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BHERT Governance


The BHERT Board is comprised of vice-chancellors and senior representatives from industry. The current Board of Directors are:

Ken Boal, President B/HERT

Ken Boal, President

“If you’re a business leader and […] you’re not tapping into the science and research capacity in our research ecosystem, you’re going to miss out”.

As Vice President of Cisco Australia and New Zealand, Ken sets out a clear roadmap for customers and partners to take advantage of market transitions, such as the Internet of Everything and cloud, increase productivity and create competitive advantage through the innovative use of technology.

On joining Cisco in 2004 Ken led the company’s public sector engagement with Australia’s federal, state and territory governments, defence, education and healthcare. This role was then expanded to include growth and development in the private sector.

Ken is committed to working with the higher education sector to enhance Australia’s role in the knowledge economy. He has also held a leadership position within Cisco’s primary education initiative, the Cisco Networking Academy, where he manages the team responsible for the delivery of an ICT training program that helps to improve the career and education opportunities for over 20,000 Australians and New Zealanders annually.

Ken holds a Bachelor of Electrical Engineering (Communication & Electronics) from the University of Queensland.

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Martin Stewart-Weeks, B/HERT Board Member

Martin Stewart-Weeks
Independent Advisor, Consultant and Principal, Public Purpose Pty Ltd

"Successive waves of technology innovation, not the least in the form and reach of the internet itself, have rewritten the book of connection, collaboration and common purpose".

Martin is an independent advisor and consultant and principal of Public Purpose Pty Ltd.  A strategic thinker, organisational consultant, facilitator and writer, Martin brings 30 years' experience spanning government, the "for purpose" or social sector and the corporate sector. His work explores the intersection of policy, government, technology and innovation. He is also a senior advisor to Deloitte's public sector practice in policy development and innovation within government.

From 2001 to 2013, he led the Asia-Pacific public sector team in Cisco's consulting and innovation arm, the Internet Business Solutions Group. His team worked on policy and reform projects in government, education, human services and urbanisation in India, China, South-East Asia, Australia and New Zealand.  He was part of Cisco's higher education practice in Australia and New Zealand and continues to advise Cisco on higher education strategy.

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Professor Caroline McMillen, B/HERT Board Member

Professor Caroline McMillen
Vice-Chancellor, University of Newcastle

"Strong and productive partnerships between universities and business, which translate world-class research into innovation with impact, are essential for Australia's future".

Professor Caroline McMillen joined the University of Newcastle as Vice-Chancellor and President in October 2011.

Professor McMillen has served in senior leadership positions at Monash University, the University of Adelaide and the University of South Australia. She has held national and international roles in industry engagement, medical and health research, strategy and policy development.

Professor McMillen is a Business Event Sydney Ambassador, and was a member of the NSW Innovation and Productivity Council from 2014-2015. She has served on a range of international disciplinary bodies. Industry groups and boards, including the national Automotive Industry Innovation Council, and the South Australian Premier's Climate Change Council. Professor McMillen has also been Convenor of the New South Wales Vice-Chancellor's Committee.

As a medical researcher, Professor McMillen is internationally recognised for her work on the impact of the nutritional environment before birth on the risk of developing cardiovascular disease and obesity in adult life. Professor McMillen's research group has been funded continuously for two decades by both the Australian Research Council and the National Health and Medical Research Council. She has published more than 200 publications and been invited to present at more than 70 international and national meetings.

Over her career, Professor McMillen has trained more than 50 Honours and PhD students who have gone on to win national honours and fellowships and made significant contributions in diverse careers, including research, industry, medicine, dentistry, veterinary science and education.

Professor McMillen is passionate about developing the relationship between Australia and the Asia-Pacific region and committed to building collaborative partnerships between universities, government, industry and communities that directly contribute to the economic, environmental, social and cultural health of Australia

Professor McMillen is an inaugural Fellow of the Australian Academy of Health and Medical Sciences, and a Bragg Member of the Royal Institution, Australia. She holds a BA (Honours) and Doctor of Philosophy from the University of Oxford, and completed her medical training graduating with an MB, B Chir at the University of Cambridge.

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Professor Colin Stirling, B/HERT Board Member

Professor Colin Stirling
Vice-Chancellor, Flinders University

"Universities are a vital part of the innovation ecosystem but must do more to connect with business in order to maximise their impact".

A highly awarded academic who has taught and researched at some of the world's leading universities, Professor Colin Stirling joined Flinders University in January 2015 for a 5 year term as its eighth Vice-Chancellor.

Professor Stirling has more than 12 years' experience of university senior management, including Vice-President of the University of Manchester (UK) and Provost and Senior Deputy Vice-Chancellor of Curtin University, Western Australia.

Born and educated in Scotland, Professor Stirling's qualifications include a Bachelor of Science (Microbiology) with first class honours from the University of Edinburgh and a PhD in genetics from the University of Glasgow, Scotland.

He consolidated his distinguished academic career as Professor of Genetics at the University of Manchester where he was awarded several prestigious research fellowships and prizes.

Throughout his academic career, Professor Stirling has established a record of leadership, innovation and successful change management in Higher Education.

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Susan Bannigan, B/HERT Board Member

Susan Bannigan
Chief Executive Officer, Westpac Bicentennial Foundation

"An environment where industry and academia actively engage will accelerate the path to technological, scientific and economic breakthrough for Australia".

Susan has over 25 years' experience in the financial services industry in Europe and Australia. She joined Westpac in 1995 and has held senior roles in finance, treasury and business leadership across the Westpac Group.

From 2007-2012 Susan was the Chief Financial Officer of RAMS with responsibility for the IT, finance, legal and compliance functions. Susan became Executive Officer of the Westpac Foundation in February 2012 where she worked closely with community groups, social entrepreneurs and the business sector.

In 2014 she was appointed CEO of the Westpac Bicentennial Foundation. The Westpac Bicentennial Foundation has an exclusive focus on the education of Australia's next generation of leaders. Leaders who will address the key challenges and opportunities facing our nation by backing research, innovation and social change that will shape a better future for Australia.

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Professor Ashley Goldsworthy, B/HERT Board Member

Professor Ashley Goldsworthy AO OBE KM
Director, GTA Human Resources Ltd

"There's an enormous potential for industry and business to derive increased value from links with universities, and for universities similarly to benefit from increased clarity on the needs and motivations of its relevant stakeholders".

Ashley has an extensive business career extending over 50 years, as a CEO, Chairman, or Director of large companies, both domestic and international, covering banking, insurance, finance, housing, construction, information technology, property development, hospitality and gaming.

He is a past member of the Business Council of Australia and Former Director of Economic Statistics for the Australian Government. In 1996 the Peoples Republic of China honoured him by electing him a Fellow of the Chinese Institute of Electronics.

His extensive career in information technology includes serving as the World President of the International Federation for Information Processing.

Currently Chairman of companies in finance, education and training, information technology, and human resources, Ashley was also Former Dean of the School of Business and Professor of Leadership at Bond University.

He was Past Federal President of the Liberal Party of Australia and Founder of B/HERT in 1990 and Past President and Executive Director.

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Tony Peake, B/HERT Board Member

Tony Peake
COO and Government & Public Sector Leader, PwC Australia

"Education provides an opportunity for all comers to better their prospects; collaboration between business and higher education can likewise enhance the collective prospects of our nation".

As PwC Australia's COO, Tony leads teams across finance, operations, business services and real estate. He is a member of PwC Australia's Executive Board.

As Government & Public Sector Leader, Tony heads PwC's team that focuses on delivery to government departments, business enterprises and statutory authorities. He has strong relationships with people across the political and public service spectra.

Outside work, Tony has a number of pro bono interests including Chair of Methodist Ladies' College (Australia's largest private girls school) and Council Member of The University of Melbourne, where he Chairs the Risk Committee and is a member of the Finance, HR, Audit and Foundation committees.

Tony is a Victorian Fellow of the Institute of Public Administration Australia; Fellow of The Institute of Chartered Accountants in Australia and Fellow of Leadership Victoria's Williamson Community Leadership Program.

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Prof Ian Jacobs, B/HERT Board Member

Professor Ian Jacobs
President and Vice-Chancellor, University of New South Wales

"Building strong and sustainable links with business is an essential component of a university's strategy, a 'value bridge' not only to industry and commerce but to all of Australian society".

Professor Jacobs came to Australia from the UK, where he had a distinguished career as a leading researcher in the area of women’s health and cancer and in university leadership. Immediately prior to joining UNSW he was Vice President and Dean at the University of Manchester and Director of the Manchester Academic Health Science Centre, a partnership linking the University with six healthcare organisations involving over 36,000 staff. He was previously at University College London, where he created and led the Institute for Women’s Health, was Research Director of UCL Partners and Dean of the Faculty of Biomedical Sciences.

Professor Jacobs qualified at Cambridge University and the Middlesex Hospital, obtained accreditation in obstetrics and gynaecology working at the Royal London Hospital and Rosie Maternity Hospital Cambridge and specialist accreditation as a surgical gynaecological oncologist at Bart’s and The Royal Marsden Hospitals. He was Head of Department of Gynaecological Oncology and then Obstetrics and Gynaecology at Queen Mary University of London from 1996 to 2004 and created and directed the UCL Institute for Women’s Health between 2004 and 2009. He set up and directed the UCL Biomedical Research Centre (2006-2009) and secured NIHR funding for the Centre.

Professor Jacobs is the Principal Investigator for the Cancer Research UK and Eve Appeal funded PROMISE (Prediction of Risk of Ovarian Malignancy Screening and Early Detection) programme and on several large multicentre clinical trials including the UK Collaborative Trial of Ovarian Cancer Screening involving 202,000 participants in 13 collaborating UK centres and the UK Familial Ovarian Cancer Screening Study. He has an H-Index of 64 and has published more than 200 scientific papers with over 15,000 citations including 8,000 in the last 5 years.

In 2005 Professor Jacobs established the Uganda Women’s Health Initiative, which he still chairs and which conducts a series of projects in Uganda including a cervical screening programme. He has been President of the British Gynaecological Cancer Society (2001-2004) and of the European Society of Gynaecological Oncology (2005-2007). He is Medical Advisor to the Eve Appeal charity (also known as the Gynaecology Cancer Research Fund) which he founded in 1985, a Patron of Safehands for Mothers, founder and non-Executive Director of Abcodia Ltd and patent holder of the ROCA (Risk of Ovarian Cancer Algorithm).

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John Paitaridis, B/HERT Board Member

John Paitaridis
Managing Director, Optus Business

"Optus has joined BHERT to work with Australia’s leading companies and universities to facilitate and improve collaboration. I believe industry must play a leadership role and I am delighted to join the BHERT Board to drive real change."

As the Managing Director of Optus Business, John Paitaridis leads Optus’ enterprise, business and government organisation. With 25 years’ industry experience, he is accountable for all aspects of sales, marketing, products, operations and service delivery.

Optus Business provides a wide range of network and technology solutions to support customers with their digital experience, innovation and transformation objectives. Key services include voice and data networks, enterprise mobility, collaboration, cloud and cyber security services.

John joined Optus in 2012, bringing a deep understanding of the telecommunications and ICT requirements of enterprise and government across many markets and industries. Previously, he was Executive Director at Telstra.

John has extensive experience managing businesses in the international markets including almost 10 years based in Europe and Asia. A seasoned senior executive, John has a strong track record of driving growth in revenue and profitability with a committed focus on serving customers and building high performance teams.

John holds a Bachelor of Economics degree and is a graduate member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors. In 2012, he was appointed as a member of the Australian Information Industry Association (AIIA) National Board of Directors and in 2016 was elected Chair of the Association.

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Dr Peter Binks, CEO B/HERT

Dr Peter Binks

Peter’s broad experience in the corporate and university sectors has informed his understanding of the value of innovation, and shaped his commitment to collaboration.

Peter was trained as a scientist, and gained a PhD in astrophysics at Oxford University. He has maintained close affiliations with universities while working in global businesses, technology start-ups and education not-for profits.

He has spent most of his career in Australia, and also worked in England, Canada, the USA, Japan and China. For 5 years he served on the assessment panel for the BHERT Awards, under the chairmanship of Dr Peter Laver.

Under his leadership, the Melbourne BHP Research Laboratory successfully transitioned into new commercial vehicles, and Telstra Mobile repositioned to take advantage of new data products. He was the inaugural CEO of start-up Nanotechnology Victoria, and ‘NanoVic’ led Australia in educational, public awareness, and policy initiatives to support development of nanotechnology.

During his tenure as CEO, the General Sir John Monash Foundation developed into one of Australia’s most prestigious Scholarship Foundations. He also played important roles at listed technology company CFCL and at the defence laboratories DSTO, and currently sits on the Advisory Board of education venture In2science.

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BHERT Fellow

The role of the BHERT Fellow is primarily to raise awareness on issues related to collaboration between the higher education sector, business and industry.

Dr Russell Howard B/HERT Russell

Dr Russell J Howard

Russell Howard is Head of Commercial Strategy for the Kinghorn Centre for Clinical Genomics (KCCG) at the Garvan Institute of Medical Research and Executive Chairman of NeuClone Pty Ltd.

In his role at KCCG, he brings broad experience in fundamental medical research, executive management, strategic leadership, corporate financing, governance and commercialization. Russell's experience derives from his work in the US Federal Government, several biotechnology companies in California including start-ups and NASDAQ listing, global Pharmaceutical companies and as a current Director of Life Science companies in the USA and Australia.

Russell was awarded his PhD in 1975 from the University of Melbourne. After his PhD in plant metabolism he worked for 18 years on research into the molecular basis for micro-vascular occlusion of blood vessels in children infected with human malaria. He established the molecular relationship between malaria parasite virulence and antigenic variation that allows evasion of specific host antibody responses. After 13 years of persistence and an innovative process to prove protein structure-function, his laboratory eventually identified and cloned the malarial gene family encoding a protein responsible for both antigenic variation at the surface of malaria-infected red cells and attachment of infected red cells to endothelium. This work began in Australia, continued at the NIH in Maryland and then moved with him to California through his time at two pharmaceutical companies (Schering Plough and GlaxoWellcome).

While at the NIH, Russell developed a rapid, inexpensive, human malaria diagnostic test marketed worldwide in the tropics for >17 years. Although an imperfect diagnostic test of low commercial value, he is most proud of this small contribution to world health. This test saved lives and stretched medical budgets, allowing doctors in impoverished hospitals to immediately confirm the presence of the most lethal human malaria in a child's blood, and immediately use the right drugs to treat a comatose child with fever.

As CEO of Maxygen in Silicon Valley, CA (NASDAQ: MAXY), Russell had 15 years of experience leading a platform technology-based, life science company. He raised >$250MM on the US public equities market, led >30 corporate deals and established a track record of driving technology development from laboratory discovery to product development and partnering. He also led corporate development by identification of key product assets for internal growth versus those for sale or spin-off in derivative companies. His teams generated >40 very diverse life science products marketed worldwide today in the chemicals, agriculture & pharmaceuticals industries (products from Verdia, Codexis and Perseid, companies created by Dr. Howard).

Russell has 9 issued patents and >150 peer-reviewed scientific publications. In 2013, as an expatriate Australian, he was awarded the Advance Global Australian Award for Biotechnology and the Overall Advance Global Australian Award. Since late 2012, Russell resides in Sydney after 34 years in the USA (East & West coast).

With this broad experience, Russell is committed to help grow technology-based businesses in Australia. His roles in commercial strategy at KCCG and his role as Executive Chairman role at NeuClone (a company dedicated to bring lower cost biosimilar monoclonal antibodies to vast underserved markets) share important features. Both companies have potential to leverage novel technology for disruptive change in patient access to the best of modern medicine.

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