Council Members

Members appointed by the Minister

Ms Meredith Symons

Meredith SymonsMeredith Symons is a UNE Graduate (Bachelor of Financial Administration, Accounting and Finance) and ACA, who has lived on-campus at Earle Page College and loved all aspects of the UNE college experience.

A corporate financial services professional with extensive domestic and international experience, Meredith has a global mindset with expertise in the treasury, tax, finance and shared services aspects of corporate financial management.

Meredith sits on a number of subsidiary boards at Goodman Fielder, as well as a Joint Venture board based in Indonesia.  She has a group perspective, is skilled at considering the business implications from the numbers and has experience with technology including introducing new systems.

Meredith's career has taken her overseas and she has had responsibility for overseeing international portfolios.  She has held senior financial positions at some of Australia's top corporations including Goodman Fielder (FMCG, Food manufacturing), Macquarie Bank, UBS and Price Waterhouse Coopers.

Meredith is looking forward to contributing her expertise to the University of New England Council.

Meredith has served on UNE Council since 2014 and was appointed to UNE Foundation Ltd from 2015-2019.

Mr David van Aanholt

David van AanholtDavid has close to 30 years' experience in the property and management industry. Prior to establishing his own boutique property group in 2007, he was the Chief Executive Officer (Asia Pacific) of the ASX listed Goodman Group. Before being appointed as CEO (Asia Pacific), David was Goodman Group's Chief Operating Officer.

David worked for Goodman for more than a decade and before joining them he was the Fund Manager of ASX listed Paladin Industrial Fund and an Associate Director of CDH Properties (acquired by KPMG).

David has a proven track record at both executive and Board levels in the development and implementation of effective business strategy. He also has extensive and practical experience in change management.

David is the Chairman and an Independent Director of the Kennards Self Storage Group. He is also the Chairman and an Independent Director of the ASX listed 360 Capital Group Limited. David is a Fellow of the Australian Property Institute.

David grew up in regional New South Wales and now lives in Sydney with his wife and three sons. He understands the challenges and rewards for rural based students studying an undergraduate degree at University.  He completed his postgraduate studies in Management and Business at the University of New England (UNE) via correspondence. Studying at UNE allowed David to meet both the demands of a senior executive role and the responsibilities of helping to raise a young family.

David holds a Bachelor of Business (Land Economy) from the University of Western Sydney, as well as a Postgraduate Diploma in Management and a Masters in Business Administration from UNE.

David is the UNE Council-appointed member on the UNE Foundation Board.

Members appointed by UNE Council

Mr Russell Evans

Russell EvansRussell Evans is a global technology and media industry executive with considerable experience in digital technology, business strategy, international markets, sales, product & marketing. Over the past 25 years, Russell has lived in and worked across Asia for a variety of high-profile, complex technology organisations.

Most recently Russell was the CEO of Wolters Kluwer across the Asia Pacific, Africa & South American regions. He led a team of 900 staff across numerous countries in a role encompassing business performance & leadership, strategy, cloud-based software & content development, mergers & acquisitions, governance & risk management. Prior to joining Wolters Kluwer in 2010, Russell held senior executive roles at IBM, Hyperion Solutions, Veda Advantage & Vodafone.

During his time at IBM, Russell spent many years interacting with the small business segment across the Asia Pacific, particularly in relation to how they utilise technology to improve productivity, enhance decision making and boost financial performance. During his time at Veda Advantage, Russell experienced extensive media exposure, commenting on issues ranging from the supply of credit to small business, cash flow management and the links between GDP growth and small business performance.

Russell is currently deputy chairman for Make-A-Wish Australia and is also on the board of Can Assist.

Russell holds a Bachelor of Business (Marketing), a Masters of Business Administration which he gained from UNE in 1998 and is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

Mr Phil Hess

Phil is a senior executive with over 20 years’ experience in the financial and legal services industries. In his current role as Head of Governance at Macquarie Group, he is responsible for corporate governance practices across Macquarie’s businesses globally, including the implementation of executive accountability regimes. In prior roles, he lead the operations functions for Macquarie’s capital markets trading businesses, was Macquarie’s Chief Operating Officer for Europe, Middle East and Africa and, in the years following the global financial crisis, its first Global Head of Employee Relations.

Phil has extensive experience in corporate governance, legal and operational risk management and employment law. He has led large global teams across a multitude of locations and cultures, and is recognised for building cohesive leadership teams with a strong risk culture. He is passionate about the evolution of leadership, corporate social responsibility and workplace mental health & wellbeing. As an Executive Director and Integrity Officer at Macquarie, he also values a ‘speak up’ culture and the principles of ‘good ethical decision-making’.

Phil was born in Switzerland and moved to the New England region when his parents took up roles at UNE in the early 1980s. He completed primary and secondary schooling in Armidale before undertaking a combined Arts/Law degree with the nascent UNE School of Law in 1993. He graduated with Honours and an University Medal in Law before reading for a Master of Laws at the University of Cambridge in 1998/1999. Prior to joining Macquarie in 2005, he was a solicitor with Minter Ellison Lawyers in Sydney.

Phil lived at Earle Page College as a Resident Fellow in the final years of his undergraduate studies and later also completed a Diploma of Education at UNE via distance education. He now lives in the New England region with his family and commutes to Sydney regularly in his role with Macquarie. Outside of family, friends and work, his main interests lie in combating inequality of access to opportunity. He is also partial to cycling, cricket and football.

Ms Rosemary Leamon

Rosemary LeamonRosemary Leamon is a UNE graduate (BFinAdmin), Chartered Accountant (CA) and Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors (GAICD).  She is based in Sydney but travels often to Armidale and the New England region to visit family and friends.

Rosemary is a senior executive with over 30 years experience in the Professional Services and IT sectors.  She has extensive commercial experience in finance and business operations and has a real passion for complex environments which offer the challenge of juggling strategy, compliance, governance and profit optimisation whilst delivering business insight, stakeholder engagement and business support.  This has seen her career broaden from traditional finance to focus on business operations and transformation.

Ms Leamon also has extensive international experience having worked for US and European multinationals in heavily matrixed environments, and has experience leading and mentoring teams including from Japan, Korea, China, Singapore, India and Australia with a high degree of cultural diversity.

Rosemary regularly uses her financial skills and her understanding of the commercial imperatives to 'operationalise' the business strategy.  She is seen as a trusted advisor enabling businesses to be agile and quickly respond to changes in the market while orchestrating scale and efficiency.

Her career has included working at SAP, PeopleSoft and PwC as well as other large global companies.  Currently she works at SAP, one of the world's largest providers of business software and services, where she is the Asia Pacific Operations Director for their services business.

In addition to doing her degree at UNE Rosemary has also experienced UNE's college system being a former resident at Earle Page.  She is looking forward to being reconnected with the University of New England and being an active contributor on the UNE Council.

Ms Anne Myers

Anne Myers UNE Council MemberAnne Myers is a finance and technology industry executive with over 30 years experience spanning business strategy, technology, digital innovation and operational functions.  As well as a strong background in strategy, technology and IT delivery, she also has a deep understanding of operational risk management and the dynamics of organisational change.

Anne is the former Chief Operating Officer and CIO of ING Direct Australia and has previously acted in executive technology and business roles for QBE, Macquarie Bank and St.George Bank.

She is strongly committed to improving educational outcomes for disadvantaged communities through work in the not for profit sector as a member of the Sydney Council of United Way Australia, and has previously been a Trustee of the ING Foundation.

Anne has a passion for technology and its role in product and service innovation, which was an important component of her role at ING Direct.  She currently acts as an advisory board member to early phase technology innovators, including TokenOne Pty Limited, and is also a member of the Industry Advisory Network for the University of Technology.

Anne holds a Master of Business Administration from AGSM, University of NSW and is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

Ms Jan McClelland

Ms Jan McClelland

Jan McClelland is a Council-appointed Councillor of the University of New England and has previously served as a Minister-appointed Council Member. Jan is an experienced chief executive and senior executive in government administration, management consultant, chairperson and non-executive director of organisations in the government, private and not for profit sectors.

Jan is a former Director General of the NSW Department of Education and Training and Managing Director of the NSW TAFE Commission. She is currently the Managing Director of Jan McClelland & Associates Pty Ltd, a company providing consultancy services across public, private and not for profit sector organisations in the areas of strategic planning, reviews of functions, programs, structures and services, organisational performance and capability and industry codes of practice.

Jan is Chair of the Superannuation Industry's Gateway Network Governance Body and Chair of HeartKids Limited. She is a Director of Stewart House, a member of the Advisory Board of NSW Circular and member of the Audit and Risk Committees of the Judicial Commission of NSW and Local Government NSW.

Jan has served on a number of Boards including as Chair of NSW Businesslink Pty Ltd from 2004 to 2012, Chair of Epilepsy Action Australia from 2009 to 2016, Chair of the Medical Technology Association of Australia from 2012 to 2014 and as Chair of the Professional Practice Review Committee of the NSW Consumer Tenancy and Trader Tribunal. She was a member of the Motor Accidents Authority Council from 2006 to 2012, Waste Services Environmental Solutions from 2005 to 2011, Central Coast Redevelopment Authority from 2005 to 2011, State Transit Authority 2006 to 2010; Stewart House Preventorium from 2004 to 2010 and UNE Partnerships from 2014 to 2017.

Jan holds a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) Degree and a Bachelor of Legal Studies. She is a Fellow of the Institute of Company Directors, a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Management, a Fellow of the Australian Council of Educational Leaders and a Member of the Institute of Public Administration of Australia.

Ms Jan McClelland was awarded a Member (AM) in the General Division of the Order of Australia, for "significant service to a range of education, business, social welfare and community organisations and to public administration", in the Australian Day 2015 honours list.

In 2014, Ms McClelland was elected as UNE's Deputy Chancellor and was re-appointment to that role in 2020; the year which marks her 20th anniversary as a member on the UNE Council.

Other elected members

Academic staff — Dr Melanie Fillios

Photo of Dr Melanie FilliosDr Melanie Fillios is the elected Academic Staff representative on UNE Council.

Dr Fillios joined the Discipline of Archaeology at UNE in 2015. Prior to UNE she spent time as an Australian Research Council Post-Doctoral Fellow at the University of Sydney, and as an academic at several universities across the United States. Melanie has a wealth of international, industry and academic experience. Trained as an anthropologist and archaeologist, her diverse background is united by an avid interest in the human-animal-environmental nexus. This focus has enabled her to work in a variety of time periods and regions of the world. Her international experience includes fieldwork on First Nations peoples in the Western US, early human societies in Greece, Indigenous Australia and Foodways in Colonial Sydney. Currently the Associate Director of the Paphos Theatre Project in Cyprus, Melanie has also worked in industry as a professional archaeological consultant in Western Australia and New South Wales. She is an advocate for multi-disciplinary collaboration and believes in bridging the academic and professional divide, using this guiding ethos in her research, teaching and service.

Melanie’s interest in UNE council stems from a desire to see UNE and Armidale work together to prioritise initiatives that build better synergies between the wider Armidale community and the University. One of her goals is to facilitate a stronger relationship between the two to realise the tremendous opportunity for growth offered by a revitalized relationship. Melanie’s international background, coupled with over 20 years in higher education, enables her to bring an experienced academic voice to council.

Melanie is originally from the United States, where she lived in many places before moving to Sydney in 2006. She is a mother to an energetic, young son, and family is her first priority. Melanie and her son enjoy spending time outdoors – hiking, running, bike riding, skiing, travelling and exploring this beautiful part of the world.

Professional staff — Ms Jane Schmude

Photo of Jane Schmude, photo by Simon ScottJane Schmude is the elected Professional Staff representative on UNE Council.

Jane grew up in the village of Blackheath in the Blue Mountains of NSW, attended a public high school and followed her passion for English Literature, History and Archaeology, completing a BA at Sydney University (1993-95). After undertaking a cadetship as a journalist at a community newspaper, she travelled to the UK for a working holiday and to Europe and Egypt to see the artefacts and sites she had studied in her BA. Following her travel she returned and worked at Sydney University to support on-campus students in their studies, and also at Macquarie University with mature-aged postgraduate business students.

Jane followed her interest in supporting students further by moving to Armidale to complete her Graduate Diploma in Education on-campus in 2000, graduating with the Faculty Medal. She greatly enjoyed her experience at UNE, getting to know her lecturers and fellow students and living in the pretty New England town. It was in the same course that she also met her husband, Marty Schmude, the youngest of four boys from a local Armidale family. Together they began their high school teaching career in Sydney, and after 6 years their interest in higher education led them back to Armidale to work at UNE. While raising their three children, Leo, Joseph and Teresa, Jane became involved in the local Armidale community through the pre-schools and schools in voluntary roles, as a member of committees and employed as the Teacher Librarian at Sandon Primary School and Educator at the Early Childhood Intervention service.

Jane began employment with UNE in 2016 in Admissions and has sought secondments to work in collaborative cross-team project management, including the development of our proactive student support programs and retention initiatives. Her direct engagement with our students inspired her to undertake further professional development in the form of a Graduate Diploma in Counselling at UNE. Meeting face-to-face and online with her peers and lecturers, Jane gained deeper insight into the needs of our mature aged students and developed further skills for her professional staff roles.

Jane is extremely passionate about UNE’s success, as an institution that encourages wider educational participation and has strong roots in the New England community. She is grateful for the opportunities she has had to study and wants to assist others to access these opportunities as well. As a UNE graduate, she is excited about the possibilities for our students to contribute after graduation and enjoy a lifelong relationship with UNE. Jane is committed to a flexible working life for professional staff, with opportunities for career progression in an inclusive, innovative and caring workplace for now and in the future.

Student — Ms Emma Wellham

Photo of Emma WellhamI am in my second year of studying a Bachelor of Medical Science, Doctor of Medicine on campus at UNE.

Moving to campus in 2019 was daunting, as I had no idea what to expect. Yet I was quickly supported to feel part of the college and student community. My journey over the past 2 years has shown me the strength of our student community, and more recently Covid-19 has highlighted to us on-campus students the challenges of remote learning.

University is so much more than just an educational institution. It is a place where we come together as a community to challenge ourselves to develop as individuals, and create meaningful relationships that we will take with us into our future. As each of us play such a critical role, the student perspective is vital to the interests of the university.

Compassion, inclusion and respect are three values I am very passionate about. The role on Council is an incredible opportunity to represent our diverse cohort of students, both internal and external, and to provide a unified student voice with the aim of making every student of UNE feel included, valued and supported throughout their journey.