2019 Service Improvement and Innovation in Tertiary Education Conference (Melbourne)

Keynote, Panellists and Workshop Facilitators

Peer-Led Breakout Sessions

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

  • Driving Innovation whilst Juggling Business as Usual


    In a sphere that demands rapid responsiveness to changing market forces, how do we drive innovation whilst juggling Business As Usual?

    This is a tale of getting the best from your partnerships, leaving perfectionism behind and building a culture to support innovation. Here we’ll explore how Australian Catholic University’s Admissions teams delivered business improvements that benefited both internal efficiency and user experience whilst managing everyday challenges. This session will provide real examples of flexible thinking, positive leadership and how to identify ideas with impact, whilst facilitating discussions surrounding key drivers that influence innovation and the risk factors involved.

    Presentation Slides


    Dapnee Devlin, National Manager, Tertiary Admissions Centre Processes, Australian Catholic University

    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.

    Presentation Slides


    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.

    Presentation Slides - weblink to Prezi


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

    Sharone 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.

    Presentation Slides


    Reshmee Gunesh, Associate Director, Scheduling Services, Monash University

    Claudio Iturbe, Manager, Business Process Analysts. 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.

    Claudio brings a balance of extensive technical skills, analytical capability and ambitious drive for service improvement to the sector, with 15 years of knowledge and experience and a constant thirst for innovation. As the Manager, Business Process Analysts, Claudio currently manages the performance of, and continuous improvements within the Scheduling Services function. The role is responsible for the analysis and reporting on core operational indicators relating to timetabling and student allocation functions for the University. Claudio is also actively maturing our agile practices to ensure the operational delivery of services is adaptable to emerging needs of the university and its various stakeholders.

  • 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).


    Murtuza (Matty) Kapadia, Continuous Improvement Manager, The University of Melbourne

    Vishnupriya (Priya) Singh, Continuous Improvement Specialist, The University of Melbourne

    Matty has worked in the continuous improvement space for past 7 years across Financial Services and Higher Education sector. As leading the Continuous Improvement team at Melbourne University has been truly able to embed the ethos of University is where learning happens and not only in the class room. Together with his team Matty has been able to roll out a number of initiatives that stem outside of your traditional process improvement but more along the lines of creating a culture of continuous improvement and focusing on that capability uplift. Matty has also been able to develop successful partnerships with Academic Staff across the university to deliver better student experience as well as leverage the great research that comes out of university.

    Priya has been an extremely valuable member of the Continuous Team since joining the University about 12 months back. Priya brings a wealth of technology skills and soft skills which are crucial when working in today’s environment where technology underpins most of the processes and some level of change resistance. She is excellent when it comes to bringing people on a journey and getting the best out of them. Priya successfully combines these skills with her exceptional project management skills to deliver on projects across multiple Academic Divisions across the University. Priya is a certified Lean Six Sigma practitioner which is still relatively new to the University but her approach to make the complex simple gives her a winning edge.

  • The Connected University – Lessons from Other Industries


    Disruption is coming to the tertiary sector, and our universities are not ready. They are commonly challenged by fragmentation, disconnectedness and lack of agility.  The underlying systems and processes in Australian tertiary education were not built for modern, digital, and “customer-centric” businesses.  They were not built to rapidly develop new courseware, new qualifications or new student support models.  They were certainly not built to provide management insight at the touch of a button to inform decision-making.

    Our multi-sector research and unique tools can help our universities to build their student-centricity.  This presentation will highlight the characteristics of deeply student-centric universities and successful digital transformations.  It will also showcase KPMG’s student relationship management product built on Microsoft Dynamics 365 that can deliver a 360 degree view of students across the whole lifecycle – from first considering university to long lasting and mutually beneficial alumni relationships.

    Presentation Slides


    Michelle King, Education Lead, Enterprise Mangement Consulting, KPMG

    Blake Burningham, Management Consulting, KPMG

    Michelle is the national lead for the Enterprise Management Consulting Education practice at KPMG.  Before joining KPMG, Michelle held senior roles in education for 15+ years, across a broad range of strategic and enterprise functions.  She specialises in providing strategic analysis and insight, delivering complex change and student-centric transformation.

    Blake is the Product Owner for KPMG’s student relationship management product built on Microsoft Dynamics 365. Before joining KPMG, Blake worked with and for Education providers implementing Microsoft Dynamics solutions that supported their student lifecycle.

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.

    Presentation Slides


    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.

    Presentation Slides


    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.

  • What Must Go Right – How Risk and Opportunity Management Adds Value


    Risk Management is traditionally seen as back office, tick a box activity. At VU in recent years, we have been developing and implementing a more contemporary approach which balances the strategic and embedded approaches to risk management, encapsulated in the “what must go right’ framework. This has been a significant change in culture and thinking, which better suits the transformation and innovation agenda the university has been implementing, including the Block Teaching Model, an Australian first; the VU Way, a wholistic tertiary education approach from TAFE to HE; and transforming campuses to precincts. Strategic and enterprise risk profiles are truly aligned to university’s planning and budget annual cycles, and operational risks and mitigations are embedded in the BAU activities at portfolio and departmental levels. The next phase to the Risk Management is to develop the Opportunity Framework, which applies the ‘what must go right’ approach to risks as potential opportunities under the right conditions.

    Presentation Slides


    Teresa Tjia, Vice-President Planning and Registrar, Victoria University

    Dr Anand Kulkarni, Associate Director Planning, Performance and Risk, Victoria University

    Teresa Tjia has held a variety of senior executive roles in Victorian universities, including managing multi-campus faculty, university-wide transformation projects, student services and administration, governance and planning. In her current role at VU, Teresa has a diverse portfolio including planning, data and insights, risk and audit, governance and more. Teresa is also an experienced non-executive board member and hold executive roles in member-based professional organisations.

    Dr Anand Kulkarni is Associate Director Planning, Performance and Risk at Victoria University. He has held senior management roles in State and Federal Governments and Higher Education, leading strategy in areas including innovation and industry development. Anand holds Fellowships with the Centre for Policy Development and ATEM. Anand has published widely on contemporary policy issues in journals as well as the University World News and the Conversation. Anand’s book India and the Knowledge Economy has just been published by Springer.