Board of Directors
Professor Michael Wilmore
Professor Michael Wilmore is an experienced academic leader with a background in the humanities and social sciences. He has held senior academic roles in universities in Australia and the UK, and completed research projects in Nepal, the UK, and Australia. He was appointed as Dean of the Faculty of Humanities, Arts, Social Sciences and Education at UNE in 2018 and is currently acting Deputy Vice-Chancellor. His leadership experience encompasses a wide range of initiatives, including projects with significant impacts on university culture, external partnerships, business improvement processes, and investments in built and digital environments.
Michael holds first-class BA Honours in Archaeology (University of Exeter), a Master’s degree in Social Anthropology (University college London), and a PhD in Anthropology (University of London). His areas of teaching and research interest include the anthropological study of media, communication studies, and research-skill development. He is a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (HEA).
Professor Debra Dunstan
Professor Debra Dunstan is a Clinical Psychologist and Physiotherapist, a national award-winning scholar and an academic leader. Through a diverse career spanning more than 30 years, Debra has demonstrated a commitment to education and training as the means to the social and economic development of individuals and communities.
As a clinician, Debra has practiced in the public (State and Commonwealth), private and NGO sectors across health and human service domains. In 1997, she established a multidisciplinary private practice in rural NSW and in 2007 transitioned to the academy as a Churchill Fellow. Since entering the higher education sector, Debra has achieved a record of excellence in teaching, research and organisational growth and change.
Debra holds a Bachelor of Science, Graduate Diploma in Physiotherapy, Master of Letters (Psychology), Master of Psychology (Clinical), Master of Business Administration (Educational Leadership) and Doctor of Philosophy.
Dr Jessie Harman
Jessie Harman is a dedicated humanitarian and a recognised leader in the promotion of engagement and partnerships across a broad range of regional and international organisations. Jessie has extensive senior executive leadership, academic teaching and research experience and was Pro Vice-Chancellor (International and Partnerships) with Federation University Australia.
Jessie holds a Bachelor's Degree with Honours in Sociology, an MBA and a PhD in Social Entrepreneurship. She has lectured in the areas of Human Resources and Marketing at Federation University and was involved in research and development projects for the University involving commercialisation, regional competitiveness and dual-sector partnerships. During this time Jessie has also served in a number of positions at Rotary International at club, district and international levels, and is currently Chair of the international Membership Committee.
Chief Executive Officer
Benjamin Gilmore is an established innovator, education strategist and learning technologist with experience across a range of industries in Australia and overseas spanning some 20 years.
Over the past 15 year Benjamin has established his position as a thought leader in the vocational education sector, holding senior positions at the largest private RTO in the country, including Head of Strategy and Experience, Learning Design and Technology Manager, and National Marketing Manager. Each of these roles boast initiatives at the forefront of the application of technology in education, marketing and communications.
Benjamin has completed postgraduate studies in Data Science, as well as vocational qualifications in Management and Marketing.
As the CEO of UNE Partnerships, Benjamin has a strong focus on excellent student experience and meaningful collaboration with partners and customers.
Director of Partnerships
With over 40 years of commercial experience in a variety of senior management roles, Ric has worked in numerous industries ranging from aviation charter and sales, engineering, food manufacture, retailing and licensing of technology and IP.
A strong focus of Ric’s expertise has been business development and project management within an international context building export capability and establishing businesses with extensive exposure to markets in over 50 countries. In the domestic space, Ric has spent 9 years in a successful, co-owned and managed bakery manufacturing and retailing business.
Prior to joining UNE Partnerships, Ric spent 9 years as a business consultant to SME’s which involved developing strategic business, marketing and export plans, mentoring, process re-engineering and change management interventions. Apart from expertise and hands-on business experience, Ric holds a Masters of Business Administration, Masters of Commercial Law and Masters in International Trade & Commerce Law as well as qualifications in LEAN Six Sigma and Prince2. Ric is currently completing a Bachelor of Science in Psychology.
Director of Education
Meg Michell has wide experience and high-level capability and responsibility in the development, management, delivery and administration of education and training programs for organisations and individuals, developed over 20 years in the Australian VET sector. Meg is an expert in the quality management, regulation, recognition and funding mechanisms in the sector, leading UNE Partnerships through successive registration renewal processes and achieving maximum approval terms with the National VET regulators.
Director of Education with UNE Partnerships since 2002, Meg oversees the delivery and ongoing quality management for a range of AQF and non-AQF qualifications and courses, ensuring ongoing response to industry and client needs and audited quality assurance mechanisms as designated under the National VET Regulator Standards for RTOs.
Director of Corporate Services
An economics and financial management graduate of UNE and a Chartered Accountant since 1991, Paul has considerable experience providing strategic planning, guidance, and policy direction across finance, human resources, procurement, logistics and facilities management disciplines.
Paul joined the Public Sector in 1994 serving several years in the Australian Tertiary Education Sector in senior financial positions and for more than a decade, served the United Nations' Peacekeeping and International War Crime Tribunal efforts in senior finance and administrative roles in The Hague, Kosovo, Democratic Republic of Congo, Sierra Leone and New York. Prior to joining UNEP as Director – Corporate Services he worked for a training and consultancy organisation in the United Arab Emirates as Director – Finance & Administration.
His reputation is built on the ability to maximise organisational resources in challenging budgetary environments and to develop financial, administrative and logistics frameworks in a straightforward and consistent manner. Paul is also an independent board member of local government area’ Economic Development and Audit Risk & Improvement Committees.
Director of Learning Innovation
Penne Vincent has worked in the VET sector in Australia for more than two decades in a range of training organisations across NT, Qld and NSW. This involved work as a tutor, teacher, instructor, training manager, resource developer and learning design manager before taking on the role of Director of Learning Innovation.
Penne is passionate about developing quality learning experiences for adult learners and in particular finding learning design solutions to meet individual and organisational development needs. She enjoys the challenge of using project management, problem solving and team collaboration skills to develop and maintain high quality learning solutions that meet the learner's needs.
Director of Sales and Marketing
Tonia Smith has 20 years of Sales and Marketing experience spent in the Media industry, across Print, Television and Digital advertising. Tonia has vast experience in strategic Leadership, operational management, and success in developing and implementing sales and marketing strategies that enhance brand engagement and market share. Tonia has strong people leadership skills in nurturing a team culture of high performance across sales and marketing.
Prior to joining Une Partnerships, Tonia spent 8 years working with Australian Community Media across Business Development and Digital. The last 6 years she held the position of Group Media Sales Manager across Tamworth, New England, and Dubbo whilst starting and co-owning her own e-commerce business.
Anthony has extensive experience as a Project Manager and Consultant in Defence and Information, Communications and Technology.
Anthony is a Certified Practicing Project Director (CPPD) and assessor with the Australian Institute of Project Management (AIPM).
Anthony is passionate about all facets of Training and Development and working with people.
Cathy Baynie is Co-Director of UNE Partnerships’ Practice Management portfolio and has worked as a practice manager and consultant in the Australian healthcare sector for more than 30 years. She has a strong background in nursing and paediatrics and a focus on health policy and governance.
Cathy presents and assesses for the Medical Assisting qualification at UNE Partnerships, and her dedication to professionalism and quality in practice management has seen her hold a number of positions in the Australian Association of Practice Management, including NSW/ACT State President and election to National President in 2017.
Gary Smith is Co-Director of UNE Partnerships’ Practice Management portfolio and a successful practice manager of extended-hours and large, multi-services medical practices in the Western Sydney area. He is a dedicated Australian practice management professional with a long history as a presenter, assessor and past Academic Director of UNE Partnerships’ Professional Practice Management program.
Gary has made significant contributions to quality and professionalism in the Australian healthcare sector through education and representation, having held a number of positions with the Australian Association of Practice Management including NSW State and National President. He continues to serve in a number of positions and associations related to quality in general practice across Australia.
John Ross is a highly experienced business manager, consultant and trainer, and is Academic Director of UNE Partnerships’ Business Management program. John has extensive experience in senior management and community relations, holding a number of positions with Sydney Water and consulting widely with organisations nationally and internationally.
For more than two decades John has developed and delivered training, coaching and mentoring for public and private organisations in industries including health, infrastructure and government. He specialises in capability development and organisational operations, as well as supporting community and stakeholder relations and governance through his work as a licensed trainer for the International Association for Public Participation (IAP2).
Sean O’Toole is Academic Director of UNE Partnerships’ Government programs, with more than 20 years’ experience in adult learning and a focus on optimising the performance of organisations, teams and individuals. He has worked in both vocational and higher education sectors, served on university curriculum advisory boards, and managed industry-leading and award-winning capability-building initiatives in large government organisations.
Sean is a Churchill Fellow and the 2015 Fulbright professional scholar in vocational education and training, has Master degrees in Education and Australian Studies and postgraduate qualifications in management and organisational behaviour. He is extensively published, including authoring five books and more than 60 articles on adult learning and organisation development.