Corporate Governance

Higher Education Leadership Institute Pty Ltd trading as Higher Education Leadership Institute (HELI) is a proprietary company established under the Corporations Act 2001. HELI is registered as an Institute of Higher Education under the Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Act 2011  [Provider registration #: PRV14266].

HELI is also approved to accept international students [CRICOS Provider #: 03845H]

Information about HELI’s financial well-being is contained in the Statement of Financial Standing

Institutional information about HELI (including our organisational structure) can be found here.

HELI is governed by a Board of Directors, comprised of a majority of independent members and an owners’ representative. The independence of the Board of Directors provides a mechanism to separate the Company’s ownership and governance from the Institute’s management and provide independent business, financial and higher education expertise and advice at the highest level of decision-making. The Board of Directors is chaired by one of its independent members. The Board of Directors sets the Institute’s mission and strategic goals and ensures the Institute continues to meet its legal, regulatory, financial and social obligations and responsibilities.

Members of the Board of Directors

Emeritus Professor Annabelle Duncan

Independent Chair

BSc Otago U, NZ; MSc Otago U, NZ; PhD La Trobe; PSM, FTSE, FRSN

Emeritus Professor Annabelle Duncan is a Microbial Ecologist by training, who was educated at Otago University in New Zealand, La Trobe University, and Monash University. She has completed a Senior Executive Management course at Harvard University as well as the Director’s course and the Advanced Diploma from the Australian Institute of Company Directors. She worked sixteen years at CSIRO, initially as a research scientist and later in science management. As the Chief of CSIRO Molecular Science for six years, she supervised the spin-off of six start-up companies.

From 2005–2007 she was Deputy Director and Chief Operating Officer of the Bio21 Institute at the University of Melbourne. From 2007–2010 she was the Executive Director, Science Collaboration at the Biosciences Research Centre, a joint venture between La Trobe University and the Victorian Department of Primary Industries.

Emeritus Professor Duncan has acted as an adviser to the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade on biological weapons control and in this capacity represented Australia at international arms control meetings. She was awarded a Public Service Medal in 1996 and an Honorary DSc from Murdoch University in 2005 for her work in arms control. She has also served as a biological weapons inspector with the United Nations in Iraq.

In 2019 she was awarded an Honorary DSc from La Trobe University for achievements in academia and contributions to science.

Emeritus Professor Duncan joined the University of New England in late 2010, initially as Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research). She later became the Deputy Vice-Chancellor and in late 2014 was appointed the Vice-Chancellor, serving in this role until mid-2019.

She currently serves as a non-executive director on boards and chairs the NSW Physical Sciences Fund.

Professor Emeritus L.Z. (Zbys) Klich

Independent Member and Chair of the Academic Board

Prof Klich was previously Chair of the Governing Board for Airways Aviation and Global Director of Academic Affairs for SAE Institute. He has also held prior appointments as Vice-President of Southern Cross University in Australia until 2007, and before that as Dean of Education and Dean for Internationalisation, as well as a Research Fellow at the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies.

His PhD research examined exceptional cross-cultural thinking skills. His teaching, research and publications have been in the areas of intercultural studies, professional learning and professional development, collaborative partnerships between universities with regions as well as with industry groups, and has included work published through the NATO Scientific Studies Division, and with the OECD in Europe.

He has been an advisor on several international education projects, he has worked as a consultant for national and state government projects in Australia, he has served on Ministerial Advisory Councils for Education, and he has been a quality auditor for the Australian Universities Quality Agency, as well as a higher education specialist auditor for the Government of Oman.

Professor Peter Ryan

Founder and Owner’s Representative

For over 25 years Peter has been actively involved with a number of tertiary education providers, specialising in the areas of regulatory approvals, quality assurance, and corporate and academic governance.

In 2015 Peter established HELI as a new education enterprise aimed at fulfilling a niche role in the independent higher education sector through the delivery of global best-practice advisory services and professional development to independent higher education providers.

As well as being a director of HELI, Peter is also Chair of the Board of Directors of two of Australia’s largest private higher education providers: Australian College of Applied Professions and SAE Institute, as well as Director and Treasurer of the International Centre of Excellence in Tourism and Hospitality Education (THE-ICE), an international accreditation body.

Emeritus Professor Toni Downes

Independent Member

BEd (USyd), MEd (UToronto, Canada), PhD (WSU). FACE, GAICD.

Emeritus Professor Downes has worked with universities, educational systems, and schools, for nearly 40 years. She is a highly experienced senior educational leader, having had long term leadership roles at two universities.

In 2018 she retired from the role of Deputy Vice-Chancellor Academic at Charles Sturt University, having also served as an Executive Dean in earlier years. In her senior executive roles in higher education, she has demonstrated ability at the organisational and sector levels in strategic planning, governance, change management, financial management, quality assurance and stakeholder engagement, particularly with governments, professions, and Indigenous organisations and communities.

Emeritus Professor Downes professional and research interests focus on improved educational outcomes in universities and schools in the effective use of digital technologies, in gender and technology, and in teacher education policy and practice.

Her work included numerous research and professional projects, over 70 publications, international and national professional presentations and workshops and over $1 million in grants and consultancies. She has been a keynote or distinguished speaker at international conferences in New Zealand, USA, England, Switzerland, Hungary, PNG, Thailand, Hong Kong, Wales, China, Finland and Norway.

She currently serves as a non-executive director on a number of boards, as a member of academic boards and advisory committees, and as an external consultant and reviewer of educational programs and organisational units.

Emeritus Professor Anne Cummins

Independent Member

BEd (Canberra CAE); MA (MQ); GradDipEd (Catholic College of Education Sydney), MEDL (ACU); GAICD

Emeritus Professor Cummins has extensive experience in educational leadership and governance and has served on several incorporated and advisory Boards including the ACT Board of Studies, The Australian Catholic University Senate Limited, Marymead Child and Family Services Limited, Marist Youth Care Limited, St Edmunds’ College Canberra Limited, the Council of St Ignatius College Riverview Limited and Sydney College of Divinity Limited.

From 2009 to 2018 she served as Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Student Learning and Teaching) at the Australian Catholic University and before that as Dean of Students at the Australian Catholic University in 2008 and 2009.

Emeritus Professor Cummins worked for many years in the Catholic secondary education system as a teacher and secondary college principal in New South Wales and the ACT. She is currently a Director of Catholic Schools NSW Limited, the Chair and Director of Catholic Employment Relations Limited, The Chair of the Stewardship Commission of the Sisters of St Joseph.