Meet our Council members

Council_Jan 2018

Photo: as at Jan 2018

Back Row (L to R): Mr Michael Robertson, Mr John Bowers, Dr Roslyn Larkin, Ms Julie Phillips, Ms Deborah Wright, Professor Pablo Moscato, Mrs Michelle McPherson.

Front Row (L to R): Conjoint Professor Geoff Lilliss, Mr Bhavi Ravindran, Chancellor Mr P.E. (Paul) Jeans, Vice-Chancellor Professor Caroline McMillen, Deputy Chancellor Ms Dianne Allen, Mr Bob Kennedy, President of Academic Senate Professor Mark Jones.  

Absent: Ms Jann Gardner, Mr Doug Dean

Official Members

The Chancellor, Mr Paul Jeans


Mr Jeans was brought up at Teralba on Lake Macquarie and had his secondary schooling at Newcastle Boys High School.  Mr Jeans completed a Bachelor of Mechanical Engineering at the Newcastle University College at Tighes Hill, the antecedent institution to the University of Newcastle. Learn more about the Chancellor here.

Chancellor Paul Jeans

The Vice-Chancellor and President, Professor Caroline McMillen

MA(Oxon), DPhil(Oxon), MB, BChir(Cantab), FAHMS

Professor Caroline McMillen joined the University of Newcastle as Vice-Chancellor and President in October 2011. She has previously served in academic leadership positions at Monash University, the University of Adelaide and the University of South Australia. She has held national and international roles in medical and health research, industry engagement, strategy and policy development. Learn more about the Vice-Chancellor here.


President of Academic Senate, Professor Mark Jones

BSc(Hons), PhD(CNAA, UK), FIMechE, CEng, FIEAust, CPEng

Professor Mark Jones is currently Head of the School of Engineering, Director of TUNRA Bulk Solids Handling Research Associates and Director of the Centre for Bulk Solids and Particulate Technologies. He has extensive teaching experience at undergraduate, postgraduate and professional levels. Learn more about the President of Academic Senate here.

President Academic Senate Mark Jones

External members appointed by the Minister

Conjoint Professor Geoff Lilliss

BE(Hons), MBA(Merit)(Newcastle), Hon FIEAust, MAICD

Geoff Lilliss’ career spans senior executive positions in Australia’s electrical power and manufacturing industries. He is recognised for managing large utility networks, delivering billion dollar investment programmes, his leadership in policy development, renewables and industry regulation, leadership of organisational change and developing key markets. Learn more about Conjoint Professor Geoff Lilliss here.

Geoff Lilliss

Mr Robert (Bob) Kennedy


With an extensive career as a global business leader in the food technology industry, Mr Bob Kennedy began his career in industrial engineering at Port Kembla before moving to the United Kingdom to work for British Insulated Callender's Cables (BICC), the largest non-ferrous cables manufacturer in the world. Learn more about Robert Kennedy here.

Bob Kennedy Photo

External members appointed by Council

The Deputy Chancellor, Ms Dianne Allen JP

BCom(Newcastle), FCA, GAICD, AMICDA

Dianne Allen has been a member of the University of Newcastle’s Council for close to a decade and has played a key role helping UON rank in the top three per cent of universities in the world. Learn more about the Deputy Chancellor here.

Dianne Allen Deputy Chancellor

Ms Jann Gardner

BA/LLB(Sydney), MBA(Newcastle), GAICD

Ms Jann Gardner is the Chair of Hunter United Employees Credit Union Ltd (HUECU), the largest credit union in the Hunter Region, and a non executive director of StateCover Mutual Ltd, an insurer of local government instrumentalities and Arch LMI Ltd, a mortgage insurer. Learn more about Jann Gardner here.

Jann Gardner photo

Mrs Michelle McPherson

BBus(Accounting)(UTS), CA, GAICD

After joining nib in 2003 as the company's Chief Financial Officer, Michelle is now Group Chief Financial Officer, Deputy Chief Executive Officer as well as Company Secretary of nib holdings limited. Learn more about Michelle McPherson here.

Michelle McPherson

Ms Deborah Wright

MBA(SCU), DipTeach(Newcastle),FAMI, CPM, AIMM, MAICD

Deborah Wright is recognised as a dynamic and inspirational leader with an outstanding track record of results and a proven ability to drive strategy and business growth. Until recently Deborah held the position of CEO and Station Manager for the NBN group of companies owned by Nine Entertainment Co, however in February was promoted to Nine Entertainment Co’s Director of Regional Strategy, an NEC wide role to evolve and integrate across the business a broader regional focus and strategy. Learn more about Deborah Wright here.

Deborah Wright photo

Mr John Bowers

BCom(Hons1), MCom(Newcastle), AM(Harvard), CFA

John Bowers’ career is divided into four phases.  First, he was an accountant with Tubemakers of Australia, Newcastle Works, who provided the cadetship that allowed John to become one of the initial 1965 group of undergraduates at the University of Newcastle.  While with Tubemakers John initiated and managed electronic data processing at the Newcastle Works. Learn more about John Bowers here.

John Bowers photo

Mr Doug Dean AM

BCom(Newcastle), FCPA, FAIM, FAICD

Doug Dean is Managing Director/CEO, Veolia Australia and New Zealand. Joining Veolia, then Collex in 1991, Doug Dean is responsible for the strategic direction and performance of the Veolia Group Australia and New Zealand. Learn more about Doug Dean here.

Doug Dean photo

Ms Julie Phillips

BPharm, DHP, MSc(Sydney), MBA(Macq)

Ms Julie Phillips has a strong background in the biotech and pharmaceutical industry, having worked as
the CEO and Director of start-up Australian biotechnology companies operating in the life sciences sector.
Learn more about Julie Phillips here.

Elected academic staff members

Professor Pablo Moscato

BSc(La Plata, Argentina), PhD(UNICAMP, Brazil)

Prof. Pablo Moscato is an Australian Research Council Future Fellow and Professor of Computer Science at The University of Newcastle. At the California Institute of Technology (1988-89) he developed a methodology called "memetic algorithms" which is now widely used around the world in Artificial Intelligence, Data Science, and Business and Consumer Analytics. Learn more about Pablo Moscato here.

Pablo Moscato

Dr Roslyn Larkin

BBus(Hons), PhD(Newcastle)

Dr Larkin has a PhD in Management with a focus on HRM and knowledge management in hospitality multinational enterprises. This background has led to invitations to publish in international texts that incorporate industry focus, HR practices and the role of HR and ethical organisations.. Learn more about Roslyn Larkin here.

Roslyn Larkin

Elected non-academic staff member

Mr Michael Robertson

MTEM(Melb), B.Ed(Music)(Hons)(Newcastle), Dip Mgmt, Adv Dip Mgmt.

I completed my music studies at the University of Newcastle Conservatorium where I trained as an orchestral percussionist, and have had the opportunity to work with many regional, national and international artists and ensembles throughout my professional music career. Learn more about Michael Robertson here.

Michael Robertson

Elected student member

Mr Bhavi Ravindran

Bhavi Ravindran is a final year medical student at the University of Newcastle with interests in medical research, public health and health policy, student leadership and music.  As an aspiring clinical-scientist, Bhavi completed a Bachelor of Medical Science with Honours in the field of anaesthetics and human physiology. Learn more about Bhavi Ravindran here.

Phillip Johnson