Meet Our Board


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 Bisalloy Steel Group and Solgen Energy Group, and of the Not-for-Profit, Ability First Australia. Phil is also a Director of Contract Resources.

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

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 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.

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.

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.
* 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.

Emeritus Professor of Paediatrics & Child Health, University of Sydney
Emeritus Consultant Physician, Westmead Children’s Hospital

MB BS, DipChildHealth, MHealthPlan, MD, DSc, MRACP, RFCP, FRACP, FRACMA

Prof Kim Oates is a Paediatrician who trained in Sydney, London and Boston. Most of his professional work has been associated with the Royal Alexandra Hospital for Children (The Children’s Hospital at Westmead) and the University of Sydney. He held the Foundation Douglas Burrows Chair of Paediatrics and Child Health at the University of Sydney from 1985-1997, as well as being Chairman of the Division of Medicine at the Children's Hospital, of which he was Chief Executive from 1997-2006.

Kim has a long-standing interest in child development, child behaviour, the problems of child abuse and neglect and advocacy on behalf of children. He was the inaugural chair of the New South Wales Child Death Review Team and founding Chair of the Federal Government's National Council on the Prevention of Child Abuse.

In 2000, he received the Kempe award from the USA for “outstanding contributions to the community on behalf of children”. He has received a range of other national and international awards including the 2006 Alumni Award from the University of Sydney and the Howard Williams Medal from the College of Physicians for “outstanding contributions to Paediatrics and Child Health in Australasia”.

Kim has written or edited 14 books and has over 300 publications. He is currently Emeritus Professor of Paediatrics at the University of Sydney and involved in curriculum review, as well as teaching programs, in Vietnam and Saudi Arabia.

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.

Executive Director, Anglican Education Commission, Diocese of Sydney
Adjunct Professor of Education, University of Sydney

BA, DipEd, PTC, MEd, MEdAdmin, EdD, FACE

Dr Bryan Cowling is the Executive Director of the Anglican Education Commission in the Diocese of Sydney. Bryan’s career of 35 years in the NSW Department of Education includes work as a teacher, consultant, inspector of schools, Regional Director of Education and subsequently the State Director of Curriculum. He later became the inaugural State Director of Vocational Education and, in due course, Director of School Education Policy. In 1999 he became the founding Principal of Thomas Hassall Anglican College at Middleton Grange. Bryan is an Honorary Associate Professor in the Department of Education and Social Work at the University of Sydney. Bryan is a member of a number of State and National boards, councils and committees related to education. At the international level, he is a member of the Steering Committee of the Transforming Learning Project between the Kuyers Institute at Calvin College Grand Rapids USA, the Stapleford Centre and Canterbury Christ Church University UK, and the Anglican Education Commission in Sydney. Among a number of other awards and acclamations, Bryan was made a Fellow of the Australian College of Education for service to vocational and career education in Australia and curriculum implementation support in NSW. He has a passionate interest in the delivery of quality education from pre-school to University, the genuine contextualising of the Christian faith in a secularist educational environment, and a dynamic Australian Christian approach to education at every level and in every context.

Chief Academic Officer, Excelsia College

PhD (UNE); MSc(Oxon); BEd (Stirling)

George is a scholar in Educational leadership and management. He has been at the University of Sydney since 2004 where he has been involved in teaching, research and service to the University, discipline and community since his appointment. 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.

Dr Sunaina Gowan, Coordinator Leadership & Management

Excelsia Senior Academic

For many years Dr Sunaina Gowan has been committed to education excellence, and acknowledged by her peers, students, colleagues across a number of Universities and Colleges in Australia. It is for this commitment that she has been recognised; receiving a number of awards such as the Curtin University Business School, Commendation Award for ‘Exceptional Contribution in the delivery of Curtin University Programs'; the Curtin University ‘Excellence in Teaching’ award; the Universal Business School ‘Outstanding Commitment to Teaching and Learning’ award and the University of Sunshine Coast appreciation award for ‘Contributions to the USC program’ and was nominated for the 2018 Vice Chancellor’s ‘Excellence in Teaching & Learning’ award of Federation University.

Dr Gowan obtained a PhD in Management from Western Sydney University and also holds a Masters degree in Business Administration with specialisation in Human Resources Management and a Master of Information Systems from the University of Ballarat. She has done a Graduate Certificate in Tertiary Education from Federation University and a Graduate Certificate in Research from Western Sydney University. Dr Gowan has a highly developed expertise in team leadership, curriculum development and design; with extensive experience in lecturing, guiding and supporting domestic and international students.

Her current research interests include Education and Belonging, Diversity and Inclusion, Student Formation as well as Leadership and Emotional Labour. Currently she is working on a collaborative research project titled the ‘Well-being of International Students in Sydney’ with scholars at Excelsia College as well as Student Formation in Higher Education. She is also co-founder and ex-President of Lean In Incorporated - a not-for-profit, community based organisation dedicated to supporting newly arrived migrant women to Australia. She has been successful in securing a grant from the Minister for Multiculturalism, under the 2017/18 Multicultural NSW Grants Program – Unity. She is also Director of the AIBC Internship Program for International students in Sydney.

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.

Ms Leigh van de Vorstenbosch is our student representative on Academic Board for 2019. Leigh is in her fourth and final year of her Masters of Counselling at Excelsia College.  Her prior studies included a BSc (Hons), Dip Biblical Studies (Hons) and Cert III Bus Admin (Medical). Leigh’s career has involved a short stint in palaeontology, 20 years of full-time parenting, and Practice Management. Her hope is that by entering the counselling field, she can care for the vulnerable as she follows Jesus’ teaching in Matthew 25:35-40.

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).