AAC members 2016

The AAC is comprised of a President, Vice President and Immediate Past President (all ex-officio positions), and 12 elected members.

Members are elected for two-year terms at the Annual General Meeting of Convocation. The last AGM was held on 9 December 2015.


Belinda Smith
Master of Business Administration
Manager of Commercial Business, Hunter TAFE

Belinda is focused on using her considerable expertise and professional experience to build the voice and presence of alumni via a strong and vibrant Hunter chapter, deeper engagement with the business community and continuing to strengthen the Committee's relationship with the University Council.

Vice President

Nick Killin
Master of Business Administration

Prior to his retirement, Nick was Business Development Manager at GHD. His strategic expertise, gained through senior business development and marketing positions involving regional research (Hunter Valley Research Foundation), advanced manufacturing and export oriented companies, ideally places him to contribute to the strategic development of the AAC.

Immediate Past President

Brian Kennaugh
Bachelor of Business
CEO, Hunter Financial

Brian is well-known across the Newcastle business community; he is a member of the University Council and served as AAC President for four years.

General Members

James Callender
Bachelor of Commerce
Alliances Operations Coordinator, nib Health Funds

James is a solutions-focussed professional with a Bachelor of Commerce (University of Newcastle) and is currently the Alliances Operations Coordinator at nib Health Funds coordinating the operational delivery and marketing of nib’s complementary insurance products. Along with James’ diverse experience in corporate finance and tax accounting, James is the President of the Hunter Young Professionals and Vice-President of The University of Newcastle Hunter Alumni Network through which he aims to connect and activate passionate individuals.

John Church
Bachelor of Arts; Master of Business Administration
Director, John Church Advertising

John founded his advertising and public relations business in 1995, following a lengthy career in radio and television journalism; he is a member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors, an associate member of the Marketing Institute of Australia and a member of the Salvation Army Advisory Board.

Lillian Eastwood
Master of Educational Studies
Indigenous Student Engagement Officer, The Wollotuka Institute, UON

Lillian has worked for UON for 15 years and has served three consecutive terms on the AAC; she is committed to Indigenous education and the continued development of Indigenous alumni relations.

Murray Evans
Bachelor of Commerce
Partner, PricewaterhouseCoopers

Murray is a proud UON graduate and active member of the local business community, bringing to the AAC valuable experience gained throughout his career, as well as involvement on the Executive of the Property Council of Australia (Hunter branch) and the Hunter Community Legal Centre.

Belinda Grealy
Bachelor of Engineering (Hons I)
National Improvement Manager, Patrick Bulk Port Services, Asciano

Belinda has over 20 years' experience in Heavy Manufacturing in the Steel and Aluminium Industry; she has been a member of the AAC for several years and has served as Chair of its Strategic Planning sub-committee and a member of the Alumni Awards sub-committee.

Neil Morpeth
PhD (Classics)
Associate Professor, English Language and Foundation Studies Centre, UON

Neil has served on the AAC for several years, demonstrating extensive and intensive commitment to UON alumni, and acting as a passionate advocate of the utility of building links with alumni across the globe.

Meg Purser
Bachelor of Arts (Communication Studies)
Managing Director, Purser Corporate Communication

Meg Purser is a highly experienced Public Relations and Corporate Communication practitioner who has won awards from the Public Relations Institute of Australia and the Society of Business Communicators.

James Tocci
Bachelor of Business
Principal Consultant and co-founder, Puro Partners

James is a former Warden of Convocation with over 13 years specialist recruitment and executive search experience across the public and private sectors, having worked in a variety of industries in the US, Germany and Japan, as well as in Brisbane and Sydney.

Chad Watson
Bachelor of Arts (Communication Studies)
Newcastle/Hunter group managing editor, Fairfax Media

Chad is an award-winning journalist who has worked for the Sun-Herald, the Sydney Morning Herald, and the Newcastle Herald; he has a long history of involvement with UON, having worked as a part-time lecturer and presenter in the past, and now serving as a member of the AAC and School of Design, Communication and IT external advisory board.