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.

Mr Stephen Somogyi

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

Mr Scott Henderson

Scott joined Edith Cowan University in February 2012 as Vice-President (Corporate Services). His key accountabilities include value-for-money and efficiency strategies, finance, information technology, facilities planning and management, campus services, governance services, student recruitment and corporate marketing, events and communications.

Before joining ECU, he was CEO of Netball WA and West Coast Fever. His previous roles included CEO of Harvey Industries Group Pty Ltd (Harvey Beef) and Managing Director and CEO of Skywest Ltd and Skywest Airlines Pty Ltd. In the late 1990s he was State Manager for United Airlines in Victoria, before being appointed Manager International Strategic Planning for United Airlines in Chicago. Scott was a commissioned officer in the Royal Australian Navy for more than a decade prior to embarking on a commercial career.

In addition to these diverse senior leadership roles, he has served on the Boards of Tourism Council WA as a director and Chairman; Skywest Ltd as Managing Director; and, Willetton Senior High School as Deputy Chairman. He has an MBA from the Australian Graduate School of Management and a Diploma of Applied Science in Military Studies from the Royal Australian Naval College.

Professor Marnie Hughes-Warrington

Professor Hughes-Warrington joins the HES Board in 2018.

She was appointed as the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic) at ANU in November 2011. She is responsible for enhancing the University's national and global leadership in the provision of research-led education, and strengthening regional, national and international connections in curriculum, education commercialisation, philanthropy and educational research.

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.

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 in 2018.

Dr Nick Tate

Nick is Director of the Australian Government's Research Data Storage Infrastructure project which is based at the University of Queensland and is Immediate Past President of the Australian Computer Society. RDSI is a $50m project funded under the Super Science initiative which aims to transform the storage of research data throughout Australian universities and research institutions. Prior to this role, he was Associate Director of the Australian Research Collaboration Service which developed and deployed cloud computing and cloud storage services for researchers across Australia. He has been an Adjunct Professor in IT and Electrical Engineering at UQ since 2008.

He chaired CAUDIT for four years and has overseen the negotiation of several sector wide IT procurement arrangements, including most recently an agreement with Global Cloud Computing supplier, Amazon Web Services. Nick was previously both IT Director at UQ and Director of the Australian Computer Emergency Response Team. He is also Founder and Co-Chair of the eResearch Australasia conference and was Chair of the World Computer Congress in 2010. Prior to UQ, Nick worked on the development of anti-missile missile systems for Royal Navy Warships and on real-time air traffic control systems, before spending 20 years working for investment banks, 18 years in London and then two years with Macquarie Bank in Sydney. He was Head of IT for the United Bank of Kuwait in London during the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait in the first Gulf war when there was a run on the bank and the overnight abolition of the Kuwaiti Dinar which was the bank’s main currency of account.

Nick holds a Bachelor's degree in Physics from the University of St. Andrews in Scotland, a Master's degree in Computer Science and a PhD in IT security. He is also a Chartered Engineer, an ACS Certified Professional, a Chartered IT Professional, a Fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society and a Fellow of the ACS. He has more than 39 years IT experience with 16 years at CIO level in a university and two banks in addition to over 14 years’ experience as a company director.

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

Ms Cassandra Webeck

Cassandra Webeck is Universities Australia’s Director of Corporate Services. Cassandra has responsibility for financial management, human resource management, information technology, knowledge management and over five years has built an operational environment that effectively supports  the organisation’s strategic objectives.  Cassandra also manages UA's building and facilities and is a Director of Australian Higher Education Associations.

Cassandra previously worked as an executive in the ICT sector specialising in the design, development and delivery of Indigenous employment, education and training programs.  Her work on these programs earned her the Telstra Young Business Woman of the Year Award in the ACT.  

Cassandra holds a Bachelor of Asian Studies in Indonesian and International Relations and a Master of Public Policy (Industry Strategy) from the Australian National University as well as a Master of Knowledge Management from the University of Canberra.  Cassandra is a member of the Australian Institute of Management, the Institute for Information Management and a certified professional member of the Australian Human Resources Institute.