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Council Members' Biographies

as at 4 May 2020

The Honorable Catherine Branson AC QC, Deputy Chancellor

The Hon Catherine Branson QC is a graduate of the University of Adelaide in both Arts and Law. She is a former Crown Solicitor of South Australia and CEO of the Attorney-General's Department.

She served for more than 14 years as a judge of the Federal Court of Australia and for 4 years as President of the Australian Human Rights Commission. She received a Distinguished Alumni Award from the University of Adelaide in 2011, a Doctor of Laws (honoris causa) from Flinders University in 2012, and a Doctor of Letters (honoris causa) from Macquarie University in 2014. Catherine Branson is a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Law.

Cathy was awarded a Companion of the Order of Australia in 2018.

Professor Peter Rathjen AO, Vice-Chancellor and President

Professor Peter Rathjen commenced as the University of Adelaide’s 22nd Vice-Chancellor and President on 8 January 2018.

He is an Australian scientist and medical researcher internationally recognised in stem cell science.

Prior to his appointment, Professor Rathjen was Vice-Chancellor of the University of Tasmania, where he was instrumental in creating vibrant new university precincts within the CBDs of Hobart, Launceston and Burnie.

Professor Rathjen is an alumnus of the University of Adelaide, as are all of the members of his immediate family.

While at Adelaide as an undergraduate in the Department of Biochemistry, he was awarded the R A Fisher Prize for Genetics and the Morton Prize for Biochemistry, both in 1983.  As a 1985 Rhodes Scholar, he undertook a DPhil at New College, University of Oxford, studying mobile genetic elements in yeast and mammals.

Professor Rathjen returned to South Australia and the University of Adelaide, where he worked as a Lecturer in Biochemistry from 1990 to 1995 and Professor of Biochemistry from 1995 to 2002. He became Head of the Department of Molecular Biosciences in 2000, and Foundation Executive Dean of the Faculty of Sciences in 2002, a role he held until 2006.

In 2005 he was awarded the Research Leadership Award in the South Australian Science Excellence Awards.

Professor Rathjen was appointed Dean of the Faculty of Science at the University of Melbourne in 2006; in 2008, he became Dean of the Graduate School of Science, and from 2008 to 2011 he served as Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research). In 2011, he took up the role of Vice-Chancellor of the University of Tasmania, a role he held until October 2017.

Professor Rathjen is a non-executive director of the Board of Universities Australia. He is on the Board of the Australian Science Media Centre and is a patron of the Australian Institute of Policy and Science Tall Poppy Campaign.

Professor Mike Brooks FTSE FACS was appointed Acting Vice-Chancellor and President on 4 May 2020.

Professor Andrew Abell

Andrew Abell graduated from the University of Adelaide with BSc(Hon) and PhD and then undertook a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Cambridge. He held a professorship at the University of Canterbury before returning to the University of Adelaide in 2007, where he is currently Professor of Chemistry.

His research and teaching interests are concerned with understanding the fundamental link between the chemical structure and shape of key biological molecules and their biological function. While his work is very much driven by fundamental science, he has always had a keen interest in pursuing associated commercial opportunities. The seed for this was sown with a sabbatical leave working as a visiting scientist, consultant and senior Fulbright Fellow with SmithKline Beecham (now GSK) in Philadelphia. In Adelaide he co-founded an Adelaide-based company (Calpain Therapeutics) to develop macrocyclic protease inhibitors as a potential treatment for cataract and other conditions. Calpain Therapeutics began with being named the 2011 winner of The University of Queensland Business School's Enterprize competition.

He is past interim head of the School of Chemistry and Physics at the University of Adelaide and member of the Australian Research Council (ARC) College of Experts. He has been the recipient of a number of awards including the New Zealand Institute of Chemistry Easterfield medal, Royal Australian Chemical Institute Adrien Albert Prize, and the Alexander R. Matzuk Prize and Lecture in Drug Discovery (Houston). He is also currently the Director of the Adelaide node of the ARC Centre of Excellence for Nanoscale BioPhotonics (CNBP).

Dr Martin Andrew, GAICD, FAOQ

Martin is a Non-Executive Director and Chair with more than 20 years of Board-level experience across public and not-for-profit sectors particularly in the education, agriculture and professional services industries. Martin is a past National President and current Board member and Company Secretary of the Australian Organisation for Quality Ltd; and past National President of the Australian Rangeland Society. He led the program planning for three Australian Rangelands Conferences and four Australian Quality Conferences. Martin has been a member of various education boards including the University of Adelaide Council (on two prior occasions), Deputy Chair of the then Darwin Institute of Technology Council, reporting to the Council of (the then) Roseworthy Agricultural College, and Chair of (the then) Adelaide University Union Council when he was a student.

Martin is a quality and project management consultant, and a Sessional Commissioner with the Environment, Resources and Development Court. Professionally, Martin’s experience is diverse: Australia-NZ Quality and Environmental Management Systems lead for AECOM (a global, USD 18Bn, infrastructure design company); Asia-Pacific Group Quality Director at URS (a global, USD 11Bn, infrastructure design company); Senior Principal Consultant at URS (natural resources management, program evaluation, rural R&D management, environmental impact assessment, stakeholder, engagement); Associate Professor in Natural Resources Management at The University of Adelaide; Associate Director at (the then) Roseworthy Agricultural College responsible for the college’s educational programs and support units; he played a leading role in the merger of Roseworthy Agricultural College and The University of Adelaide; and Senior Research Scientist in CSIRO’s then Division of Tropical Crops & Pastures, Darwin.

Martin has a BSc(Hons, 1st Class) and PhD in Botany (ecology) from the University of Adelaide. He has more than 100 publications, about half in refereed journals. Martin is a Graduate of the AICD’s Company Directors Course, and is a Certified Lead Auditor for Quality, Environmental Management and Work Health Safety (pending) Systems.

Mr Dan Osei Mensah Bonsu

Dan O. M. Bonsu obtained a BSc (Hon) degree in Human Biology from the University of Cape Coast, Ghana. He has also completed two masters degrees, with each received with distinction: the Erasmus Mundus Masters in  Forensic Science from a consortium of three European Universities (University of Lincoln, United Kingdom; Universidad de Córdoba, Spain and Instituto Superior de Ciências da Saúde Egas Moniz, Portugal) and Master of Science degree in Biotechnology from the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi, Ghana.

He has comprehensive training in the forensic and investigative sciences and worked as a Lecturer at the Department of Forensic Sciences, University of Cape Coast, Ghana, from March 2016 to Feb. 2019. Dan is currently a Ph.D. Candidate at the Australian Centre for Ancient DNA (ACAD) funded by the prestigious Adelaide Scholarship International (ASI). His research project investigates the interaction of contact DNA with metal and metal-coated surfaces and developing novel solutions for forensic analysis of these problematic evidential samples for serious crime.

Dan holds professional memberships with the Forensic Science Society of Ghana (as Vice President), The Chartered Society of Forensic Sciences, and the Australian and New Zealand Forensic Sciences Society.

Mr Lachlan Coleman

Lachlan has been employed at the University since 2007 and has served extensively on University boards, committees and working groups. He is currently a member of the People and Culture Committee (University Council sub-committee), and was previously an elected professional staff representative on Academic Board (University Council sub-committee).

Lachlan is currently Chairman of the Adelaide University Cricket Club Executive Committee.

He is also a Graduate Member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

Lachlan completed his Honours Degree of Bachelor of Arts at the University of Adelaide in 2004, and more recently has been the recipient of the Bill Cowan Barr Smith Library Research Fellowship (University of Adelaide), and the Australian War Memorial Research Fellowship.

His current role as Student and Learning Services Manager in the Faculty of Engineering, Computer and Mathematical Sciences provides key support for the University’s learning and teaching, curriculum and governance functions.

Ms Janet Finlay

A chartered accountant, Janet is an independent professional director and experienced business adviser having worked in professional services for more than 25 years, the last 15 years as a partner in Big 4 accounting firm, EY.

Janet has a strong commercial and finance background with a practical understanding of and experience with both the public and private sectors, advising organisations on finance, strategy and risk management.

Janet was appointed to the Council on 5 February 2019 and is a member of the Finance and Infrastructure Committee.

Her other board positions include:

  • Director of SA Water Corporation and member of the Governance, Finance and Risk Committee and the People and Culture Committee
  • Member of the Libraries Board of South Australia and member of the Finance and Investment Committee
  • Director of St John Ambulance Australia SA Inc and chair of the Community Care Committee

Previous roles include:

  • Member and deputy chair of the inaugural State Planning Commission of South Australia
  • Partner and business unit director, EY
  • Member of the Property Council of Australia, SA finance and tax committee

She is a Member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors, Fellow of Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand and a registered tax agent.

Mr David Hill, B. Comm., M.B.A

David Hill is Asia Pacific Deputy CEO & Chief Operating Officer, Deloitte Asia Pacific Limited. David was previously Chief Operating Officer of Deloitte Australia and led Deloitte's national mid-market business, Deloitte Private; Deloitte's national M&A Transaction Services business and Deloitte's Corporate Finance business in South Australia.

A member of Deloitte Asia's Executive Committee, David joined Deloitte Australia in 1995. David has gained extensive international experience across Australia, the U.K., the U.S., Japan and Korea.

In January 2011, David was honoured to be selected as a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum.

In October 2011, David was recognised as an Outstanding Future Leader in the Financial Services Institute of Australasia (FINSIA) Pinnacle Awards.

As Chief Operating Officer, David is responsible for ensuring Deloitte has a world-class operating model to support and enable the partners and staff of Deloitte to provide the highest quality client service. David is passionate about leadership and empowering and developing the partners and staff of Deloitte to realise their full potential with the firm.

David holds a Bachelor of Commerce and a Masters of Business Administration (MBA) from The University of Adelaide. He is a Chartered Accountant, a Senior Fellow of the Financial Services Institute of Australasia (FINSIA), and a Certified Finance and Treasury Professional, Finance & Treasury Association (FTA).

David resides in Adelaide, South Australia, with his wife and three children.

Ms Christine Locher FAICD

Christine Locher is a business leader with over 30 years' experience in professional practice firms particularly in the field of human resources and organisational performance.

Christine served on the National Board of Directors of the RCSA (Recruitment and Consulting Services of Australia/NZ); and represented industry on Boards and Councils including the Higher Education Council; and the Business and Parliament Trust. Previous board appointments include Adelaide Festival Centre Foundation; Public Trustee - Audit and Risk Management Committee; Australian Dance Theatre; Supported Community Accommodation Services and Think180.

Christine's current board & council appointments include:

  • The University of Adelaide;
  • Modern Industry Policy Advisory Group;
  • Business SA (South Australia's Chamber of Commerce & Industry); and
  • Beerenberg Advisory Board.

Christine is a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors, Trustee of CEDA and an EY Entrepreneur of the Year alumni

Ms Kathryn Presser BA, MBA

Kathryn Presser is currently on a number of Boards in a Non-executive capacity after stepping down as CFO / Company Secretary at Beach Energy in 2016 having over 25 years experience in Executive Management Roles. She is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Company Secretaries, a Fellow of the Certified Practising Accounting Association, a Fellow of the Governance institute of Australia, a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and holds an MBA from the University of Adelaide.

Kathryn has extensive experience in all areas of governance, risk and financial reporting and management! Widespread Company secretarial experience in public listed and private companies in a wide range of industries.

Kathryn’s current Board and Council appointments include

  • ASX listed company Amaero international Limited
  • Funds SA
  • SAFA
  • Police Credit Union
  • The University of Adelaide
  • Walford Anglican school for girls

The Honourable Amanda Vanstone AO

The Honourable Amanda Vanstone AO was appointed by Council on 16 December 2019 for a two-year term from 1 January 2020 to 31 December 2021.

Ms Arabella Wauchope

Undergraduate student, elected 6 March 2020; term ends 5 March 2022.

Arabella Wauchope is an undergraduate student completing her Bachelor of Laws and Psychological Science. Arabella currently sits on the Board of the Adelaide University Union and has represented students at the National Union of Students conference. She is the 2020 State Branch President of the National Union of Students and involved in numerous clubs on campus.

Professor John Williams

John Williams is the Executive Dean of the Faculty of the Professions and was elected as Chair of Academic Board on 1 January 2016; he was re-elected for a second term from 1 January 2018 to 31 December 2019. The Chair of Academic Board is an ex-officio member under section 12(1)(aa) of the University of Adelaide Act 1971.

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