Course Advisory Committee

Mr Nazeh Baarini

Independent Chair

PhD in Accounting & Taxation (Candidature at Deakin University), PhD in Accounting & Taxation (Candidature at CQ University), Master of Professional Accounting (Deakin University), Bachelor of Arts (Arabic)/Bachelor of Business-Economics & Marketing (Deakin University)

Nazeh is highly experienced and up to date with the banking, taxation, superannuation and financial laws and regulations of Australia. He is also very much up to date with the ethical and corporate governance standards required of a professional accountant and financial consultant.Nazeh has been a Lecturer of Accounting at university, teaching the most difficult accounting subjects. He is currently pursuing a PhD under the supervision of the School of Commerce and Law. The topic of his PhD research is quite unique and is expected to have major impact on the banking, finance and insurance industry in Australia. He is examining the current taxation, banking and financial practices in Australia and overseas and exploring the prospect of expanding the practices to adopt the principles of Islamic banking and finance. His research will be first of this kind in Australia. He is quite inquisitive and novel in his approach to research.
The social and community footprint of Nazeh is quite vast. He is actively engaged in the budgetary and strategic planning exercise of many Australian and foreign companies. He also maintains close professional linkage with Australian and offshore Chambers of Commerce and Industry. He has excellent communication skill and a vast network of business and professional contacts.

Dr Athena Vongalis-Macrow

Member (Dean)

PhD in Education (Monash University), Doctor of Education (EdD Monash University), Master of Education (MEd The University of Melbourne), Bachelor of Education (Deakin University)

Athena has a PhD in Education Systems and Change. She has worked as an academic and manager for over 15 years in Australian Universities.  Her academic research has resulted in over 60 refereed publications, attained over $300 K research grants and has been invited as keynote speaker in national and international conferences. Most recently in 2017 as a keynote speaker at the Yogyakarta International Conference on Educational Management and Pedagogy, in Indonesia at Yogyakarta University, Indonesia   She has worked as an academic in Australia and internationally in the USA, UAE, China.  In 2014 she was a visiting scholar at State University of New York and has held consultancies with UNESCO and with government agencies.  She has extensive experience as a university manager, leading programs and discipline groups in Education, Management and Research disciplines.  Her interests are in Leadership and Management and she is a regular contributor to Harvard Business Review on topics of leadership, work and gender.  Her expertise also extends to quality assurance and teaching and learning quality assurance.

Mr Gary Bajaj

Member (Finance Manager)

Master of Business Administration (University of Melbourne), Master of Accounting (Victoria University)

Gary is experienced Business leader with extensive skills across investment evaluation, benefit realization and assurance within a large corporate environment, in particular large scale and cross company transformation programs. He has proven track record in conducting financial due diligence and providing assessment on commercial projects, investment proposals, business cases and business improvement initiatives to achieve positive outcomes and successfully contribute to organisation’s objectives, in terms of growth, performance and profitability.

Mr Michael Croker

Independent Member

Master of Business Administration (RMIT University), Bachelor of Commence (Deakin University), ACA Chartered Accountant, Project Director of Australian Institute of Project Management (AIPM).

Michael is an executive with extensive experience in the professional consulting services sector as well as managing sales and operational teams and functions. He has a depth of experience in process reengineering, strategic planning, and organisation transformation as well as due diligence reviews, audit and financial systems in sectors such as health, government, financial services, telecommunications, utilities, oil and gas, aviation and defence sectors. Michael also has significant experience in recruitment and training in many industry sectors.

Ms Jemma Dougall

Independent Member

Graduate Diploma of Education (University of Melbourne), Bachelor of Education Studies (University of Melbourne), Bachelor of Business (Computing) (RMIT University), Bachelor of Business in Accounting (RMIT University).

Jemma is Regional Director of M&T Resources, leading the strategy and innovation for M&T’s presence in Victoria. Jemma’s career spans over 18 years, starting her own business in New Zealand at the age of 21. She subsequently worked across human resources and recruitment in New Zealand and Edinburgh, UK, before relocating to Melbourne nine years ago. She has built up excellent foundations and a real presence in the VIC market working for some of Australia’s leading organisations. Jemma’s passion lies in the opportunity to make a difference and to work in real partnership with diverse talent and organisations.

Ms Marika Evtimovski

Independent Member

Graduate Diploma in Applied Finance (RMIT University), Bachelor of Arts (University of Melbourne)

Marika has over 25 years of industry experience in large and complex organisations where she has held a number of senior roles across risk and strategy as well as having led and managed P&L businesses. She is passionate about digital and social innovation, driving efficiency that delivers strong business performance as well as leading organisational and cultural change. She is a natural leader, agile and motivated and who enjoys mentoring and coaching staff at all levels.

Mr Ashley Saltzman

Independent Member

Chartered Professional Accountant, Bachelor of Business in Accounting (Deakin University)

Ashley has over 25 years of industry experience and is a highly regarded and successful executive manager and high-end problem solver. He has worked at all levels of management including at the highest Company Board Level with the Family Mediation and Counselling (FMC) Victoria. He has been involved with the recruitment, training and mentoring of staff at all levels from graduates through to business and technology professionals and brings rich, practical and valuable industry experience to the Higher Education Academic Board (HEAB). He is an expert in managing complex issues related to customers, business processes, projects and internal operations facilitating delivery of a superior customer experience. He acts an effective conduit between executive management and the rest of the organisation and has managed and resolved over 500 troubled commercial and technical projects at IBM. He was an integral part of the transition of major clients, including the Big 4 accounting firms and when MYOB acquired Solution 6. He restructured service delivery at Solution 6 as part of the specialist turnaround management team assembled when the company was near bankruptcy. He led the internal IT department as well as the external IT consulting arm as IT Partner of accounting firm Lowe Lippmann.