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Council Members' Biographies

as at 10 September 2020

The Honourable Catherine Branson AC QC, Chancellor

The Hon Catherine Branson AC 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.

Ms Branson was awarded a Companion of the Order of Australia in 2018.

On 13 July 2020, Council appointed Ms Branson as the 17th Chancellor of the University of Adelaide for a two-year term until 12 July 2022.

Professor Mike Brooks FTSE FACS, Interim Vice-Chancellor and President

Professor Mike Brooks FTSE FACS was appointed Interim 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).

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, Deputy Chancellor

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 Emily Jenke

Emily is a graduate of the University’s Roseworthy Campus – having graduated with a Bachelor in Agricultural Business in 1999. She was awarded the Gramp Hardy Smith Memorial Prize in 1998 from the Faculty of Agriculture and Natural Resources Sciences – recognising the Roseworthy student with the best all round character and ability, taking into specific consideration leadership, scholarship and sportsmanship.

In her final year at Roseworthy, Emily was the President of the Student Union Council.

Emily is currently the Presiding Member of South Australia’s Native Vegetation Council. Additionally she sits on the Murray Darling Basin Authority’s Basin Community Committee.

Emily owns and runs democracyCo with her business partner Emma Fletcher. The work they do reflects a global trend in citizens designing solutions for society and that decision-making, especially when it comes to polarising topics, should be shared.

She is one of Australia’s most skilled engagement practitioners and an accomplished and talented facilitator of over 20 years. She is a specialist in group deliberation and participation.

Annually Emily travels to the US to support the Kettering Foundation in improving democratic practice with stable and emerging democracies, as well as supporting nations in conflict. democracyCo also support the Singaporean Government in building their capacity in engagement and consensus methodologies.

Emily has a long history and commitment to the environment, especially in supporting people to be better environmental stewards through various Board and volunteer roles in Natural Resources & Water Management. Her contribution for the last 12 years in South Australia (and previous to that in Victoria) has been to support institutions to have stronger, more meaningful connections with their regional communities.

Emily is married to Paul. Together, with their three teenage children, they own Talinga Grove – a premium olive oil business & irrigated horticultural enterprise in Strathalbyn.

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.

Office of the Chancellor and Council Secretariat

The University of Adelaide
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