Key Note Speakers


Professor Shirley Alexander, Deputy Vice Chancellor and Vice President (Students and Education) University of Technology Sydney:
Professor Shirley Alexander is the Deputy Vice Chancellor and Vice-President (Education and Students) at the University of Technology Sydney (UTS). She has worked at UTS for over twenty years; having previously held the positions of Director, Institute for Interactive Media and Learning and Dean, Faculty of Education.
Professor Alexander is responsible for leading the achievement of the University’s key priorities in teaching and learning, the student experience and the use of data analytics in all aspects of the university’s work. Her responsibilities also include increasing the opportunities for student and staff learning, and the development of a strong student culture across the University.
The University of Technology Sydney has been engaged in a major $1 billion campus redevelopment project. Professor Alexander is leading a system of projects to ensure these developments support the future of learning. The projects won the prestigious Wharton-QS Stars Reimagine Education Awards 2015, in the category of Hybrid Learning.
Presentation topic: Welcome and Importance of the theme and what is happening at UTS.


Christine Cruzvergara, Assoc Provost & Executive Director, Career Education at Wellesley College, USA
Christine has a proven track record of visionary leadership, effective relationship building within diverse and complex systems, and skilful human and financial resource management. She finds satisfaction in creating collaborative spaces for her team members to thrive, experiment, fail, learn and embrace and drive change. She has had the opportunity to lead a large and diverse staff through a major reorganization establishing institutional, regional, and national recognition. She has re-envisioned the service model to maximise campus resources, leading to increased recruitment, retention, and revenue for the institution. She has developed comprehensive strategies and dashboards to track key success measures for the institution and established cohesive brand messaging and collaborative partnerships with academic and campus colleagues, resulting in a significant increase in key outcomes.  In 2014 she jointly authored a major publication “10 Future trends in College Career Services” which included a summary of the evolution of Career Services in Higher Education from 1900 to 2030. In 2015 she was awarded the NACE Innovation Award.  Lead Presentation topic: Using data to tell our story.

Associate Professor Peter McIlveen, University of Southern Queensland (USQ)
Peter was the former Manager of the Careers & Employment service at USQ. He now leads the research development team at USQ and a multidisciplinary research team – the Australian Collaboratory for Career, Employability and Learning for Living (ACCELL). At USQ he has established a laboratory of researchers and Doctoral students whose research interests align with an overarching program of research on career development learning. He is also part of an international team of leading researchers working in the careers field. He is an International Fellow of the National Institute for Career Education and Counselling (UK) and Fellow of the Career Development Association of Australia. He has published extensively in the field of career development research and was Editor of the Australian Journal of Career Development for many years. He is also on the Editorial Board of a number of journals including the Journal of Vocational Behaviour. Until recently he held key positions on NAGCAS, the Career Development Association of Australia (CDAA) and the Career Industry Council of Australia (CICA).
Presentation topic: Employability and the Serenity Prayer; What is the evidence that tells us the difference?


Dr Nalayini Thambar, Director of Careers and Employability  The University of Nottingham, and Quality Director for AGCAS (the Association of Graduate Careers Advisory Services in the UK).
Dr Nalayini Thambar is the Director of Careers and Employability at the University of Nottingham and works closely with colleagues in the Careers Services at the University’s Malaysia and China Campuses. She works collaboratively with colleagues across and within faculties where the services are centrally managed, jointly conceived and locally delivered. She co-ordinates the Nottingham Advantage Award. The University of Nottingham is a consistently highly targeted UK University by the Times Top 100 Graduate Recruiters and is named “University of the Year for Graduate Employment” in the Times Good University Guide 2017. She is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and managed and taught an advanced career development elective to final year students and she teaches in accredited career development courses. She co-jointly developed and led the course. ‘Applying Project Management techniques to the professional responsibilities of Careers Advisers in Higher Education’. She was also responsible for managing the establishment of GraduatesYorkshire, a regional graduate recruitment service delivered by the 10 university careers services in the Yorkshire Region.
Presentation Topic: “When the going gets tough, the tough get professional: challenges and opportunities when Employability hits the big time.”


Martin Smith, Director, Graduate Career Development & Employability, University of Wollongong
Martin has worked at the interface between higher education and the world of work for 25 years. He has led the University’s approach to developing a career-ready culture integrated across employability initiatives embedded within the learning and teaching strategy of the University. Examining the contribution of Career Development Learning to Work Integrated Learning and the wider student experience has been a research focus, particularly during his role of Project Leader for an ALTC Scoping Project. He was awarded a Citation from the Australian Learning and Teaching Council and led a national workplace learning program which received a Business Higher Education Round Table award for collaboration. He is currently leading a global research project examining how employability is termed, driven and communicated by universities. He is a Senior Fellow of the Wollongong Academy of Tertiary Teaching & Learning Excellence (WATTLE). He has held national leadership roles within professional bodies such as the NAGCAS and Graduate Careers Australia and is an Honorary Life member of NAGCAS. He has held the position of President of the Career Industry Council of Australia for the last 3 years. He retires from distinguished service in September 2017.
Presentation topic: Connecting career & employability initiatives to stakeholder expectations: Where context, timing, and return on investment are paramount

Dr Noel Edge, Executive Director, Graduate Careers Australia
Noel has held several senior academic management positions in universities in Australia and overseas. He has had a long career in the ICT industry with wide experience in the Australian government and business sectors in a range of management, consulting and system development roles. Noel holds a PhD Management from Bond University as well as Commerce and Information Systems qualifications from the University of Queensland. He has been an active member of the Australian Computer Society (ACS), and in 2003, was elected a Fellow of the ACS in recognition of his service to the computer and education industries. Noel has been the Executive Director of GCA for over six years.
He will host a session outlining the Graduate Research Program initiated by the GCA in 2017. A selection of researchers will discuss their findings to date.
Presentation topic: GCA’s Graduate Research Program (Noel will host a session outlining the Program and a selection of researchers will discuss their findings to date)


Lindie Clark, Kate Lloyd, Cherie Nay, Anna Rowe, Macquarie University
Lindie Clark is the Academic and Programs Director of the Professional and Community Engagement (PACE) Program at Macquarie University.  PACE is a unique, institution-wide work-integrated learning program that is embedded within all Macquarie’s undergraduate degrees.  Lindie has led the team responsible for the development, staged implementation, management, innovations in pedagogy, monitoring and evaluative research of PACE since 2010.  Reaching full implementation in 2016, a key part of PACE’s Strategic Plan for 2017-2021 is a focus on evaluating the impact and experience of the program for its key stakeholder groups. As such, the PACE Research and Evaluation Team is tasked with developing and implementing the PACE Theory of Change and Evaluation Framework to measure the program’s process and outcomes. The team comprises Associate Professor Kate Lloyd, Program Evaluation Manager Cherie Nay and Dr Anna Rowe.  
Presentation topic: Developing a holistic evaluation strategy for the University-wide program, Professional & Community Engagement (PACE)