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Senior project executives join the annual alumni dinner

The inaugural annual alumni dinner

An alumni contingent – representing a gathering of some of Australia’s most significant major project leaders – came together to celebrate the second graduating cohort from the Executive Leadership in Major Projects program.

The inaugural Annual Alumni Dinner in August brought together project executives and industry leaders who are responsible for some Australia’s most significant major projects which are transforming organisations and creating a positive impact on communities. 

The evening was also an occasion to acknowledge the second cohort completing the year-long Executive Leadership in Major Projects program (ELMP). The range of projects this cohort represents reflects the current project landscape in Australia including banking and finance, telecommunications, oil & gas and infrastructure. A strong contingent from government also joined the program from areas the areas of health services, treasury & finance, roads, rail and urban transformation including:

  • Bradley Andrews, President - Digital Enterprise, Advisian
  • Martin Blennerhasset, General Manager, Major Projects & Program Management, Fixed and Data Access Engineering, Telstra
  • Ryan Brosnahan, General Manager Transformation Projects, ANZ
  • Tasha Burrell, Project Leader, Parramatta, North Urban Transformation, UrbanGrowth
  • Andrew Cole, Strategic Coordination Manager, Regional Rail Link Authority, Victoria
  • Pauline Elliott, Project Director, Projects Queensland, Department of Treasury and Trade, Queensland
  • Nathan Luck, Program Director, Westpac
  • John Pillay, Head of Design and Delivery, ANZ
  • Vicky Sisson, Project Manager, Roads and Maritime Services
  • Miles Vass, Deputy Director General at Department of Transport and Main Roads, Queensland
  • Dorothy Vicenzino, Executive Director, Health Care Regulation Unit, Department of Health, Queensland
  • Trish Watson, Project Manager, Woodside Energy

"The learnings gained and put into practice by these leaders completing the ELMP program have made a significant impact on their project teams and also the bottom line for their organisations," said John Grill Centre Chief Executive Marc Vogts.

Marc Vogts thanked those organisations and their sponsors who have recognised the value of building the capability of their leadership team to ensure project success. He also noted the personal success that participants have gained through the program noting, “many of the cohort have elevated their roles within their organisations since commencing the program. In particular congratulations to Miles Vass who now holds the position of Deputy Director General at Department of Transport and Main Roads with the Queensland government.”

ANZ, General Manager Transformation Projects, Ryan Brosnahan, who spoke on behalf of the cohort, thanked John Grill for his vision and recognised the value of the ELMP program for those leading business defining projects. "The program has been a rich and transformative experience. We thank John Grill for his insight to develop education for executives who lead projects which have a major impact on organisations and communities."

David Boyes, Executive Director and Head of Global Transformation, Global Enterprise Services at Telstra joined as guest speaker on the evening to speak to the challenges of global transformation projects and the great opportunities that can be realised through advances in technology for projects across all industries. He also recognised the value of the ELMP program for those making significant transformation changes to their organisations in an environment which requires agile and accountable leaders.

The ELMP program runs across a 12-month period comprising five weeks of coursework (undertaken in three residentials), an in-organisation project, and executive coaching. Participants align their learnings with an action plan supported by a direct supervisor, a mentor appointed from their organisation and a John Grill Centre executive coach.

Over 50 project executives joined the ELMP program as guest speakers and panellists including high profile business leaders Dow Chemical, Senior Vice-President, Jim McIlvenny; Infrastructure NSW, Chief Executive Officer, Jim Betts and GE Mining, President and Chief Executive Officer, Steve Sargent.

The Annual Alumni Dinner brought together project leaders and industry leaders who are supporting greater leadership and governance in major projects to achieve organisational success. The third ELMP cohort, which started its ELMP journey this month. 

The Executive Leadership in Major Projects program, was launched with its first cohort in August 2014. Participants included business leaders working on major Australian and international projects across Asia, Middle East, US and Australia, including Australian infrastructure, banking and finance, technology and resources projects.

Application for the 2017 program close 28 April 2017. For more information, visit the Executive Leadership in Major Projects program page in our website.

John Grill Centre

The John Grill Centre offers unique education and applied research in project leadership and governance for aspiring project leaders, c-suite and board levels, enabling them to achieve project success and create greater social-wellbeing and economic prosperity through projects and programs.

Our work combines the experience of industry experts, underpinned by world class academics at the University of Sydney. We are a multi-disciplinary centre drawing on the expertise of leading faculties across the university including Faculty of Engineering and Information Technologies, The University of Sydney Business School, Faculty of Law and the Faculty of Social Sciences.