The Higher Ed Services’ Board is responsible for the appointment of the CEO and the probity and governance of company activities. The Board is appointed by our shareholder Universities Australia.

The Board, which meets four times a year, approves new initiatives, associations and contracts and receives reports from the CEO on company operations. The Board is subject to the usual ACNC reporting responsibilities and the company is externally audited on an annual basis.

2019 HES Board Members - Mr Stephen Somogyi

Mr Stephen Somogyi - CHAIR

Steve has extensive experience in the financial services and health care industries, including 27 years with National Mutual involving roles as Chief Manager for New Zealand, Associate Director-Operations and Chief Finance Executive. Steve was a Member of the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority from July 2003 to June 2006.

He holds a Master of Science from the University of Melbourne in Physics and a Master of Science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Management. He is a Fellow of the Institute of Actuaries of Australia, of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and of the Financial Services Institute of Australia. Steve is a Director of ANZ Wealth companies and the Guild Group companies and is a Commissioner of the Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation Commission, a Trustee of RMIT Foundation, and a Director of Spatial Vision Innovations.

Dr Christine Burns

Christine is the Chief Information Officer at University of Technology Sydney. Her specialities include: Board membership, impact of technology on business models and the future of work, developing and implementing strategy, change management, leading large teams through transformational change, operational excellence, IT portfolio development and management. She is also a Director of AARNet.

2019 HES Board Member - Geoff Knuckey

Mr Geoff Knuckey


Geoff Knuckey had a 32-year career with major accounting firm Ernst & Young and retired as a Partner in December 2009 to pursue a new career comprising board non-executive director and Audit Committee positions in the private and public sectors.

He is currently Chairman or non-executive director of six private-sector companies and is also Chair or Independent Member of the Audit and Risk Committees for twelve government departments. His particular skills are in financial reporting and analysis, risk management, corporate governance and internal audit. Geoff is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Australia and has been a Registered Company Auditor since 1995. He is Graduate Member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors, a member of the Institute of Internal Auditors and a member of the Australian Institute of Management. He holds a Bachelor of Economics from ANU.

Geoff brings his expertise to the Higher Ed Services Board.

Professor Kerri-Lee Krause

Professor Kerri-Lee Krause (PhD) is the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic) and Professor of Higher Education at La Trobe University. She is an experienced senior executive who is acknowledged nationally and internationally for her contributions to higher education research, policy and practice. Current national leadership roles include Deputy Chair of the Australian Higher Education Standards Panel and Chair of the Universities Australia DVC Academic Committee. She also holds several Board memberships. 

At La Trobe University, she provides strategic leadership to enhance the quality of learning, teaching and the student experience along with a focus on academic staff career development and promotion. Her Portfolio includes La Trobe International and the academic business innovation team. As a Fellow of the international Society for Research in Higher Education she is internationally recognised for her research on the contemporary undergraduate student experience and implications for quality and standards. 

2019 HES Board Member - Natalie MacDonald

Ms Natalie MacDonald

Natalie took up the role of Vice-President (Administration) at La Trobe University in September 2013 after serving as the Director-General of the Queensland Government’s Department of Housing and Public Works.

At La Trobe she has responsibility for ICT, systems and process improvement, student services and administration, risk and safety, human resources, infrastructure and operations, business planning and reporting and legal and governance.

She has extensive experience in leading the delivery of corporate services, information services, building and design, accommodation, maintenance, facilities management and procurement services and the delivery of government services across wide geographical areas. She has served on a number of Commonwealth and state bodies and not-for-profit, superannuation and research boards.

2019 HES Board Member - Professor Andrew Vann

Professor Andrew Vann

Professor Vann was born in the UK, trained as a civil engineer and worked in engineering consultancy before completing a PhD in the Civil Engineering Systems Group at University of Bristol in 1994. He lectured in structural engineering at University of Bristol prior to moving to Australia in 1996 where he took up a similar post in the Faculty of Engineering at Central Queensland University in Rockhampton. During this time he pursued research interests in structural monitoring and artificial intelligence, as well as leading pedagogical change in moving the Bachelor of Engineering at CQU to a project-based format.

He held various senior academic and administrative roles at CQU before joining James Cook University in North Queensland in 2004 as Pro-Vice Chancellor Information Services and Technologies and, from 2008 was Senior Deputy Vice-Chancellor with responsibility for the Faculties and Teaching and Learning. Professor Vann joined Charles Sturt University as Vice-Chancellor in December 2011.

He has held board and community leadership roles in the arts, school and VET education and is a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors, a Fellow of Engineers Australia, a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Management and an Associate Fellow of the Australian Rural Leadership Foundation.
BEng (Hons), PhD, GradCertBusAd, FAIM, FAICD, FIEAust

2019 HES Board Member - Dr Stephen Weller

Dr Stephen Weller

Steve is the Chief Operating Officer & Deputy Vice-Chancellor at Australian Catholic University. He leads the Corporate Services Portfolio which is focused on performance and service excellence and features 500 staff located across six campuses. He has more than 25 years’ experience in tertiary education across six universities in three states. He holds a PhD in Organisational Justice from Victoria University and is a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.