VIT Council

Peter Batchelor

Mr Peter Batchelor - Chair

Peter Batchelor has over twenty years’ experience working in a range of challenging corporate roles. He is an executive with a track record in operational review, change management, strategy development and growing new initiatives.  He has experience in both the commercial and public sectors in the Asia-Pacific region having worked with consulting firms, technology start-ups, universities and large corporates including Telstra, Ernst & Young, Ericsson, BIS Shrapnel and Melbourne, Monash and La Trobe Universities. With a Bachelor of Commerce from the University of Melbourne, a Masters of Business Administration from the Australian Graduate School of Management at the University of NSW and Australian Institute of Company Directors (AICD) qualified, Peter has experience in recruiting management teams and boards to establish governance frameworks to promote transparency and the appropriate management of risk. Peter has deep experience in new business creation, strategy development, managing complex negotiations, conducting due diligence, operational planning and establishing appropriate funding mechanisms.

Mr Arjun Surapaneni - CEO

Arjun has extensive education, technology and commercial experience with over 25 years’ experience in senior executive and Chief Executive Officer roles. His expertise straddles strategy, business growth, international business development, marketing, technology commercialisation, business transformation, change management and sustainability. Arjun has coordinated IT project implementation and training with organisations such as Jawaharlal Nehru Technological University, Covansys, IBM Global Services, Ernst & Young, Computer Science Corporation, WA Police Services, Metropolitan Fire Brigade, Telstra, Health for Aged (Australian Federal Government), Dresdner Bank (UK) and BHP Australia.Although a third generation educator, Arjun became a dedicated educator in 1999 after he chanced upon a research paper published in the USA. It stated that when many near dead, or people who were thought to be dead, ‘came back to life’ and were asked what was their first thought when they came back to consciousness, an amazing 87% said they wished they had studied/learned more. Arjun was appointed as a Member of the Multicultural Business Ministerial Council (MBMC) by the Baillieu Government in Victoria from 24 October 2011 to 23 October 2013 and was also the Chair of Export and Human Capital (including Education) working groups of the MBMC.


Ben Scheltus

Ben Scheltus has a broad background in engineering, economic evaluation, IT, energy systems and business development in Europe and Australia. Ben has worked in the chemical, information technology and education industries and has successfully run his own business for many years. For ten years he held a position as a Director of a large private school. He has a particular interest in the practice of good governance and has assisted a number of companies to improve their system of IT governance. Ben has a Bachelor of Engineering degree from Monash University and is a member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors. Ben is a director and the CEO of Climate Alliance.

David Bartlett

Hon. David Bartlett has built an extensive career leading people through change in innovation, science and technology – having driven people and technology strategy in both the private and public sector at the highest levels. David was the 43rd Premier of Tasmania and the first Gen X Premier in Australian history, implementing wide ranging policy reform in innovation, high speed telecommunications, education, water, agribusiness and renewable energy.

He entered politics following an extensive career in IT and innovation in the private and public sector. During his time in politics he also held the positions of Minister for Innovation, Science & Technology and Minister for Education & Skills.

David currently holds a number of high level advisory and non-executive director positions in government and the private sector. He is Chairman of leading Australia-New Zealand technology services business Fronde. He is a Director of Emprevo Pty. Ltd. David has recently completed four years as Chairman of the Wicking Centre for Dementia Education and Research.

David holds a Bachelor of Science (Computer Science, Mathematics) and a Graduate Diploma of Business Administration, both from the University of Tasmania. He is an honorary Member of the Australian Computer Society and a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Management

David Bartlett’s previous experiences in academic/corporate governance or governance-related activities/position

Company/Organization: Wicking Centre for Dementia Education and Research
Position: Chairman
Duties: Non-executive Chair of innovative research and education centre with global reach through two top five rated health MOOCs across the globe.

Company/Organization: Fronde Systems
Position: Chairman
Duties: Non executive Chair of high growth ANZ technology integrator with $40M in revenues and corporate and government clients in Australia and New Zealand.

Company/Organization: Ministerial Advisory Council on Future Industries
Position: Chairman
Duties: Reporting to the Minister for Industry and Innovation (VIC) advise government on the investment of the $200M future industries fund to expedite growth in emerging industries in Victoria, including international education.

Company/Organization: Tasmanian Government
Position: Premier, Minister for Education and Skills (2006 – 2011)
Duties: Lead the state and transform the state’s education system.

Jim Varghese AM

Jim Varghese has over 30 years’ experience as a Chief Executive in leading government agencies covering Transport, Main Roads, Education, Training, Employment and Primary Industries in both the Victorian and Queensland public sector
Jim is the Chairman and owner of the Leadership Company Qld Pty Ltd. He is an Executive Director of the Springfield City Group and chairs the board of this company.

Jim is the National Chair of the Australia India Business Council and also holds the following positions:

  • Board Member Trade Investment Qld
  • Director of MindHive Pty Ltd
  • Deputy Chair of the Puuya Foundation serving the indigenous community of Lockhart River in North Queensland
  • Chair of the Gandhi Salt March Ltd which delivered the successful 2017 Power of Peace Festival
  • Served for over three years as an Adjunct Professor at the University of Queensland
  • Served on the Council of Queensland University of Technology, the Senate of University of Queensland and the Council of the University of Southern Queensland


  • Centenary Medal for services to the Public Sector
  • Order of Australia for Services to Public Sector Reform and Services to the Community
  • Fellow of: CPA Australia, Australian Institute of Management, Royal Institute of Public Administration and Australian Marketing Institute
  • Honorary Senior Research Fellow University of the Sunshine Coast (USC), and currently Adjunct Professor USC


BA (Hons), B.Div University of Queensland
Dip Ed., MBA, University of Melbourne

Jim Varghese AM previous experiences in academic/corporate governance or governance related activities/position

Company/Organization: The Leadership Company (TLC).
Position: Chairman and owner.
Duties: Provides consultancy services in organization change and management.
Provides mentoring services to CEOs and senior executives in both public and private sector

Company/Organization: Springfield City Group (SCG)
Position: Executive Director and Chair of the SCG Board
Duties: Chairs the SCG Board and provides strategic and managerial advice in relation to education, health, technology, marketing and communications, and governance.

Company/Organization: : Trade Investment Queensland (TIQ).
Position: Director TIQ.
Duties: Participates as a Board Member in oversighting the Queensland Government’s dedicated global business agency, helping Queensland exporters take their products to world markets, and promoting Queensland as the perfect place for investment

Company/Organization:Australia India Business Council Ltd (AIBC)
Position: National Chair AIBC
Duties:Chairs and provides leadership and oversight to the only premier non-profit organisation with a mission to promote trade dialogue between India and Australia through nurturing and maintaining close relationships in both Australia and India, with Federal and State government agencies, the diplomatic corporations and industry bodies.

Marion Walker

Marion Walker

Marion Walker has a career spanning more than 30 years, working across organisations in both the private and public sectors to develop and deliver sustainable change to align people, processes and technology and drive business outcomes. Marion has extensive experience in business and technology strategy development and implementation, change and training interventions to support major system replacements, process and organisational transformation initiatives. Areas of specialisation include stakeholder engagement and communication; change strategy diagnosis and management; group facilitation; leadership alignment; and business readiness assessment.

Professor Pam Green

Professor Pam Green, PhD, MEd, BA and DipT, has extensive experience in higher education and has held senior leadership positions including the Director of Graduate Studies at Swinburne University, Acting Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research), Associate Dean of Research in Education (RMIT University), Associate Dean of Research in Business (RMIT University) and is currently an adjunct professor at RMIT University. Pam has recently co-authored her latest book on higher education governance and management. The book is entitled, Playing the PhD game with Integrity. Pam’s research interests include doctoral education, higher education, and qualitative research approaches, particularly naturalistic inquiry, case study work and phenomenography. Pam is co-founder of the Australian Qualitative Research association. Her publications (including eight books) focus on higher education – doctoral education, language/ literacy education, qualitative research, research supervision, research training, transition, and leadership. Pam has supervised over 30 research students to completion. She has consulted in higher education, on matters such as university governance and research training, in Australia, the UK, the Netherlands, Brunei, Malaysia, Sweden, Finland and New Zealand

Professor Pam Green previous experiences in academic/corporate governance or governance-related activities/position

Company/Organization: RMIT University
Position: Adjunct Professor
Duties: Education consultant work/ Academic Scholarship.

Company/Organization: Swinburne University
Position: Professor and Director of Graduate Studies
Duties: Higher Degree Governance, Chair University Higher Degrees Committee, Management of processes from enrolment to examination, Scholarships, Policy Development, Research and Research Training, Research Supervision, Academic Scholarship.

Company/Organization: RMIT University
Position: Senior Policy Advisor, Business Faculty
Duties: Policy writing and advice to Pro Vice Chancellor: Business.

Company/Organization: RMIT University
Position: Associate Dean of Research (Business, Education)
Duties: Higher Degree Governance for the given Faculty, Management processes from enrolment to submission, Scholarships, Co-ordination of Professional Doctorates, Policy Development, Research and Research Training, Research Supervision, Academic Scholarship.


Professor Richard Carter

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.