NSW tertiary institutions unite for entrepreneurship

B2B Editor16 February 2017

NSW tertiary institutions unite for entrepreneurship

NSW Deputy Premier and Minister for Regional New South Wales, Skills and Small Business John Barilaro today announced the inaugural board for the Sydney School of Entrepreneurship (SSE), the prestigious new partnership between all 12 NSW tertiary institutions.

The board will play a crucial role in shaping the academic framework for SSE members – all 11 NSW based universities and TAFE NSW – to deliver world-leading training, support and mentoring for students looking to establish and operate innovative businesses across NSW.

“The SSE board, led by Chairman Emeritus Professor Mark Wainwright AM FTSE, brings together remarkable expertise in education, start-ups, innovation and small business to help create an innovation powerhouse for NSW, driving our economy and creating exceptional job opportunities,” Mr Barilaro said.

SSE was launched with a $25 million cornerstone investment by the NSW Government in 2016. Operations will commence this year with a ‘semester of events’ in Semester One 2017, including activities across rural, regional and metropolitan NSW. Launch of the Sydney campus and coursework is planned for Semester Two 2017.

NSW Vice Chancellor Committee Chair and SSE Board Member Professor Attila Brungs said: “The board will lead SSE’s operations and pave the way for dynamic input from our academic partners as well as the broader entrepreneurial community via entrepreneurs in residence, guest lecturers, mentors and extracurricular activities.”

TAFE NSW Managing Director Jon Black added: “TAFE NSW is delighted to join the Sydney School of Entrepreneurship. It will provide our students with direct access to the best in entrepreneurial education, strong connections with industry and build a powerful and diverse community across disciplines, locations and backgrounds. As a founding member of SSE, TAFE NSW is supporting the ambition of our rising entrepreneurial stars and will inspire the next generation of NSW entrepreneurs.”

Board Chairman Wainwright is currently Visiting Professor at the University of New South Wales and an Order of Australia recipient for his services to tertiary education and chemical engineering as a researcher and academic.

He is joined on the board by Dr Raji Ambikairajah, Professor Attila Brungs, Professor Kevin Hall, Professor Denise Kirkpatrick, Ms Fiona Pak-Poy and Ms Liane Sayer-Roberts.

Reporting to the board will be SSE CEO Nick Kaye, who most recently was the Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer of the Stockholm School of Entrepreneurship for a decade. Kaye’s tenure also saw the school build its world-class reputation for educating students who have gone on to extraordinary business success including three start-ups worth more than US$500m each.

When fully operational, SSE will provide access to practical training, support, mentoring and co-curricular activities for up to 1,000 high-performing students from a range of backgrounds, disciplines, demographics and locations from across NSW to enable them to collaborate and innovate in the development of new, innovative business ventures in NSW.

Founding academic partners of the school include Australian Catholic University, Charles Sturt University, Macquarie University, Southern Cross University, TAFE NSW, The University of Sydney, The University of Newcastle, University of New England, University of Technology Sydney, University of Wollongong, UNSW Sydney and Western Sydney University.

Follow @SSENSW on Instagram and Twitter.


Image: Sydney School of Entrepreneurship board members with Chair Emeritus Professor Mark Wainwright AM FTSE (second from the left) and CEO Nick Kay (front, seated).nt, seated). Picture: James Horan.

Sydney School of Entrepreneurship board members with chairman Mark Wainwright (second from left) and CEO Nick Kaye (front, seated). Picture: James Horan

See below for biographies of Chair and Board Members

Biographies of Chair and Board Members

Emeritus Professor Mark Wainwright AM FTSE
Chair – Sydney School of Entrepreneurship

Professor Mark Wainwright retired as Vice-Chancellor and President of UNSW in 2006 having held senior leadership roles there for 15 years. He has more than 25 years’ experience as chair and board member of co-operative ventures in higher education and industry sectors including numerous co-operative research centres.

Professor Wainwright holds a PhD in Chemical Engineering from McMaster University, Canada and a DSc by research from the University of South Australia. He has been awarded Honorary Doctorates by UNSW and Mahanakorn University of Technology, Thailand.

Professor Wainwright is presently Chair, TAFE NSW Higher Education Governing Council; Chair, Intersect Australia; Chair, Smart Services CRC; Chair, Cancer Institute NSW Grants Program; and Independent Director, AARNet Pty Ltd. He is a member, Hong Kong Polytechnic University International Advisory Board and the International Academic Review Panel, Singapore Management University.

Dr Raji Ambikairajah
Board Member – Sydney School of Entrepreneurship

Dr Ambikairajah holds a Doctorate in Electrical Engineering, as well as an Honours Degree in Electrical Engineering, both from the University of New South Wales.

She is presently the Chief Operating Officer for Women in Banking and Finance and prior to this role spent her career working in the technology start-up sector.

Before joining the Sydney School of Entrepreneurship’s Board of Directors, Dr Ambikairajah was Chair of the Innovation and Entrepreneurship Sub-Committee of the Sydney Division in Engineers Australia, and Sub-committee Member of the Mentoring Committee of the Centre of Engineering Leadership & Management.

Dr Ambikairajah is currently a Board Member of UNSW Innovations and a Board Member of the Sydney Chamber Opera. She is also the Sydney Chapter Leader for global non-profit organisation, Room to Read.

Professor Attila Brungs
Board Member – Sydney School of Entrepreneurship

Professor Attila Brungs is the Vice-Chancellor and President of the University of Technology Sydney. He has previously held senior positions with the CSIRO and McKinsey & Company.

Professor Brungs is a Rhodes Scholar with a Doctorate in Inorganic Chemistry from Oxford University and a University Medal in Industrial Chemistry from the University of New South Wales.

Some of Professor Brungs’ present key appointments include the Federal Government Research Data Infrastructure Committee; the NSW Innovation and Productivity Council; Convenor, NSW Vice-Chancellor’s Committee; Deputy Chair, Universities Admissions Centre Board; Advisory Board Member for NSW Data Analytics Centre; the Australian Higher Education Industrial Association; and Chair, UniProjects. His experience includes many distinguished past board and committee memberships in addition to many other government and institutional appointments.

Professor Kevin Hall
Board Member – Sydney School of Entrepreneurship

Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research and Innovation) at The University of Newcastle, Professor Kevin Hall, has a unique blend of higher education and private sector leadership experience, and is a lifelong innovator.

He has been in his current role for three years and has held previous academic positions as Deputy Vice-Chancellor Research and External Partnerships, University of Guelph in Canada; and Head of School, Queen’s University, Canada.

Professor Hall has more than 25 years of industry leadership experience, including 22 years as CEO and President of HCCL Engineering. He was also the Founder and Board Chair of Pathogen Detection Systems, a start-up that successfully sold to a multinational company.

Professor Hall’s experience as an executive board member spans across 17 organisations in Canada and Australia, and he is currently a member of the Leadership Circle of the Global Consortium of Entrepreneurship Centres. He is a member of the University Industry Innovation Network as well as a number of professional associations and Societies and is a Fellow of the New South Wales Royal Society.

Professor Denise Kirkpatrick
Board Member – Sydney School of Entrepreneurship

Denise Kirkpatrick has been a senior academic in the field of education in Australia for 20 years with experience setting academic strategies in a variety of universities in Australia, the United Kingdom, and the Middle East.

Before joining the Sydney School of Entrepreneurship’s Board of Directors, Professor Kirkpatrick was a member of its Steering Committee and Interim Board of Directors.

Professor Kirkpatrick was conferred a Doctorate in Teaching and Learning from the Edith Cowan University, a Master of Education from the University of Western Australia.

Professor Kirkpatrick is presently the Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Vice President, Academic at the Western Sydney University.

She is also a member of the Senior Executive Group at Western Sydney University, as well as being Chair of the university’s Academic Planning and Course Approvals Committee. Professor Kirkpatrick is also a board member in joint venture and external partnership entities. She is convenor, NSW Deputy Vice-Chancellor Academic group.

Ms Fiona Pak-Poy
Board Member – Sydney School of Entrepreneurship

Fiona Pak-Poy has more than 20 years’ experience working with the start-up community as an investor, mentor, board member, and entrepreneur.

Ms Pak-Poy has held directorships including chair in multiple companies in Australia and the United States. She has also been an investment manager and partner in an Australian venture capital fund, and a councillor for the Australian Private Equity and Venture Capital Association (AVCAL), as well as a board member of Adelaide Research and Innovation. Ms Pak-Poy is a former member of the Innovation Australia board.

Ms Pak-Poy has an Honours Degree in Engineering from the University of Adelaide, and a Master in Business Administration from Harvard Business School.

She is currently a Non-Executive Director for the Securities Industry Research Centre of Asia Pacific (SIRCA), iSentia Group Ltd (ASX:ISD) and MYOB (ASX:MYOB). Ms Pak-Poy is also a committee member for Innovation Australia’s Biomedical Translation Fund.

Ms Liane Sayer-Roberts
Board Member – Sydney School of Entrepreneurship

Liane comes to the Sydney School of Entrepreneurship’s Board of Directors from Sauce Communications, a public relations and events management company which works with organisations that are based in, represent, or need to reach audiences in rural and regional Australia. Liane established Sauce in 2004 in the rural town of Leeton NSW and over the past decade has grown the business from start-up status to include offices in Sydney, Canberra and Melbourne. The company today has a national client base and has been named Australian Medium PR Agency of the Year for the past two years.

With more than 20 years’ experience in the communications industry in Australia and New Zealand, Ms Sayer-Roberts specialises in strategic counsel, crisis communications, and reputation management. Her dual practice is in delivering value for people and businesses in rural Australia, as well as ensuring regionally based practitioners have access to rewarding career paths, and are able to participate in forums that will assist their future.

Ms Sayer-Roberts has previously been a Director of Riverina Citrus and Riverina Regional Tourism, is a Telstra Business Women’s Award finalist and one of Emerald Grain and Fairfax Media’s Top 100 Women in Australian Agribusiness. She is member of the Women in Entrepreneurship initiative of the NSW Deputy Premier and Minister for Regional New South Wales, Skills and Small Business John Barilaro.

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