Speed mentoring

Speed mentoring is a fantastic opportunity for students to sit down with mentors and gather some of the greatest knowledge which can’t be taught in the classroom. Mentoring helps prepare you to put your best foot forward in the workplace!

Speed mentoring takes place in short 10 minute sessions; each mentoring session includes between 2 – 5 students who each have the opportunity to ask questions and discuss various topics with an expert mentor. After 10 minutes, the students rotate to the next mentor and so on, until the conclusion of the event.

Places are limited so register soon to take advantage of this great opportunity.


Session 1 – Tuesday 8 August @ 11am - 12pm

  • Harry Balding
  • Chelsea Beech
  • Dr Janet Wallace
  • Grace McLean

Session 2 – Wednesday 9 August @ 1pm – 2pm

  • Clint Bruin
  • Chelsea Beech
  • Dr Malcolm Starkey
  • Grace McLean

Session 3 – Thursday 10 August @ 12pm – 1pm

  • Dr Janet Wallace
  • Grace McLean
  • Dr Emma Beckett
  • Prof Michael Nilsson

WHERE: The Brennan Room

2017 Mentor Profiles

Chelsea Beech

Founder & Director of Beech and Co

Don't wait for success to come to you, decide NOW to work hard and make good decisions. Today. Right now. Wherever you are, and in whatever you’re doing.

  • Travelled to Haiti filming a documentary in the wake of the earthquake (2010)
  • Spent 4 years touring Australia & NZ with a variety of bands as the Ambassador Relations Manager for Compassion Australia (2008-11)
  • Completed Masters of Arts Management through Australian Institute of Music (2011)
  • Founded digital agency Beech & Co (2013)
  • Launched Newcastle’s two largest community events, the Beaumont St Carnivale & Newcastle China Week (2015)

Malcolm Starkey

ARC DECRA Fellow, School of Biomedical Sciences and Pharmacy, Faculty of Health and Medicine

Conceive, Believe, Achieve and Don’t wait for the door of opportunity to open, knock it down and create opportunities

  • Awarded a prestigious National Health and Medical Research Council Early Career Research Fellowship before completing PhD
  • Awarded PhD in Immunology and Microbiology by publication from The University of Newcastle
  • Invited to give lectures at world-leading institutions including Harvard and Imperial College
  • International recognition with the Klosterfrau Award for research in childhood respiratory diseases
  • Awarded a highly competitive Australian Research Council Discovery Early Career Researcher Award

Janet Wallace

Senior Lecturer in Oral Health, School of Health Sciences

Teamwork, collaboration and mutual respect result in positive outcomes. One person alone can initiate change, but it takes a team to implement it! Lead by example and empower those that work with you.

  • Curriculum development for the Graduate Diploma in Dental Therapy and the Bachelor of Oral Health Therapy Programs at UON
  • PHD awarded in 2013 without amendment
  • Senior Smiles grants 1. 2014 - Medicare Local - $100,000 and 2. 2017 - Elderslee Foundation Australia - $540,000
  • Finalist 2017 / Alumni Award for Exceptional Community Service
  • 2017 - Awarded Fellowship in the Academy of Dentistry International for outstanding merit to the profession. First even Oral Health Therapist (non dentist) to be awarded.

Harry Balding

Community Manager, DaSH - Dantia Smart Hub

Hard work and resilience gets you further than talent.

  • Graduated from UoN in 2014 with a Bachelor of Communication after spending three years working out which degree to study
  • Promoted from Customer Service to Marketing Coordinator to Business Development Associate at Castle Chemicals within 6 months of graduation
  • Secured full-time employment with Dantia - The Lake Macquarie Economic Development Company Ltd in early 2016
  • Working with startups and SME's to grow their businesses generating constant professional and personal fulfilment
  • Liaising with high-profile politicians, media, entrepreneurs, and venture capitalists. It keeps you on your toes!

Clint Bruin

Principal of ResTech

Get out of the building. Be curious and take risks (but fail early and fail cheap). Don’t be afraid to look stupid, ask the question.

  • Graduated Electrical Engineering 1997 (8 years part time)
  • Automated the first Weet-Bix Fruity Bix bar pilot manufacturing in 1994
  • Started my first company in 1998 Rang Systems (automation & software)
  • Started a second company in Commercial Software development (2001)
  • Sold Businesses to Ampcontrol in and now head up their R&D and Product Development

Emma Beckett

Postdoctoral Research Fellow, School of Medicine and Public Health, Faculty of Health and Medicine

Run your own race and don’t waste time comparing your journey to others. Don’t be too guarded with your ideas, it’s more likely that someone will help you turn it into a reality, rather than steal it. And never self-censor, if you want an opportunity, chase it, don’t assume you won’t be competitive.

  • 2014- Visiting Fellow at National Institutes of Health, USA (Adam J Berry Fellowship)
  • 2015 – Selected to attend Lindau Nobel Laureates Meeting + European Lab Tours.
  • 2016 - Selected to attend the HOPE Meeting with Nobel Laureates.
  • 2016 – Won an AMP Tomorrow Maker Grant.
  • 2017 – Awarded NHMRC ECR Fellowship

Grace McLean

Founder, NFP Connect

Whether you think you can, or you think you can't—you're right.

  • Completed my year ministry in Hollywood (first day of work September 11 2001).
  • 10 years as a fundraiser working for CanTeen, Leukaemia Foundation and Royal Institute for Deaf and Blind Children (RIDBC)
  • Accepted into the School for Social Entrepreneurs and finishing
  • Lake Macquarie Citizen of the Year 2015
  • Established NFP Connect

Michael Nilsson

Director of The Hunter Medical Research Institute (HMRI)

Always work with people you like

  • 1990 - graduated from Faculty of Medicine, University of Gothenburg, SWEDEN
  • 1992 – completed PhD at the Faculty of Medicine, University of Gothenburg, SWEDEN
  • 2006 - full Professor of Rehabilitation Medicine 2006
  • 2010 – appointed Director (Research and Development), Sahlgrenska University Hospital, Gothenburg, Sweden
  • 2012 – appointed Director of the Hunter Medical Research Institute (HMRI), Newcastle