Independent Higher Education Australia (IHEA) welcomed Dr David Perry (Vice President Academic, Alphacrucis University College) as new IHEA Chair, Ann Whitelock (International College of Management Sydney) as new IHEA Deputy Chair at the peak body's 2023 Annual General Meeting held earlier today.

IHEA also welcomed Professor Peter Sherlock (Vice-Chancellor, University of Divinity) to the IHEA Board as a Director.

Incumbent Chair, Alan Finch (formerly Bond University) and incumbent Deputy Chair, Gabriela Rodriguez (Academies Australasia Group) did not recontest their respective positions following years of dedicated service.

Alan Finch also decided to step down from the IHEA Board. Alan was first appointed to the IHEA Board (then Council of Private Higher Education – COPHE) back in 2006​. Alan became Deputy Chair in 2007 and then was appointed as Chair on 29 May 2019​.

Gabriela Rodriguez will remain on the IHEA Board.

The AGM saw the reinstatement of all other incumbent members.

IHEA Board 2022-23

Dr David PerryVice President AcademicAlphacrucis University CollegeCHAIR
Ms Ann WhitelockChair, Aspiring Education Foundation and Professional Scholarships ProgramInternational College of Management, SydneyDEPUTY CHAIR
Mr Bobby AbrahamChief Admissions, Global Engagement and PartnershipsExcelsia CollegeDIRECTOR
Prof James AdonopoulosAcademic DeanKaplan Business School and Kaplan ProfessionalDIRECTOR
Mr Joseph AnthonyszCEONavitas Careers and Industry DivisionDIRECTOR
Prof Kerri-Lee KrauseInterim Vice-Chancellor, fmr Provost and Senior Deputy Vice ChancellorAvondale UniversityDIRECTOR
Prof Alwyn LouwVice ChancellorTorrens UniversityDIRECTOR
Dr Ben O'HaraManaging DirectorCOLLARTSDIRECTOR
Ms Eve OllerenshawPro Vice ChancellorNextEd /Academy of Interactive TechnologyDIRECTOR
Mr Ken RichardsonVice President, OperationsBond UniversityDIRECTOR
Ms Gabriela RodriguezDeputy Managing Director and Group COOAcademies Australasia GroupDIRECTOR
Prof Peter SherlockVice-ChancellorUniversity of DivinityDIRECTOR

New IHEA Chair - Dr David Perry

Dr David Perry is Vice President Academic at Alphacrucis University College, a self-accrediting higher education provider offering courses from Diploma to PhD.

David has years of experience in higher education leadership and management. Apart from serving on the IHEA Board since May 2015, he also currently holds a number of other leadership roles within the higher education sector. He was recently appointed as a member of the Higher Education Standards Panel, an expert statutory advisory body to the Federal Minister for Education, from 2020-2023. Other roles include as Secretary of the Council of Deans of Theology, Council Member for the Australian and New Zealand Association of Theological Schools (ANZATS), and Steering Committee Member for the Higher Education Private Providers Quality Network.

David believes strongly in the importance of a clear and compelling voice to speak on behalf of independent higher education. He is passionate about advocacy for policy that treats all higher education providers fairly and equitably and is proud of
the reputational rise of independent higher education over many years. His academic expertise is theology, having completed a PhD at Australian Catholic University and having taught in theology for several years, and his professional background is organisational management.

New IHEA Deputy Chair - Ann Whitelock

Ann Whitelock is Chair, Aspiring Education Foundation and Professional Scholarships Program, International College of Management, Sydney (ICMS).

Ann has combined over 30 years’ business experience with more than a decade working in higher education to support students and key stakeholders within the sector. As creator and chair of the Aspiring Education Foundation and Professional
Scholarships Program at ICMS, Ann is passionate about expanding the scholarships giving channel, and protecting its strong values centred on the provision of access to higher education. In her advisory capacity at ICMS, Ann is key to ensuring the overall vision and business strategy of the college. She was the founder of the International Sports College of Australia (ISCA) and has established WOWEE – women optimising work emphasising equality.

Over the last six years, Ann has advised on and led significant regulatory projects, including provider re-registrations and devised self-audit systems for the HESF.

She was winner of the Small Business Award in Victoria and was a nominee for Telstra Business Woman of the Year. Ann is a member of the AICD, she holds a degree in psychology and sociology, as well as financial services qualifications. With her diverse business, higher education and quality assurance expertise, Ann advocates access to higher education for those from adversity, the sector and the regulator working together positively, providers engaging with businesses, an equal playing field for independent providers, and protecting Australia’s strong global reputation.

New IHEA Board Member - Prof Peter Sherlock

Professor Peter Sherlock is the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Divinity.

He has extensive experience in senior academic leadership that is industry focussed. Since his appointment as Vice-Chancellor in 2012, he has built a national network of partnerships with over 40 faith-based organisations for which the University of Divinity delivers higher education outcomes in response to their needs for graduates and research in theology and ministry. He has led the theological sector’s engagement with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, culminating in the creation of the University’s School of Indigenous Studies in 2021 and the appointment of Australia’s first Indigenous Professor of Theology.

Professor Sherlock is currently President of the Australian and New Zealand Association for Theological Studies and served as Chair of the Council of Deans of Theology from 2015 to 2023. His current research includes a forthcoming book on the impact of theological study on the lives and careers of prominent Australians from diverse walks of life.

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