Mr Ashley Hams MBA. BTech
Chairman of Council
Mr. Hams has a Bachelor of Technology in Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering from the University of South Australia as well as an MBA from Deakin University in Victoria. Mr Hams is the General Manager of an international mining services company. He is the current Chair and former Deputy Chair of St Ann’s College.
Mr Hams resided at St Ann’s College from 1990-1994 and has served as a Tutor and Senior Tutor (two years) at the College.
David Caruso, LL.B. Hons G.D.L.P. (LSSA) B.A
David researches, teaches and practises in litigious private and public law. He is the Foundation Director of the Litigation Law Unit (LLU) and formerly the Director of the Advocacy and Justice Unit (AJU) of the University of Adelaide.
David is the Chief Executive Director of the China Australia Research Partnership for Judicial Civilisation (CAPJC). David has presented and published in Australia, Asia, Europe and the United States, on litigation systems, evidence and procedure reforms, and international trade. He has given expert evidence in Australian legal proceedings on foreign and international law. He is a Consultant with the South Australian Centre for Economic Studies.
David is Special Counsel to Fisher Jeffries | Gadens where he practises in commercial litigation specialising in banking and financial services and intellectual property. He is the President of the Law Society of South Australia, a Director of the Law Council of Australia, Chair of the LCA National Legal Education Committee, Executive of the International Law Section of the Law Council of Australia, Co-Chair of the LCA International Trade and Business Committee and the Foundation Chair of the Reconciliation Action Committee of the Law Society of South Australia. He is a Member of the Joint Rules Advisory Committee of the Courts Administration Authority.
Associate Prof David Cropley, BSc(Hons), GradCert (Higher Ed), PhD
Dr Cropley joined the University of South Australia’s School of Engineering in 1990, after serving four years in the United Kingdom’s Royal Navy. His research interests span the measurement of product creativity; measuring innovation capacity in organisations; creativity in education; creativity and innovation in terrorism and crime, and; the nexus of creative problem-solving and engineering.
Dr Cropley is author/co-author of seven books including Homo Problematis Solvendis: Problem Solving Man – A History of Human Creativity (Springer Nature, 2019); Creativity in Engineering: Novel Solutions to Complex Problems (Academic Press, 2015); and The Psychology of Innovation in Organizations (Cambridge University Press, 2015).
Dr Cropley has been a member of the St Ann’s Council since 2004 and represents the University of South Australia on Council.
Dr Vyla Ellis BDS, GAICD
Dr Ellis is a general dentist with a wide range of clinical skills. She leads a team dedicated to delivering quality dental care to rural communities. Health and education are her passions and she is dedicated to improving the provision of these for country people. Vyla was a director of the Keith and District Hospital (2016 to 2019). She is experienced in corporate governance, leadership, social media marketing, strategy, public speaking, general dentistry and Invisalign. In 2019 Dr Ellis was a Telstra Business Women’s Finalist.
Dr Ellis was a Senior Tutor at St Ann’s from 2008-2010, has been on the College Council since 2008 and was appointed Deputy Chair in 2018. Dr Ellis’ involvement with St Ann’s began in 2006. “I moved to Adelaide to study dentistry, and what started off as a year in college to meet people turned into five years. Living in a supportive community of like-minded students had a profound impact on my success at university. St Ann’s provides excellent leadership opportunities for students and I took up one of these as Senior Tutor in my final years. Nothing less than excellence was expected of me in this managerial role, holding me in good stead for the work place. I have now been a member of the St Ann’s Council for 10 years. I am a great advocate and supporter of St Ann’s because I’ve seen first-hand how significant the college is for rural students during the crucial transition to university.”
Prof Katrina Falkner B. Sc. (Math & Comp Sci) (Honours), Grad Cert in Ed (Higher Ed), PhD
Professor Falkner is Deputy Dean (Students) for the Faculty of Engineering, Computer and Mathematical Sciences, and leads the Computer Science Education Research Group (CSER), and the Modelling & Analysis Program within the Distributed and Intelligent Technologies Group (DIT) within the School of Computer Science.
Professor Falkner has extensive experience in industry consultation, including work with DST Group, NICTA, Google US, Google Australia & New Zealand, the Commonwealth Department of Education and Training, and Telstra Foundation, crossing both the areas of Computer Science Education (within CSER) and Distributed Systems and Modelling (within DIT). As part of her work within CSER, Professor Falkner has led the development of the CSER MOOCs – open online courses for Australian teachers to help prepare them for the Digital Technologies Curriculum, and leads the national CSER Digital Technologies Education Program, designed to support Australian teachers in teaching Computer Science, with an emphasis on supporting young women, low-SES and Indigenous populations.
Mr Nelson Hayes
Mr Hayes completed his senior schooling at Glossop High in the Riverland in 2017. He is studying a Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) (Electrical and Electronic) at the University of Adelaide. Mr Hayes was recently chosen as the recipient of a Nyrstar Playford Trust scholarship which is awarded to students commencing their third year of undergraduate studies in the field of chemical, mechanical or electrical engineering, which involved an eight week work placement at Nyrstar’s Port Pirie Smelter. Twice a St Ann’s medal recipient, he has also sat on the Ball and Open Show Committees.
Ms Bella-Louise Hunyadi
Ms Hunyadi, from the Riverland in South Australia, graduated from Glossop High in 2017 and is currently in her third year studying a Bachelor of Psychology (Counselling & Interpersonal Skills) degree at the University of South Australia. Ms Hunyadi has been a recipient of the E D J Symon Bursary for female students, was awarded the St Ann’s College medal for 2020 and is an active member of the College community beyond her Senior Tutor role, and sitting on the Ball, IT and Video committees.
Ms Pik Seen Lai CA. LLB. Grad Dip Law. Grad Dip ICAA
Pik Seen studied Law and a Masters in Commerce, majoring in Accounting at The University of Adelaide. Pik Seen is a Chartered Accountant and currently works at ASF Audits, a company which specialises in self-managed super funds audits. Pik Seen was a resident at St Ann’s College from 2005 to 2008 and joined as a member of the St Ann’s Council in 2018.
Mr Frank Niemann LLB, LP
Mr Niemann is an Associate at the District Court of South Australia. Frank was a resident at St Ann’s College from 2013-2015 and studied Law at Flinders University. Frank serves on Council as the Collegians’ Association Representative.
Mr Brodie Ryan MEng, BFin
Mr Ryan is the LAND 19 Phase 7B Program Manager at Raytheon Australia, a company which provides state-of-the-art electronics, systems integration and other capabilities in the areas of sensing; effects; and command, control, communications and intelligence systems; as well as a broad range of mission support services to the Australian Defence Force.
Among his qualifications is a Master’s Degree in Engineering (Military Systems Integration) from the University of South Australia. Brodie resided at St Ann’s College from 2004-2006 and was the College Club President in 2006.
Mr Simon Shepherd BA, MEl, Grad Dip Ed, Grad Dip Outdoor Ed
Simon Shepherd is Principal of Westminster School, a leading coeducational Early Learning to Year 12, Day and Boarding school of around 1200 students, in Adelaide, South Australia. Simon is an inspiring, highly engaging and respected educational leader with over 20 years of teaching, boarding and pastoral experience in independent schools across Australia and the UK. Previous leadership roles include Principal of The Scots PGC College (Warwick QLD), Head of Senior School, Wesley College (Melbourne VIC), and Director of Boarding, Kinross Wolaroi School (Orange NSW). Simon holds a Masters of Educational Leadership (University of Canberra), Graduate Diploma of Education (University of Adelaide) and Graduate Diploma of Outdoor Education (La Trobe University). Mr Shepherd joined the Council of St Ann’s College in 2019.
Mr Robert Spiby FCA, CTA, RITP, BCom, Grad Dip ICAA
In addition to being a Management and Business Advisory Partner at PKF, Mr Spiby joined St Ann’s College in May 2007 as the Bursar. Mr Spiby says, “Over my time at St Ann’s I have been lucky enough to see many students grow from country kids to young professionals and become leaders in their field of choice. The College provides an environment to allow students to excel and I am proud to be a part of that. Outside of work I have three young children and still manage a kick of the soccer ball from time to time,” Mr Spiby says.
Ms Renee van der Hoek
Ms van der Hoek is studying Podiatry at the University of South Australia and has a particular interest in the development of prosthetics and 3D Printing.
Renee was a student at St Ann’s College from 2013-2015 and served as College Club President in 2015. Renee serves on Council as the Collegians’ Association Representative.
Ms Lisa Virgo BA. BBus
Ms Virgo is Chief People Officer at Tic:Toc Home, an Adelaide fintech company that’s transforming the home loan process. Lisa’s role is everything people and culture with a focus on laying the foundations for good governance and growth. Lisa previously worked with the Bendigo and Adelaide Bank in senior human resources roles for over 10 years. Lisa continues to have strong affinity for Bendigo and Adelaide Bank, with its history steeped in the rural community of Australia.
Ms Virgo was raised in Port Augusta and was a resident at St Ann’s College from 1988-1991 and served as College Club Secretary in 1989. Ms Virgo has held a position on the St Ann’s College Council since 2009.
Ms Denise von Wald BA, FAICD
Ms von Wald is the Principal and CEO of St Ann’s College. She also is currently a Director of Adelaide Venue Management, a Director of Regional Development Australia (Adelaide), Council Member for the International College of Hotel Management and Chair of WAY (Welfare of Adelaide Youth). Previously, she was a Business Ambassador for the State of South Australia, a member of the Board of the International Education Association of Australia from 2009 to 2011 and a Director of St. Peters’ Girls School.