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COUNCIL MEMBERS

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. Dr Ellis 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. She 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 her success at university. St Ann’s provides excellent leadership opportunities for students and she took up one of these as Senior Tutor in my final years. Nothing less than excellence was expected of her in this managerial role, which held her in good stead for the work place. She has now been a member of the St Ann’s Council for over 15 years. Dr Ellis is a great advocate and supporter of St Ann’s because she has seen first-hand how significant the college is for rural students during the crucial transition to university.

Ms. Dana Hurrell

Senior Residential Advisor

Ms Hurrell, from Port Lincoln SA, has been a resident of St Ann’s College since 2021. She is studying for her Bachelor of Science (Advanced) with plans to become a mathematics and chemistry teacher at secondary school. Ms Hurrell has a long list of contributions to campus life that include involvement in Debating, Ball Committee, Swimming, Battle of the Bands, and she has held positions of Residential Advisor in 2022 and 2023, Academic Tutor from 2022-present, Battle of the Bands Coach, College Tours Coordinator, Founders Day Concert Coordinator, Open Day Convenor, Swimming Coach and Equity Officer.

She was the recipient of the EDJ Symon Bursary award, the St Ann’s Foundation/Playford Trust Regional Residential Scholarship, the Playford Trust Regional Science and Engineering Scholarship, the Collegians Award and a College Medal.

Mr Lachlan Kelly

College Club President 

Mr. Kelly came to St Ann’s in 2022 from Gol Gol NSW. He is studying for this Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) (Electrical and Electronic) with Bachelor of Finance. Last year he was the College Club Treasurer but was promoted to President for the 2024 school year. He has played both Football and Tennis for the Boons, as well as represented the College as a NAAUCC Conference delegate and an Open Day volunteer.

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.

Ms. Mikayla Russell

Senior Residential Advisor 

Ms. Russell, from Darwin NT, arrived at St Ann’s College in 2022. She is currently undertaking a Bachelor of Laws Double Degrees (Honours) and a Bachelor of Psychology from Uni SA. Ms. Russell has embedded herself in the fabric of St Ann’s by playing soccer and football, participating in debating, coordinating College Tours and serving as a Residential Advisor last year. She won the Morella Calder Law Prize in 2023 and coordinated a mentoring program between St Ann’s students and Indigenous Boarders at Prince Alfred College.

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 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 Alexandra Ward, BA (Hons), LLB, GDLP

Ms Ward is the current President of the Collegians Association and a member of the Foundation Committee. She attended St Ann’s from 2016 to 2021 and studied a Bachelor of Arts (Hons) in English and a Bachelor of Laws. In her time at St Ann’s, Alex served as a Residential Tutor and was the recipient of the Morella Calder Law Prize, the Gemma Brunckhorst Scholarship, the Long Term Service Award and Female Collegian of the Year. Alex was also the recipient of the Vera May Swift Scholarship in English and the Sir Archibald Strong Memorial Prize in Literature at the University of Adelaide.

Ms Ward has been a committee member of the Collegians Association since 2022, previously serving as Vice-President.

Ms Ward currently practises as a lawyer at Cowell Clarke Commercial Lawyers, working in the civil litigation and dispute resolution team.

Ms Wendy Fleming, Dip T, Grad Dip Mus Ed, M Ed (Guidance and Counselling), MACE

St Ann’s College Principal and CEO

Ms Fleming joined the College as its inaugural Dean in 2021 and ascended to the role of Principal at the end of 2023. Her qualifications include a Teaching Diploma, a Graduate Diploma in Music Education and a Master in Education (Guidance and Counselling).

Ms Fleming’s entire career has been focused on the educational needs of students from regional, rural and remote areas. She has worked in educational institutions across eastern Australia, in schools in Geelong, Melton (outer Melbourne), Ipswich, Mackay and Charters Towers in far north Queensland.

She appreciates the specific requirements of those relocating whilst in their tertiary learning journey, including logistical, social and emotional factors. Her Masters of Education (Guidance and Counselling) degree has given her the insight and foundation to forge strong relationships with the students during her time at St Ann’s thus far, and to encourage them to achieve success in their learning journeys and to contribute to society post-graduation.