Faculty Advisory Council

Faculty Advisory Council

In order to meet our ambitious goals, a Faculty Advisory Council has been established. The Advisory Council will help us grow our links with stakeholders, and through that, enhance our research, our teaching and engagement. Our aim is to further understand the needs of our external stakeholders and how this Faculty can contribute in addressing these.The Advisory Council will meet twice a year, with occasional consultation with Council members as appropriate at other times.

Cathy Foley — Chair

Dr. Cathy Foley is the Science Director and Deputy Director Manufacturing CSIRO. Previous to her current appointment, Cathy was Chief of the Division of Materials Science and Engineering. Her research is in superconducting devices and their application. Cathy has been involved in developing superconducting systems for mineral exploration, detection of metal for quality assurance in manufacturing, terahertz imaging, UXO detection and low noise wide bandwidth receivers. The most successful application has been LANDTEM™ which has assisted in unearthing over $6B in mineral worldwide.

Career highlights

Cathy has a world-class reputation in her field as recognised by:

  • Fellow of the Institute of Physics in the UK;
  • Past-President of the Australian Institute of Physics;
  • Fellow of the Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering (ATSE);
  • Past President of Science and Technology Australia (formally Federation of Australian Science and Technology Societies, FASTS); and
  • Past Member of the Prime Minister’s Science Engineering and Innovation Council (PMSEIC)

Cathy was awarded a Public Service Medal on Australia Day in 2003. In the same year, Cathy won the Eureka Prize for the promotion of science. In 2009 Cathy was the NSW and National winner of the Telstra Women’s Business Award for Innovation. Cathy was also the recipient of the AUSIMM MIOTA award for LANDTEM™ as a mineral exploration tool. In 2013 she was awarded the NSW Premier's Award for Woman of the Year and in 2014 she was awarded the IEEE Council on Superconductivity Award for Continuing and Significant Contributions to the Field of Applied Superconductivity. Cathy and her team were awarded the prestigious Clunies Ross award for innovation and commercialisation for their invention, LANDTEM, in May of this year. Cathy has  been an advocate for women in science, for the communication of science and science education over the last 30 years.


BSc (Hons) Dip Ed, Macquarie University 1981

PhD, Macquarie University, 1985

Mark Anderson

Mark Anderson is the Principal of Normanhurst Boys High School, a fully academically selective Department of Education school.

Mark completed his undergraduate and post graduate studies at the University of New England and was appointed as a Geography and English teacher in 1989. 

He has worked in public education across greater western Sydney area in a diverse range of schools including Cabramatta High School, Cherrybrook Technology High School, Strathfield South High School, Model Farms High School and Normanhurst Boys High School.

Philip Brady

Phil Brady is Associate Director, Government Affairs & Engagement within the Optus Business Government team.

Before joining Optus Vision in 1995, Phil worked for eighteen years with the NSW Department of School Education — nine years as a secondary teacher, and nine years with various strategic IT portfolios across the Department.  Whilst working with the Department, Phil was responsible for introducing a range of communications networks and policies specific to the support of educational administration, teaching and learning. 

Since joining Optus, Phil has focused on working in the Government sector covering Local, State and Federal Government in various government affairs, managed services, sales and senior management roles.  He is currently working in the Optus Business Government Innovation and Strategy team focused on National government engagement.

Sean Carmody

Sean has worked for 20 years in the Financial Markets in Australia, with experience across a wide range of products and risks, including credit risk, market risk and operational risk.

With experience in technical roles, business roles and risk management roles, Sean has the ability to effectively communicate complex issues clearly to a broad range of audiences.

Sean is currently the General Manager Risk Analytics and Insights Westpac Banking Corporation. His previous positions in Westpac include the Head of Credit Risk (2011–2015), Head of Market Risk (2001–2004), and the Head of Credit Portfolio Management in WIB (2005–2007). He has also worked in investment banking (Deutsche Bank) and funds management (Barclays Global Investors) and holds a PhD in Pure Mathematics from St John's College, Cambridge.

Warrick Couch

Warrick Couch, FAA is an Australian astronomer, Director of the Australian Astronomical Observatory (AAO) and the President of the Australian Institute of Physics.  His principal research area is the study of how galaxies form and evolve. 

Couch is recognised as one of the most highly cited researchers in his field.  He was a member of the Supernova Cosmology Project, where his research contributed to the Nobel Prize winning work on the accelerating expansion of the Universe; he was a joint winner of both the 2007 Gruber Prize in Cosmology and the 2015 Breakthrough Prize in Fundamental Physics.

Martin Duursma

Martin is a Technology Business leader with over 30 years’ industry experience.

In his career he has been a founder of a successful Australian technology company, Datapac Australasia. After Datapac was acquired, Martin served a lengthy tenure at Citrix as a corporate executive where he has been responsible for global innovation and applied research. While at Citrix, Martin also established the Citrix Startup Accelerator which broke new ground as an innovative corporate accelerator helping startup teams to validate business and technology ideas.

Martin is also an angel investor and a strong supporter of the Australian startup scene and advisor to the Sydney University Incubate program. He also serves on the board of trustees of the Computer History Museum in Mountain View CA.

John O’Shaughnessy

In 2014 John retired as a director in the Asian Financial Institutions Group of the global management consultancy practice of A.T. Kearney.

Prior to this he held CEO and senior executive roles with responsibility for corporate strategy, public policy, operations, product development, marketing and distribution in the areas of superannuation, funds management, securities, life insurance and general insurance.

John’s current directorships include:

  • Centrepoint Alliance Limited, a listed independent financial services company, where he is also chair of the Governance Risk and Audit Committee and chair of the Nominations and Remuneration Committee.
  • Forticode Limited, an identity and authentication company, where John was appointed chair in 2013.
  • The University of Adelaide’s International Centre for Financial Services Advisory Board. John is currently a director, and was the inaugural chair for five years from 2006.

John holds a Master in Business Administration from MGSM, having graduated in 1992. He has qualified as a Fellow of the Governance Institute of Australia and a Fellow of the Financial Securities Institute of Australia. He is currently a member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

David Skellern

Adjunct Professor
Macquarie University

Rebecca Spindler

Rebecca’s PhD on marsupial reproduction at the Zoology Department, University of Melbourne led her to the Smithsonian’s Conservation Biology Institute in 1997. There, Rebecca managed a laboratory and integrated her own area of expertise with other disciplines of science to conserve species and ecosystems.

She spent five giant panda breeding seasons in the Wolong Nature Reserve, liaising with in country experts to facilitate the Smithsonian’s Giant Panda Program. During this same period she established the Neotropical Carnivore Initiative and with colleagues throughout the Americas, embarked on a multidisciplinary program aimed at improving the health, reproduction and conservation of jaguars.

In April of 2007, she joined the team at Taronga Zoo as Manager of Research and Conservation. In this role she coordinates and facilitates science at Taronga across the disciplines of Wildlife Health, Ecology, Population Dynamics, Nutrition and Behaviour. These disciplines collaborate internally and with local universities to answer key questions, guiding wildlife and ecosystem management decisions.

Rebecca also manages two grants programs, one aimed at supporting conservation professionals around the world to implement projects to restore and protect natural processes and the other empowering the Australian community to act for a sustainable future.

Vicki Waters

Vicki Waters is Principal of Pymble Ladies’ College Sydney. The College is a school of the Uniting Church in Australia for girls from Kindergarten to Year 12 with boarding from Year 7. With a population of over 2100 students, the College is set on 20 hectares of picturesque grounds on Sydney’s upper North Shore. Since commencing as Principal in 2007, the College has established a reputation as an exceptional school for girls and young women and boasts such accolades as being acknowledged as one of the top five boarding schools in the world, outside the United Kingdom.

Vicki is passionate about incorporating 21st Century educational strategy and developing a culture of learning within the College focused on the individual. The College’s five core values of care, courage, integrity, respect and responsibility underpin all activities at Pymble with a focus on providing a well-balanced educational experience for students. She inspires students to fulfil their obligation to community service instilling in them a sense of social responsibility in giving back to the community. Students are encouraged to embrace challenges, utilising the opportunities the College provides to grow in knowledge, confidence and resilience.

The College has a strong commitment to professional learning, providing development opportunities for staff to maintain the highest professional standards and to assist them to facilitate and utilise best practice and latest technologies in learning.

Prior to her role at Pymble Ladies’ College Vicki was Principal of St Margaret’s Anglican Girls School in Brisbane for 10 years.

Dr Kate Wilson

Dr Wilson is Executive Director of Science at the NSW Office of Environment and Heritage (OEH). In this role she manages over 250 scientists and support staff who deliver the data, research and expertise to provide evidence for environmental management, planning and regulation and ultimately better decision-making for a healthy NSW environment. She is also responsible for OEH’s Knowledge Strategy which guides the science needed to support the organisations policy and programs, and for delivery of technical analysis, expert advice and research to support OEH, the NSW Environment Protection Authority and external government customers and clients. 

Kate joined OEH in 2009 from CSIRO where she was Director of the Wealth from Oceans Flagship. Her background is in molecular biology and biotechnology and their application to agriculture and aquaculture. She was co-founder of the Centre for the Application of Molecular Biology to International Agriculture (Canberra) and research leader in tropical aquaculture at the Australian Institute of Marine Science (Townsville) before joining CSIRO in 2005. She has a doctorate from Harvard University and a Bachelor of Arts with First Class Honours from Cambridge University.

Niall Byrne

Niall Byrne is Creative Director of Science in Public Pty Ltd

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