Conference Program

Monday 25 June, 2018


Conference Registration opens

Level 1, Sheraton on the Park Hotel


Welcome Networking Drinks 

Conservatory Bar, Level 1
Sheraton on the Park Hotel


Dinner at leisure


Tuesday 26 June, 2018


Conference Registration opens

Level 2, Sheraton on the Park Hotel


Plenary Sessions

Hyde Park Room


Acknowledgment of Country
Welcome to Conference

Dr Andrew Trnacek, CEO, Higher Ed Services and
Mr Paul Abela, Executive Director, ATEM


Opening Keynote
Staying afloat in stormy seas - the forecast for 2018-2020

Dr Stephen Weller
Chief Operating Officer and DeputyVice-Chancellor (Administration),
Australian Catholic University 


Internationalisation in Higher Education:
Back to the Future

Mr Chris Riley
PVC - International
Australian Catholic University


Morning Tea, networking and industry partner displays


Innovation economics
[Working title]

Professor Jason Potts
Director Blockchain Innovation Hub, RMIT 



Innovation: Insights and impacts and the future of higher education 


Professor Jason Potts, Director Blockchain Innovation Hub, RMIT

Dr Natalia Nikolova, Director Advanced MBA, UTS Business School

Mr Mark Davis, Managing Director and Regional Head of Australia and New Zealand at Western Union


Lunch, networking and industry partner displays


Data Visualisation for Financial Professionals 

Danielle Stein Fairhurst, Principal Financial Modeller, Plum Solutions

In the age of big data, with institutions generating large quantities of information every second, having the skills to analyse, visualise and communicate the output of data has never been more in demand. Finance staff are now required to not only process financial information but are also expected to be able to synthesise information, summarise it in to a meaningful format, as well as communicate the output or results of the analysis in a well laid out graphic or visual representation of the data, such as a dashboard or infographic. Hear from data modelling analyst, and author of “Using Excel for Business Analysis”, and “Financial Modeling in Excel for Dummies”, Danielle Stein Fairhurst as we uncover analytical tools available, study the principles of good design and how to convert your financial data into powerful visuals which tell a story to communicate the message hidden in your data.


Shared Data=Shared Governance: A Better Way to Manage

Michelle Brooke
Program Manager, Pilbara Group

Michelle has recently finished a series of consultations with a number of VCs, DVCs, Deans and CFOs regarding the use of transparent data in the academic decision making process.  Based on their feedback, she will look at ‘Shared Data=Shared Governance: A Better Way to Manage’ and go through some of the latest innovative techniques that can empower academics with the data (and knowledge) they need to ensure their financial sustainability today, tomorrow and into the future.


Lessons learned in developing a financial attribution model at USQ

Melanie Reimann
Director, Financial Reporting & Budgets, USQ
Stuart McDowall
Consultant, Grant Thornton

The University of Southern Queensland (USQ) recently developed a financial attribution model, for use in preparing financial analysis that improves USQ’s understanding of its business. The new model adopts a consistent methodology that apportions costs and revenues to activities in the three key pillars of the University – Academic, Research and Enterprise.

This analysis provides an input that informs management decision-making, and supports the adoption of financial strategies to enhance long-term sustainability, particularly in light of a fiscally constrained operating environment.

This model is also a key tool to enable new reporting to Government and other stakeholders on the cost of service delivery.


Afternoon Tea, Networking and Industry Partner Displays 


Become the disruptor, not the disrupted

Mr John Buchanan
Former world cup winning coach of the Australia National Cricket Team

John Buchanan coached Australia to one of the most successful periods in the team's history, including a record winning streak of 16 consecutive Tests and the 2003 World Cup.

In addition to being an innovative coach, John is an academic, with a degree in Human Movements, a teaching diploma and a Master of Arts in Sports Administration from Alberta University in Canada.

John's education influenced his coaching style, and since retiring from coaching, he has transferred his uniquely innovative coaching and leadership strategies from the cricket pitch to the corporate arena.


Day 1 Close


Conference Networking Dinner

Museum of Contemporary Art, Circular Quay

Live entertainment by The Junos

Wednesday 27 June, 2018


Conference Registration opens

Level 1, Sheraton on the Park Hotel

Plenary Sessions

Hyde Park Room


Welcome to Day 2

Mr Paul Abela
Executive Director, ATEM


University financing – finding a way forward

Mr Robert Griew
Principal, Nous Group


Regenerating campus infrastructure for economic, cultural and environmental gain

Mr Kean Selway
Chief Operating Officer, Deakin University


Morning Tea, networking and industry partner displays


Case Study:
Driving cost savings and service effectiveness through a collaborative approach to Shared Services

Steve Marsh
Business Improvement Manager
Western Sydney University

Over the past two years, Western Sydney University has undertaken a significant shared services reform program in a bid to deliver more consistent and efficient services to both students and staff.

The journey began with the centralisation of the more traditional shared services functions such as HR, IT, Finance and Marketing and Communications, and expanded to include student and teaching administration and support services.

Organisational transformation often brings significant challenges. Achieving cost savings is often a challenge at the mercy of a number of non-financial decisions.

Find out more about how the University of Western Sydney managed the efficiency and savings profile through focus on:

  • Managing against an activity baseline
  • Understanding current versus future state resource requirements
  • Integration of financial modelling with change plans for new organisational structures
  • Monitoring of financial savings.


Global best practices for responsible investment

Michelle Di Fabio
Managing Director, Strategic Global Advisory 

Matthew McAdam
Head of Australasia, Principles for Responsible Investment

This presentation will explore emerging best practices for responsible investment, including:

  • The global landscape, stakeholder and external pressures influencing the responsible investing sector;
  • Why responsible investing matters;
  • How asset owners such as foundations, endowments and institutional investors have approached responsible investing and reporting; and
  • Global case studies on PRI signatories including endowments on best practice frameworks and reporting.


Investment strategies: Managing risk for Fixed Income Investments

Jonathan Sheridan, National Head of Private Client Solutions
FIIG, The Fixed Income Experts

Finance officers in Higher Education are tasked with complex challenges in the face of operating cost pressures; among those challenges they must manage liquidity, accurately forecast cash and where possible enhance investment yield. Waves of incoming cash from grants, endowments, tax and tuition must be managed relative to key considerations like operational requirements, the need for prudent reserves on hand and the need to research and place investment quickly and effectively.  These challenges require the effective integration of people, data and technology aligned to a robust mandate.  Further, to maintain accurate forecasting, liquidity management must be supported by control, reporting and transparency.  While Interest rates remain at historical lows the search for additional yield may push investment up the risk curve, FIIG’s presentation will discuss strategies to manage these complex challenges in the Fixed Income space.   We will explore broadening the search for yield among fixed income investments without additional risk, what alternative strategies exist at the lower end of the risk spectrum and how risk can be controlled. FIIG will compare the merits and challenges of term deposits, bank bonds to corporate bonds and discuss how these strategies can be blended to match your institutional requirements.


Lunch, networking and industry partner displays


Live well – it’s all about you

Rob Edwards

Rob asserts that the well-being of people is a fundamental consideration for an organisation to perform at its best. In his presentation, Rob will provide a meaningful and memorable experience that will leave people focused on looking after their most important asset, themselves.


Closing Remarks




(subject to change)