Experience and Leadership
The IHEA Board of Directors are leaders in Australian independent higher education. The Board defines the strategic direction for IHEA and oversees the operational performance of our organisation. Our directors are elected from our membership on the basis of their expertise and perform their duty in accordance with their obligations under the Corporations Law. The board is accountable to members and ensures that IHEA is managed according to our constitution and in compliance with all relevant regulations.
Mr Alan Finch
Mr Alan Finch is Chair of IHEA's Board of Directors.Alan is also a Director of Group Colleges Australia. Alan was former Deputy Vice Chancellor (Students and Support Services) Bond University - Australia’s first not-for-profit, independent university.
Alan’s 50+ years of higher education experience straddles both independent and public sectors. Apart from his 29 years in senior management positions at Bond, in his early career, he also served at Monash University as a Faculty Assistant Registrar and at the University of Southern Queensland as Registrar and Council Secretary. The combination of Alan’s extensive public/private management experience, along with his undertaking of Bond’s Company Secretary role (1996-2009) gives him a unique experience and perspective on the Australian higher education sector.
Alan was an integral part of the team that established Bond as Australia’s first private university in 1989. He planned and developed the University’s academic and administrative structures and developed the university’s first regulations. His contribution to the management of Bond University has extended into most operational areas of the University at various times in his career. Alan was responsible for an extensive portfolio including student administration and student support services.
Alan served as the Deputy Chair of IHEA (then known as COPHE) and as the Bond University nominee since its inception in 1992. He has long contributed to the sector, having held advisory and support roles on various government (State and Commonwealth), education sector, and professional bodies.
Professor Kerri-Lee Krause
Professor Kerri-Lee Krause (PhD, PFHEA, FSRHE, MAICD) is Provost and Senior Deputy Vice-Chancellor at Avondale University. Prior to this, she held several senior university executive roles, most recently at The University of Melbourne. She is an experienced academic leader with a track record of leading university-wide strategic change and organisational renewal, underpinned by a deep commitment to engaging students and staff through cultural transformation. Experience includes: systemic improvement of the student experience and outcomes; whole-of-university curriculum renewal; and extensive work on reshaping academic staff promotion policies and processes to recognise and reward contemporary academic work.Professor Krause holds the Ministerial appointment of Deputy Chair, Higher Education Standards Panel and also led the Ministerial Implementation Working Group for the Transparency of Higher Education Admissions. Recent sector-wide leadership roles include Chair, Universities Australia Deputy Vice Chancellor (Academic) Committee and co-Chair, Universities Australia Executive Women’s Committee. As an Honorary Professorial Fellow at the Centre for the Study of Higher Education, Melbourne she is internationally recognised for her contributions to higher education policy, research and practice. She is a lifetime Fellow of the international Society for Research in Higher Education and a Principal Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.
Dr David Perry
Alphacrucis University College
Dr David Perry is Vice President Academic at Alphacrucis University College, a self-accrediting higher education provider offering courses from Diploma to PhD. He 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 a number of years, and his professional background is organisational management.
Professor James Adonopoulos
Kaplan Business School
As the Academic Dean of Kaplan Business School, Prof James Adonopoulos is responsible for 180 academics across four campuses, and for the teaching and learning strategy of more than a dozen diverse disciplines.
His PhD research was on the ways in which leaders influence employee engagement during organisational crises and significant change, which was a common theme in his pre-academia career where he served in middle management positions for a number of financial services organisations.
He is the author of four management books and a nationally syndicated business column, and has accumulated more than 200 speaking engagements for organisations throughout eight countries on his topics of expertise, namely employee engagement, leadership and change management.
Mr Joseph (Jo) Anthonysz
Navitas Careers & Industry Division
Mr Joseph Anthonysz has more than 20 years of management, strategy, leadership and business development experience in higher education including 11 years with Navitas - one of Australia’s most valued and highly respected global education providers.
As CEO of the Navitas Careers and Industry division, Jo oversees delivery of higher education, VET, professional development and employability programs to 25,000 students globally, including more than 7,000 students at two of Australia’s largest independent higher education providers - SAE Creative Media Institute (SAE) and the Australian College of Applied Psychology (ACAP).
With deep knowledge of regulatory and policy frameworks underpinning Australia’s higher education sector, Jo advocates for reforms that improve access and equity for students - and create a more level playing field between public and independent education providers.
Mr Ken Richardson
Mr Ken Richardson is the Vice President Operations at Bond University. His responsibilities extend across strategy development and implementation, information technology, human resources, government relations, quality assurance, performance measurement, and business analysis.
Ken has over 20 years’ experience serving in leadership roles across public and independent higher education providers, with deep expertise in higher education policy, strategy, and governance practice.
Prior to Bond, Ken was at the University of Queensland where his positions included Director of Planning and Executive Officer to the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research). He holds tertiary qualifications in business and information sciences.
Ms Gabriela Rodriguez
DEPUTY CHAIR / Academies Australasia Polytechnic
Ms Gabriela Rodriguez is Deputy Chair of IHEA's Board of Directors.Gabriela is also the Deputy Managing Director and Group COO of Academies Australasia Group, a company with 17 colleges in Australia (including Academies Australasia Polytechnic) and one in Singapore. Her background is in Information Technology and she holds degrees in Computer Science and Systems Engineering.
Born and educated in Venezuela, Gabriela and her husband left their jobs in 2000 and moved with their daughter to Australia. She joined Academies Australasia more than 20 years ago as a lecturer in IT and moved through its leadership group, holding positions in marketing, curriculum development and regulatory compliance. She also held senior management responsibilities in acquisitions, corporate restructure and financial management.
Gabriela has been on the board of the Academies Australasia Group for more than ten years and also holds Board positions on each of the group’s colleges and intermediary holdings.
Professor Alwyn Louw
Torrens Global Education Network
Professor Alwyn Louw is the Vice-Chancellor of Torrens University, part of Laureate International Universities. Alwyn has served in senior academic leadership and management roles for over 20 years, including as President of the University and Academic President at Monash South Africa, and as Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Academic and Research at Vaal University of Technology (South Africa).Prior to these roles, Professor Louw served in senior leadership positions at the University of South Africa, Technikon Southern Africa and Vista University. A sociologist by training, Professor Louw has made a broad contribution to academia with publications on societal development, gender equity, civil society and community, the future of education, new generation universities, research and innovation and other subjects. Professor Louw also brings extensive private sector experience to IHEA, including service as Chair and Director of the peak body South Africa Private Higher Education.
Mr Bobby Abraham
Mr Bobby Abraham is Chief Admissions, Global Engagement and Partnerships at Excelsia College. He has over fifteen years’ experience in education leadership, management, strategy, and business development education.
Bobby has worked across vocational, higher education, and ELICOS sectors including strategy and promotion campaigns. In Bobby’s 10 years with TAFE NSW, he managed ‘subcontinent’ market for marketing and sales related activities along with ‘pre and post enrolment compliance’. He has in-depth knowledge of The National Code 2018 under ESOS Act 2000.
Bobby has been part of Excelsia College since 2016. He has established compliance and recruitment team across different countries working with channel partners in India, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Indonesia, Vietnam, and Philippines, with future growth in South America and Scandinavia.
Bobby manages both domestic and international student (onshore and offshore) recruitment along with strategic global partnerships.
In 2017, he was also part of the COPHE team (currently IHEA) representing non-university higher education providers as ESOS changes were being consulted by government.
Ms Eve Ollerenshaw
NextEd Group (incl Academy of Information Technology)
Ms Eve Ollerenshaw is Pro Vice Chancellor and Executive General Manager Group Quality, Accreditation and Compliance at NextEd Group Limited, which included higher education provider Academy of Information Technology (AIT).
Eve has over 35 years of education industry leadership and management experience peppered with commercial, government and consulting roles. She has worked in leadership roles at a number of exclusive Sydney independent schools, Stratco QLD, Australian Technical College, Carrick Education, Think Colleges, Pharmacy Guild of Australia, the Australian government funded Workforce Futures program, and Scentia. Eve has owned and operated large retail outlets, a global consultancy business, and a sports management and coaching business. She has held a number of board appointments including Athletics NSW, LugeAustralia, the Queensland Studies Authority, along with several not-for-profits. Eve was integrally involved in the NSW Interational Student Arrivals Program seeing the return of international students to Australia in 2021-22..
In 2017, Eve joined the technology and design division of RedHill Education (now known as NextEd Group), and was promoted in 2018. In her current role she is responsible for managing organisational compliance with domestic and overseas legislation, education industry registrations and accreditations, compliance with various regulatory bodies, governmental reporting, and new course accreditations. Eve is also NextEd's Privacy Officer.
Eve has post-graduate qualifications in education and is qualified in governance and risk.
Dr Ben O'Hara
Australian College of the Arts
Dr Ben O'Hara is the Managing Director of The Australian College of the Arts (COLLARTS), where Ben provides leadership and oversight of all aspects of COLLARTS including the academic and operational running of the college.
Ben has taught in Higher Education and VET at a number of institutions across Australia, including the Sydney Institute of TAFE Ultimo, The University of Tasmania, EORA College, and JMC Academy and as a Head of Higher Education at Box Hill Institute in Melbourne.
Ben has a broad range of experience in the music industry, having working in music publishing and licensing as well as event and artist management. He has also been a performer for over 15 years, and runs his own booking agency. Ben also runs thebiz.com.au, an online music business resource centre and has published six textbooks on the music industry.
Ben's PhD research at Monsah University was focused on creative industries education and the student pathways into industry careers.
Ms Ann Whitelock
International College of Management Sydney
Ms Ann Whitelock has combined over twenty 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 the International College of Management, Sydney (ICMS), Ann is passionate about expanding and protecting its strong values centred on providing access to higher education. The program has extensive support from corporate leaders.
In her advisory capacity at ICMS, Ann is key to ensuring the overall vision and business strategy of the college, and was instrumental in the establishment of the International Sports College of Australia (ISCA). Ann has led significant regulatory projects, including provider re-registrations. She spoke at the recent TEQSA Conference, and was invited to provide feedback as a TEQSA ‘Critical Friend’.
As a business owner, Ann was winner of the Small Business Award in Victoria and nominee for Telstra Business Woman of the Year. She holds a degree in psychology and sociology, as well as financial services qualifications. With her diverse business and quality assurance expertise, and passion for higher education, Ann advocates equality and quality across the sector, and in protecting Australia’s positive global reputation.