Our strategy for research and teaching is informed by industry. The Swinburne Business School has an Advisory Board and each degree or course has a Course Advisory Committee comprising of industry experts to inform curriculum development.
Industry Advisory Board
Lesley Gillespie OAM
Lesley Gillespie OAM is the co-founder of Bakers Delight, the largest national chain of bakeries in Australia with over 700 bakeries operating throughout Australia, New Zealand and Canada. Her achievements include being a finalist in the Prime Minister’s Award for Community Partnerships – Bakers Delight and the Breast Cancer Network of Australia 2004, being named Boroondara Citizen of the Year 2002 (shared with her husband Roger) and being awarded an OAM in 2006 in recognition of her work in business and philanthropy.
She is also a joint owner of the Victorian grocery outlet chain, Not Quite Right, and patron of the Margaret Pratt Foundation which supports research into transplanted organ rejection. In November 2018, Lesley was awarded an honorary doctorate from Swinburne in recognition of her contribution to business and the community.
David Banger is the Founder of CHANGE lead Practical Digital and authored DIGITAL IS EVERYONE’s BUSINESS | A Guide To Transition in 2019. He began his career at the Commonwealth Bank whilst completing his MBA at Swinburne.
David’s former roles include CIO of John Holland Group, KPMG Director and National Head of IT, in-country CIO for Microsoft’s subsidiaries in the UK and Ireland, and management consultant at IBM London and Cap Gemini Melbourne. Also as an Adjunct Professor, David has lectured to undergraduate and postgraduate students at Swinburne since March 2015.
Penny Blankfield is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors (AICD) with Order of Merit. She has expertise in strategic planning and in developing and implementing accurate business forecasting methodology and previously held senior business management roles with Telstra.
She is an advisory board member of the MBA/DBA Programmes, Swinburne Graduate School of Management and as an invited industry representative on the External Review Panel conducting the academic review of the Department of Econometrics and Business Statistics, Monash University. She is also a facilitator in a high-level strategy board meeting for a not-for-profit organisation and was a non-Executive Director at Swinburne Online from March 2012 to August 2014.
Michael Edwards is the General Manager of Boeing Research and Technology – Australia and carries executive responsibility for the delivery of Boeing’s research portfolio in the region.
He oversees a highly collaborative research program focused on the growth and prosperity of the Boeing Australia business units. Prior to joining Boeing in 2011 Michael worked with the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation, including an overseas posting as Senior Technical Advisor to Boeing based in Seattle.
Mark Korda is one of Australia’s leading specialists in business recovery and restructuring, and together with Mark Mentha established KordaMentha. Mark has worked on many of Australia’s largest insolvencies including Ansett. Before founding KordaMentha in 2002, Mark was a partner with Arthur Andersen and a member of the Australian Executive Committee and Board of Partners.
Mark is a director of Collingwood Football Club and chairs the Finance and Governance Committee. In November 2018, Mark was awarded an honorary doctorate from Swinburne in recognition of his contribution to business and the community.
Clare Lezaja is the Finance Director for Telstra Retail Products. She has over 20 years’ experience in the telecommunications industry and a breadth of experience in financial business planning and forecasting, financial reporting, business performance analysis and capital management.
Tristan Sternson is the CEO of ARQ Group, a leading Australian digital tech services and solution provider, well known for the many digital solutions and experiences they have created for many leading Australian and international companies and government departments.
Tristan is an expert in data and analytics, having spent more than the past 15 years focused purely on mastering solution to give organisations greater insights through data. Tristan has architected and lead major programs of work in Australia and the UK, on some of the largest, most complex, and leading-edge data analytics, data warehouse, data migration, data integration, business intelligence, marketing and customer analytics and end-to-end information management programs. Tristan is also a keen pioneer of new technologies and approaches managing and utilising data, information, big data and predictive analytics, and has been an expert panellist and presenter at a variety of industry events.
Genevieve Timmons is currently Philanthropic Executive for the Portland House Foundation, a private family foundation with a charter to assist people to move out of disadvantage. She is Chair of the Inner North Community Foundation, a director of the George Hicks Foundation and council member for Philanthropy Australia. Not-for-profit board engagements include the Victorian Foundation for Survivors of Torture and the Fellowship for Indigenous Leadership.
Genevieve is a Senior Fellow of the Johns Hopkins Fellows in Philanthropy Program, and also a Fellow of Leadership Victoria. Genevieve has been active in philanthropy and grant making for over three decades, pioneering approaches to contemporary giving programs and promoting thought leadership around generosity in Australia and New Zealand.
David Knowles is a Partner/Executive Director at Pitcher Partners Melbourne. He specialises in providing auditing and advisory services to large and growing private businesses and closely held ASX-listed companies.
He has a particular focus on dynamic and growing companies and assist them to define their growth objectives. He helps them get ‘investor-ready', assists them pursue growth opportunities including mergers and acquisitions or transition through generational change.
Jay Meek has been the General Manager of the Strategy and Design division of Austrade since May 2020. He leads the Strategy and Design team to move forward with Austrade’s transformation journey, as well as setting and implementing Austrade’s vision and strategic direction. Jay was also the Chief Strategy Officer and the Victorian State Director for Austrade from 2018-2019. This role focused on developing trade and investment strategy for Austrade globally, as well as engaging with key stakeholders in Victoria.
Prior to this, Jay was the Deputy Secretary of Trade Victoria, in Victorian Government from September 2015 until April 2018. He led the international trade strategy for Trade Victoria, managing 23 international offices and more than 200 staff. The role focused on international business development, trade policies, market intelligence and export market entry/growth strategies. Jay holds a BA in Agriculture from the University of Adelaide and has held several high-level positions within the State and Federal government agencies.
Rachael is responsible for Xero’s customer success, people experience, marketing and communications functions globally. She has previously held positions in strategy, marketing, talent management and channel development across online and technology businesses.
In her current capacity, she brings together her dual passions; delighting our customers and nurturing our people. Rachael believes that customer experience must resonate from the inside-out and advocates for positive engagement programs to effectively mobilise the business strategy at scale. She has a Masters in Applied Positive Psychology, a Masters in Business Administration, and a Bachelor of Business (Accounting and Marketing).