Meet our Council members

Council_Jan 2018

Photo: as at Jan 2018

Back Row (L to R): Mr Michael Robertson (up until 31 August 2018), Mr John Bowers, Dr Roslyn Larkin, Ms Julie Phillips, Ms Deborah Wright (up until 16 March 2018), Professor Pablo Moscato (up until 31 August 2018), 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 (up until 12 October 2018), Deputy Chancellor Ms Dianne Allen, Mr Bob Kennedy, President of Academic Senate Professor Mark Jones.  

Absent: Professor Alex Zelinsky AO, Vice-Chancellor (from 19 November 2018), Ms Jann Gardner, Mr Doug Dean, Assoc Prof Brendan Boyle (from 1 September 2018), Dr Kylie Twyford (from 1 September 2018), Professor Kevin Hall, Acting Vice-Chancellor (30 August - 18 November 2018).

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

Vice-Chancellor and President, Professor Alex Zelinsky AO

BMathSc(Hons), Hon DSc, PhD(UOW), GradDip(AICD), FTSE, FIEEE, Hon FIEAust, FAICD

Professor Alex Zelinsky AO is the University of Newcastle’s 8th Vice-Chancellor and President and commenced in the role on 19 November 2018.  Prior to joining the University, Professor Zelinsky was Australia’s Chief Defence Scientist and leader of Defence Science and Technology within the Department of Defence.  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

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

Associate Professor Brendan Boyle

BBus (DkIT, Ireland), MBS (UCD, Ireland), PhD (Sydney)

Associate Professor Brendan Boyle is currently a lecturer of international management in Newcastle Business School. Brendan completed his Masters of Business Studies Degree in University College Dublin’s Graduate School of Business and completed his PhD within the Discipline of International Business at the University of Sydney. Learn more about Brendan Boyle here.

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

Dr Kylie Twyford

AssocDipBus(Valuation) (SIT), BBus (UON), BEd(Hons1)(Adult Education) PhD (UTS)

While over her career Dr Kylie Twyford has held diverse roles from real estate valuer to teacher, academic to project manager, joining the dots has been a passion for the transformative power of education, a compelling need to research, the thrill of connecting with people, and getting things done.. Learn more about Kylie Twyford here.

Kylie Twyford

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