Each year, the Faculty hosts a Business Leaders' event to provide alumni early in their career with an opportunity to learn from the experiences of senior business leaders within the Faculty’s alumni community. At this event, we invite business leaders from a range of industries to offer unique perspectives on a selected topic around leadership.
Jesse Olsen is a Senior Lecturer of Management in the Department of Management and Marketing at the University of Melbourne and a Research Associate at the Centre for Asian Business and Economics. He earned his PhD in organisational behaviour from the Scheller College of Business at the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta, USA. His research focuses on improvisation in organisations, diversity management, international/cross-cultural management, and leadership. Jesse's work has been presented in such top-tier management journals as the Journal of Applied Psychology and Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, as well as media outlets such as SBS World News, The Guardian, FastCompany, and The Conversation. He has also presented his research at numerous academic and professional conferences and worked with organisations such as Perpetual, the Australian Workplace Gender Equality Agency, McDonald's, the Queensland Government, and the Asian Development Bank. Jesse's professional experience includes his position as international exchange coordinator at Kwansei Gakuin University in Nishinomiya, Japan. He was also employed as a business project manager in the Merger Integration Office and Corporate Strategies Group of SunTrust Bank in Atlanta. Before coming to The University of Melbourne, Jesse conducted research and taught courses in the US, South Korea, and Japan. Jesse has also received improvisation and comedy writing training from the Laugh Masters Academy (Melbourne) and the Second City (Chicago, USA). Twitter Instagram LinkedIn
Enya Cai (BCom 2014) is a Senior Policy Adviser at the Victorian Department of Premier and Cabinet's Office for Women. Her role is focussed on implementing the Gender Equality Act 2020, a first of its kind legislation for Victoria which aims to drive gender equality in the public sector.
Prior to joining the Victorian Public Service, Enya was the Oceania Diversity and Inclusion Advisor at EY (Ernst & Young) where she developed policies, strategies and initiatives across gender, cultural diversity, diverse abilities, LGBTIQ+ and more, to make EY a more inclusive place. Enya originally joined EY in the Consulting service line, working on process improvement projects for Government and Health clients, which laid the foundations for her purpose-driven career.
A proud LGBTIQ+ ally, and advocate for cultural diversity, Enya has featured in a number of videos, podcasts and articles to inspire diversity of thought. Enya holds a Bachelor of Commerce from the University of Melbourne and Graduate Diploma of Chartered Accounting, and outside work she can be found stimulating Melbourne's economy through the arts and food.
Jeremy Burke (BCom 2003)
Head of Product & Strategy, Impact Investment
Jeremy Burke is Head of Product and Strategy at Impact Investment Group where he leads on new investment product development. He was involved in the setup, running and privatisation of the UK Green Investment Bank and has extensive experience around green finance and investment.
Belinda Cheng (BCom 2002)
Director, EY Foundry Leader for Sydney and Singapore
Belinda Cheng is a Director at EY where she is the Asia-Pacific Tax Innovation Hub Leader. As a corporate innovator and collaborator, her role is to help incubate emerging technologies that make money, drive efficiencies and create better experiences for EY’s clients and employees. Belinda also leads and manages the EY Foundry in Singapore and Sydney which is an early stage startup incubator for startups that are focused on tax, compliance, law and people analytics. She’s also the co-founder of Women In Innovation Sydney, a community network comprising of >350 female founders, corporate innovators, designers and creatives.
Scott Clarey (BCom 2004, BA (Hons) 2005)
Member, Administrative Appeals Tribunal
Scott Clarey completed a combined BCom/BA (First Class Honours) degree and enrolled in a PhD in the then Political Science Department. Scott’s international career experience includes work with the United Nations in Cambodia, and as a policy officer and diplomat in Australia's Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. At DFAT he worked on shorter-term assignments in a range of countries including China, Korea, Pakistan and Switzerland, as well as a long-term posting to Australia's High Commission in Singapore.
Between 2014 and 2017, Scott worked at the University as a tutor and teaching assistant as well as a lecturer and subject coordinator in both undergraduate and postgraduate subjects. He is currently a Member in the Migration and Refugee Division of the Administrative Appeals Tribunal where his work includes hearing appeals of asylum seekers whose applications have been refused by the Australian government.
Scott is a member of the University of Melbourne Alumni Council.
Julian Clark (BCom 2002, BA 2002)
Chief Executive Officer, The Lancemore Group
The Lancemore Group is one of Australia’s preeminent Boutique Hotel groups. They operate six iconic boutique hotels and have a few more in the pipeline. Never a group to be boxed, the Lancemore Group also run a James Halliday 5* winery (Lindenderry Wines) and have a white label hotel management business (3 hotels) and a facilities management division.
Lancemore properties regularly feature in best-of-the-best hotel lists and are the iconic hotels of their respective regions. Indeed, Lancemore is one of the most awarded hotel companies in Australia being represented strongly in Conde Nast Traveler Readers Awards, Luxury Travel Gold List, Gourmet Traveller Hotel Guide and Tripadvisor Top 25 hotels in Australia and HM Awards to name a few. With a core strength in Food & Beverage, many of the Lancemore Group’s restaurants are critically acclaimed and are mainstay’s in the Good Food Guide, whilst Lindenderry Wines is a multi-award winning winery and cellar door.
Julian also chairs and/or is on the board of several State and National associations as has been a past board member of Melbourne Convention Bureau, Victorian Tourism Industry Council and the International Association of Conference Centres.
Alison Conn (BCom, BA 2000)
Head of Go To Market, Seek
Alison Conn is currently the Head of Go To Market at Seek. She is a former Principal at The Boston Consulting Group (BCG), a global management consulting firm and the world's leading advisor on business strategy. Alison has worked across BCG offices, including 5 years in New York City. During her time at BCG, she helped clients in a variety of industries (eg. consumer, financial services) as well as functions (eg. strategy, change management). She has also worked in the strategy teams of Visy Industries and Diageo North America. Alison holds a Bachelor of Commerce (Accounting and Finance) and a Bachelor of Arts (Criminology) from the University of Melbourne. In addition, she holds a Master of Business Administration (Honours) from The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, where she majored in Multinational Management.
Alison is a Vice President of the Faculty and Business and Economics Alumni Council.
Anthony Di Pietro (BCom 1990)
Chairman, Melbourne Victory Football Club
Group CEO, LaManna Premier Group
Anthony Di Pietro graduated from the University of Melbourne with a Bachelor of Commerce degree in 1990 and secured a graduate trainee position with the State Bank of Victoria.
In 1991 Anthony joined his family’s fresh produce business. Following a series of mergers and acquisitions over his career Anthony is today Group CEO of the LaManna Premier Group, one of Australia’s leading fresh produce farming and marketing companies.
From 2007 to 2010, Anthony was a non-executive director of the Sovereign Hotel Group, whose flagship business is Federation Square’s Transport Hotel, Taxi Dining Room and Transit Cocktail Lounge.
In 2006 Anthony was elected to the board of Melbourne Victory Football Club which participates in Australia’s elite national football competition the Hyundai A-League. In January 2011 Anthony was elected Chairman by vote of the Board.
Anthony continues to be an active alumnus of the University of Melbourne Faculty of Business & Economics alumni community and has proudly supported the ‘First in the Family’ scholarship.
Dean Ireland (MMktg 1997, BCom 1987)
Dean is a consultant, coach and business leader who specialises in senior leadership and organisation design. His broad industry exposure, hands on management experience and international career assists him to bring creativity, selectiveness and execution to his clients.
He has served listed, private equity, multinational, investment fund, family, government, NGO and NFP organisations. He has advised on Chief Executive, CFO, C-suite and Board succession for many ASX/NZX and private organisations. In addition to broad consulting, he personally led more than 100 CEO (including 20+ listed Managing Directors) and 50 CFO appointments.
Previously Dean served as the Melbourne Managing Partner of a global executive search firm where he worked for 15 years. He began his career in management consulting and investment banking, before joining Pacific Dunlop in Hong Kong. At GE he held several business development positions in the GE Capital division including leading numerous acquisitions in Australia. He also served as the CEO of the Energy and IT divisions in Australia (circa A$600 million sales & 500 people) and Head of Strategy with General Electric’s US$16 billion revenue Energy division in the USA. Dean holds a Bachelor of Commerce from the University of Melbourne and a Master of Marketing from Melbourne Business School. He also formally qualified as a Chartered Accountant, but is no longer a member of the Institute. He serves as a non-executive director of Melbourne Business School and of a not-for-profit microfinance provider, Opportunity International. He also serves on the nomination committee for Cycling Australia.
Previously, Dean held leadership positions with the Baptist Church and with Scouts Australia. He also served on the nomination committee for Tennis Australia and was President of the Alumni Council of the Melbourne Business School. He has lived and worked in Australia, the USA, Hong Kong and Japan.
Leila Lee (BCom, BA 2008)
Head of Distribution, Square Peg Capital
Leila is responsible for building relationships with investors, raising Square Peg’s funds and investor relations. Leila has considerable experience in working with institutional investors, family offices and financial advisors, as well as raising funds across multiple asset classes and strategies.
Previously, she was an Executive Director in the Institutional Sales team at Goldman Sachs Asset Management (GSAM) (’09-’17). Prior to that, she managed relationships across asset consultants and research houses for GSAM.
Sally Macdonald (BCom 1990)
Director, Investor & Business Advisor, Antipodean Group
Sally Macdonald is a leading Australian retail and online CEO having led the turnaround and growth of the publicly listed business Oroton Group from 2006 to 2013. In this role Sally sold three retail businesses to focus on the core brands, Oroton and Ralph Lauren; launched Oroton online and grew sales internationally. The company’s valuation grew >6 times under Sally’s leadership. In 2016, Sally was CEO of Big W, the discount department store division of Woolworths and prior to running retail companies Sally worked as a management consultant for the Boston Consulting Group in Melbourne and New York, and in various Merchandising and Store Operations roles for The Gap in the US. Sally has an MBA from Harvard Business School and a B.Commerce from the University of Melbourne where she was also awarded an Alumni of Distinction prize in 2013. Sally is based in Sydney and currently invests in and advises various digital and retail businesses.
Roger Montgomery (BCom 1991)
Founder and Chief Investment Officer, Montgomery Investment Management
Mukund Narayanamurti (MIntTax 2008)
Chief Executive Officer, Asialink Business
As the CEO of Asialink Business, Mukund is leading the organisation's mandate from the Australian Federal Government (Department of Industry, Innovation & Science), the Myer Foundation and the University of Melbourne, to create an Asia capable workforce in Australia through the delivery of best in class capability development programs, applied research and market insights focused on Australia's engagement with Asia. Mukund built his experience at KPMG facilitating engagement between Australia and Asia in sectors including energy and resources, banking, agribusiness, education and information technology. Mukund received his MBA from the Sloan School of Management at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He is a qualified Chartered Accountant and has also received a Master of International Tax from the University of Melbourne and a Bachelor of Commerce (Honours) from Deakin University.
He was awarded Deakin University's inaugural "Alumnus of the Year" award in 2011 and an Australian Leadership Award from the Australian Davos Connection in 2012.
Stephanie Reuss (BCom, BA 2000)
Co-CEO, Beam Australia
Detch Singh (BCom 2011, BIS 2011)
CEO & Founder, Hypetap
Chair, Australian Influencer Marketing Council (AIMCO)
Upon graduating, Detch worked in Citi’s Investment Banking department primarily focused on mergers and acquisitions. In 2014, he founded Hypetap a technology driven influencer marketing agency.
Hypetap plans, executes and reports on influencer marketing campaigns for brands and agencies with a focus on creativity, brand safety and data transparency.
Hypetap works with many brands and organisations including state governments, Swisse, Nickelodeon, Hungry Jack's, Kathmandu, Latitude and UNIQLO, along with tier one agency groups such WPP, Omnicom Media Group, Dentsu Aegis Network, Publicis and IPG Mediabrands.
Detch is a founding member and Chair of the Australian Influencer Marketing Council (AIMCO) established in September 2019 by the Audited Media Association of Australia (AMAA). As a founding member and inaugural Chair of AIMCO Detch has brought his skills to elevating trust and transparency to the growing influencer industry.
Megan Thomas (BCom 2001)
Victorian Marketing Manager-Residential, Mirvac
Megan is the Victorian Marketing Manager for Mirvac, accountable for the Residential business which includes both the Apartments and Masterplanned Communities portfolios.
Megan has been with Mirvac for 18 years in the Marketing team and prior to her current role also held the position of Customer Relations Manager for the Residential business in Victoria. She has specific experience in the development and implementation of integrated marketing, PR, brand, external stakeholder engagement and community development strategies, from visioning to after sale care, ensuring a customer centric approach for residential projects across a broad range of markets.
Throughout her career Megan has been involved in creating and delivering oustanding, legacy developments for Melbourne. Passionate for setting new benchmarks in marketing innovation, she has led teams to deliver award winning marketing campaigns, enhanced by unique collaborations to achieve exceptional sales outcomes. Mirvac’s ambitious “This Changes Everything” sustainability strategy, saw Megan involved in the industry leading House with No Bills project at Jack Rd in Cheltenham. This education and research project analysed people’s energy consumption habits, testing the latest in smart sustainable technology, in order to deliver more affordable, self-sustaining communities for the future.
Megan has been an active member of Mirvac’s Giving Committee, championing multiple initiatives including most recently the development of the Think Pink Living Centre, a charitable partnership with the Think Pink Foundation, a unique organisation who provide holistic support to women with breast cancer. Megan is also a Hatch Champion, having trained in Mirvac’s leading innovation program utilising the methodology to inform both social and commercial business outcomes.
Megan is passionate about design, architecture, fine arts and all things property.
Megan holds a Bachelor of Commerce from The University of Melbourne and a Master of Real Estate (Sustainable Development) from Bond University.
Anthony Wood (BCom, LLB 1985)
Partner, Herbert Smith Freehills
Tony’s practice spans strategic advice and advocacy for employers in relation to collective and individual disputes, equal employment opportunity, bullying, termination of employment, enterprise bargaining, transmission of business/privatisation, termination benefits/Corporations Act compliance, workplace investigations and whistle-blower issues. Tony has vast experience advising employers on the array of employment aspects associated with mergers and acquisitions.
A regular presenter and commentator on employment and industrial matters throughout Australia, Tony also leads the Employment group’s national training programs.
Tony is the founding editor of the Hebert Smith Freehills annual legal guide on Employment and Workplace Relations in Australia. He is a regular contributor to the firm’s probono program, assisting clients such as Berry Street, Pinnacle Foundation and Equality Australia. He is a member of Herbert Smith Freehills’ Asia Pacific Diversity and Inclusion Group and is an acknowledged leader and advocate for workplace diversity. Tony is a convener of the Herbert Smith Freehills LGBTIQ network “IRIS”. In 2013, Tony was awarded the Australian Workplace Equality Index Executive Leadership Award for his work in LGBTI workplace inclusion. In 2017, Tony was included in the Australian Financial Review’s inaugural list of the top 50 LGBTI business leaders in Australia.
Tony has also been recognised by Best Lawyers as one of Australia’s premier employment lawyers since 2008, and is noted as a leading practitioner in prestigious guides such as Doyle’s, Chambers and The Legal 500 Asia Pacific.
His experience also includes:
*acting as the lead employment lawyer on HSF’s team advising Wesfamers on its demerger of Coles Supermarkets.
*acting for the new owners of TransGrid during the due diligence process and post the acquisition of New South Wales government power generation assets;
*acting for Ford Australia and Toyota in relation to the closure of their Australian manufacturing operations;
*acting for Snowy Hydro Limited in relation to all employment aspects of the $5b Snowy 2.0 pumped hydro project.
Tony holds a Bachelor of Laws and Bachelor of Commerce from the University of Melbourne. He has worked in the firm’s Sydney and Melbourne offices, and is a member of the Industrial Relations Society of Victoria and the Australian Human Resources Institute.
Rachel Yang (BCom, BA, DipML 2011)
Investment Manager, Giant Leap
Rachel is the Investment Manager at Giant Leap, a venture capital fund backing founders using business as a force for good, driving social and environmental change across three themes: health and wellbeing, sustainable living and empowering people. Giant Leap has 18 portfolio companies to date. The fund is backed by the Impact Investment Group, a leading Australian funds manager whose mission is to shift capital towards impact investments.
Rachel is also on the Board of Startup Victoria, a non-profit, grassroots organisation supporting startup founders succeed and is a member of the Victorian State Government’s Innovation Taskforce.
Rachel’s background is in management consulting and corporate finance, and she previously co-founded a non-profit organisation to raise funds and awareness for Motor Neurone Disease.