09/06/2006 - 13:11

Browning & Voelte added to UWA Business School board

09/06/2006 - 13:11


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The University of Western Australia has added some significant corporate muscle to its Business School, with the appointments of Woodside managing director and CEO Don Voelte, and Alinta CEO Bob Browning to the board.

Browning & Voelte added to UWA Business School board

The University of Western Australia has added some significant corporate muscle to its Business School, with the appointments of Woodside Ltd CEO Don Voelte and Alinta Ltd CEO Bob Browning to the board.

The announcements were made at a ground-breaking ceremony today by WA vice-chancellor Professor Alan Robson to mark the commencement of the construction phase of the new business school facilities which will dominate the southern end of the campus previously fields used for grazing sheep as part of the institution's agricultural studies.

UWA's Business School is chaired by another Perth business heavy weight in Mark Barnaba, currently chair of Alinta Infrastructure Holdings Ltd, deputy chair of the West Coast Eagles and managing director of Azure Capital.

The new board members will add further weight to the school's corporate cachet, with many of the board members involved in the school in a guest lecturing capacity as well being figureheads for the purposes of fund raising. From the reverse angle, UWA has put control of its business school future fund into the hands of this group of corporate heavyweights.

Sources said that the fund raising efforts for the new school had been very successful with almost half the $25 million target signed up and further commitments expected to comfortably put the goal within reach - without selling the naming rights for the school which was previously thought necessary to guarantee the funds required.

Mr Voelte has been managing director and CEO of Woodside since April 2004. He has extensive experience spanning almost 30 years in global oil and gas business including executive management roles with Chroma Energy, Atlantic Richfield Company and 22 years with Mobil Corporation.

Mr Browning has been Alinta CEO since March 2001, following the successful public offering in October 2000 and has led one of WA's most active corporate players through a series of high profile acquisitions.

The incumbent members of the business school board of directors represents a 'who's-who' of the WA business community. The current members are:

Tony Howarth - former banker, former chair of Alinta, Home Building Society Ltd and St John of God Health Care Group chair and director of Mermaid Marine Ltd;

John Poynton - current Alinta and Azure chair, director of Austal Ltd, Multiplex Ltd;

Richard Goyder - CEO Wesfarmers;

Fiona Wood - 2005 Australian of the Year, founder of the McComb Foundation, founder and director of Clinical Cell Culture Ltd;

John Akehurst - former CEO Woodside, director of CSL Ltd and Alinta;

Andrew Roberts - CEO Multiplex, director of Damae Resources Ltd;

Tracey Horton - UWA Business School Dean, former corporate adviser;

The current Board has been in place for more than two years, and during this period has overseen the design of a new building, the establishment of an associated fundraising campaign, and initiated a strategic review of the Business School.

Today UWA, also celebrated a 'Ground Breaking Ceremony' to mark the start of construction of a new $45 million business school.

The milestone included a traditional Aboriginal 'Smoking Ceremony' with business leaders, UWA alumni and Nyungar community Elders.

The new three-storey building will be located at the southern end of the University's Crawley campus.




The University of Western Australia today celebrated a significant milestone with a traditional Aboriginal 'Smoking Ceremony' and an official 'Ground Breaking Ceremony' to make the start of construction of a new $45 million Business School.

Business leaders and UWA alumni joined Vice-Chancellor Professor Alan Robson and Nyungar community Elders for the event which paves the way for the development of the new facility at the southern end of the University's Crawley campus.

"This event marks the culmination of more than three years of strategic planning. It brings to fruition a significant element of our long-term vision for teaching and developing tomorrow's leaders in business, industry and commerce," Professor Robson said.

"This development will ensure we can continue to provide internationally renowned business education for the benefit of our students and staff, and also for the business sector and the wider community."

UWA Business School Dean, Tracey Horton, described the development as an exciting opportunity to build on decades of achievement and to take business education at the University to a higher level.

"The importance of this initiative to both the Western Australia and the nation should not be underestimated. With the current economic environment creating increasing demands for skilled individuals in all sectors The University of Western Australia has to also respond," she said.

"We need to ensure that the demands of the State and the nation to provide opportunities for talented and skilled individuals are met. This project is just one part of the University's continuing aim of achieving international excellence."

Designed by international architectural firm Woods Bagot, the new Business School building will bring together the School of Economics and Commerce, the Graduate School of Management, and executive training programs.

The new building will be a three-storey, environmentally sustainable development representing a new type of building for the campus. It has been designed to reflect the history of the University's architecture in a contemporary and innovative way, as well as to embrace learning environments of the future. The construction of the building will provide leading-edge facilities encompassing flexible learning spaces, fostering an environment for high levels of interaction, working and learning.

"The new Business School will also provide room for expected growth and opportunities for us to engage the business community, our alumni and friends," Ms Horton said

"The University already enjoys a reputation as an academic and research leader in Australia and abroad. We want to continue to build on our reputation and vision for achieving international excellence, so we are excited about establishing a truly world-class Business School," Professor Robson said.

The design of the building is inspired by important economic regions of Western Australia. Western Australian materials being used to clad parts of the new building include copper, zinc and aluminium. Images derived from the landscapes of many regions of the state will be used as the inspiration for pattern-making for specific elements of the building. Of particular relevance will be the south-western region with its significance to the Nyungar people and their culture.

Professor Robson also announced the appointments of Mr Don Voelte, Managing Director and CEO Woodside; and, Mr Bob Browning, CEO of Alinta, to the Board of the Business School which is chaired by Mr Mark Barnaba.

"I am delighted that both Mr Voelte and Mr Browning have agreed to join the Board. They will complement the current board member's strengths, both bringing considerable business experience from the resource and energy sectors," Mr Barnaba said.

Mr Voelte has been Managing Director and CEO of Woodside since April 2004. He has extensive experience spanning almost 30 years in global oil and gas business including executive management roles with Chroma Energy, Atlantic Richfield Company and 22 years with Mobil Corporation.

Mr Browning has been CEO of Alinta since March 2001, following the successful public offering in October 2000. Prior to joining Alinta, over a period of eight years he held a number of executive roles with Aquila (formerly UtiliCorp United Inc). Previously he held various senior management roles with Coca-Cola Enterprises over the course of 16 years.

The Business School Board of Directors includes prominent UWA alumni and leaders in industry and commerce committed to positioning the Business School as a leading institution world-wide. This high-level group lends their energy and influence to help build links between the Business School and Australian and international community.

The current Board has been in place for more than two years. During this period the Board has overseen the design of a new building, the establishment of an associated fundraising campaign, and initiated a strategic review of the Business School.


UWA Business School Board of Directors
Chair: Mr. Mark Barnaba
B.Com (Hons) (UWA) MBA (Harvard)
Economics and Commerce graduate (awarded Hackett Scholarship and the JA Wood
University Medal for top graduate University wide), MBA Harvard.
Mr Barnaba is currently the Managing Director of Azure Capital, a merchant banking
firm which he co-founded in 2004 with Mr John Poynton. Prior to this, Mr Barnaba was
Co-Chairman of Poynton and Partners and GEM consulting, a management consulting
and corporate advisory firm which he co-founded in 1996. Mr Barnaba has extensive
experience in the finance and management consultancy fields, having worked for
Goldman Sachs in New York and McKinsey & Company in the UK, Italy, South Africa
and Sydney.
In 2002, Mr Barnaba was the inaugural first amongst equals winner of the WA Business
News '40under40' award for the most outstanding business leader in Western Australia.
Mr Barnaba is Chair Alinta Infrastructure Holdings, Chair of the Business School Board,
Deputy Chair of the Fundraising Committee and Deputy Chair of the West Coast Eagles
Deputy Chair: Dr Tony Howarth AO CitWA
Dr Howarth continues to be a strong advocate and supporter of the University of
Western Australia. He is Chair of the Business School Fundraising Committee, Deputy
Chair of the Business School Board and a member of the University Senate. In 2003 he
was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Laws from the University. Dr Howarth brings
with him more than 30 years experience in the banking and finance industry.
Dr Howarth was the inaugural Chairman of Alinta Limited and was formerly Chief
Executive Officer of Challenge Bank. Prior to this he held several senior executive
positions in State, Regional and International banking institutions. He is also Chairman
of Home Building Society Limited and St John of God Health Care Group and holds
directorships at Mermaid Marine Australia Limited, Australian Wheat Board and the
Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
Dr Howarth is a member of a number of community organisations, including the
Australia Council's Major Performing Arts Board and the Prime Minister's Community
Business Partnership Program.
Mr. John Poynton AM
B.Com (UWA)
Mr. Poynton is currently the Executive Chairman of Azure Capital, a merchant banking
firm which he co-founded in 2004 with Mr. Mark Barnaba. Prior to this, he was the
Founding Director and Chairman of Poynton and Partners.
Mr. Poynton has significant experience in the corporate advisory and management
consultancy fields. Between 1988 and 1990, he served as Chairman of the Australian
Stock Exchange (Perth) and as a Director of the ASX. He was a member of the UWA
Graduate School of Management's Advisory Board between 1989 and 1998.
He is the Chairman of Alinta Limited and currently holds directorships with Austal Ships
and Multiplex and is Chairman of the Western Australian Museum Foundation. He is also
a member of the Payments Systems Board of the Reserve Bank of Australia.
Mr. John Akehurst
MA Eng Sc (Oxford)
Mr. Akehurst has extensive operational and management experience in the oil and gas
industry, and until recently was Chief Executive Officer of Woodside Petroleum Ltd. He
joined Shell in 1976 and pursued a career in oil and gas exploration and production,
working in the North Sea, Malaysia on the supply of gas to their first LNG development,
New Zealand, Nigeria, London and Holland. He moved to Perth in 1994 and was
appointed CEO of Woodside in 1996. He was also a Director of Oil Search Limited.
He is a Director of CSL Limited, Alinta Limited and is a Director of Youth Focus, an
organisation devoted to the prevention of youth suicide in Western Australia. He also
consults in the field of corporate performance improvement through leadership
development and cultural transformation.
Dr Fiona Wood AM, CitWA
B.Sc, MBBS (London University), Hon.DLitt (UWA)
Dr Fiona Wood is the 2005 Australian of the Year and is also the 2005 West Australian
of the Year, having been awarded this honour for the second consecutive year in a row.
Dr Wood became the public face of her profession in October 2002 when she
coordinated the burns treatment of 25 Bali bomb blast victims. She is currently Director
of the West Australian Burns Service and consults to the Burns Units at both Royal
Perth and Princess Margaret Hospitals.
In 1999, Dr Wood co-founded the McComb Foundation, a research-based organisation
established to conduct research into tissue engineering.
Dr Wood is also the co-founder, Chief Medical Officer and Director of Clinical Cell
Culture (C3).
Dr Wood is a Clinical Professor at the UWA School of Paediatrics and Child Health and
was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Letters from the University in 2004. Dr Wood is
a member and past President of the Australia New Zealand Burn Association and Chair
of the National Working Party for burn standards of care. In 2003, Dr Wood was
presented with an award from the Australian Medical Association for her outstanding
contribution to her profession.
Mr. Richard Goyder
B.Co Com (UWA), Advanced Management Program (Harvard)
m Currently Managing Director of Wesfarmers, Mr. Goyder has over 20 years commercial
business experience. Mr. Goyder joined Wesfarmers in 1993 and since then has held
several senior executive positions, including General Manager of Wesfarmers' Business
Development Department, Managing Director of Wesfarmers Landmark Limited and
Deputy Managing Director and Chief Financial Officer of Wesfarmers.
Prior to his appointment at Wesfarmers, Mr. Goyder worked in various commercial roles
at Tubemakers of Australia Limited. Mr. Goyder is a Patron of the Hackett Foundation at
UWA and also holds directorships at Gresham Partners Holdings and Australian Railroad
Mr. Andrew Roberts
Mr. Roberts is the Chief Executive of Multiplex and is responsible for strategic and
corporate development within the Multiplex Group. He has considerable experience with
major infrastructure projects, both in Australia and overseas.
Mr. Roberts holds a Master of Business Administration from the Australian Graduate
School of Management and has most recently undertaken postgraduate studies in
Property Finance at the University of California, Berkeley. Mr Roberts is also a Director
of Danae Resources and Multiplex Mining.
Robert Browning Chief Executive Officer, Alinta Ltd
B.Sc., MBA, MSc. Business Management
Mr. Browning has been the Chief Executive Officer of Alinta Limited since 2001,
following the successful public offering in October 2000. During that time, Alinta has
delivered growth in annual total shareholder return averaging approximately 40% in
each reporting period. Alinta has evolved into a leading operator and part owner of
over $7.5B in energy infrastructure.
Prior to joining Alinta, Mr. Browning worked for Aquila Inc., a global energy and
services company. Mr. Browning was with Aquila 9 years in such roles as Director of
Organisation Development, Director of Business Process Reengineering, Director of
Strategic Planning and Vice President of Human Resources, in which he was responsible
for activities associated with approximately 7,000 employees, globally.
Mr. Browning holds a Bachelor of Science degree from San Diego State University, an
MBA from the University of Phoenix and a Masters of Science from Massachusetts
Institute of Technology, Sloan School of Management.
Don Voelte Managing Director & CEO, Woodside
BSc. Civ. Eng. (Awarded University of Nebraska Engineering Scholarship and Alternate
National Merit Scholarship)
Mr. Voelte has extensive experience spanning almost 30 years in the global oil and gas
business. He was appointed Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of the
Woodside Group of Companies in April 2004.
He worked with Mobil Corporation for 22 years where he held a variety of executive
roles including Vice President, US Supply and Logistics; and Vice President and General
Manager, US Marketing. His final role with Mobil was as President, New Exploration and
Producing Ventures, with responsibility for world-wide exploration, building and
implementing Mobil's corporate upstream global growth strategy.
Mr. Voelte left Mobil in 1975 to join Atlantic Richfield Company as the head of Corporate
Planning responsible for redeveloping global growth and risk management strategy.
Prior to relocating to Perth to head up Woodside, Mr. Voelte was the CEO of Chroma
Energy, a private exploration and production company specializing in proprietary
seismic pattern recognition technology.



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