Alumni Advisory Committee
The Alumni Advisory Committee (AAC) of the Vice-Chancellor was established to better enable global alumni engagement, connectivity, agility and flexibility at scale. The Committee meets quarterly and provides strategic advice on alumni engagement and helps develop and support engaging and rewarding alumni activities that enhance the reputation of the University and empower our alumni community to feel part of and proud of their University.
Master of Business Administration 2017; Graduate Certificate in Marketing 2017; Bachelor of Food Science and Human Nutrition 2010
Adriana wears her Novacastrian badge with pride, and has an enduring passion for cultural diversity, social inclusion, community services and the creative industry. Adriana is looking forward to serving and representing the alumni community again, having been a member of the AAC from 2011 to 2016.
A results-driven leader, Adriana is currently a Customer Success Manager within the Advancement Portfolio at University of Sydney. Since joining the university’s fundraising portfolio, she has managed several successful programs and teams within Alumni Relations, Prospect Research and Advancement Services. Results from these programs have contributed towards the portfolio’s success in reaching their $1 billion fundraising target in 2020.
Bachelor of Arts (Communication Studies) 1989
Brendan Swift is lawyer, specialising in the resolution of complex corporate disputes. He began his career working in politics in the Greiner and Fahey State Governments in NSW as policy advisor. Brendan now runs his own specialist dispute resolution firm, Altus Lawyers.
He is married with 4 children and lives in Melbourne. He has a passionate interest in the interaction of politics and history and its influence on the world. He is an early adopter of new technologies.
Brendan has a passion for lifelong learning and challenging assumptions in all areas of professional and personal life. He has been involved in organising alumni engagement activities in Melbourne since 2013.
Dr Donna Odegaard AM
Doctor of Philosophy (Aboriginal Studies) 2011; Master of Philosophy 2002
Dr Donna Odegaard AM is a Larrakia Elder and Torres Strait Islander leader with over 30 years expertise in business, media, Indigenous heritage, native title and land rights, treaty, international Indigenous business, trade and economic development. Her roles include Co-Chair of the Australia and NZ Indigenous Leadership Forum, Board Director of the Indigenous Land and Sea Corporation, and Chairperson for the National Centre for Indigenous Excellence.
In 2016, she was awarded an Order of Australia for her contribution to the protection and preservation of Indigenous cultural heritage, broadcasting and media, and reconciliation. Donna was also recognised for her work by the University of Newcastle in 2012 when she was awarded the Indigenous Alumni Award.
Bachelor of Business 2011
As Manager of Growth & Partnerships at Forsythes Recruitment & HR, Emily leads her team as they build upon and amplify the organisation’s defining characteristics to accommodate continued growth. She is also co-host of the popular podcast My Millennial Career, where she explores the world of work in what she calls her ‘adventure on the side’. What she loves most is the never-ending collision between her commercial and human curiosity.
Bachelor of Commerce 1988
Jennifer is an experienced Chair, non-executive and executive director in the financial services and not for profit sectors. As a Chartered Accountant with a long career in top and mid-tier accounting firms, Jennifer is experienced in all aspects of financial management, audit, corporate governance and business management. She is the Chair of the Newcastle Permanent Charitable Foundation as well as a board member, Chair of the Audit Committee and member of the Remuneration and People Committee at Newcastle Permanent Building Society. As the daughter of a BHP steel worker, Jennifer is a proud Novocastrian and an enthusiastic alumna of the University of Newcastle.
Master of Business Administration 2020; Bachelor of Commerce 2010
Kiraley Muller is a driven finance leader with a passion for making a difference. She has over 14 years’ finance experience within a wide range of industries; including mining, logistics, manufacturing, construction and not-for-profit. She currently leads the Finance and Commercial Team at Hunter Valley Coal Chain Coordinator as well as being the Company Secretary for the Board.
Kiraley holds a Master of Business Administration (MBA) and Bachelor of Commerce from the University of Newcastle and has completed her CPA and is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.
Kiraley is a passionate advocate for diversity and inclusion, and is committed to uplifting and helping young professionals. Not only is she on the Board of Hunter Young Professionals, Kiraley is also a member of the WIMnet Hunter Valley Committee and Treasurer of Equal Futures Project.
Bachelor of Arts (Communication Studies) 2001
Matthew Gain is the Senior Vice President and Head of Audible APAC, an Amazon Company. He is responsible for developing Audible’s business across the region, leading a cross functional team, influencing and driving change across key stakeholders, improving processes to scale with high business growth and developing and leading country and functional leaders. He is a big believer in building happy and confident teams and is dedicated to workplace equity by challenging privilege and prejudice.
Bachelor of Business 2010
Sanket is a marketing and business development professional with over a decade of experience across the Energy, Petrochemicals, Oil and Gas sectors. Currently, he is leading the Business Development initiatives at ChemOne, a leading South East Asian Specialty Chemicals Group, headquartered in Singapore.
Sanket joined the University’s Singapore Alumni Chapter in 2011 and now serves as Chapter President. He also gives back as an ambassador for the Alumni House project, which will create opportunities for the global alumni community as a virtual engagement hub to connect with friends, industry and the Newcastle community. Sanket is also an ardent sports fan and loves hiking and trekking - his most recent conquest being Kota Kinabalu Trek in 2018.
Bachelor of Science 1993
Steven McArthur has been a member of the Genea team for more than 23 years, holding various responsibilities for the fertility group’s laboratories and scientific functions. He has been integral to Genea’s (formerly Sydney IVF) many fertility breakthroughs. Among other firsts, Steve introduced ICSI services into Sydney IVF regional laboratories in May 1998. In 1999 he developed the trophectoderm biopsy technique, resulting in the world’s first live born child following blastocyst biopsy. Steve has made a major impact in the world of fertility and his innovations have contributed to the doubling of successful IVF procedures since the 1990s. From 2003 until 2008 he was employed as the Laboratory Director of PGD at Sydney IVF and has served as Scientific Director at Genea since April 2009.
The University of Newcastle acknowledges the traditional custodians of the lands within our footprint areas: Awabakal, Darkinjung, Biripai, Worimi, Wonnarua, and Eora Nations. We also pay respect to the wisdom of our Elders past and present.