Governance and Leadership

Governance and Leadership

Australia Advance Education Group Pty Ltd trading as the Sydney International School of Technology and Commerce (TEQSA PRV14311, CRICOS 03836J, ABN 746 130 55440) is committed to delivering quality higher education to all students.

Our Mission

Our mission is to build human and social capital through education and is committed to producing highly skilled graduates who are ready to take their place as part of the global workforce.

Our Vision

We are a preferred global study destination for students and employees.

Our Values

In delivering our mission and vision, we are guided by the following values:

  • Quality in Everything We Do
  • Students at the Centre
  • Diversity and Global Citizenship
  • Integrity, Trust, and Respect
  • Freedom of Expression
  • Strong Stakeholder Partnerships.

The purpose of AAEG is to advance knowledge through the provision of affordable high-quality tertiary education and to foster an international academic environment in which students acquire life-long learning and skills that prepare graduates for their careers and professional roles in the general community.

Our Purpose

advance knowledge through the provision of affordable high-quality tertiary education foster an international academic environment in which students acquire lifelong learning and skills to prepare graduates for their careers and professional roles in the general community.

To achieve this, we:

  • operate, maintain and promote the delivery of higher education courses in Australia
  • promote free inquiry and research among its teachers in their field of expertise, students and encourage the application of knowledge
  • deliver courses of study to meet the needs of the community while paying particular attention to new and emerging fields of study
  • promote the general welfare and development of students and employees of AAEG that we consider desirable for social, cultural and intellectual discourse
  • actively pursue collaborative relationships with other higher education institutions nationally and internationally for the benefit of its students
  • confer accredited degrees and award diplomas, certificates and other recognised awards to qualified students
  • maintain our registration as an approved higher education provider
  • obtain or maintain the approval of relevant governmental or statutory organisations for any undertakings or courses.

Our Governance Structure

Governance Chart

Key to abbreviations
FC = Finance Committee
QARC = Quality Assurance and Risk
CIAC = Course Industry Advisory Committee
LTC = Learning and Teaching Committee
GRC = Grade Ratification Committee
CEO = Chief Executive Officer
DoO = Director of Operations
EMC = Executive Management Committee

Our Constitution

The Australia Advance Education Group Pty Ltd (AAEG) Board of Directors as the corporate governing body is established under the AAEG Constitution and is collectively responsible for all AAEG governance, operations and course delivery.

Statement of Financial Standing

Australia Advance Education Group Pty Ltd trading as the Sydney International School of Technology and Commerce (TEQSA PRV14311, CRICOS 03836J, ABN 746 130 55440) provides our statement of financial standing in compliance with the Higher Education Standards Framework (Threshold Standards) 2021.

Relevant Standards in the HES Framework

The principal Standards that require us to publish information about our ‘financial standing’ are in Part A of the HES Framework: 7.3.1d and 7.3.1k and are linked to other Standards concerning corporate governance (6.2.1b, 6.2.1c and 6.2.1d) and the provision of information to students (7.2.1).

SISTC Statement of Financial Standing (including Directors’ Declaration)

Tuition Assurance Arrangements

The Tuition Protection Service (TPS) is an initiative of the Australian Government that assists students whose education provider is unable to deliver fully a course of study. AAEG is a member of the TPS scheme, and in the unlikely event that AAEG (SISTC) ceases to provide a course of study, ceases to operate as an Institute of Higher Education, or suffers a major incident affecting its operations, the TPS will assist students to find an alternative course or to obtain a refund of their unspent tuition fees.

Contact the TPS
If you are an international student and require TPS assistance, please contact the TPS.

Our Corporate Governing Body is our Board of Directors (Board or BoD)

Our Board of Directors

  • governs and leads our activity and pursues our purpose
  • discharges its responsibilities under the Corporations Law, our Constitution, the Higher Education Standards Framework (HESF) and the Education Services for Overseas Students Act (ESOS Act)
  • oversees risk management and quality assurance
  • delegates academic governance to the Academic Board
  • approves and oversees resources
  • oversees policy and planning frameworks.

Board of Directors

In 2015, he retired as Vice-Chancellor and President of the University of New England. Prior to serving as Vice-Chancellor at UNE, Professor Barber was Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic) at RMIT University, and served three terms as Head of Department at Flinders University before taking up the position of Dean at the University of Toronto in Canada.

He is the author of more than 150 refereed journal articles and 6 books, and the winner of North America’s highest literary award for evidence-based practice, the Pro-Humanitate Medal, for his research into child welfare.

He is a former winner of the Vice Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching at Flinders University and his contribution to higher education was formally recognised in a motion by the New South Wales Parliament in 2014.

Professor Tarrant is an Adjunct Professor at the Law School of the University of Western Australia.

Prior to joining UWA, he worked in the mining and petroleum industries as a company director with an emphasis on developing junior mining companies. Professor Tarrant is also a Director of a number of companies.

Professor Tarrant was admitted as a Lawyer in 2003 and called to the Bar in 2012. He specialises in commercial law and public/administrative law.

Mr Abraham is currently the global financial controller for one of Australia’s top 25 fastest growing companies.

During his tenure Mr Abraham has driven efficiencies and reduced risk across the company, against the background of a company growing exponentially.

He is an experienced financial controller working across many sectors over the past 19 years, and has a demonstrated ability to adapt to a variety of environments, effectively restructuring people and processes to optimise efficiency and output. He has specialist knowledge in complex financial model development.

Gina McWilliam is a former secondary teacher who has worked in higher education for many years in a wide variety of senior roles. She brings this broad experience, together with postgraduate qualifications in educational policy and administration, to her work as a higher education consultant.

Her most recent project involved the preparation of documentation and coordination of a successful submission to TEQSA for the initial registration of a new private higher education provider and its registration on the Commonwealth Register of Institutions and Courses for Overseas Students (CRICOS).

Prior to this project, Gina’s most recent positions were as Academic Services Manager for a university-wide curriculum renewal project at Deakin University; as Deakin’s first Student Complaints Manager; and as Associate Director (Transforming Learning) at Swinburne University.

Our Academic Governing Body is our Academic Board (AB)

Our Board of Directors established our Academic Board as the academic governing body responsible for academic quality, standards and governance, and the principal policy-making and advisory body on all academic matters.

Our Academic Board provides independent competent academic leadership to and oversight of all academic activity and ensures that it develops and delivers higher education that engages with advanced knowledge and inquiry and prepares students for employment or further study.

Our Academic Board is responsible for:

  • learning and teaching
  • academic staff
  • courses
  • academic policies
  • monitoring and review
  • integrity of qualifications
  • evidence-based advice and reporting.

Academic Board

Emeritus Professor Johnston was Dean of the Faculty of Engineering and IT at the University of Sydney from 2009-17 where he developed and implemented cutting-edge education policy. He is one of Australia’s 100 most influential engineers and was the 2007 Sir John Holland Civil Engineer of the Year, and the 2007 Entrepreneurial Educator of the Year of the Business and Higher Education Roundtable. He is a Non-Executive Director of Engineering Aid Australia and STEM Teacher Enrichment Academy, an Advisor to the China Communications Construction Group, and was President of the Australian Council of Engineering Deans. He is a Fellow of Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering, Engineers Australia, and the Australian Institute of Company Directors, and is an Advisory to government bodies in Australia, China, Chile, and India.

Professor Helmut is a seasoned academic with extensive experience in higher education leadership, design education, and international relations. He has held various senior positions at Torrens University Australia and Swinburne University, where he has played a pivotal role in shaping academic strategy, fostering international collaboration, and promoting the arts and design. Professor Helmut’s commitment to cultural exchange and professional development is evident in his involvement with CUMULUS, the International Association of Universities of Art, Design and Media, and his participation in cultural missions and workshops across Australia, Germany, Cambodia, and Laos. His multifaceted contributions to the field of education and design are truly remarkable.

A/Prof Raad graduated with a Bachelor of Engineering in Electrical Engineering with first class honours from the University of Wollongong in 1997. A/Prof Raad received an Australian Postgraduate Award (APA) that was matched by Telstra Research Laboratories (TRL) and commenced his postgraduate studies at the Switched Networks Research Centre at the University of Wollongong. A further scholarship was awarded from the Motorola Australian Research Centre (MARC) in the later part of his degree. A/Prof Raad went on to complete his PhD entitled Neuro-Fuzzy Logic Admission Control in Cellular Mobile Networks. The main contribution of his thesis was the use of Neural Networks to model non-Poissonian distributed traffic profiles to maximise bandwidth utilisation in micro-cellular networks. He was appointed Deputy Head of School in 2018 and Head of School in 2022. He is a research theme leader in the ARC Training hub for Future grids (2021-2026) and Project leader in the ARC Innovation hub for Health Sensors (2021-2026). His current research is in wireless communications, CubeSat, Wireless Power Transfer, wireless security and Antenna design.

Hamid has a solid academic background in Telecommunication/computer engineering and has been involved in teaching and academic roles since 2008 as well as over 10 years of industry experience in the field of robotics and Automated Guided Vehicles (AGV). He is a professional member of Engineering Australia and ACS (Australian Computer Society).

A/Prof Salarian is a PhD graduate from the University of Wollongong in Telecommunication in 2014, received a BS degree in computer engineering (hardware major) from Ferdowsi University – Mashhad and an MS degree in computer architecture from Isfahan University of Technology, Iran in 2005 and 2008. His research focused on energy consumption in wireless sensor networks and wireless sensor actuator networks, particularly the effect of mobility in increasing system lifetime. He has published high-quality journal articles in this field.

A/Prof Salarian’s philosophy is to establish and maintain effective links with business, commerce and industry organisations relevant to the school’s teaching and learning activities to provide students with first-hand professional experience in the industry.

Dr. Cheng received his DPhil from the Oxford Computing Laboratory. He has held teaching, research and senior executive positions at various universities. Dr. Cheng served as the Vice President Teaching and Learning for over 10 years. As the Vice President Teaching and Learning, he provided strategic leadership in the development and delivery of the University’s academic programs, driving excellence in education and the student experience across teaching, learning and assessment, teaching and learning infrastructure, academic quality, academic administration and international education.

Dr. Cheng has led numerous major projects funded by global information technology, products and solutions companies and government agencies. Based on his extensive industry experience, Dr. Cheng created and implemented new learning models of IT education. These models have been adopted by many universities across the globe.

Associate Professor Nadeera Ahangama currently holds the position of Associate Dean at the Sydney International School of Technology and Commerce based in the Melbourne campus. With over a decade of experience in various Australian and international higher education entities, Nadeera has served in several senior academic leadership roles before joining SISTC. Since beginning her career as a university academic in 2007, Nadeera has demonstrated a strong commitment to student-centred education. She is passionate about enhancing higher education curriculum and pedagogy to create engaging learning experiences for her students.

In 2019, Nadeera earned her PhD in Information Systems from the University of Colombo, complementing her Master’s degree in Technology Management from Staffordshire University, UK. Throughout her academic journey, she has actively contributed to academia and academic management within the fields of Information Technology and Information Systems across various national and international universities. Nadeera’s research interests extend beyond traditional boundaries, encompassing interdisciplinary areas such as Information Systems, Knowledge Management, and the social aspects of disaster management and resilience. Additionally, she has a keen interest in information technology pedagogy, reflecting her dedication to advancing teaching practices in higher education.

Indhi has had a diverse career in private and public sectors including management roles in Australian Government agencies for over 12 years with significant responsibilities for higher education policy development and advice, quality assurance and regulation, institution and student financing, and financial accountability and reporting. He was the inaugural Chief Operating Officer at the Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency (TEQSA) and recently has been an independent management/ higher education consultant.

Ursula Franck commenced with us in March 2023 as Manager Quality Assurance and Risk.

This followed over 5 years operating her Higher Education Consulting Company that led to senior roles such as Academic Director in 2018, where she successfully led the institution through their inaugural provider registration and accreditation for the maximum period. Focused on Quality, Governance and Risk, she previously served 7 years at UniSA as Manager in the School of Engineering, leading the merger of two engineering schools and two research institutes and later as Senior Policy Advisor in UniSA International, traveling to Singapore and Hong Kong to manage transnational programs and chair the Industry Advisory Board in country. From 2005 to 2010 she was Executive Dean at the Australian Lutheran College, successfully leading the College through their inaugural AUQA registration and accreditation audit. Appointed by TAFE in WA in 1996, Ursula served over 6 years variously as Delivery Team Leader, Principal Lecturer, Acting Director Training Services and Campus Program Manager in the Pilbara until 2002. In Tasmania from 1993 to 1996 she undertook various roles including School Development Officer and Acting State Coordinator of the Drug Education Network Inc.

An experienced executive leader specialising in higher education corporate and academic governance, risk and quality assurance across private and public sectors, with strong business, company and financial acumen and national and state networks, Ursula consults broadly with higher education authorities, industry, business, peak bodies and government authorities, and continues to provide valued advice to independent higher education institutions.

Ursula’s higher education appointments have included non-executive Board Director, Academic Board Chair, UniSA representative on TAFE SA Higher Education Academic Board, Fellow of the Governor’s Leadership Foundation 2015, Member of Australian Institute of Company Directors, Member of Australian Council of Education, Committee Member of Universities Australia Higher Education Services Higher Education Quality and Compliance Network, Central Region Committee Deputy Chair and Institutional Coordinator with the Association for Tertiary Education Management, Honorary Auditor/Interim Expert, Australian Universities Quality Agency/Tertiary Education Quality Agency over 3 successive terms, Inaugural Committee Member with the Council of Private Higher Education (COPHE) for over 6 years, and leader of teaching/lecturing staff, academic standards, ethics & human research committees and executive leadership and management teams including offshore operations. She has provided leadership in many areas of private higher education policy including teaching, quality assurance, improvement & review as part of business as usual and strategic planning & implementation.

Ursula continues to be a sought after board director, consultant and mentor in the sector.

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Acknowledgment of Country. Australia Advance Education Group Pty Ltd trading as the Sydney International School of Technology and Commerce acknowledges the Traditional Owners and Custodians of the lands where the School is situated, the Gadigal People of the Eora Nation of Sydney CBD, the Dharug People of Parramatta and the Bunurong/Boon Wurundjeri peoples of Greater Dandenong, whose cultures and customs have nurtured and continue to nurture the land since time immemorial.