Online Safety

Excelsia College > About > Wellbeing and Safety > Online Safety

Online Safety

It is important that you protect your personal information and that the sites you visit are secure and appropriate. Keeping your information safe and secure will limit the risk to yourself and the College online. Here are some risks to be aware of and tips to help you be safe online.

Sextortion and Sexting

Sexting is sending sexually explicit messages, photos, or video via cell phone, computer, or any digital device. Sexting includes photos and videos containing nudity or show or simulated sex acts. It also includes text messages that discuss or propose sex acts. Sextortion occurs when someone threatens to distribute your private and sensitive material if you don’t provide them with images of a sexual nature, sexual favours, or money.


• Sending intimate photos to someone without their consent can be harassment

• Possessing intimate images of someone under 18 years old when you are over 18 years old can be considered child pornography even if sent consensually.
• If someone has intimate photos of you without your consent, contact the police.

Avoiding Scams

Scams nowadays can be very easy to fall for due to their ability to make you respond. It may be an email saying you won a competition you never entered or an offer too good to pass up. Please don’t respond.


• Delete any suspicious emails, texts or facebook messages and be aware of calls from scammers.
• Many scams can be identified by conducting a search of the exact words online.
• Make sure your phone and other devices are secure by being constantly updated and having anti-virus software.
• Don’t send money to someone you don’t know or trust.
• Keep your account details and passwords safe and secure. Never share them online.

Online/Cyber Bullying

It’s illegal to bully or harass someone online. If you do, remember, there will be a record of it. If you are being bullied online:


• Do not respond.
• Save the messages. Screenshot what they said.
• Block and delete them if they continue to harass you and make you uncomfortable. Read the mental health support if it has affected you.

Helpful Tips

• Keep your posts respectful and appropriate. If at that moment, you are intoxicated or emotional it may be best not to post.

• Be aware of what you say on social media or through private messaging. People can screenshot your posts or conversations.

• Make sure your privacy settings for your social media are set so that you can choose who sees your posts. Public profiles on social media can be seen when people search your name on Google.

• Never share passwords. Profiles that look similar to family members can try and get your passwords.

• If you are being harassed online, don’t respond and block the person harassing you.

• Do not take your clothes off in front of a webcam. Do not post or send sexually explicit photos.

Excelsia College > About > Wellbeing and Safety

Excelsia prioritises the safety of our students wherever they are. If you are ever caught in an emergency situation or you feel your safety or security of yourself and/or others is at risk, below are contacts that are ready to respond and assist as soon as possible.

Make your campus safer. Tell us your ideas.

We want to make your campus as safe as possible. Please share your ideas to help achieve a safer campus.

Excelsia College > About > Meet our board

Board of directors*

Mr Phillip Cave AM | Chairman | Board of Directors | Excelsia College

BBus FCPA 

Mr Phillip Cave is Chair 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 Chair of Scott’s Refrigerated Logistics and of the not-for-profit Ability First Australia. 

Professor Alan Bower-James | Board of Directors | 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. 

Mr Neville Cox OAM | Board of Directors | Excelsia College

FPNA FCIS FFin GradDipCM 

Mr Neville Cox 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 26 companies in the Commonwealth Bank Group. He was Chair of AMP Bank Limited and Australian College of Ministries, and is Chair of Christian Super, Advertiles Corporation Pty Ltd, and Vision Christian Media. He is a director of Focus on the Family Australia and Chair of the Sydney Prayer Breakfast. 

Karl Faase | Excelsia

Bth 

Karl Faase is a well-known Australian Christian communicator, media presenter, leader and social commentator. He is the CEO of Olive Tree Media, the organisation through which he produces programs of excellence for Christian media and local church use internationally. 

 

Karl moved to Olive Tree Media after 20 years as the Senior Pastor of Gymea Baptist Church in Sydney’s southern suburbs. Karl is the Board chair of the Sarmatians Purse and BGEA Australian Boards. He is also on the board of the Sydney Prayer Breakfast. Karl was the co-founder of the Australian Arrow leadership program and the co-founder of the Jesus. All About Life campaign. Karl is registered minster of religion with the Baptist churches of NSW and holds a Bth. 

Mr Richard J Grellman AM | Board of Directors | Excelsia College

FCA

Mr Richard J Grellman AM 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 Chair of Robotic company FBR Ltd and Lead Independent Director of F45, a US listed public company. He is also Lead Independent Director of The Salvation Army in Australia. 

Emeritus Professor Rosemary Johnston AM | Board of Directors | Excelsia College

BA DipEd MA PhD 

Emeritus Professor Rosemary Johnston AM 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 | Board of Directors | Excelsia College

BBus

Mr Peter McKeon 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 | Board of Directors | Excelsia College

BA(Min) DMin 

Reverend Rex Rigby is currently the District Superintendent 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 pastoral ministry for 28 years, serving in Brisbane, Melbourne and country Queensland. He has planted four churches and overseen the planting of a further 10. 

Associate Professor Rachel Wilson | Meet the Board | Academic Board | Excelsia College

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. 

Dr David Wright | Board of Directors | Excelsia College

BA MA PhD 

Dr David Wright has served as President at Indiana Wesleyan University since 2013. Prior to this, David was Provost and Chief Academic Officer for five years at Indiana Wesleyan University, and 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 | Board of Directors | Excelsia College

MA MSc PhD 

Dr Beng Yeoh has served as World Vision’s regional leader in the Middle East and Eastern Europe after having led the international development and humanitarian organisation in the East Asia region. Previously, he served as 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. 

Ms Sophie York | Board of Directors | Excelsia College

BA LLB GDLP 

 

Ms Sophie York is a barrister and legal philosopher who lectures in both jurisprudence and legal ethics at the Faculty of Law of 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 eight 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 Alan Bower-James | Board of Directors | 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. 

Colette Alexander | Meet our Board | Academic Board | Excelsia College

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.

Gordon Bobin, Chief Student Services and Academic Registrar | Meet our Board | Academic Board | Excelsia College

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.

Maureen Miner Bridges | Director of Research | Director Lumen Research Institute | 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.

Professor Jennifer Clark | Meet the Board | Academic Board | Excelsia College

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).

 

Professor Peter Camilleri | Head School Social Work | Excelsia College

Professor Peter Camilleri has been a social worker, researcher and academic. He has been involved in teaching social work since 1986. He has worked as a social work practitioner in Tasmania, England and the Northern Territory working in adult mental health, rehabilitation, and child and adolescent mental health. He has been Professor of Social Work at several universities, Head of Schools of Social Work and Rector/Campus Dean. He has worked at University of South Australia, James Cook University, Australian Catholic University, University of Wollongong, and Central Queensland University.

Associate Professor Ebi Cocodia | Head School of Counselling | Excelsia College

BEd (Hons), MEd M.Couns.

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

Professor Ian Eddie | Head School Business | Excelsia College

Dr Ian Eddie is the Head of Business School and holds a PhD from The University of New England for research analysing consolidation accounting practices in the Asia Pacific region. He also has a Master of Economics by research from The University of Sydney and investigated asset valuation in imperfect markets. Furthermore, Dr Eddie holds a Bachelor of Economics Honours from The University of Sydney and undertook research examining purchase and pooling accounting methods in business combinations.

 

 

Professor Jane Fernandez | Provost | Meet the Board | Academic Board | 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.

Dr Lotte Latukefu | Excelsia College | Creative and performing arts

Associate Professor 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, in particularly singing, has been a particular research interest for Lotte for about seven 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.

Mr Peter McKeon | CEO/Managing Director | Board of Directors | Excelsia College

BBus

Mr Peter McKeon 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). 

George Odhiambo | Chief Academic Officer | Meet our Board | Academic Board | Excelsia College

Professor George Odhiambo, PhD, MSc, BEd.

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.

Professor Ray Roennfeldt | Meet the Board | Academic Board | Excelsia College

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

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.

Adjunct Professor Barbara Rugendyke | Meet the Board | Academic Board | Excelsia College

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.

Inonge Mubita (Student Representative) | Meet the Board | Academic Board | Excelsia College

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 (Student Representative) | Meet the Board | Academic Board | Excelsia College

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.

Excelsia College > About > Donations

Thank you for your interest in Excelsia College

Education is an important mission field for Christians today. We recognise that we have a distinct opportunity to make a significant impact on the next generation and we invite you to partner with us in God’s work.

 

Our undergraduate and postgraduate degrees in Business, Accounting, Creative and Performing Arts, Counselling, Teacher Education and Social Work are delivered within the context of a Biblical worldview, uniquely positioning Excelsia College in the landscape of higher education. We provide an artistically stimulating, culturally diverse and academically rigorous environment in which staff and students are encouraged to achieve their potential.

 

The online learning platform within our Teacher Education degrees and our blended approach to learning facilitates a very convenient and flexible delivery alternative to a traditional lecture-based course. This is particularly attractive to people who need to fit their studies into busy lives, or to individuals living away from major cities.

 

By giving to Excelsia College, you will play a key role in transforming lives through excellence in Christian higher education and equipping people for Christian life and leadership in a range of influential vocations.

 

Your partnership will create a living legacy through Excelsia College as the gifts and talents of our students are nurtured and developed to benefit the communities we seek to reach for God’s kingdom.

 

Excelsia College has DGR (Deductible Gift Recipient) status. Donations of $2 and over are tax-deductible.

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DONATIONS MAY BE SENT BY THE FOLLOWING METHODS:

Commonwealth Bank of Australia

BSB: 062 000

Account No: 1363 9168

 

Please insert your name in the reference field.

For a receipt and/or to direct your gift to a need, please send an email to info@excelsia.edu.au. Your gift will be directed to the following areas, as specified:

Excelsia College’s current needs

• Business

• Accounting 

• Creative and Performing Arts

• Counselling

• Education

• Social Work


Thank you again for your contribution! Your gift will make an impact on the future of Christian higher education.

Excelsia College > About > Accreditation

Accreditation

Excelsia College (ABN ‍50 ‍360 ‍319 ‍774) is an Institute of Higher Education registered with the Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency (TEQSA PRV12064), approved to offer FEE-HELP, Youth Allowance, Austudy and Abstudy, and registered to offer courses to international students (CRICOS Provider Code 02664K).

TEQSA regulates and assures the quality of Australia’s large, diverse and complex higher education sector. TEQSA registers and evaluates the performance of higher education providers against the Higher Education Standards Framework (HESF). TEQSA also undertakes regular compliance assessments and quality assessments of all higher education providers.

 

Excelsia College has limited self-accrediting authority. Excelsia College can self-accredit higher education courses in the Performing Arts, Counselling, Education, and Social Work, up to AQF Level 9. For courses in Business, Creative Arts, or AQF Level 10 or higher, the College must seek accreditation from TEQSA.

 

In its provision of higher education courses Excelsia College complies with relevant legislation, including the Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency Act 2011, the Higher Education Support Act 2003, and the Education Services for Overseas Students Act 2000 (ESOS Act), and their respective Standards, Codes and Guidelines.

 

Excelsia College is an affiliate of the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities (CCCU) and a member of the Independent Higher Education Australia (IHEA).

 

For a full list of Excelsia College courses and accreditation details, see Excelsia College Public Master Course List

 

ABN ‍50 ‍360 ‍319 ‍774  TEQSA PRV12064   CRICOS Provider Code 02664K

Excelsia College > About > Acknowledgement of Country

Acknowledgement of Country

Excelsia College would like to acknowledge the Traditional Owners of Country, the Wallumattagal (or Wallumedegal) people of the Eora Nation, on which our campus is situated. This clan were, for countless generations, fisher-hunter-gatherers in a rich environment of river flats, mangrove swamps and creeks. Their name derives from the word ‘Wallumai’, meaning the Black Snapper fish, which was once presumably plentiful in the Lane Cover River.

Excelsia College recognises the Wallumattagal people’s continuing connection to waters, land and culture and pays respect to their Elders past, present and emerging. We wish to genuinely acknowledge the gift of wisdom that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders generously share with us.

Excelsia College is committed to being a community where Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture is acknowledged and respected producing “research characterised by exemplary scholarship” and preparing “graduates to lead in a range of professions”.

Excelsia College > About > Our Mission

Our mission
Excelsia is an academic community benefiting the world by producing research characterised by exemplary scholarship consistent with a Christian world view, and graduates prepared to lead in a range of professions.

Excelsia contributes to making a better world through active participation in a life-transforming global Christian learning community.

 

Our values reflect our vision and our mission:

 

1. Christ-likeness: striving to exemplify the life of Christ in our commitments, our actions and our relationships.

 

2. Innovation and creativity: working with passion and imagination in a range of influential professions, to further God’s transformative work in the world.

 

3. Scholarship: creating a culture that values the search for truth, supports academic freedom and rewards rigorous thinking.

 

4. Service to the community: using our skills and abilities in and beyond the Institution in the service of others.

 

5. Lifelong learning: continually seeking knowledge, wisdom and capability to flourish and contribute in a changing world.

 

 

Undergraduate

At Excelsia College we want your experience to be one of great significance and transformation. Both in and out of the classroom, our collaborative community gives you the opportunity to make friends across all schools, and to attend a variety of performances and productions throughout the year. We are also committed to the ensemble-like atmosphere our campus offers, which encourages interaction between students, and between students and staff.
In all our activities, you will be challenged, stretched and encouraged to hone and develop your skills. You will be tested at each level and inspired as you strive for improvement. You will be asked to persevere, work hard and invest more of yourself.
But you won’t be alone.
Get involved and seize every opportunity! We believe in our community and are confident your shared experiences will forge friendships that last a lifetime.

 

 

Postgraduate

Whether you have decided to enrol in a Postgraduate degree to up-skill, change your career or purse personal development, we trust you will feel supported by the community within the Graduate School at Excelsia College. We understand you will be bringing family, work and other commitments with you, and have specifically designed our courses to cater to the needs of busy professionals.
Our Teacher Education and Leadership courses are delivered through a state-of-the-art online learning platform, providing the opportunity to complete your studies while balancing other agendas. The on-campus offerings of Music and Counselling have been structured around flexible timetables, and all courses may be undertaken full time or part time.
You will learn from our highly qualified faculty who posess the academic and professional experience to deliver respected and impacting programs. Small class sizes will ensure you receive individual mentoring as you pursue your academic, research and professional goals, and our collegial environment provides sustained opportunities to form friendships and strong networks within and beyond your vocational area.
All courses are underpinned by a Biblical worldview, challenging you to integrate your faith within your vocation, and to develop as an influential and resilient Christian leader.

 

Excelsia College promotes and fosters quality in teaching and learning through the implementation of our vision, mission and institutional values, and their integration in all aspects of institutional life and culture.

 
Strategic Planning

Excelsia College has set 6 goals designed to support our mission, and to strengthen institutional capacity to flourish and grow. The first, including eight sub-goals, represents our Teaching and Learning Plan. The second goal is our Research Plan, and the next four operational goals integrate activities across the College to ensure excellence and sustainability.

Excelsia Strategic Plan 2020-2025
 
Learning and Teaching Plan

The Learning and Teaching Plan maps the relationship between goals adopted by the College to realise its mission, strategies for each goal that vector behaviour and resource allocation, and specific key performance outcomes designed to maximise the achievement of desired graduate attributes. Each goal addresses a dimension of personal achievement and growth applicable to staff and students alike.

Learning and Teaching Plan 2022-2025

The Directors of Excelsia College subscribe to the Excelsia College Constitution which affirms their commitment and responsibility in Clause 7.3 (w) for:

 
The Apostles’ Creed

“I believe in God, the Father Almighty, creator of heaven and earth. I believe in Jesus Christ, God’s only Son, our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried; he descended to the dead. On the third day he rose from the dead; he ascended into heaven, and is seated at the right hand of the Father; from there he will come to judge the living and the dead. I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen”

 
The Nicene Creed

“We believe in one God, the Father, the Almighty, maker of heaven and earth of all that is, seen and unseen. We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ, the only Son of God, eternally begotten of the Father, God from God, Light from Light, true God from true God, begotten not made, of one being with the Father; through him all things were made. For us and for our salvation he came down from heaven, was incarnate of the Holy Spirit and the Virgin Mary and became truly human. For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate; he suffered death and was buried. On the third day he rose again in accordance with the Scriptures; he ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father. He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead and his kingdom will have no end. We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life, who proceeds from the Father and the Son, who with the Father and the Son is worshipped and glorified, who has spoken through the prophets. We believe in one holy catholic and apostolic Church. We acknowledge one baptism for the forgiveness of sins. We look for the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come. Amen.”

 

1. Deep Knowledge
A deep, coherent and extensive knowledge of studied disciplines characterised by intellectual openness, creativity and curiosity.

 

2. Critical Analysis

Willingness and ability to analyse issues logically, consider different options and viewpoints fairly, and make informed decisions in relevant artistic, academic and/or professional contexts and settings.

 

3. Lifelong Learning

A commitment to lifelong learning characterised by a willingness and ability to acquire, develop and apply knowledge and skills that facilitate positive adaptations to a changing world.

 

4. Effective Communication

Aptitude to communicate information, arguments and ideas effectively and ethically through writing, speech and/or artistic expression as appropriate within each discipline.

 

5. Christian Ethical Action

A sound knowledge and understanding of Christian values and beliefs, and of the relevance of Christian faith to personal life, professional ethics, and social concerns.

 

6. Self-Direction

A capacity for self-directed learning and activity while working effectively with others in scholarly, vocational, civic and/or artistic pursuits and endeavours.

 

7. Technical Competence

Competence and facility with materials, processes and technologies relevant to learned disciplines, generic information literacy and professional practice.

 

8. Responsible Innovation

Oriented towards exhibiting intellectual and artistic enterprise, innovation and independence in constructive, creative and responsible ways.

Thank you for considering support of Excelsia College through prayer!

A multi-denominational, not-for-profit Christian higher education provider, Excelsia College’s mission is to be an academic community benefiting the world by producing research characterised by exemplary scholarship consistent with a Christian world view, and graduates prepared to lead in a range of professions.

Excelsia facilitates our students’ outstanding academic, professional, personal and spiritual development in a rigorous, supportive, collaborative learning community.

Please view our current praise and prayer points below, and thank you again for your support.

 
Give Thanks and Praise

For the students studying bachelor and masters degrees across our schools of Creative and Performing Arts, Education, Counselling, Business and Social Work.

For our strong Academic Board and Board of Directors, as well as our talented and committed staff who, together, pursue our goal to become a Christian university

For the continuing integration of all our degree programs with Christian faith, as we pursue our mission to benefit the world by producing research characterised by exemplary scholarship consistent with a Christian world view, and graduates prepared to lead in a range of professions

For our Quality Indicators for Learning and Teaching QILT results achieving the national average

For our continued growth in course development through the development of courses aligned to our Christian mission and attractive to prospective students

 
Join with Us in Praying

That God will continue to use Excelsia College to bring glory to Himself.

That God will lead and guide our boards and our management, that He would bless them with wisdom.

That God will guide the development of new courses, and our steps towards becoming an Australian University College.

That God will guide our recruitment and the ongoing development of world-class staff to achieve our mission and vision.

That God will lead people to contribute to ongoing fundraising.

That our activities will equip students and staff for the next steps in their professional and spiritual journeys, and that God will draw us all close to him.

That our permanent staff will demonstrate the heart of Jesus in and through all they do.

That all staff and students will experience the indiscriminate and unconditional love of Jesus at Excelsia College, and thus find a place of belonging.

Excelsia College > About > Academic Staff

Professor Ian Eddie | Head School Business | Excelsia College

Dr Ian Eddie is the Head of Business School and holds a PhD from The University of New England for research analysing consolidation accounting practices in the Asia Pacific region. He also has a Master of Economics by research from The University of Sydney and investigated asset valuation in imperfect markets. Furthermore, Dr Eddie holds a Bachelor of Economics Honours from The University of Sydney and undertook research examining purchase and pooling accounting methods in business combinations.

 

Academic staff | Amy Lee | Excelsia College

Dr Amy Lee is a Doctorate candidate in Business Administration (International Management) with Geneva Business School in Switzerland. She also holds an MBA from AGSM, is a Fellow of CPA Australia, and graduated from UNSW with a Bachelor of Commerce. Dr Lee is an entrepreneur and founded two CPA Public Accounting Practices – Acting Management and Cohort Partners. Prior to this, she was the Commercial Director at Medacs Healthcare Group and Director of Finance, the Asia Pacific with Odgers Berndtson.

Associate Professor Ebi Cocodia | Head School of Counselling | Excelsia College

BEd (Hons), MEd M.Couns.

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

Dr Dion Khlentzos | Counselling | Senior Lecturer | Excelsia College

PhD, BSc Hons (Psych), BA Grad DipEd, Grad Dip Counselling, MAPS

Dr Dion Khlentzos has been a lecturer, researcher and manager within tertiary institutions for 12 years. He has also worked as a counsellor, both within organisations and in private practice. Dion has had previous roles as Program Manager and Program Director within a tertiary institution, as well as the Counsellor Trainer with the Salvation Army’s crisis telephone counselling service. Dion is the Senior Lecturer for the graduate counselling programs at Excelsia College.

Linda Higgins-Reid | Counselling | Excelsia College

M.Couns; M Child&Adol Welf: B Soc Sc Soc Welf

Clinical Registrant PACFA

Linda has been a Mental Health Professional for over 20 years in both a voluntary and a professional capacity. Her vast professional experience has been gained working across many areas including grief counselling, young parenting, family, and individual counselling and supporting children and adolescents experiencing significant behavioural and emotional difficulties. Her extensive therapeutic work with adults encompasses working with complex trauma from an attachment model. She works from a psychodynamic base, incorporating person-centred, somatic and expressive therapies in her daily work.

Linda has worked at Excelsia College (previously Wesley Institute) for many years as both a casual lecturer and student counsellor, involving both face to face and online counselling. She also sees clients in her private practice, which includes working with her much loved therapy dog Bella Bee.

Daniella Taouk | Counselling | Counsellor | Excelsia College

Daniella holds a Bachelor of Arts – Psychology, Masters in Clinical Counselling, and Advanced Clinical Training in Contemporary Gestalt Psychotherapy, and is also a registered member of PACFA.

She has experience working with a variety of clients including youth and adults from CALD, migrant and refugee communities and more.

Daniella has also worked as a counsellor, both within organisations and in private practice. She has engaged in a variety of supportive roles, and more recently in the role of lecturing at the college.

Daniella is passionate about empowering, supporting and walking alongside individuals through their own unique journeys.

MCouns (Advanced Practice) (Hons), PhD

Ireni Farag completed her Graduate Diploma of Christian Counselling from Morling College in 2006 and has worked in a range of settings including schools and private practice. She has since completed her Masters of Counselling (Advanced Practice) with Honours from the University of Southern Queensland and is currently completing her PhD at the Queensland University of Technology. Ireni has research interests in attachment, the openings of therapeutic interactions and collaborative learning practices.

Trish Yeung Petchell | Counsellor | EXcelsia College

Trish is a registered member of PACFA. She holds a Master of Counselling, and Graduate Certificates in Emotion-Focused Counselling & Psychotherapy. She is an experienced counsellor in creating a trauma-informed and culturally sensitive space.  She is passionate and skilled in guiding and collaborating with her clients in the therapeutic setting in finding support, clarity, freedom, and strength.

School of Creative and Performing Arts

Dr Lotte Latukefu | Excelsia College | Creative and performing arts

Associate Professor 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, in particularly singing, has been a particular research interest for Lotte for about seven 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.

Dr Mark Seton | Excelsia College | Dramatic art

Dr Mark Seton is an Honorary Research Associate (Department of Theatre and Performance Studies) at The University of Sydney. He is a lecturer in Theatre History, Film Project, Screen Histories, Screen Genres, Introduction to Screen Storytelling, and Formation 4: Designing my Creative Career at Excelsia College, and lecturing in career sustainability for actors at the Academy of Film, Theatre and Television (AFTT). He was recipient of the 2009 Gilbert Spottiswood Churchill Fellowship to conduct a study tour of actor training healthcare practices in the UK. Arising from this study, the Equity Foundation, in collaboration with Dr Seton, Assoc Prof Ian Maxwell (Department of Theatre and Performance Studies) and Dr Marianna Szabo (School of Psychology) at the University of Sydney, initiated a ground-breaking Actors’ Wellbeing Study (AWS) in collaboration with the Equity Foundation in 2013.

 

Hailey McQueen | Excelsia College | Creative and performing arts

Hailey has been a part of the School of Drama at Excelsia College for 14 years. Graduating from Excelsia as Valedictorian in 2002, Hailey went on to receive a Diploma of Education in Drama and History from the University of New England and completed studies with Bell Shakespeare. Hailey has appeared in many productions across Sydney as an actor including, When the Rain Stops Falling for The New Theatre, King Lear and Measure For Measure for The Sydney Shakespeare Festival, The Way of All Fish for Sydney Fringe Festival and for The Genesian Theatre; Richard III. For Twisted Tree Theatre; The God of Carnage, Entertaining Angels, The Importance of Being Earnest, Hamlet and Picnic on the Battlefield. For Sydney’s Big Laugh Comedy Festival and Newtown Theatre; The Popular Mechanicals. For Cufflink Productions; Talking With and The Cardboard Box. During her studies Hailey had roles in Morning Sacrifice, Only Words, Charlotte, J.B, Fear and Misery in the Third Reich, Easter and The Hot Mikado.

She also appeared as Sonia McMahon on Channel 9’s Power Games and in a web series Town Centre and in Mr. Foot, for Bondi Feast, Metamorphosis at Chippen Street Theatre and Wit at Seymour Centre. As a Producer and Director, Hailey has produced many independent shows across Sydney and is co-founder and Artistic Director of Clock and Spiel Productions, where her adaptation and direction of The Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis had a sold-out national tour. More recently the company’s productions of Freud’s Last Session, Metamorphosis, Wit and Molly Sweeney were all received with critical acclaim.

John Sullivan | Production Lecturer and Designer | Dramatic Arts | Excelsia College

John Alan Sullivan is a Mudgee based Designer with a passion for the unusual (although he has done his fair share of realism). John’s wide range of artistic experience spans at least three areas of design and began in the fashion industry. At eighteen, John started studying at The Whitehouse Institute of Design. He quickly found himself designing for the stage via runway shows, and a fascination for theatrical expression was born. After ‘serving’ two years at the sewing machine, he shifted his focus onto set and props and took a design assistant job with Channel 7. He then studied at Excelsia College where he graduated with a Bachelor of Dramatic Art in 2015. In his final year and after graduating from Excelsia College he was employed by the ABC for the design and construction of set pieces and props for Giggle and Hoot.

John has worked as set, costumes and props designer for many different theatres and television companies. He has worked as Head of Art on the short films Yolo (2013), SRC (2014), Enough Rope (2014), Soul Date (2014), Cross My Heart (2015), Hope to Die (2015) and The Outsider (2016).

Production highlights include Faust (2013) A Thousand Cranes (2013), Acting Out (2013), (2014) and (2015), Classic Shorts (2014), A Midsummer Night’s Dream (2014), The Falcon (2014), The Main Thing (2014), Blood Wedding (2014), Experiment with an Air Pump (2014), Bubble (2015), The Oresteia (2015) and Norm and Ahmed (2015).

Jason Perini - Excelsia College

Jason lectures in the graduate acting and directing courses for both theatre and screen.

As an actor, writer and director Jason co-wrote and acted in the short film ‘A LITTLE BIT BEHIND’. Jason was awarded ‘Best Actor’ at the international 48hour Short Film Awards in the USA. The film screened at the Cannes Film Festival shorts corner (2012)

In 2016 Jason wrote and directed his short film ‘THE NEW EMPRESS’. The film starred Maggie Gyllenhaal and was produced by Dana Brunetti. The film had its premiere at Paramount Studios (LA) as part of the Jameson First Shot project. 

In 2018, Jason acted in and co-wrote the online Wallabies campaign for ASICS ‘THE TRAVELLING SALESMAN ’ which was co-produced with LADbible.
The campaign has had over 3 million views online and was the winner of the Mumbrella Sports Marketing Awards Social Campaign of the year

Jason’s directorial debut feature film ‘CHASING COMETS’ had its national cinema release in August 2018. The film played in over 90 cinemas across Australia. Jason was nominated for an ADG award for ‘Best Director in a Feature film’ (Under $1mil) in 2019. The film is currently streaming on Stan.

In 2019 Jason directed a series of commercials for global brand HP. The campaign included the original voice of Siri, Susan Bennett.

In 2021 Jason’s short film ‘CARAMEL’ won the ‘Second Batch Film Festival’ competition run by Pedestrian TV.

Linda Nicholls-Gidley | Dramatic Art | Excelsia College

Linda holds a Master of Creative Arts – University of Wollongong, Graduate Diploma – NIDA, and a Bachelor of Arts – Acting for the Stage and Screen Charles Sturt University. Linda Certified in Knight Thompson Speechwork in 2019 and is one of only 2 teachers of the method in Australia.

Kylie Bonaccorso | Movement Lecturer | Excelsia College

Dip Arts (Acting), BA (Theatre Studies), Grad Dip Education (Drama & English)  

 

Movement Lecturer  

Kylie Bonaccorso has completed a Degree and a Graduate Diploma of Education in Theatre Studies and English at UNE.  In 2005 she completed further study at the International School of Commedia dell’ Arte and Comic Acting in Italy with world-renowned maestro Antonio Fava.  

She currently works as the movement lecturer at Excelsia College (previously Wesley Institute) where she devises shows regularly with her movement classes. Kylie has directed The Government Inspector in 2012, the graduation show of 2016 Hearts Like Fists and Love and Information in 2018. Kylie often supports major productions and student created work at Excelsia, as a movement director.

Kylie has been a regular tutor for NIDA Open for over twenty-five years, teaching all ages; classes such as mask work, scene preparation, movement for stage and screen studios, devising, improvisation, teaching teachers, youth with a disability and touring programmes.  She has directed Stories in the Dark, Bush Tales (After Grimm), A Comedy of Errors, The Pied Piper, The Time Machine, Tales from the Arabian Nights and Antigone for Nida Open. She was a Movement Director on Alice in Wonderland, Robin Hood and The Wizard of Oz (all directed by Mary-Anne Gifford). She is also a facilitator with Nida Corporate Performance (over 15 years).  

Kylie has also directed two shows for Redline Productions at The Old Fitz Theatre; Smashed by Lally Katz in 2016 for the Late Night Performances, and The Way of All Fish by Elaine May for the Sydney Fringe Festival in 2013. 

Kylie has worked at The McDonald College of Performing Arts for six years specialising in teaching play building, storytelling, mask work such as Commedia dell’ Arte, Neutral and Basel.  During her time at the college Kylie directed Ghost Sonata, Summer of the Aliens, Lord of the Flies, The House of Bernarda Alba and A Servant of Two Masters. 

Excelsia College | Academic staff | Fiona Gentle

Excelsia Excellence in Teaching Award (2020) recipient.

Fiona teaches Movement, Story and Academic Skills. She has worked professionally for over 20 years as a performer/puppeteer, movement director, director and writer. She has performed with renowned theatre, film and television companies, such as Sydney Theatre Company, Theatre of Image, Opera Australia, ABC and BBC, Sesame Street, Jim Henson Company, Nickelodeon and Kennedy Miller Productions. Fiona has performed many loved characters including ‘Ferdinand’ (the duck) from the BABE films, and for the last eight years, has assisted David Rudman in performing the Cookie Monster, on his Australian tours. She has directed a number of theatre productions, written for theatre and children’s television, and is ongoing puppetry consultant for television shows and commercials.

Fiona holds a Masters in Writing, Diploma in Fine Arts (The National Arts School), and completed the 12-month ‘Physical Theatre Program’ at the Dell’Arte School of Physical Theatre (US). Her training includes Philippe Gaulier, Monika Pagneux, Trestle Theatre, Diablo Mundo (Argentina) & Kevin Clash (puppetry), The Guildhall (UK), Kate Champion (writing). 

Donna Abela | Excelsia College | Script Writing lecturer and mentor

Donna is an award-winning playwright. Jump For Jordan won the 2015 AWGIE Award for Stage and the 2013 Griffin Playwriting Award, and is on the 2019-2022 HSC Drama Syllabus. Her body of work includes plays which have won AWGIE awards for radio (Spirit, Aurora’s Lament, Mrs Macquarie’s Cello), the Human Rights Award for Drama (Highest Mountain Fastest River), and were nominated for NSW Premiers Literary Awards (Tales From the Arabian Night, Jump For Jordan). For Kim Carpenter’s Theatre of Image, she wrote two large scale adaptations: Monkey … Journey to the West (2014 Brisbane Festival, 2015 Melbourne Festival, 2015 Sydney Opera House program) and Tales from the Arabian Nights, a widely produced play on refugee themes which was published by Currency Press in 2019. 

Donna also has extensive experience in script and writer development, and has worked with organisations such as Q Theatre, Arts Out West, Hothouse Theatre, PYT Fairfield, Australian Theatre for Young People, Playwriting Australia, National Theatre of Parramatta, Westwords, UoW and Excelsia College to teach, mentor or provide dramaturgy to over a hundred students, emerging and professional writers for screen and stage. Donna is a graduate from the University of Technology, the University of New South Wales, the University of Wollongong, and the National Institute for Dramatic Arts. She is a member of Milk Crate Theatre’s Artistic Advisory Council, and a founding member of PYT Fairfield and 7ON Playwrights. 

Malcolm Frawley | Acting Lecturer | Dramatic Art | Excelsia College

Malcolm is a writer/director/teacher and actor with over 35 years of professional experience. His plays and productions have been performed in Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide, Canberra, Byron Bay and Darwin. He has taught at NIDA, Sydney Theatre School, Screenwise, Actors College of Theatre & Television (ACTT), Theatre Nepean (University of Western Sydney), Screen Actors Workshop, ADASA, Ed5, Kick and Gala Studios. Malcolm has been a member of the Excelsia team since 2014.

Kate Gaul | Dramatic Art | Lecturer | Director | Excelsia College

Kate is a Freelance Theatre Director/Designer. She graduated from NIDA in 1996, completing the Directing Course and the Anne Bogart SITI Company In New York City in 2005. Associate Director Ensemble Theatre 2004/5. Festival Director World Interplay 2009/11. Festival Director Short Play Festival Canberra 2013 – 2015, Cabaret Sydney 2014, Mardi Gras Parade Creative Director 2015/16. Curator Playlist 2018 – 2020. Kate’s directing credits include plays, opera, physical theatre, devised works and classics for theatre companies and schools in Australia. Kate has won numerous awards across the fields of directing and design. She is Artistic Director of Siren Theatre Co where her passion is for text-based drama challenges artists and audiences to have bold imaginative experiences. Kate’s play – Fatboy has been produced twice and she has written and directed two short films – Embrace and Cake.

In 2019 Kate produced and directed The Moors (by Jen Silverman) and curated PLAYLIST both in conjunction with Seymour Centre and Mardi Gras; directed a stage version of Janne Teller’s YA novel Nothing for Blue Cow (Tasmania); By the Light of the Moon (Opera Australia), and Hansel & Gretel (Pacific Opera). Kate’s gender bending HMS Pinafore for Hayes Theatre opened in November 2019 and tours NSW in 2020.

Mary has been a stage manager in the entertainment industry for 30 years and has travelled extensively in Australia and Asia taking theatre to the people. She has been teaching her craft in Australian institutions now for 10 years and enjoys passing on her knowledge to the new stage managers of the world.

Rebecca Kellahan, Production Manager

Rebecca is a theatre and film actor, stage manager and producer. She has worked in the stage management team for numerous theatre productions including Evie May (The Hayes Theatre), A Doll’s House (Bard on the Beach Productions), Jack Data (Road Train Productions), Hell Hole (Clock and Spiel Productions), Alison’s House (The Depot Theatre) and The Crucible (Bard on the Beach Productions). In 2021, Rebecca joined Clock and Spiel Productions as a Producer and Project Manager, contributing toward the development of the Eternity Project. As an actor, Rebecca specialises in devised and movement-based storytelling. In 2021, she performed in the world-premiere of The City, a physical theatre production featuring voice over and soundscape, which was staged at the Sydney Opera House. Her other performance credits include theatre productions Wit (Joining the Dots Productions) and Windy Gully (Merrigong Theatre Company), short film The Whole Package (Dorothy Creatives) and video series Before it Starts (Hustle Media). Having graduated as Valedictorian from Excelsia College with a Bachelor of Dramatic Art (Theatre Practice) in 2017, Rebecca is advancing her academic skills through pursuing a Master of Business (Research). Integrating leadership, research and business management skills with her performing arts background, Rebecca seeks to effectively support creative teams and projects to achieve artistic excellence, desired impact, and sustainability.

 

As Production Manager at Excelsia College, Rebecca works to ensure theatre productions are a positive learning experience in which students can explore, develop, and showcase their creative and technical skills on the Excelsia stage. 

Dr Lotte Latukefu | Excelsia College | Creative and performing arts

Associate Professor 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, in particularly singing, has been a particular research interest for Lotte for about seven 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.

Christine Carroll | Music Program Director | Excelsia College

B. Mus, Dip. Ed. PhD.

Christine Carroll has many years of experience teaching in both Music and Education, in both tertiary and secondary contexts. A classical flautist and contemporary vocalist and worship leader, her work and research interests focus on effective pedagogies and knowledge-building practices for 21st Century musicians. Christine graduated in 2017 with a PhD in Music Education from the Sydney Conservatorium of Music/The University of Sydney, Australia. She also holds a Dip. Ed. In Secondary Music Education and a Bachelor of Music (Performance) from the University of Sydney.

Ludmila Beliavskaia | Tutor, Classical Piano | Music | Excelsia College

DipMus, MMus(Hons)

A graduate of Rachmaninov Conservatorium of Music in Russia, Ludmila has more than 30 years experience of teaching classical piano. She started working at Rachmaninov Conservatorium of Music as a teacher in solo piano and chamber ensemble performance. She also worked as an accompanist. Having worked in Australia for 15 years, Ludmila currently teaches at the University of New South Wales, Excelsia College and International Grammar School. Some of her recent performances include concerts with the German Chamber Orchestra at the Sydney Opera House and the Greek Choir at Sydney Town Hall. Ludmila’s students have received awards at piano competitions both in Russia and Australia.

Sadaharu Muramastu | Lecturer and Tutor | Music | Excelsia College

BA(Hons), MMus, MMus, Hon.DMus

Sada completed a Masters of Music in Conducting at the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester, UK. Subsequently, he was granted a fellowship to study conducting at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music, University of Sydney under the Japanese Government Overseas Study Program for Artists.

 

Sada completed a Masters of Music in Conducting at the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester, UK. Subsequently, he was granted a fellowship to study conducting at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music, University of Sydney under the Japanese Government Overseas Study Program for Artists.

 

Sada studied conducting under Imre Pallo, Kurt Masur, Sir Mark Elder CBE, Hirofumi Misawa and Kazuki Sawa.

George Makras | Music Lecturer | Excelsia College

George Makras brings his extensive knowledge in music production, composition and audio to his teaching role at Excelsia. George’s understanding of digital technology and digital audio workstations makes him an indispensable resource for many students.


In 2006 George was certified as a Level One Apple Certified Pro Logic Trainer. George is an accomplished programmer and electronic music composer. He also teaches other areas of digital media such as web design, image capture and editing.
He has travelled extensively thru India and Nepal over the past 15 years as an Audio Engineer with the GEOS project.


George has performed extensively with the Sydney University Gamelan Ensemble, the Sydney Institute of Technology Ensemble “SITE” and was a member of Sydney indie band “Fred the Bison”.

Academic staff | Julia Michaels

Julia Michaels is an award-winning singer/songwriter with over 20 years of experience working in the music industry.  She has worked with some of Australia’s elite musicians and performers as a performer, composer, arranger, and music/vocal director singing alongside artists such as Paramore, Delta Goodrem, Prinnie Stevens, Barry Crocker and Darlene Zschech.

 

As a songwriter, Julia has enjoyed much success receiving international recognition and awards including 2014 Adult/Contemporary Song of the Year, 2015 Folk/Acoustic Song of the Year and Runner Up for 2015 Australian Songwriter of the Year.

 

As a Vocal Coach and Music Educator, Julia specialises in Contemporary Voice with a focus on Speech Level Singing, Mix Voice, Belt and Musical Theatre and enjoys training others in composition, songwriting and artist development. 

Dr Peter McNamara | Music tutor | Excelsia College

Dr. Peter McNamara is an award-winning Sydney-based freelance composer and academic.  He is currently the instructor of composition (Masters) and harmony units at the Excelsia College and has worked for a variety of other tertiary institutions including the University of Sydney and University of New England.  He is also a co-artistic director of the Sideband composer collective.

Candice Boyd | Music Tutor | Excelsia College

Candice teaches singing and violin specialising in contemporary singing and violin, as well as classical violin. In 2010, she began teaching the choirs and small vocal groups at Newtown High School of the Performing Arts. She has toured with Ben Hazlewood and Molly Meldrom, and is currently performing with her self-managed duo “Am Believe I” developing her skills as a singing violinist, which is also the focus area of her Masters research.

David Pudney | Music Lecturer | Excelsia College

AssDipJazzStud, Industry Professional

David completed his Associate Diploma in Jazz Studies at the Sydney Conservatorium in 1984 and has been a sought after bass player in the Australian jazz scene since that time, with a wide repertoire of mixed styles. He spent 16 years as bassist in the Don Burrows Quartet and has worked with many distinguished Australian and overseas jazz artists. David is also a pianist and teaches piano, electric and double bass, and improvisation at the Sydney Conservatorium Open Academy, Avondale Conservatorium in the Newcastle area, and here at Excelsia College. As a working musician, recording artist and teacher, he brings a wealth of musical experience to Excelsia College.

Na Ri Kim | Tutor | Piano | Excelsia College

BA(Mus), BCA(MusPerf), MMus

Na Ri is an experienced piano teacher, organist and music theory teacher. Na Ri Kim was born in South Korea and interested in music from a young age. She started learning the organ when she went to university. While studying, she performed in numerous concerts as a soloist and accompanist. She migrated to Australia after she got married in 1998. She studied and completed a Bachelor of Music at Wesley Institute and a Master of Music at Newcastle Conservatorium. She is currently teaching at Excelsia College, Message Musical School in the Korean Community and as a private piano teacher.

Jae Woo Kim | Excelsia College | Music Academic Staff

Born in Korea, Jaewoo Kim is a graduate of the Canberra School of Music and a winner of several prestigious scholarships including Opera Foundation’s Metropolitan Opera Awards and the McDonald’s aria. He was a Principal Artist with Opera Australia from 1999 – 2006

He was a visiting lecturer at Queensland Conservatorium, Griffith University.

From 2007-2012 Jaewoo was based in the UK. the Italian Singer: Der Rosenkavalier, Edgardo: Lucia di Lammermoor (English National Opera); Lensky: Eugene Onegin (English Touring Opera); Duke: Rigoletto (Opera Holland Park); Harlequin: Tarik O’Regan’s The Heart of Darkness (Linbury Theatre Covent Garden); Tamino: The Magic Flute (Lyric Opera Productions, Dublin); Alfredo: La Traviata (Longborough Opera, Societa Filarmonia in Croatia and Italy); Tamino, Ferrando: Così fan tutte, Orphée: Orphée aux enfers (Diva Opera: UK, Europe). Concerts included The Dream of Gerontius (London Mozart Players and Oriana Choir at the Barbican), a Gala Concert with Royal Philharmonic Orchestra London and Verdi’s Requiem (Nottingham Harmonic Choir).

In concert in Australia, Jaewoo has appeared as soloist with the Melbourne, Sydney, Queensland and Tasmanian Symphony Orchestras, Sydney Philharmonia, Queensland Music Festival.

Luke Sweeting | Music tutor | Excelsia College

Improvising pianist and composer Luke Sweeting resides in Sydney, Australia. He is best known for the strength of his composing like in his 2012 jazz album ‘People and Lightbulbs’ and more recently with the Grey Wing Trio who recently released their debut album ‘Amoroso’ on Jazzhead. Last year, Luke toured Germany, Sweden and Australia with Svelia, The Grey Wing Trio in Australia and toured New Zealand and Australia with Kiwi/Aussie collaborative band Antipodes. He also toured in April with Vulkan quintet (DENMARK/AUST) whilst performing with other projects. uke studied at the ANU School of Music before their recent course changes, receiving the Dennis Griffin Scholarship to complete his performance based masters. He studied and performed with and alongside trumpet legend Miroslav Bukovsky (of Wanderlust and Ten Part Invention fame), James Greening (of Greening from Ear to Ear) amongst many others at the school. Luke received the Sprogis Woods Composition Competition for his large ensemble piece Sound Canvas in 2010. In 2013, with the help of the Australia Council Luke was able to pursue overseas studies with Florian Ross (German pianist/composer) and Hävard Wiik (Norwegian/Berlin pianist).

Tim Geldens Excelsia College Academic Staff

Tim Geldens is a musician/drummer based in Sydney Australia. Tim has a performed alongside some of Australia’s finest musicians; James Morrison, Emma Pask, Monica Trapaga , Lionel Cole , Uncle Jed (Australias got talent), Dale Barlow, Brendan Clarke, David Panichi, Brett Hurst, Errol Buddle, Matt McMahon, Johnathan Zwartz, John Harkins to name a few. 

 

Tim is a graduate of The Sydney Conservatorium of Music. At the Conservatorium, he was under the tuition of great Australian drummers Andrew Dickeson and Simon Barker as well renowned musicians.

 

In 2014 Tim was selected to be part of the World JM Jazz Orchestra led by Pianist/Composer Erlend Skomsvoll, consisting of some of the finest young jazz musicians around the world. 

 

Over the years Tim has spent some time in New York learning from some of his favourite drummers; Kenny Washington, Pete Van Nosetrand, Kendrick Scott, Michael Carvin, Rodney Green, Greg Hutchinson and Bob Moses. 

 

Tim Continues to perform in Sydney and abroad with local musicians. He has also been fortunate to perform numerous occasions at the Opera House and Melbourne recital centre, as well as various international Jazz festivals including; Konsberg Jazz Festival in Norway, Sydney and Melbourne Jazz Festivals, Tauranga Jazz Festival and Waiheke island Jazz festival (New Zealand) and Wangaratta Jazz festival. Tim is proud endorser of Canopus Drums.

Steve is a Sydney based jazz guitarist, composer and band leader. In 2011 he released a solo album “Kthwack!”.Steve studied at the Sydney Conservatorium in the early ’90s and over the last 25 years has enjoyed playing jazz, blues, gospel, pop and latin music in Sydney, across the country and internationally. He is in high demand in Sydney as a performer and combines this with teaching guitar at Excelsia College and part time music ministry at St Barnabus Broadway.

Aural Perception

Yutaro Okuda| Instrumental tutor, small ensemble lecturer | Excelsia College

Sydney based guitarist and composer Okuda has extensively toured nationally and internationally including festival appearances in Europe & a national tour with Arcing Wires, as well as a solo tour of Japan performing Okuda’s music with local & international musicians.

 

As well as leading his quintet and quartet, and being part of collaborative projects Arcing Wires, YUTRIO and A/O/W/G, Okuda performs regularly as sideman in many ensembles within Sydney’s contemporary jazz & improvised music scene, including Sam Gill’s Scattered, Briana Cowlishaw’s Fetherstone, Ragan Kang Quintet, Jack Stoneham’s Poltophagy, Jenna Cave’s Divergence Jazz Orchestra, Gavin Ahearn’s Memewars and Judy Bailey’s Jazz Connection.

 

Okuda is an honours graduate from the Jazz Performance degree at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music.

 

Alisa Bernhard photo

Alisa Yuko Bernhard is a pianist and researcher based in Sydney. She completed her Bachelor and Master of Music in piano performance at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music, where she was a student of the late Bulgarian pianist Nikolay Evrov; her Masters dissertation “The Pianist’s Freedom and the Work’s Constrictions: What Tempo Fluctuation in Bach and Chopin Indicate” (2017) engages with the musical work’s ontological status.

She is currently a Ph.D. candidate, exploring the relationship between music and dance with a focus on the first-person experience of dancing/musicking.

Victoria Parsons | Excelsia College | Lecturer and Tutor

B. Mus, BA (Hons), GradDip Mus

Victoria Parsons is a PhD Candidate in Ethnomusicology at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music, University of Sydney. Her research is primarily concerned with how communities experience and express themselves through community music-making practices. Victoria holds a Bachelor of Music (Classical) and a Graduate Diploma of Music from the Australian Institute of Music majoring in flute. She also holds Bachelor of Arts (Anthropology and Music Studies) with first class honours from the University of Sydney. 

Mark Barnard | Production Lecturer | Excelsia College

Mark is a television professional with over 35 years experience in just about every genre and style. He has worked internationally for many high profile employers, most recently for ABC Kids, CBeebies (UK) and Beach House (Singapore/Aust)

 

As a writer and director, Mark has been associated with the flagship children’s television program Play School for over twenty years, creating over 200 episodes.

Jason Perini - Excelsia College

Jason Perini is a director, writer and actor. In 2016, Jason wrote and directed his short film ‘The New Empress’. The short stars Maggie Gyllenhaal and was produced by Dana Brunetti as part of the Jameson First Shot project. The film premiered at Paramount Pictures Studios in Los Angeles.

 

His directorial debut feature film ‘Chasing Comets’ had its national cinema release in August 2018. The film played in over 90 cinemas across Australia. Subsequently, Jason was nominated for an ADG award for ‘Best Director in a Feature film’ (Under $1mil) in 2019. In late 2019 Jason directed a series of commercials for global brand Hewlett Packard.

 

The short film ‘A Little Bit Behind’ which Jason co-wrote and starred in has won awards internationally. Jason won ‘Best Actor’ in Australia & at the International 48hour Short Film Awards in America. The film screened at the Cannes Film Festival shorts corner in 2012.

 

‘Kitchen Sink Drama’ in which Jason also played the lead was a finalist at Tropfest Australia in 2012, screened at the New York City International Film Festival and won ‘Best Comedy’ at the BrownFish International Film Festival in New York.

Les Parrott | Excelsia College | Cinematography Lecturer

With a career in camera departments spanning six decades and multiple continents, Les Parrott has worked with some of the world’s most esteemed cinematographers, directors and actors. Starting his career in the UK as a clapper loader, Les progressed through focus pulling to camera operation, working on films including Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey and The Beatles’ Let It Be.

 

Les has worked with and been mentored by legendary cinematographers including David Watkin, BSC, Billy Williams OBE, BSC, Freddie Young OBE, BSC, Jack Hildyard ,BSC, Nicolas Roeg, CBE, BSC and Alex Thomson, BSC.

 

Since moving to Sydney in 1982, Les has continued his career as a freelance camera operator as well as setting up a commercial production company. Since 1999, Les has taught cinematography at schools including Sydney Film School (SFS), the Australian Film Television and Radio School (AFTRS) and Australian Institute of Music (AIM).

 

Les has worked with camera and cinematography technologies including 300 frame-per-second ultra- slow motion, stop motion single frame, in-camera multi/double exposure, extreme macro shooting, cine strobe light photography, aerial helicopter filming and in-camera special effects.

Excelsia College | Ben Crisp

Dr Ben Crisp is the Direction of Education at Sydney Film School. He is an award-winning writer and director, working across film, television, web series, print, interactive, commercial and corporate digital media.

 

Ben is the writer and creator of the ABC comedy series Goober, winner of Best Australian Comedy at Melbourne Web Fest. He has been nominated for the Australian Writers’ Guild AWGIE Award and the Western Australia Premier’s Book Award, and was the recipient of Screen Australia’s Enterprise Funding, the Colin Thiele Scholarship for Creative Writing, and the University of Adelaide Dean’s Commendation for Doctoral Thesis Excellence.

 

His credits include Season 1 and 2 of the hit ABC TV comedy series Squinters, starring Tim Minchin and Academy Award nominee Jackie Weaver, as well as the Logie Award-winning series The Living Room for Network Ten, starring Amanda Keller and Chris Brown.

 

Ben has a PhD in Creative Writing, and has taught in the higher education programs at the Australian Film Television and Radio School (AFTRS) and the National Institute of Dramatic Arts (NIDA). He is the co-author with playwright and screenwriter Stephen Sewell of the writing chapter “Having Something To Say And Saying It Well” in The Palgrave Handbook of Screen Production.

Sasha Zastavniković is an award-winning freelance Sound Designer with over twenty years of experience in film, television, media and entertainment industry. 

In 2005, Sasha completed his master’s degree in Sound Design at the Australian Film, Television, Radio School (AFTRS). For his study, Sasha received the Digidesign Award for Sound design Creativity. Since graduating from AFTRS, Sasha has worked as a Sound Designer and re-recording mixer on many award-winning feature films, documentaries, TV series, Virtual Reality, theatre productions, video games, TVC, co-operate videos and short movies.

​Over the years, Sasha has won numerous sound awards for the work as Sound Designer and also nominated on many other occasions. Sasha has also won Australian Screen Sound Awards for his work on TV series All Saints. ​

In addition to sound design, Sasha is passionate about electronic music, sound art, recording, and producing noise. Sasha has also written music for feature films, theatre and short films. Sasha enjoys recording the world that surrounds him and transforming sounds into something unique and exciting. 

John Sullivan | Production Lecturer and Designer | Dramatic Arts | Excelsia College

John Alan Sullivan is a Mudgee based Designer with a passion for the unusual (although he has done his fair share of realism). John’s wide range of artistic experience spans at least three areas of design and began in the fashion industry. At eighteen, John started studying at The Whitehouse Institute of Design. He quickly found himself designing for the stage via runway shows, and a fascination for theatrical expression was born. After ‘serving’ two years at the sewing machine, he shifted his focus onto set and props and took a design assistant job with Channel 7. He then studied at Excelsia College where he graduated with a Bachelor of Dramatic Art in 2015. In his final year and after graduating from Excelsia College he was employed by the ABC for the design and construction of set pieces and props for Giggle and Hoot.

John has worked as set, costumes and props designer for many different theatres and television companies. He has worked as Head of Art on the short films Yolo (2013), SRC (2014), Enough Rope (2014), Soul Date (2014), Cross My Heart (2015), Hope to Die (2015) and The Outsider (2016).

Production highlights include Faust (2013) A Thousand Cranes (2013), Acting Out (2013), (2014) and (2015), Classic Shorts (2014), A Midsummer Night’s Dream (2014), The Falcon (2014), The Main Thing (2014), Blood Wedding (2014), Experiment with an Air Pump (2014), Bubble (2015), The Oresteia (2015) and Norm and Ahmed (2015).

Dr Mark Seton | Excelsia College | Dramatic art

Dr Mark Seton is an Honorary Research Associate (Department of Theatre and Performance Studies) at The University of Sydney. He is a lecturer in Theatre History, Film Project, Screen Histories, Screen Genres, Introduction to Screen Storytelling, and Formation 4: Designing my Creative Career at Excelsia College, and lecturing in career sustainability for actors at the Academy of Film, Theatre and Television (AFTT). He was recipient of the 2009 Gilbert Spottiswood Churchill Fellowship to conduct a study tour of actor training healthcare practices in the UK. Arising from this study, the Equity Foundation, in collaboration with Dr Seton, Assoc Prof Ian Maxwell (Department of Theatre and Performance Studies) and Dr Marianna Szabo (School of Psychology) at the University of Sydney, initiated a ground-breaking Actors’ Wellbeing Study (AWS) in collaboration with the Equity Foundation in 2013.

Andrew Sortwell | School of Education | Excelsia

Dr Andrew Sortwell has over 26 years of experience in education. He has worked within schools as a teacher, Health/Physical Education Curriculum Leader, Senior School Wellbeing and Literacy Coordinator. Andrew also has experience working across 150 schools providing expertise and curriculum support to teachers and school leaders in both the primary and secondary school setting. After completing his PhD at the University of Wollongong, he has been an active researcher and practitioner, building strong collaborative relationships with prominent researchers worldwide to examine innovative strategies to promote healthy behaviours, the acquisition and development of fundamental motor skills, neuromuscular performance and perceived competence in children and youth. In 2023 he joined Excelsia College as Head of School of Education.

Gideon Boadu | Master of Teaching | Excelsia College

BEd, MEd, PhD

Dr Gideon Boadu is a teacher by training. Gideon has worked in the areas of early childhood, primary and secondary teacher education in Ghana and Australia, and across multiple higher education providers. Gideon is committed to the preparation of high-quality future educators and to supporting students achieve their career goals and aspirations.  

Pegah Marandi | Lecturer and Field Education Coordinator | Bachelor of Early Childhood Education | Excelsia College

Doctor of Philosophy, English Literature, Master of English Literature, Culture, and Modernity, Bachelor of English Literature, Graduate Diploma in Applied Linguistics & TESOL

Dr Pegah Marandi is an experienced lecturer with over 14 years of experience lecturing different units of Master of Teaching (Secondary): supervising, advising, and assessing practicum students, working on Academic Materials and Digital Design for LANTITE at Western Sydney University as well as teaching Media unit at Macquarie University. She is also a research assistant engaged in different research projects at Western Sydney University.

Pegah has experience in analytical cultural studies and expertise in coding and analysing qualitative data. This expertise in content analysis was used in the data analysis and reduction processes. She has carried out research projects in other contexts as well as in Australian within School of Education. She is currently a research assistant engaged in both current state of historical consciousness of Australian children (from school year 6 to school year 12) who are exposed to the Australian curriculum in History and determine what historical concepts, values and skills are evident, and also engaged in developing pre-service teachers’ capability to teach culturally and linguistically diverse students

Lex Akers | Integrate Studies | Lecturer | Excelsia College

Certificate IV in Civil Engineering, Certificate IV in Training and Assessing, Bachelor of Ministry, Bachelor of Business, Doctor of Ministry

Rev. Dr. Lex Akers is a pastor and church leader in the Wesleyan Methodist Church (WMC) of Australia. He currently serves as the District Superintendent of the WMC for NSW/ACT as well as the assistant National Superintendent. Dr Lex has had experience in Civil Engineering, Business and Management before becoming a pastor. Dr Lex joined Excelsia in 2017. With 25 years of leadership and pastoral ministry he brings unique insights to teaching the Christian message to students of all faiths.
Christopher Gilbert | MAR Associate Lecturer | Integrative Studies | Excelsia College

Master of Arts Religion

Chris Gilbert’s experience with diverse people and places has equipped him for his major life interest: “teaching young birds to fly” and storytelling. He became a follower of Jesus after a trip across Siberia in the northern winter of 1975. From Cornerstone Community in the outback of Australia, he went on to University studies, youth work among detention centre parolees in Brisbane, journalism, a Seminary degree in Philadelphia and 14 years providing pastoral care of church communities in Manhattan and Massachusetts.

Over the past 20 years, he also directed digital film projects in India, Denmark, Lithuania, the U.S. and Australia. He returned to his native Australia in 2015 and now lives in Sydney teaching theological core subjects for Excelsia College. He is married to Jo Kadlecek-Gilbert and they enjoy exploring Sydney and its harbour together with their dog, Clark Kent.

Helen Child | Education Practicum and Placement Coordinator | Excelsia College

Bachelor of Education and Music – Liverpool Hope University, Diploma of Photography – CATC

Helen Child is the Education Practicum and Placement Coordinator at Excelsia College. She has over twenty years of teaching experience both in the UK and Australia, specialising in music, performance and vocals. Helen has past experience in management, marketing and creative arts having owned a successful photography business for 14 years. She is passionate about Education and is relishing the opportunity to work with an amazing team of educators and academics, while creating a foundationally sound process flow to the element of practicum placements within the Bachelor of Early Childhood.

Academic staff Kim Roger

Kim has a Bachelor of Creative Arts (Drama – Theatre Practice) and a Graduate Diploma of Divinity. Since achieving these degrees she has worked in community arts and creative arts ministry roles, and has administratively supported Christian NGO’s and Educational institutions alongside her creative pursuits. More recently she has owned a photography business and sought further education in community arts and the spirituality of the artist. As a graduate of Wesley Institute, Kim enjoys serving the Excelsia community and is passionate about supporting young adults to explore and develop a mature and holistic formation of self.  

Otago University: Dip Phys Ed, Auckland Sec Teachers College: Grad Dip Ed: Sec Teachers College Diploma

Vivienne brings extensive teaching experience to the position, having taught Science, Biology and PDHPE in both Auckland and London. Vivienne has past experience working in Advertising and Marketing and was first employed at Excelsia College (then Wesley Institute) in Marketing, before transferring to Education. Vivienne is passionate about health and fitness and has been employed as a Health Counsellor, Sports Nutrition lecturer and Health Club Programme Manager. She has had her own Personal Fitness and Pilates business for many years, working in London with HRH Princess Michael of Kent and other Royalty and celebrities.

Excelsia College Academic staff | Kathryn Brunker

Administrative Assistant in Education

Kathy is the Education Administrative Assistant for Excelsia College. She holds an Associate Diploma of Music (Voice) from Trinity College of London (1995) and has run her own voice tutoring business. Kathy has extensive experience in administration, office support and customer service. One of her more significant roles was as a School Administrative Officer at a public school for over 8 years. Kathy attends Chatswood Presbyterian Church where she serves in the music ministry and leads a Bible study group. Kathy finds it a blessing to work for a Christian organisation that aligns with her faith and strives for eternal impact within the higher education sector.  

Nadia Di Martino | Bachelor of Early Childhood Education | Excelsia College

Master of Teaching (0-5), Master of Mental Health Practice, Graduate Certificate of Education Studies (Research) 

Nadia’s teaching experience spans from early childhood education to primary education units. She has supervised, coached and mentored practicum students for Australian Catholic University, Southern Cross University and TAFE. Nadia has worked for Western Sydney University in course development, helping finalise new undergraduate units in early childhood education and multiculturalism. She also has experience working as a learning advisor for Swinburne University. 

Nadia is working on her PhD at the University of Newcastle. Her project explores international students’ identities through arts-based research methods and ‘French Theory.’ 

As a Course Coordinator, Nadia aims to support preservice teachers find their voice and become creative, passionate and inspiring teachers.

Michael Parzakonis | Excelsia College | School of Education

Master of Teaching (Secondary), Bachelor of Arts (Ancient History & Management) – University of Sydney

Michael’s teaching experience is broad and includes a variety of previous roles. This includes HSC tuition, OOSH tuition in literacy, and Secondary High School Teaching for Stages 4, 5 and 6 at the NSW Department of Education. He has designed, developed, and implemented assessment, lesson sequences and programs for a variety of subject areas including Ancient and Modern History, Business Studies, Commerce and Geography. He also has a specific interest in teaching literacy and evaluative style writing. Throughout 2022, Michael was a Student Services Coordinator at Excelsia College, involved with a variety of courses in the School of Education, helping students with a range of enquiries relating to course enrolments, course structure, and administration.

Alfred Mupenzi | Early Childhood Education Lecturer | Excelsia

Dr Alfred Mupenzi is an experienced lecturer with over seven years experience lecturing Sociology within the Master of Teaching (Primary) program at Western Sydney University. Alfred also has one year of experience teaching different early childhood education units at Excelsia College.n. Alfred’s teaching in early childhood education spans from multiculturalism and multilingualism, child, family and partnerships, growth and development , through to special needs education.

Susan Evans | Excelsia College | Head School of Social Work

Susan Evans has over 25 years practice and academic experience in social work. She has worked in health and community organisations as a social worker, counsellor, educator, and researcher. Her publications are informed by practice-based learning to engage critically with neoliberal trends in preventive health, programs evaluation, and the organisation of social care. She has long standing interest in professional values development and the usefulness of practical reason to withstand value conflicts within social work settings. Her curriculum leadership aims to develop students’ practical virtues focused on justice, compassion, capabilities and wellbeing.

Susan has taught social work since 2005 and was previously Lecturer at Western Sydney University and Senior Lecturer at Australian Catholic University. In 2023 she joined Excelsia College as Head of School, Social Work.

Professor Peter Camilleri | Head School Social Work | Excelsia College

Professor Peter Camilleri has been a social worker, researcher and academic. He has been involved in teaching social work since 1986. He has worked as a social work practitioner in Tasmania, England and the Northern Territory working in adult mental health, rehabilitation, and child and adolescent mental health. He has been Professor of Social Work at several universities, Head of Schools of Social Work and Rector/Campus Dean. He has worked at University of South Australia, James Cook University, Australian Catholic University, University of Wollongong, and Central Queensland University.

Penny Kansiime | Social Work Lecturer | Excelsia College

Lecturer of School of Social Work, Dr Penny Kansiime has been a social work practitioner for over twelve years. She has both domestic and international practice in the areas of child protection, gender-based violence, social administration, forced migration, HIV/AIDS, and disability, with a range of individuals from diverse cultural backgrounds. Her social work lecturing career started almost two years ago, working as a sessional lecturer at the University of Western Sydney, University of Newcastle, as well as the Australian College of Applied Psychology in Sydney. Penny uses a holistic and critical approach to social work and aims at helping students become critically reflective practitioners.

Dr Shannon Said | Social Work Lecturer and Field Education Coordinator | Excelsia College

Shannon Said is a social work researcher and practitioner, working with Pacific, Maori and culturally diverse people groups over the past ten years. He has held various positions as a researcher at Western Sydney University, The University of Sydney, Australian Catholic University and others in the areas of music and other cultures, support programs for disadvantaged and minority university student groups, and music therapy as an alternative for young people from trauma backgrounds. Shannon has more recently has worked as a Youth Access Practitioner at headspace and Youth Development Worker at Bridging the Gap.

Academic staff | Bonny Cotter | Excelsia College

 Bonny Cotter is a social work supervisor and practitioner, with over twenty-five years’ social work experience in both government and community organisations. She is currently working as Program Manager at Bridging the Gap in Western Sydney, delivering services to vulnerable and disadvantaged children and their families within the local community, promoting partnerships and developing organizational policy. Bonny has also trained and worked as a music therapist within the disability and aged care sector and delivered group music therapy programs to parents and children to strengthen attachment and address trauma. 

 

Mona Luxton | Excelsia College | Master of Social Work

 Mona Luxton commenced teaching at Excelsia College school of counselling in 2019. Mona has been working as a professional counsellor and psychotherapist since 2002 and has attained a vast range of experience in various types of therapies and modalities for counselling issues. Mona has had a particular interest in working with victims of Domestic and Family Violence. She founded the Bay City Care Community Support and Counselling Centre in 2010 where she continues to work as the service manager. 

Mona has a Master of Social Work (professional qualifying) at Southern Cross University. In 2022 Mona joined the Social Work team at Excelsia as a Social Work lecturer. 

Nicky Golan | Social Work | Excelsia

 Nicky has over 25 years’ experience in clinical practice, research, academia, and public and private health management. She has extensive experience consulting to human service agencies, not for profit organisations and small businesses. 

Nicky has had a diverse career including specialising in clinical work in the acute care, primary care, community, and private sectors. She has worked in executive management and senior quality improvement roles across a range of settings. She has diverse experience teaching across multiple Universities and Higher Education facilities and Colleges in both undergraduate and postgraduate in Social Work and other human services courses and degrees. 

She is a specialist in Social Work workplace learning and is particularly skilled in imparting Social Work theory and concepts in a way that students can connect with meaningfully and personally. 

Jessica Ghali | Excelsia

 Jessica Ghali is a therapist who is passionate about working with youths and refugees in crisis. She has worked in a range of settings with children who have experienced traumatic brain and spinal cord injuries, their carers and communities. 

 Dr Kofi Awuviry-Newton is a social worker and social gerontologist with expertise in applying mixed methods into studying the healthy ageing. Kofi has spent 7 years in practising social work in the areas of correctional services, ageing, disability, family wellbeing and gerontological education. Kofi has extensive experience teaching in public health, social work and gerontology from the University of Wollongong, Western Sydney University, University of Newcastle, and Acknowledge Education in Australia. Kofi sees issues in a multidirectional lens and apply critical thinking in research and educating students. 

Adam Willing | Social Work | Excelsia

 Adam Willing is a trauma therapist and social work practitioner, with a Masters in Counselling Social Work. For over 10 years Adam has worked within the contexts of child protection, domestic and family abuse, family therapy, parenting and caregiver support, out of home care, child and adolescent mental health, and complex and developmental trauma. 

Christina Williams | Social Work Lecturer and Field Education Coordinator | Excelsia

Social Work Lecturer and Field Education Coordinator Christina Williams has been a Social Work Practitioner for over 18 years. She has both domestic and international experience in the areas of child protection, hospital social work, aged care, mental health, disability and clinical social work.

Christina started her academic career with Excelsia College in October 2022 as Social Work Lecturer and Field Education Coordinator. Having strong and varied practice experience, she is excited to support students with developing their social work skills by preparing for and completing their field placements. She is hoping to pass on her passion for social justice and holistic social work approaches to the next generations of social work practitioners so they can make a positive impact in the lives of those they will support in future.

BSc (Hons 1), Dip Crim, Dip Ed, Dip Bib Stud (Hons), M Clin Psych, Phd.

Before joining Excelsia College Maureen held the positions of Lecturer and Senior Lecturer in the School of Psychology at Western Sydney University. She has lectured in Pastoral Counselling to theological students and continues to consult as a Clinical Psychologist. Her passion for research leadership led to her becoming a Founding Director of the Lumen Research Institute in 2016, an initiative of Excelsia College in Sydney and Indiana Wesleyan University in the USA.

Professor Kirsty Beilharz | Integrative Studies Program Director | Excelsia College

Dr. Kirsty Beilharz is a composer, researcher, educator and author. She is the Integrative Studies Program Director at Excelsia College. Kirsty has previously conducted research at the University of Notre Dame (Australia) in bioethics, healthcare ethics and spirituality, in collaboration with St. Vincent’s Health Network. Kirsty was a conjoint academic of UNSW Faculty of Medicine, of Sydney University’s Kolling Institute, and at HammondCare investigated the impact of music in dementia and palliative care. Kirsty was a Senior Creative Fellow at Anglican Deaconess Ministries, Visiting Fellow at the University of Edinburgh, Professor of Music and Interaction Design at UTS, and Digital Media Program Director at Sydney University.

Excelsia

EXCELLENCE IN

Teaching
Awards
2021
Excellence in teaching award

Ireni Farag

School of Counselling

Counselling Lecturer

Ireni Farag was the overall winner for the Excellence in Teaching Award for 2021, for her work designing teaching underpinned by socio-cultural research. Her desire to stimulate curiosity in students encourages life-long learning and enhances the student learning experience at Excelsia College.

Ireni’s application provided numerous examples of versatile teaching methods. Carefully designed, scaffolded assessments ensure students are introduced carefully to complex theories and models. Case studies that include Christian organisations display a level of design in which students gain intimate knowledge of potential organisations where they can work in the future. Adaption of a client-centred counselling approach to teaching is evidenced by enthusiastic and inspired student feedback.