Chris Seysener joined the Atwea College Board in 2016, becoming Chair of the Board in 2018, and currently sits on the Governance and Risk and Executive Subcommittees.
Chris brings significant experience across several areas including service delivery, program governance, commercial and fiscal management and organisational change, having worked with companies such as AMP, Allianz, BHP Billiton, CSC and HVCCC over the last twenty years.
As Chief Information Officer for the HVCCC, he is responsible for the IT, Business Analytics and PMO functions, which underpin the coordination of assets and resources throughout the Hunter Valley Coal Chain. Chris holds a Bachelor of Engineering (Hons), Bachelor of Computer Science degrees from the University of Newcastle and is a graduate of the AICD.
Committed to contributing to the Newcastle community, Chris believes everyone has the right to a good education and that lifelong learning enables people to develop to their full potential, lead happy and fulfilling lives and better adapt to inevitable change.
Merran Magill has been Deputy Chair of the Atwea College Board since March 2015 and currently sits on the Human Resources Subcommittee.
She is a governance professional with legal, corporate governance, risk management, audit, contracts management, privacy and project management expertise.
She is an accomplished solicitor with proven ability to negotiate complex corporate transactions and commercial contracts. Merran has a strong commitment to ethical behaviour and positive leadership.
Merran has a Bachelor of Business; Marketing from the Queensland University of Technology and a Bachelor of Laws from the University of New South Wales.
Anna Starrett joined the Atwea board in 2005 and chairs the Audit and Finance Subcommittee
Her significant experience in finance has been broadened by roles and responsibilities in operations, corporate governance, change management and risk management. She has worked with organisations such as the Master Builders Association, the former Department of Sport and Recreation and the Commonwealth Bank to develop and deliver training packages.
In her current role as Finance Director for PBE Group, she is responsible for finance support to a global manufacturer and systems integrator providing electrical technology and infrastructure to mining and tunnelling operations. Anna has a Bachelor of Commerce, is a Chartered Accountant and is a graduate and member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors
Anna has a strong history of community contribution holding various positions (President, Secretary, and Treasurer) on local P&C’s and community organisations. She is a facilitator for CAANZ and is a mentor on their CA development programme.
Jane grew her passion for problem solving while undertaking a Bachelor of Law/Environmental Science.
For over 15 years Jane has worked in senior positions across large national NFPs, education and consulting firms in risk, industrial relations and HR roles.
In 2017, Jane launched Newcastle based Professional Services Firm, FiveSeven Consulting. With a passion for strategic thinking, Jane and the FiveSeven team work alongside some of the state’s largest employers.
Jane has consistently committed to developing and empowering others and is committed to offering opportunities that showcase the strengths and careers of those returning to, or starting out, in the workforce.
Kelsey Barrett is the founder and managing director of Kumalie, a communications advisory services consultancy.
An experienced sustainability consultant and communications specialist, Kelsey has worked with multinational companies, SMEs, non-profit organisations and government departments.
Based in Newcastle, Kelsey works with clients in Australia, The Netherlands, the UK and Switzerland.
She holds a Bachelor of Commerce from the University of Newcastle and has studied Sustainability Leadership through Harvard University.
Over the years she has been a guest speaker at Universities in Australia, the Netherlands and at many local industry forums.
Peter Collins lends his experience in coaching, industrial relations and working with councils and schools to the Atwea College Board.
Peter has over 26 years as an HR operations practitioner and is currently the HR Consultant with Hunter New England Health.
Having graduated from Charles Sturt University with a Bachelor of Business Administration, Human Resources Management and Services, Peter has worked with both large and small organisations in HR, training and education.
Peter is also the current Director and Secretary for the Jessica Collins Lifesaving Limited, which are the trustees for the Jessica Collins Necessitous Circumstances Fund.
Todd Saddington has been on Atwea College’s Board of Directors since 2018. After graduating from UNSW with Bachelor of Commerce majoring in Accounting and Finance, Todd began working in the stockbroking industry.
From there he worked at various investment banks and financial institutions in London and Sydney. After a move to St George Bank he undertook roles ranging from Strategy to Senior Finance Manager.
Being a proud Novacastrian the pull to move home was too great and in 2011 Todd moved back to Newcastle and into the manufacturing industry working in various senior management finance roles.
Wendy Cheek is a passionate advocate for quality education. Having worked in the public education sector for over 40 years, Wendy has spent nearly half that time as a Principal at both The Junction Public School and Booragul Public School, which received the Director General’s Award for School Achievement.
Throughout her career, Wendy has led Quality Teaching and Learning Programs across whole school environments developing a culture of effective evidenced based teaching practices which supported and challenged students. She is dedicated to ensuring that students are active participants in their own learning and understand the pathways needed to achieve their educational aspirations.
For five years Wendy was the Newcastle delegate to the New South Wales Primary Principals Council, inspired by her mission to work collaboratively across many school communities to develop effective strategic and operational plans for all students.
She also coordinated professional learning and executive development programs for both primary and high schools across Newcastle.
Wendy is currently working with Newcastle University as a casual academic, mentoring teaching education students in practicum placements across Newcastle schools.
Rowan Cox is the Executive Director of Atwea College, formerly known as WEA Hunter.
Rowan has held this position since 2016 and played an enormously influential role in the recent evolution of the community based education provider.
Rowan is responsible for setting the Atwea’s strategic direction and ensuring financial stability and sustainability. She is also tasked with overseeing the delivery of senior secondary and vocational education across Atwea College’s seven campuses.
A co-founder and former Principal of Alesco Senior College, Rowan experienced what she describes as a ‘challenging’ adolescence where education wasn’t stressed to her as a priority.
It is this experience that inspired her to ensure young people have access to alternative forms of education that suit their specific needs in order to pursue a sustainable future.
Rowan spent 10 years in several positions at WEA Hunter. These included, Manager VET and Equity, Deputy Director and General Manager, a position she held for over six years.
Possessing a Bachelor of Arts (Social Science), Rowan also has qualifications in counselling, youth work and community welfare.
Rowan is passionate about making community based education accessible to all members of the community without compromising on the quality of service provision.
After a career in the military, Nicola Bartlett pursued her zest for vocational education and training in 2017, joining Atwea College as Senior Education Manager.
Nicola established her love of the education sector when she studied at university and then became a lecturer in the United Kingdom. After moving to Australia a decade ago, Nicola worked in compliance for the energy, community and training sectors.
Nicola has a Masters in Business Administration, Change Management, International Enterprise and Strategic Human Resource Management.
Principal of Alesco Senior College, Theresa Pantalone has always been driven to help young people realise their true potential.
After identifying a lack of support services for young people in her local community, Theresa became actively involved in the youth sector and served on the Lake Macquarie Youth Advisory Committee.
Her dedication to ensuring young people have access to education makes her a passionate advocate within the community education sector.
Prior to her time at Alesco Senior College, Theresa forged a 15 year career in the retail industry and management.
Theresa holds a Bachelor of Arts, Diploma of Education and a Cert IV TAE (Training and Assessment).
John Radvan has been with Atwea College for 15 years, working in several positions right through from administration and teaching, to management and compliance in each of Atwea’s educational sectors.
With formal education in Management, Science and Law, John developed a strong interest in regulatory compliance, successfully guiding the organisation through its reregistration and audit activities and actively managing its continuous improvement processes and government reporting requirements since; including providing legislative and contractual interpretation advice to Senior Management and the Executive Director.
John created the Quality Assurance and Compliance unit at Atwea to centralise the extensive back-end administration of the growing organisation, creating a successful and functional team that has resulted in a substantial increase in the accuracy of data and adherence to standards and contracts throughout the company.
A regular presenter at National conferences on issues surrounding Compliance in the education sector, John encourages networking and sharing of information in the not-for-profit sector and is extremely passionate about the opportunities that it provides to its serviced communities
Michael De Lyall
Starting his career as an accountant, Michael brings 30 years’ broad experience and expertise in finance and business management.
Before joining Atwea College, he was chief financial officer for Master Builders Association Newcastle where his many roles and responsibilities included company secretary and building manager.
Michael’s career achievements include transforming a fledgling Group Training Organisation (GTO) into a sustainable, multi awarded and well respected market leader, improving investments and cash flows of an industry association and securing multiple government grants.
His role at Atwea College involves managing financial matters with a strong focus on developing business and customer services. Specialising in areas including governance, compliance, IT and system controls, Michael ensures the organisation is working to the highest standards while continually looking for opportunities to improve services for all stakeholders.
With a passion to support people and achieve productive outcomes, he has served on numerous industry and community advisory boards during the past three decades.
Michael holds a Bachelor of Commerce, is a Fellow of CPA Australia (FCPA) and a Justice of the Peace (JP).