Meet the Alumni Advisory Committee

The AAC represents the University of Newcastle's body of convocation by providing advice on University strategy, policy and activities affecting UON alumni.

The Alumni Advisory Committee is a group established by the University of Newcastle Act and bound by the Rules governing Convocation (PDF, 133KB)

Members of the AAC are elected by UON alumni at the Annual General Meeting (AGM) of Convocation, generally held in November. All members of convocation are eligible to nominate and vote. To read the 2016 AAC President's Report please click here.

The 2017 Alumni Advisory Committee are:

Belinda Smith

Belinda Smith

President

Master of Business Administration 2008

In her current role as President of The University of Newcastle Alumni Advisory Committee (AAC), Belinda works closely with her AAC peers to continue to build a strong voice for alumni locally, nationally and globally. Belinda is also a Project Manager with The Samaritans Foundation. She has vast experience with a variety of community and volunteer roles. Her professional expertise includes strategic business growth, leadership and change facilitation.


Murray Evans

Murray Evans

Vice-President

Bachelor of Commerce 1987

As a proud graduate of The University of Newcastle and a member of the Alumni Advisory Committee for the past two years, Murray has now taken up the role as the AAC Vice-President. Murray brings with him a strong business background with nearly 20 years of experience in global professional service firms, and as a current Partner at Pricewaterhouse Coopers. Murray is committed to using this wealth of knowledge to serve his local community, and the alumni body of UON.


Brian Kennaugh

Brian Kennaugh

Immediate Past President

Bachelor of Business 1993

Brian has been a long-serving member of the Alumni Advisory Committee and formerly served as the AAC President for four years. He has also served as part of the University of Newcastle Council. Brian is well-known across the Newcastle business community, having commenced his financial planning careerover 30 years ago. He has held various senior management roles in a number of industries across his long career, and brings a wealth of experience and knowledge to his role in the AAC.


Stephen Barr

Stephen Barr

Master of Business 2015

Bachelor of Surveying 1998

Stephen is a local business owner and Director of Barr Planning and Property. Stephen has worked in the development industry since 1992, coming from a surveying background, and has a strong understanding of the local business community in Newcastle. Along with being a businessman, Stephen is also thecurrent Chair of the NSW Committee for Compass Housing - just one of the ways in which he is serving his community.


James Callender

James Callender

Bachelor of Commerce 2014

James is a solutions-focussed professional with skills in stakeholder engagement, marketing, corporate finance and tax accounting. He is currently the Alliances Operations Coordinator at nib Health Funds. James has been a member of the UON Alumni Advisory Committee since 2014 and is a strong advocate for engaging recent graduates and young professionals in the alumni community. James is also the current President of Hunter Young Professionals and Vice-President of The University of Newcastle Hunter Alumni Network.


Ben Cowburn 2

Ben Cowburn

Master of Workplace Health And Safety 2016

Bachelor of Biotechnology 2010

After completing his studies at the University of Newcastle in 2010, Ben has gained over six years of experience in the medical and pharmaceutical manufacturing industry. He is currently the Quality Assurance & Safety Manager for Logikal Health Products and has also served the University in supervising placement students studying within the B.Biotechnology program. Ben is also currently completing a second Masters degree within the field of Public Health.


Ziah Elliott

Ziah Elliott

Bachelor of Laws 2015 / Diploma in Legal Practice 2015

Bachelor of Business 2012

Ziah is the Council Secretariat Officer in the Vice-Chancellor's Division at The University of Newcastle. During her time studying at the University, Ziah volunteered as a student mentor, paralegal at the University Legal Centre, organised student engagement conferences and represented UON at the United Nations Australia Conference.


Kate Hetherington

Kate Hetherington

Bachelor of Business 2011

Bachelor of Commerce 2011

After completing her studies with The University of Newcastle, Kate worked for three years within the University, as part of the Office of Alumni and Philanthropy. This experience gave her a great knowledge of, and commitment to, the world of Alumni. Kate also has a wealth of experience and knowledge gained from working in a number of Newcastle’s largest organisations, currently employed as a Business Analyst with nib Health Funds.


Neil Morpeth

Neil Morpeth

Doctor of Philosophy (Classics) 1988

Neil has had a long career of working and teaching at The University of Newcastle. As an Associate Professor in the Centre for English Language and Foundation Studies. Neil has gained a great knowledge of the University's' students, and its alumni, and is interested in building links with our alumni not only locally, but nationally and internationally.


Meg Purser

Meg Purser

Bachelor of Arts (Communication Studies) 1993

Meg has served as a member of the Alumni Advisory Committee for the past two years and is starting a new term in 2017. She is a strong advocate for the University and the role it has in providing quality academic teaching and research research. Meg is the Managing Director of the specialist public relations firm, Purser Corporate Communication. She has a strong media relations and issue management background and has also served as a part-time and guest lecturer in Public Relations at UON and Hunter TAFE.


Daniel Rampling

Daniel Rampling

Bachelor of Laws / Diploma In Legal Practice 2003

Bachelor Of Arts 2001

Daniel has been working in the Hunter region for the majority of his career and has a strong connection to Newcastle/Hunter area. Having worked in the local business community after completing his degree, Daniel is now a member of staff at The University of Newcastle, working as Senior Legal Counsel. Daniel hopes to incorporate his knowledge both of the local business community and of the University itself to serve the UON alumni body through the AAC.


Bhavi Ravindran

Bhavi Ravindran

Bachelor of Biomedical Science 2016

Bhavi is a recent medical research graduate of the University of Newcastle and has also served as a student representative on the University of Newcastle Council, giving him great knowledge of the University and of its graduates. He is currently completing the last two years of his medical training at the University. He is committed to mentoring and networking opportunities and connecting with the broader alumni community.


James Tocci

James Tocci

Bachelor of Business 1998

James has been an active member of the University Alumni community for the past 11 years, serving as Warden of Convocation from 2005-2009, and then as a member of the AAC. He is the Principal Consultant and co-founder of the Newcastle based company, Puro Partners and has over 13 years specialist recruitment and executive search experience. As a five time Hudson President Award winner, James is recognised by his peers as a high performing consultant who has built relationships based on delivery and customer satisfaction.


Chad Watson

Chad Watson

Bachelor of Arts (Communication Studies) 1993

Chad is a proud graduate of The University of Newcastle and has served as a part-time academic and University adviser since finishing his degree. He also serves on various committees, forums and boards within the wider Community. Currently employed as the Group Managing Editor (Newcastle/Hunter) for Fairfax Media, Chad hopes to draw on his own professional experience and ties within the community to serve UON alumni. Chad is also involved across media, business, innovation, sport and not-for-profit sectors throughout the Hunter region.