Keynote, Panellists and Workshop Facilitators

Peer-Led Breakout Sessions

Thursday 31 October: 11:00am - 11:45am

  • Driving Innovation whilst Juggling Business as Usual


    Following a change plan within Australian Catholic University's Student Administration, the Admissions team emerged with a new structure, new leaders and inexperienced staff members at every level. Here we'll explore how we delivered business improvements that benefited both internal efficiency and user experience whilst managing everyday challenges. This paper will provide real examples of flexible thinking, positive leadership and how we identify the ideas with impact .This is a tale of getting the best from your partnerships, leaving perfectionism behind and building a culture to support innovation.


    Dapnee Devlin, National Manager, Tertiary Admissions Centre Processes

    Daphnee Devlin is the National Manager of Tertiary Admissions Centre (TAC) Processes at the Australian Catholic University. From her experience in working across Student Administration functions at UTS and ACU, Daphnee knows that effective leadership is key in reaching business goals and delivering service excellence. Her strengths reside in being an innovative and flexible thinker with the ability to lead teams through collaborative process improvements.

  • Implementation of institutional reform to embed holistic assessment and collaborative project-based learning model in a higher education creative media context


    In 2013, SAE implemented an institutional level reform of its curriculum design and assessment policies. Holistic Assessment, with particular reference to Sadler's work in this area,  and Collaborative Project-Based Learning was applied to all SAE Bachelor Programs and each of SAE’s six discrete campuses.

    These reforms continue to drive significant improvement in the quality of student work with marked improvements in student satisfaction, work readiness, progression rates, completion rates, and improved retention.

    Throughout the project implementation, SAE has encountered challenges in crossing boundaries of geography, culture and embedded learning and teaching paradigms for both faculty and students.  The presenters will discuss the latest iteration – styled as Ethos 1.5 and address the lessons learned along the journey.


    Dr Luke McMillan, Dean, SAE Creative Media Institute

    Dr Colin Webber, National Manager of Academic Services, SAE Creative Media Institute

    Dr Luke McMillan is a creative, highly engaged academic leader with significant experience in the leadership of creative industries programs, both in Australia and internationally. Over the last six years, he has applied an action research model to enhancing SAE’s learning and teaching frameworks and has used this research to establish best practice globally at SAE.

    His expertise is in the design, implementation governance and quality assurance of innovative Creative Industries programs. His approach to curriculum design is student-centric and designed to foster student agency in their learning experience, maximize the potential for collaboration, reward creativity and build the transferable skills required for effective collaborative practices.

    Dr. Colin Webber has many years experience in music composition and studio production, especially for multi-media applications such as film, TV, theatre and dance.

    He is active as a researcher and academic leader with particular interest in pedagogy, faculty development and the emotion expression, transmission and perception through music.

    Colin is a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy in recognition of Academic Leadership. He has been working in higher education since 2004, currently National Manager Academic Services at SAE / QANTM and previously Campus Academic Coordinator at SAE Brisbane, particularly involved in maintaining and extending academic standards in the arena of practiced based arts technologies, strong involvement in curriculum design and accreditation.

  • Tell ‘em they’re dreaming!


    We were told that it just couldn’t be done. Triage service tickets across the whole organisation? Establish a single service desk that can handle enquiries across nine different directorates? You’re dreaming, right?
    Wrong! Service Central was established from November 2018 – June 2019. A single access point to all Corporate Services for ACU Staff.
    Service Central worked collaboratively with nine service directorates to transform services provided to staff, through the establishment of an innovative and unique customer service centre and customer service management model, created with the service user at the forefront of the design.
    You will leave this session with an understanding of the collaborative process ACU took to on-board services delivered by multiple service providers across many locations, to manage services through a centralised portal, single phone line and enterprise service management system. We will share with you the data gathering and assessment process, governance model, project overview and service model design process.


    Angela Forrester, National Manager, Service Central, Australian Catholic University

    Sharonne Ciancio, Director, Corporate Services, Australian Catholic University

    Angela Forrester has worked in the tertiary education sector for 19 years in a range of leadership and project management positions. Angela is currently the National Manager of Service Central, following implementation of the system, model and team in the capacity of Service Central Project Manager. Angela is interested in the ways that technology, knowledge and service management work together to create incredible customer experiences, and in making tasty kombucha.

    Sharone Ciancio has worked in the tertiary education for over 20 years in leadership and management roles, focused on both the student experience and staff experience. Sharone joined ACU in 2013 as the Director of Corporate Services, leading major university programs focused on service excellence, transforming services, the service experience, and implementing service and process improvements. Sharone holds a Bachelor of Behavioural Sciences, Post Graduate in Educational Counselling and Master of Tertiary Education Management. She is also a registered psychologist with a keen interest in organisational and cultural change whilst engaging people through the experience. Sharone is also an avid/hopeless fan of “Game of Thrones”.

Thursday 31 October: 3:00pm - 3:45pm

  • The KPIs that matter in student-centric services: Amplifying the student voice


    In 2017, we shared our journey through adopting agile practices in re-imagining the Monash University timetabling function, focusing on building internal capability. Two years on, we share the next chapter in that journey, the maturity of the timetabling service and the evolution of our student-centred service improvements.
    Our case study highlights the criticality of the student voice in all facets of timetabling; system enhancements to maximise self-service including a highly effective chatbot, high value face to face interactions when it matters most, and introducing a student impact score when assessing timetable changes. Collectively these have resulted in a 25% drop in student enquiries and an average enquiry resolution time of 8 hours. Most importantly, we have included students as an extension of our scheduling services team to keep our student experience realities and aspirations at the core of our business.


    Reshmee Gunesh, Associate Director, Scheduling Services, Monash University

    Reshmee has worked in the higher education sector for almost twenty years. Starting as a Marketing lecturer, teaching undergraduate and MBA Programs, Reshmee moved into higher education management and has since demonstrated knowledge and experience in the development and implementation of strategic initiatives, building student-centric functions, and fostering cross-Portfolio collaboration. Reshmee is currently Associate Director, Scheduling Services at Monash University. The role provides operational leadership for a university-wide student service (scheduling) and strategic advice to the senior management within the COO Portfolio. She also acts as a key enabler and collaborator in the execution of transformation initiatives and projects within the COO and across the Education Portfolios.

  • Unifying with Continuous improvement: A case study


    In this presentation the Service Improvement (SI) will share their experiences of holding a 4-week Service Improvement placement for the graduates in 2019. This will be an opportunity to hear how creating the culture of continuous improvement and changing the mindset helps early career graduates about their experience of career development in this context. This ties in with the sub-themes of harmony and success, future world and career evolution.

    Aim of the presentation is to share the important work that Service Improvement and the Graduate Program do and how it can benefit your organisation. This initiative helps brings together how a group of individuals from various parts of the university to deliver improvements which benefited the Graduates (running the project), Capability Dev Team (enhance the Graduate program offering), SI Team (spreading the CI culture), stakeholders Finance and Employee Services, Melbourne Graduate School of Education (process improvements).


    Matty Kapadia and Vishnupriya Singh, Service Improvement Team, The University of Melbourne

    The Service Improvement team was established to support academic divisions and professional staff portfolios to identify and implement business improvements. The team has two specialty arms: a continuous improvement consultancy and a robotics process automation (RPA) development group. The team works with project groups across faculties and divisions looking at process improvements in a range of areas including admissions, recruitment, student grading and financial operations. Drawing on the DMAIC model, developing fit-for-purpose approaches and change management methodologies, the Service Improvement team brings real-world examples to life, illustrating how theory translates into practice in the complex higher education environment.

  • TBC

Friday 1 November: 1:45pm - 2:30pm

  • A hands-on approach to understanding and improving customer experience


    In 2018 ACU undertook to understand the experience of its students across significant touchpoints of the student lifecycle so as to prioritise initiatives focused at improving their experience, particularly in the digital space and in so doing improving organisational outcomes. Rather than following the well-trodden path of contracting one of the “Big 4” to deliver the research and strategy and polished customer journey maps that are typical of these engagements, budget constraints drove ACU to adopt a staff led, “hands on” approach.
    Rather than being a compromise however, this alternative approach has created a closer proximity of university staff to the issues and day-to-day experiences of the student body, fostering a new empathy that has translated into both small, medium and large change initiatives.
    Coupled with an extensive focus on staff engagement and practical leadership in hands-on design thinking staff have been encouraged to innovate to benefit the student experience at the local level. At the same time senior stakeholders now have a reliable resource on which to base investment priorities and this is shaping both the planning and delivery of our digital approach.
    This case study will describe a replicable approach to this type of customer research and demonstrate how it is driving change initiatives at ACU.


    Luke Williams, Associate Director, Digital Experience, Australian Catholic University

    Luke has spent his career delivering digital projects in agency, client side and consultancy contexts working with organisations including Oakton, Dimension Data, Toyota, Perpetual and several Australian universities. Luke is currently working with ACU as the Associate Director, Digital Experience leading a program of digital transformation to enhance the student experience.

    Liz Moon, Associate Director User Experience, Student Administration, Australian Catholic University

    Liz is the Associate Director, User Experience at Australian Catholic University.  Commencing at ACU in 2017, Liz was tasked with developing a user-focussed culture in Student Administration.  Prior to joining ACU Liz worked at RMIT in the Academic Registrar’s Group, forming collaborations with other areas of the university to achieve improvements to the student experience.   Prior to landing on Australian shores, Liz worked in a number of UK HE institutions in Marketing and Student Administration leadership roles and was accredited by the Chartered Institute of Marketing.

  • Stronger Together – The University Procurement Hub


    Under pressure to achieve more with less, Australia’s universities are laser-focused on cost-effective operations. Every dollar saved can be reinvested in continuing to drive excellence in research and education. The University Procurement Hub (UPH) is key to this mission.
    Harnessing the collective purchasing power of the whole higher-education sector, streamlining processes and drawing on unmatched sourcing intelligence and innovative technologies like advanced analytics, UPH is a ground-breaking offering. And it’s having a major impact on universities’ financial health. To date, 20 universities have joined UPH, with up to 40% savings achieved in some spend categories and a total $45m savings identified.
    From an initial focus on aggregated sourcing, UPH has grown to become something much bigger: a powerful sector-wide community. Supported by university resources who participate in and run the organisation, and drawing on Accenture’s scale, market intelligence and category expertise, the platform’s innovative collaboration model is about much more than ‘hard’ cost savings through improved process efficiency.


    Simonne Everington, Service Delivery Lead, Accenture

    Scott Jenkins, Chief Financial Officer, Australian Catholic University

    Simonne is responsible for Accenture’s operation of the University Procurement Hub, she has been at Accenture for nearly 9 years, has worked across 3 continents. Simonne has over 17 years global procurement experience working within complex environments and is skilled at managing key stakeholder relationships, identifying and exploiting opportunities to drive continuous improvement and driving additional value to her clients.

    Since April 2019, Scott has been Chair of the University Procurement Hub (UPH) and has been the Chief Financial Officer at Australian Catholic University (ACU) for over 5 years. With the responsibility for financial management and reporting, as well as strategic growth, plan development and implementation and utilises his more than 10 years’ experience in the Higher Education Industry.

  • TBC

More announcements to come...