Board of Directors

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.

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).

Executive Team

Benjamin Gilmore

Chief Exectuve Officer

Benjamin Gilmore is an established innovator, education executive and learning technologist working across a wide range of industries in Australia and overseas over the last 15 years, with a passion for great student experience through effective strategy and design.

Prior to joining UNE Partnerships, Benjamin held senior roles at the largest private RTO in the country, including Head of Strategy and Experience, Learning Design and Technology Manager, and Marketing Manager. Each of these roles boast initiatives at the forefront of the application of technology in education, marketing and communications.

Louise Hill

Director of Partnerships

Louise Hill has over 12 years’ experience working in project and portfolio management, quality assurance and governance, business process improvement and strategic planning. Louise started her career in the health industry as a Physiotherapist before moving into strategy and development. In 2016, she moved into the vocational education sector and applied her experience and skills within UNE Partnerships.

Louise holds a Master of Business Administration and is dedicated to ongoing professional and personal development through education, supporting individuals to evolve their careers over time.

Meggan Michell

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.

Academic Directors

Cathy Baynie

Practice Management

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.

Doug Wheeler

Project Management

Doug Wheeler is Academic Director of UNE Partnerships’ Project Management program and is an eminent Australian project management professional. He has worked as an engineer and consultant for over 30 years, and for the past 20 years as an educator, mentor and coach in engineering and project management.

Doug has a Bachelor of Civil Engineering, a number of postgraduate qualifications and is pursuing a Doctor of Philosophy after completing a research Master in Project, Program and Portfolio management. As well as being a presenter and assessor for UNE Partnerships, Doug is an active contributor to industry, including being a sessional academic for Queensland University of Technology, a Fellow of the Institution of Engineers Australia, and Fellow of the Australian Institute of Project Management (AIPM).

Gary Smith

Practice Management

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

Business Management

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


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.