Academic Board

Empowering Minds for a
Brighter Future.

Where knowledge becomes inspiration, and potential transforms into possibility.

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Academic Board

The Academic Board stands as the guiding force behind our institution's academic excellence. Comprising accomplished educators, respected scholars, and experts in various fields, the board meticulously designs and oversees our academic programs to ensure the highest standards of learning. With a commitment to fostering innovation, critical thinking, and holistic development, the Academic Board shapes the curriculum, policies, and educational strategies that empower our students to become leaders, thinkers, and change-makers in a rapidly evolving world. Through their unwavering dedication, the Academic Board plays a pivotal role in shaping the minds of tomorrow and upholding our institution's commitment to providing an enriching and transformative educational experience.
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Dr Michael Tomlinson FGIA, FCIS.

Chair of Academic Board – External Member

Michael Tomlinson is a Higher Education Governance and Quality Consultant. Until February 2020, he was Director of the Assurance Group at TEQSA (the Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency), where he led case teams to organise and conduct assessments of all registered providers of higher education (including all of Australia’s universities) against the Higher Education Threshold Standards (2015). He also led TEQSA’s implementation of those standards and the preparation of all the guidance material about them for providers. He was the delegated decision-maker for all applications for course accreditation and renewal of course accreditation and made recommendations to the TEQSA Commissioners on registration and renewal of registration. He has a particular interest in policy and in 2019 provided formative input into the revision of the Provider Category Standards. Before coming to TEQSA, Michael was an Audit Director at the former Australian Universities Quality Agency (AUQA), and for twenty years worked in Australian universities, for the last fifteen of these in senior positions at Swinburne University of Technology, where he was Executive Director in the Vice-Chancellor’s Office and then University Secretary. Michael is a Fellow of the Governance Institute of Australia and of the International Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators. He is a member of the Board of the Australian College of the Arts Pty Ltd (trading as ‘Collarts’). He has been an expert panel member for a number of provider reviews for the national accreditation agency in Timor Leste, and (in 2020) for the Fiji Higher Education Commission (for the University of the South Pacific), and for the Department of Higher Education, Research, Science and Technology of Papua New Guinea.

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Professor Andrew Flitman

Deputy Chair – External Member

Professor Flitman is currently Principal of iMORSE, an analytics consultancy based in Melbourne Australia. In this capacity he has advised a number of client in the financial services and higher education sectors. He is also a current TEQSA auditor and Fellow of the Australian Computer Society and the Operational Research Society. Prior to his current role Andrew was Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) of Swinburne University from 2007-2012. In this role he led a step-change in research performance of the University to be ranked within the top 400 in the world. Prior to joining Swinburne he held positions as Dean of Science and Technology at Deakin and Head of School (Business Systems) at Monash. Professor Flitman is an internationally recognised expert in financial (corporate and market) and strategic computer modelling. He has significant commercial consulting experience in computer based finance, business planning, business analysis, decision support and modelling. This consulting experience was developed chiefly through senior positions held at Deloitte Haskins and Sells (London), Coopers and Lybrand Deloitte (UK) and Price Waterhouse (Melbourne). Much of the consulting undertaken by Professor Flitman has been for major blue-chip organisations both in Australia and overseas. Since obtaining his PhD in Operations Research from Warwick University, Andrew has published over 100 research publications and has authored a number of commercial reports.

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Professor Richard Carter

External Member

Professor Richard Carter retired as Senior Deputy Vice Chancellor (Education Services) and Director TAFE – Victoria University in March 2009 after a distinguished career in the education sector spanning over 35 years. Professor Carter commenced employment at Victoria University in 1994. After holding a number of positions in Technical and Further Education (TAFE) he was appointed Deputy Vice Chancellor TAFE in August 2003 and Professor in 2005. Professor Carter’s roles at Victoria University ranged across both educational and general management including the management of major issues and critical incidents. His work included a significant number of years controlling the complex information technology provision of the University, a revamping and rebuilding of student services functions, the building of a substantial new and highly successful branding and marketing presence and the management of media and external relations. He was also involved in the planning, development and bringing to completion of five significant construction projects with a combined value exceeding $300 million. Professor Carter has served on a wide range of boards and committees involved in the development and governance of TAFE, Further Education and International Education including Victoria University Singapore Ltd , Victoria University International Ltd, Renewal and Change 2020 (USA), Chair Academy Advisory Board (USA), International Training Australia Pty Ltd, Victoria University Council, the Northern and Eastern Regional Councils of Further Education, Australian Technical College Sunshine, the Council of Broadmeadows College of TAFE and the Australian Committee for Training Curriculum. Prior to commencing employment at Victoria University Professor Carter held a number of senior positions with the Victorian Office of the State Training Board including as Executive Officer of the Victorian Vocational Education and Training Accreditation Board. He also served for some time as a senior policy consultant to the Australian Committee for Training Curriculum. Professor Carter has provided advice to the governments of Mauritius and East Timor on vocational training systems and assisted in the planning of and participated in a major project to upgrade the skills of vocational training administrators in Uzbekistan. He contributed as a board member to a major bid by International Training Australia for the establishment of an armed forces college in Oman and was an invited member of an Australian Government Mission to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to investigate and develop cooperation in vocational education. He has played a key role in tendering for and implementing a significant number of international aid funded training projects. Professor Carter’s key areas of interest include provider recognition and course accreditation systems in vocational training, assessment of quality in vocational training and vocational curriculum and course design. In addition he has delivered a number of papers both nationally and internationally on the marketing and branding of higher education. Most recently he has directed a Rapid Audit Project for the Victorian Government auspiced through the Victorian Recognition and Qualifications Authority to address a crisis in public confidence in the quality of private provision of vocational education to international students in Victoria. In recognition of his long service and achievements at Victoria University, Professor Carter was appointed Professor Emeritus in June 2009.

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Professor Naveen Chilamkurti

Reader - External Member

Professor Naveen Chilamkurti has consistent track record in professional and Academic Actives. Some of his contributions have been listed below
Key areas of expertise are:

Professional Activities:

  • Australia-India Research Fellowship with IIT Kanpur and IIT Hyderabad in 2012 and 2018
  • VTS (Vehicular Transport Society, USA) 2015 Best paper award: Performance Analysis of PMIPv6-BAsed Network Mobility for Intelligent Transportation Systems, which was published in the IEEE TVT on January 2012.
  • Technical Editor for IEEE Wireless Communications Magazine
  • Senior Editor for Journal of Information Processing Systems (ESCI Indexed)
  • EDITOR-IN-CHIEF International Journal of Wireless Networks and Broadcasting Technologies (IJWNBT)
  • Invited Keynote Speaker: QSHINE 2016 South Korea, ETNCC2015, CONFLUENCE 2019, MITA 2019
  • Guest Editor for about 30 Special issues in various publications like Springer, Elsevier, Inderscience etc.
  • International Grant Reviewer for National Science Foundation (Kazakhstan)
  • PhD thesis Examiner for 10 National and International PhD thesis

Academic Actives:

  • Was instrumental in building and owing a partnership with Chisholm Institute (Dandenong) and La Trobe Sydney campus to offer a Bachelor of IT program at their campuses, and was appointed as Academic Program Director (APD) for both programs.
  • Have been involved in the design and development of the Master of Cybersecurity (Computer Science) and Bachelor of Cybersecurity F2F and on-line programs.
  • Awarded Australia-India Early Career Research Fellowship in 2013 by Department of Industry, Innovation Science, Research and Tertiary Education
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Dr Priyantha Bandara

Course Coordinator - MBA

Dr Priyantha Bandara has over 18 years of lecturing, researching and academic management experience in a variety of multi-cultural settings. He is a fully certified international trainer of the Asian Development Bank (ADB) Institute and Tokyo Development Learning Center, the World Bank (WB) and has extensive international experience on adult training and inclusive educational practices. Utilizing his deep understanding of research methodology design and data analytics, Priyantha’s key research interests and experience are focused on financial markets, sustainable marketing and behavioural economics.

Dr Bandara has taught and held academic management positions in various national and international educational institutions including the Victorian Institute of Technology, Kent Institute Australia, CQ University Australia, and Federation University Australia. He has also worked for international development agencies such as the United Nations, World Bank, Strome Foundation, Pact World and Care International holding senior-level positions. He has engaged widely in field research, organisational policy designing, training and development activities and also enjoys working in multicultural work organisations and mentoring international students.

Dr Bandara completed his PhD through CQ University Australia investigating the financial exclusion, trends, and issues in the short-term lending sector in Australia. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from the Jayawardhanapura University of Sri Lanka. He also has an MBA from the Rajarata University of Sri Lanka and a Master of Management (International Business) degree from CQ University Australia.
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Christine Bennett

Librarian - Adelaide

Christine Bennett is based at VIT’s Adelaide Campus and has been working in public, specialist, and educational libraries for over 20 years. In addition to her work as a teacher librarian managing school libraries and teaching English and Social Sciences, Christine has also worked as a library manager of a TAFE-SA Specialist ESL library.
In addition to a Graduate Diploma of Information Services (Librarianship) from RMIT University, Christine also holds a Bachelor of Arts and a Graduate Diploma of Education – Secondary from Adelaide University and a Graduate Certificate of TESOL from Flinders University.
Christine is committed to providing excellence in library services to assist students and faculty achieve their study and teaching goals.
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Surender Etikala

Director of Business Operations

Surender has a consistent track record in successfully leading large teams with a strong focus on growing the business and an ongoing commitment to student success. Over 20 years of experience in developing and implementing strategic and operational plans, along with expertise in student retention, student progression and student welfare in the Higher Education, Vocational and ELICOS environments.

Key areas of expertise are:
  • Leadership
  • Human Resource Management
  • Performance Management
  • Student Engagement
  • Student Wellbeing and Welfare
  • Policy Development
  • TEQSA and ASQA Compliance and Audits
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Dr Mafruha Mowrin Hossain

MITS Coordinator

Dr Mafruha Mowrin Hossain is a senior lecturer and MITS Program Coordinator. She completed bachelor and master’s in information and Communication Engineering. She completed her PhD in health analytics at University of New South Wales (UNSW). She is a well-qualified educational professional with experience of over 12 years in teaching and administration in Australia and overseas. Dr Mowrin’s background expertise come from areas such as Networking, Network and Cyber security, Health Analytics, Mobile and Wireless Networks, Project Management, Image Processing, IoT and Cloud Computing. She has supervised many postgraduate and undergraduate students for the senior Projects.

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Rohith Meneni

Director of Business Development and Operations (Marketing and Admissions)

Rohith Meneni is an experienced management and business development executive who has a strong business acumen and a customer focused approach. He is a strategic thinker who likes to challenge the status quo and looks for continuous improvement.

Key areas of expertise are:
  • Business Operations
  • Project Management
  • Acquisition marketing (B2C)
  • International student recruitment
  • Solution sales (B2B)
  • Financial services marketing
  • Commercial negotiation
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Professor Sid Nair

Executive Dean/Dean, Learning, Teaching and Student Experience

"Sid Nair has over 30 years’ experience in the tertiary sector both in Australia and internationally." His experience ranges from being the Executive Director of the apex regulatory body, Tertiary Education Commission, Mauritius; Professor of Higher Education Development at University of Western Australia; and, Interim Director and Quality Advisor (Evaluations and Research) at the Centre for Higher Education Quality (CHEQ), Monash University.

Key areas of expertise are:
  • Formulation and execution of strategies and policies in higher education
  • Building academic capacity in learning and teaching
  • Evaluations
  • Enhancing student experience
  • Quality Assurance and Accreditation
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Professor Sebastian Ng

Dean of Information Technology and Systems

Professor Sebastian Ng has extensive experience in Australia Higher Education. After finishing his doctorate at the University of Hong Kong, Dr Ng joined Swinburne University of Technology as an academic staff in 1992 till 2020. He is currently an adjunct professor with Swinburne University of Technology.

Sebastian was the ex-chair of Computer Science and Software Engineering Department at Swinburne, after serving many other leadership roles such as Academic Directors (Pathways) and Associate Dean (International). His academic qualifications include PhD, Master’s, PG Diploma and Bachelor’s degrees in multi-disciplines ranging from Computing and Information Technology to Science and Education. His main research interests are Software Engineering, Software Testing and IT Education. He is a Certified Professional and Senior Professional Member of the Australian Computer Society.

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Associate Professor Anuradha Samkham Raju

Associate Dean, Sydney Campus and Registrar

Anuradha Samkhamraju has 20 years of academic and industry experience in IT in India, the Kingdom of Bahrain and Australia.

‘Teachers have three loves: love of learning, love of learners, and the love of bringing the first loves together’- Scott Hayden

  • Software Testing
  • Software Engineering
  • Object Oriented Programming
  • Database Management Systems
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Dr. Sarathkumar Rangarajan

Course Coordinator – Bachelor of Information Technology and Systems (BITS)

Dr Sarathkumar (Sarath) Rangarajan is a senior lecturer and BITS Course Coordinator at VIT, bringing over a decade of experience in education and administration both in Australia and abroad. Holding bachelor's and master's degrees in computer science and engineering, he earned his PhD in Service-Oriented architecture from Victoria University in Melbourne, Australia. With a robust academic background, Dr. Sarathkumar specialises in Networking, Network and Cyber Security, Mobile and Wireless Networks, Project Management, IoT, and Cloud Computing.

As an accomplished educator, Sarath has mentored numerous postgraduate and undergraduate students on capstone projects, contributing significantly to their academic and professional development. Dr. Sarathkumar is also a peer review member for prestigious journals, including the European Alliance for Innovation and the World Wide Web – Springer Journal.
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Professor Andrew Scown


Professor Andrew Scown has dedicated his career to education, beginning with teaching primary school in the mid 1970’s through to supervising research students in Australia and abroad, and for the last 20 years in leading and managing Universities in Southeast Asia. Alongside his leadership roles as Vice-President Academic of RMIT Vietnam’s Campus, and President of Stamford International University Thailand he has also been deeply immersed in the research, development, and implementation of curriculum and pedagogies to enhance authentic learning for international students.

In his current role as Provost of VIT he is able to harness his vast experience as he works to develop and shape global approaches to post-secondary education for the new world of work that is unfolding in the 21st Century.

In addition to various undergraduate awards in education and theology, he also holds an MBA focussing on human resource development from RMIT University, and a PhD in Education from Melbourne University where he conducted phenomenological research into the lived experience of Being an Academic.

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Wen Shao

Director, Educational Quality Assurance and Compliance

Wen has over 10 years’ experience in tertiary education, academic management, academic quality assurance and dual sector compliance. Prior to joining VIT, Wen held many senior academic management positions, and led a few successful provider (re-)registration and course (re-)accreditation with TEQSA.

His expertise includes designing self-regulating and compliance-assurance system for higher education provider, formulating and implementing institutional academic quality strategies, and management of compliance with legislations for dual sector providers.

Wen received his MPhil degree in Computer Science from the Australian National University. His research was around artificial intelligence and machine learning

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Associate Professor Rahul Thakkar

Associate Dean Academic (Melbourne Campus)

Rahul has over 16 years of experience in academic. Proven distinction in the development of strong bond with students and colleagues. Exhibits expertise in coordinating academic and exam related matters and in activities to boost learning in Higher Education. Demonstrates additional knowledge of research in data analysis and in administrative work related to exams and academic.

Has completed PhD and M.Phil in the discipline of Computer Science and Information Technology.

Key areas of expertise are:
  • Machine learning
  • Information retrieval
  • Knowledge Management
  • Database Management
  • Application Development
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Professor Eugene Thomlinson

Dean – Business Studies

Professor Eugene Thomlinson has over 25 years of experience in industry and academia providing a firm foundation of theoretical and practical knowledge in business, tourism and hospitality, and management.

Professor Thomlinson completed his PhD in Management through La Trobe University, examining persuasive communications and the effects of film on destination image. He holds an MBA in tourism and hospitality management from the University of Calgary with his thesis exploring the business of ecotourism in Central America, and a Bachelor of Commerce in finance and small business management from the University of Manitoba.

Professor Thomlinson has taught with Royal Roads University (Victoria, Canada), La Trobe University, Griffith University, Southern Cross University, and ITESO University (Guadalajara, Mexico). Before joining academia, he worked for the Canadian Tourism Commission (CTC) as the senior market analyst responsible for developing the Explorer Quotient (EQ) and understanding global tourism. Additionally, he worked for Parks Canada, conducting social science research in national parks and historic sites across western Canada, focusing on human use patterns and evaluating communications.

Professor Thomlinson’s research interests and experience are focused on sustainable development, social marketing, persuasive communication, image and branding, film tourism, screen tourism, location and product placements, and mega-event sports tourism (e.g. Commonwealth Games, Olympic Games, World Cup, etc.). He also enjoys working with communities and organizations on community tourism development plans and opportunity assessments as well as being a trained focus group moderator.

Student Representatives for Academic Board

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Mr. Binaya Khadka

Elected Student Representative – Adelaide Campus

As an international student coming from Nepal, Binaya is currently pursuing a Master of Information System (MITS) at Victorian Institute of Technology, Adelaide Campus, now in the second semester. With a focus on specializing in cybersecurity, he brings a strong academic background, having completed a bachelor's degree from Tribhuwan University in Nepal, followed by five years of teaching experience at the secondary level. Beyond his academic and professional endeavours, Binaya is deeply involved in volunteer work and has held leadership positions such as Club President, Region Chairperson and Area Chief for Leo District Council 325 R and Vice President at Ratnanagar Jaycees. Outside of professional commitments, he finds joy in playing cricket and is currently an umpire for SACA leagues across different levels. With a steadfast commitment to service and a clear vision for student welfare, Binaya is eager to contribute meaningfully as a student representative, embracing the opportunity to serve his fellow students with dedication and integrity.

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Mr. Hemant Dhital

Elected Student Representative – Geelong Campus

Mr. Hemant Dhital is a dedicated student from a multidisciplinary background who brings much experience to VIT’s Academic Board through his engagement in positions such as Information Technology Officer and as an Academic Program Coordinator. Hemant is known for proactive problem-solving, strong communication skills, and a passion for using technology to enhance learning. As a student representative, Hemant aims to advocate for his peers and drive positive change within the VIT academic community.

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Mr. Jaskirat Singh

Elected Student Representative – Melbourne Campus

Mr. Jaskirat Singh (also known as 'Jassi'), is a friendly and approachable Student Representative at VIT’s Melbourne Campus. Dedicated to advocating for his peers and fostering a coherent relationship between students and professors, Jassi aims to ensure that student needs are met, and their opinions are heard. Jassi’s style of leadership is based on the skill of active listening to student viewpoints and concerns, and on placing a strong emphasis on inclusion and teamwork that fosters a supportive environment where all students feel respected and empowered. With adept communication abilities and unwavering dedication to comprehension, Jassi is here to tackle issues and improve a shared college experience.

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Mr. Shabbir Ahmed

Elected Student Representative – Sydney Campus

Mr. Shabbir Ahmed is an international student, currently pursuing a Master's in Information Technology at VIT. As a student representative, Shabbir is committed to bridging the gap between students and academic decision-makers. With a dedication to amplifying diverse voices and fostering positive change, Shabbir aims to enhance the academic experience for all members of the community. Through active engagement, collaboration, and an unwavering commitment to student interests, Shabbir strives to contribute meaningfully to the collective advancement of the academic institution.