career. Gemma is currently undertaking her Master of Teaching (Secondary) and looks forward to the opportunities of her future career in the Education sector.
Mr Ramanah Visnupriyan is our student representative on Academic Board for 2020. Ramanah is a final year student in Master of Business (Research). He is currently undertaking research on ethical leadership and the psychological entitlement it causes on the employees. He has a BEng (Hons) from Monash University and has previously worked as a mechanical engineer. He aspires to be a lecturer and an academic researcher.