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Nation’s leading thinkers unite to “create something very special” in business education

04 Apr 2016

Question; what does the CEO of Optus, Allen Lew, Australia’s Race Discrimination Commissioner, Tim Soutphommasane, and a former Chief Operating Officer for the National Rugby League, Suzanne Young, have in common?

For the Dean of the University of Sydney Business School, Professor Greg Whitwell, the answer is an easy one. “They are all good thinkers, they all have ideas and they all share a commitment to improving the educational experience.”

Furthermore, all three, along with another seven business leaders and entrepreneurs are now members of the Business School’s diverse, well connected and highly experienced Board of Advice.

Also joining the high powered Board are the NSW Chairman of KPMG, Martin Blake; Founder and CEO of Job Capital and Inspiring Rare Birds, Jo Burston; CEO and MD of Hilti Australia, Jan Pacas; Chairman and Non-executive Director, Arlene Tansey; Executive General Manager of NAB Private Wealth, Christine Yates; General Manager, Group Support Services, Financial Services of CBA, Karina Kwan and CEO of Sustainable Business Australia, Andrew Petersen.

“This board will literally shape the future of the Business School,” said Professor Whitwell. “For this reason, it was important to ensure that its membership reflected our commitment to gender equality and social equality and also represented a variety of sectors.”

Specifically, Professor Whitwell says the School will look to its new Board for “insights and advice in determining strategic priorities and identifying strategic opportunities”.

“It will also help to provide advice on graduate placement, internships, work-integrated and experiential activities, career progression and assuring the job readiness of graduates,” Professor Whitwell said.

“Less formally, Board meetings will provide a wonderful forum for bouncing around ideas, and getting informed feedback about what we might do and how we might do it,” he continued. “The School will benefit from the Board’s diversity of perspectives and extraordinary depth of experience.”

“Importantly, Board members will opens doors for us, link us with some of the networks in which they operate and provide us with insights into the issues, present and future, faced by their industry sectors.”

Commenting on his Board membership, Race Discrimination Commissioner, Tim Soutphommasane, said the Business School plays an important role in educating future leaders and managers.

“In a global world, leadership and management have to understand diversity,” Dr Soutphommasane said. “I am delighted to be on the Board of Advice.”

Referring to the University’s commitment to “Leadership for Good”, former NRL Suzanne Young, said it was “important for the Business School to develop leaders who can make a positive impact on business, the government and the community more broadly”.

When asked about her contribution to the Board, Ms Young replied, “a passion for education, diversity and equal opportunity”. She also referred to her experience in governance, strategy and implementation in a corporate and not-for-profit environment”.

Professor Whitwell concluded by saying that the business school was entering a new, and distinctly different and positive, phase in its history, and “I know that members of the Board of Advice share my excitement about us all working together to create something very special, indeed”.