Class notes

Let your class mates know what you are up to. We welcome your news, including career changes, awards, milestones and professional achievements for inclusion in class notes. To submit to class notes, please email Alumni Relations with your name, date of birth (not for publication), course, year completed, and your note. Class notes will remain on the website for three months.

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For more than 30 years, retired pharmacist Leon Hain (PhC 1959) has been an advocate for improvements to transport safety particularly for the compulsory fitting of seatbelts on school buses. In late 2014 Leon was presented with a road safety award in recognition of his longstanding commitment and ‘innovative contribution to improving road safety’ by the Australian Governor-General.

Psychologist and author Meredith Fuller (BA(Multi) 1978) has been a recognised specialist in career change for 30 years. In addition to writing extensively on the complexity of workplace relationships, she has turned her hand to directing with her stage production of The Wisdom of Eve premiering this year in Melbourne.


Sandra Sdraulig AM (BA 1987, LLB 1987) has launched a new company called Through the Roof which is focused on executive coaching for women. Having had a successful career in the film and television industry, which culminated in being awarded an Order of Australia for leadership, Sandra decided to direct her efforts into helping other women with support that she wished she had access to during her career. She was prompted to start Through the Roof after regularly observing that women in executive positions were holding back.

Professor Peter Fox (BSci(Hons) 1981, PhD Sci 1986) has been elected fellow of the American Geophysical Union. Peter is the director of the interdisciplinary Information Technology and Web Science program, chair in the Tetherless World Constellation, and a professor of earth and environmental science, computer science and cognitive science at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in New York. The fellowship recognises Peter's “fundamental contributions and impact in science knowledge representation and establishing the Earth and space science informatics discipline".

Australian artist Vesna Peko-Luketic (BA(FineArt) 1986) has taken her painting and printmaking skills and combined them with her fascination for technology to produce a unique form of digital art. With her tablet and computer, she has been able to express herself creatively using light and colour as a focus as she travels around the world. Vesna’s first exhibition of digital work outside Australia took place in New York in July 2015. When she isn’t professionally painting and printmaking, Luketic is the owner of a free range egg farm, and she is deeply invested in animal welfare, the environment, and farming ethics.

Since graduating, Eric Vanclay (BSc 1986, GradDipIntBus 1993, GradCertMgt 1996) has moved into the challenging world of marketing and supporting scientific instrumentation. Working at Agilent Technologies in Melbourne, Eric is a product manager with responsibility for the spectroscopy consumables portfolio worldwide. He has also presented at major scientific conferences across the world.

After a career in management and the law, Thilo Troschke (LLM 1989) spent more than 13 years as the CEO of an aged care provider. Recently retired, he is now active in community radio as a volunteer presenter at 3MBS and also chairs its board of directors.


A journalist for more than 20 years, Andrew Probyn (BA 1994, LLB 1994) has won the Federal Parliamentary Press Gallery Journalist of the Year Award, Australia’s top political journalism award. The award was bestowed on Andrew and colleague Nick Butterly in June 2015 for a series of reports written for The West Australian on asylum seeker boat arrivals and the Federal Government’s Operation Sovereign Borders. Andrew has been the Canberra-based political editor for The West Australian since 2005. He is also a regular panellist on ABC Television’s ‘Insiders’ program. He lives in Canberra with wife Felicity and their three children.

Tony (BComp(InfoSys) 1996) and Lisa Clark nee Hamdorf (BE(Civ&Comp) 1997) co-designed the patented Backpack Bed to provide the homeless with portable shelter. The Backpack Bed is a lightweight single person emergency bed - a backpack that rolls out to an all weather protected bed with built-in mattress. The bed was designed after Tony founded the national charity Backpack Bed by Swags for Homeless. Today his charity partners with more than 400 homeless services across Australia to distribute Backpack Beds.

Dimitra Manis (BBus (Mgt) 1992) is the Global Head of Talent for Estee Lauder in New York, a global leader in prestige beaut. Prior to working at Estee Lauder, Dimitra worked in senior human resource executive roles at Open Link, Thomson Reuters, AXA Group, Village Roadshow and Nike. She is a bold, transformational HR leader with global experience in the US, Europe and Asia.

Carolyn Viney (LLB 1996) is the Chief Executive Officer of Grocon, a development, construction and real estate investment company responsible for creating some of Australia’s most well-known buildings including the Eureka Tower and AAMI Park in Melbourne. Carolyn began her career as a lawyer at Minter Ellison before joining Grocon in 2003. She held a number of senior executive positions over the next 10 years including Executive Chairman and Deputy CEO, before taking over the helm of the company early in 2014. A finalist in the Telstra Business Women’s Awards in 2011, Carolyn is a former Council Member for the Victorian Chapter of the National Association of Women in Construction; President of the Property Council of Australia (Victoria); and an Advisory Board Member of the Women’s Property Initiative.

After graduating from Monash, Christina Parker (DipAppSci(Nurs) 1991) completed a Bachelor of Health Science in Nursing at Southern Cross University and a Diploma of Practice Management at the University of New England. After working clinically across a variety of nursing sectors in Victoria and Queensland she joined the nursing wound healing research team at Queensland University of Technology, graduating with a PhD in 2014. Christina is now a lecturer in the School of Nursing at Queensland.

John Raciti (BA(Craft) 1997) founded the Monash Alumni LinkedIn Group in 2007, several years before others realised the potential of the online networking platform. Mr Raciti is a leader in protecting businesses and governments from online fraud.

Pieter de Jong (BE(Hons) 1994) has received an award from The Brazilian Ministry of Education for his master's thesis. Pieter is currently undertaking research for a doctorate in industrial engineering at Federal University of Bahia as well as a visiting fellow at the University of Victorian Premier the Melbourne.

Michelle Landy (BCom 1998, LLB(Hons) 1998) began her career as a lawyer at Garland Hawthorn Brahe before moving to London and joining The Licensing Company and then FremantleMedia. In 2008 she moved to the United States to take on the role of Senior Vice- President of Legal and Business Affairs at FremantleMedia North America overseeing consumer products, gaming, interactive/ new media, integrated marketing/ sponsorships, live events, digital content, brand acquisitions and new business ventures. Michelle’s most recent role was with FremantleMedia Asia as the Chief Operating Officer. Michelle is also Vice-President of the Kilimanjaro Education Foundation.

Jane Vadiveloo (BSc(Hons) 1991, MPsych 1995) is the founder and CEO of Children’s Ground, a bold new not-forprofit that seeks to end the cycle of extreme poverty, starting in Kakadu West Arnhem with the Bininj (Indigenous) people of the region. Jane’s ground breaking work was highlighted in 2014 when she was recognised as a finalist in The Australian Financial Review and Westpac 100 Women of Influence Award (philanthropy). The award acknowledged her contribution to leading a new approach that brings together community, government and private sectors to end entrenched disadvantage in Australian communities.

Cheryl Teh (BComm 1994, GradDipMktg 1995), the Vice-President of Knowledge Management at Khazanah Nasional in Malaysia, has been awarded a 2015 Women's Leadership Program Eisenhower Fellowship. The fellowship will involve an intensive period of study with the aim of mentoring women in her home country. Cheryl's study will focus on building communities through group singing. She will also examine knowledge management practises for music-related non-profit organisations. In her spare time, Cheryl serves as chair and choir director of Malaysia's oldest music society, The Philharmonic Society of Selangor.


The loss of a beloved pet prompted Dr Mark Heffernan (BSc(Hons) 1998, PhD 2001), together with Dr David Gearing (PhD Sci 1988), to start Nexvet, a biopharmaceutical company focused on transforming therapies such as those that treat pain, inflammation and cancer in humans and make them available for dogs, cats and horses. Prior to this, Mark co-founded and led Opsona Therapeutics, an Irish biotechnology company focused on developing medications to treat inflammatory diseases. He has also worked in research and development and business development roles for Antisense Therapeutics Limited and Metabolic Pharmaceuticals. Nexvet listed on the NASDAQ stock exchange in February 2015. The company has raised more than US$80m since its formation in 2010.

Entrepreneur Rael Ross (BAcc 2004) is the co-founder and director of Australian Factoring Company (AFC), Australia’s largest factoring company servicing the smash repair industry. The company recently announced that it had acquired Bendigo and Adelaide Bank’s panel shop factoring portfolio. In addition to his work with AFC, Rael is the director of Action Funding Pty Ltd, director of Remoda and managing director of KSK Finance.

Nick Stone (BBus(Bkg&Fin) 2005) is bringing Melbourne’s premium coffee experience to New York City. Inspired by the cafe culture in his home town, the former AFL footballer turned banker came up with the idea for Bluestone Lane while attending business school in New York. His aim was to develop a Melbourne-style cafe with top baristas, good food and great service where people can not only feel welcome but also become knowledgeable about the quality of coffee they drink. Now, in addition to working at ANZ Banking Group’s New York offices as Director – Head of Americas – Client Insights and Solutions, Nick owns six Bluestone Lane cafes across New York with plans to open three more before the end of 2015.

Julie McKay (MMktg 2014) is the Founder and Managing Director at Enable Social Enterprises an innovative not-for-profit organisation founded in August 2013. The organisation aims to tackle high unemployment in Melbourne’s north. The area is ranked as one of Australia’s worst affected areas of social and economic disadvantage.

Anthea White (GradDipAcc 2001) has been involved in the Monash Graduate School of Business mentoring program for the past nine years, mentoring international finance and accounting postgraduate business students. As a result of her commitment, Anthea was invited to join Monash Business School’s Alumni Consultative Committee and was bestowed with the title of Adjunct Industry Fellow, which she says she considers a great honour.

A playwright, dramaturg and producer, Glyn Roberts (BA 2011) is the creative producer at Brisbane’s acclaimed La Boite Theatre Company and Roundhouse Theatre. He has also been appointed curator of Brisbane Festival’s 2015 independent theatre program and this year attended the Atelier for Young Festival Managers in Gwangju, Korea to complete further training in festival management and development.

Andy Hwang (BCom 2012) didn’t go too far to start his career following graduation, working at Monash College in digital communications and subsequently at Monash University in student recruitment. He has since entered the aviation industry through the graduate program at Jetstar Airways, and recently completed his first rotation as an analyst in the Networks team. Andy is currently enjoying his rotation in Operations Delivery, which commenced in early August 2015.

Since graduating, Talal Tashfeen (BBusCom 2014) quickly gained employment as a credit controller at Zohoor Alreef, one of the largest brands in the Middle East. Talal credits Monash for helping him step into a role that ordinarily requires three years of experience. He says the education he received and the skills he developed at Monash not only helped him through the interview process, but have played a great role in enabling him to succeed in his job.

A recent doctoral graduate, Dr Leisa Gibbons (MIMS 2008, PhDComp 2015) has recently been appointed Assistant Professor of Cultural Heritage Informatics at Kent State University's School of Library and Information Science. Leisa's research focuses on continuum informatics and the need to meet the complex and evolving memory and archival needs of an expanding, technologically savvy and actively participative society. She also specialises in recordkeeping, archival systems, cultural heritage, social media and theory building.