About  >  Our Board

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. 

Our Board

Mr Alan Finch

CHAIR / Bond University

Mr Alan Finch, is Deputy Vice Chancellor (Students and Support Services) Bond University, Australia’s first not-for-profit, independent university.

Bond has developed an international reputation for teaching and student experience excellence; it is listed in the top twenty universities in the prestigious THE Rankings of Best Small Universities in the World. The university has also been consistently listed at the top of Australia’s student experience rankings.

Alan’s 49 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 is responsible for an extensive portfolio including student administration and student support services.

Alan served as the Deputy Chair of IHEA or COPHE as it was then, 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 Ray Roennfeldt

Avondale College of Higher Education

Professor Roennfeldt is President of Avondale College. He has worked as a nurse, a minister and a cross-cultural educator.

Ray first attained qualifications as a registered nurse and then completed a Bachelor of Arts in theology at Avondale. He has also earned a Master of Arts in Religion and a Doctor of Philosophy from Andrews University in Michigan, USA.

Ray also served as Dean of the Faculty of Theology and senior lecturer in systematic and historical theology at Avondale. He is currently a member of the American Academy of Religion, Society of Biblical Literature, Australian Theological Forum, Adventist Society for Religious Studies, Evangelical History Association and Society for the Study of Early Christianity.

Dr David Perry

Alphacrucis College

Dr David Perry is Vice President Academic at Alphacrucis College. His professional background is organisational management.

David also currently holds several leadership and service roles, including Secretary of the Council of Deans of Theology and President of the Association of Pentecostal and Charismatic Bible Colleges.

His academic expertise is theology, having completed a PhD at Australian Catholic University. He has also taught theology for a number of years.

Dr Dominic Szambowski

International College of Management, Sydney

Professor Dominic Szambowski is CEO and President at ICMS and has close ties with the ICMS community, having also worked there in his early career.

Dominic is an international education management leader and has held senior roles in Australia, Malaysia, Switzerland and the USA. These roles have concentrated on developing career-focused educational programs with industry while building student enrolment growth. In his capacity as Vice Chancellor of BERJAYA University College of Hospitality in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Dominic helped launch the new BERJAYA Business School (BBS).

Dominic’s other roles have included President/CEO of INTI International College, Subang Jaya, Malaysia and Executive Dean, Hospitality, Culinary Arts and Tourism for the INTI Group; both roles were under Laureate International Universities.

At the Blue Mountains International Hospitality Management group, Dominic established systemised academic rigor and faculty professionalism measures, while boosting quality assurance practices at home and in Asia.

Dominic has also held student life and academic positions at State University of New York, the University Centre César Ritz, Brig, Switzerland, the Institute Hotelier César Ritz, Le Bouveret, Switzerland, and Paul Smith’s College, Paul Smiths, New York, USA.

Dr James Adonopolous

Kaplan Business School

As the Academic Dean of Kaplan Business School, Dr 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.

Ms Gabriela Rodriguez

DEPUTY CHAIR / Academies Australasia Polytechnic

Ms Gabriela Rodriguez is an Executive 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 17 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 seven years and also holds Board positions on each of the group’s colleges and intermediary holdings.

Professor Justin Beilby

Torrens University

Professor Justin Beilby is Vice-Chancellor of Torrens University Australia, part of Laureate International Universities. He practices as a General Practitioner and leads an international research project examining and developing new models of managing frailty.

As Vice Chancellor of Torrens University Australia, Justin works in partnership with 75 Laureate Universities world-wide, drawing upon the combined intellectual input of a global academic team.

Justin is chairing the establishment of a new global research health service partnership with academic colleagues in South America, Spain, the United States and Mexico.

Dr Philip Brown

Le Cordon Bleu

Dr Philip Brown is Academic Dean, Le Cordon Bleu and is an internationally experienced higher education leader, board director and company secretary.

Philip’s contribution to educational leadership includes his active promotion of, recruitment to and support of professional associations at regional, state and national levels. He has previously held the roles of CEO & Academic Director, UC College at the University of Canberra; Principal & CEO, Newbold College of Higher Education (UK); Vice-President (Learning & Teaching), Avondale College of Higher Education; and Executive Principal, UWS College at Western Sydney University.

Philip was awarded a doctorate in educational leadership (LSU) with additional postgraduate degree qualifications in tertiary education management (LH Martin, UMelb), commerce (UNSW) and educational administration (UNSW).

Philip has been recognised and presented as a Principal Fellow, Higher Education Academy (UK) and as a Fellow, Association of University Administrators (UK). He is also currently a Graduate Member, Australian Institute of Company Directors (Company Directors Course) and a Member, Risk Management Institute of Australasia.

Ms Julie Moss

Photography Studies College

Ms Julie Moss is Managing Director of Photography Studies College (Melbourne) and has over thirty-five years’ experience in leadership roles in the tertiary education sector.

Passionate about the value and role of independent tertiary education in Australia, Julie has a wealth of experience advocating for the interests of this sector at state, national and international levels. She is dedicated to photography and arts education and as such, was recognised by the Australian Institute of Professional Photography with the prestigious award of an Honorary Fellowship.

Julie has served on a number of Boards and Councils responsible for quality assurance of education and training standards in Australia. Julie was an inaugural Board member of both the Victorian Qualifications Authority and its successor the Victorian Registration and Qualifications Authority. She also served on Victoria’s Higher Education Advisory Committee.

She has represented Australia and the independent tertiary education sector on a number of government delegations and presented at numerous conferences.

Mr Shannon Sweeney

Macleay College

Mr Shannon Sweeney is a Director of the Australian College of the Arts Group, which comprises Macleay College and Collarts.

Shannon is a communications specialist with a background is journalism and marketing. He holds a Bachelor of Arts (Communication) from UTS and is currently completing an MBA at Australian Graduate School of Management.

Shannon is also a proud graduate of Macleay College and can speak from a student perspective on the value of independent higher education as well as industry-focused higher education.

Mr Joseph (Jo) Anthonysz

Navitas Careers & Industry Division

Jo has more than 20 years of management, strategy, leadership and business development experience in higher education – including 11 years with one of Australia’s most valued and highly respected global education providers, Navitas. 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.

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