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​Every so often, you get the chance to be part of something that proves a turning point in your career journey - and your life. For recent UWA graduates, mentoring events like CareerConnect are unique opportunities.

On Saturday 7 December, more than 60 accomplished alumni, across a range of industries and roles, came together to mentor, network, provide advice and build community with recent grads and final year students. It was testament to the strength of our community that so many would find time on a Saturday in December to give back and support the next generation's career goals.

Meet our speakers and mentors (plus more to be announced!)

Insider Conversations Mentors


Tim Johnston BSc(Agric) ‘81, Principal Consultant, BJW Agribusiness
Michael Rowe BSc(Hons) ‘07, Technology Project Lead, Rio Tinto

Arts and Culture

Andrea Bradbury BCom ‘14, Marketing Executive, WA Ballet
Jaime Mayger BEnvDes ‘14, MArch ‘17, Project Manager (public art), FORM

Business and Finance

Tshung-Hui Chang BCom ‘93, Director, Torque Metals Ltd
Myles Barnard BCom ‘16, MCom ‘18, Head Of Operations, Urbotanica
Nick Saunders BSc ‘81, Managing Director, Opaxe

Government and Defence

Leesa Markussen BA(Hons) ‘15, Senior Policy Advisor, Department of the Premier and Cabinet of WA
Simon Thackrah LLB, BA ‘04, MA ‘04, Senior Lawyer, WA Department of Housing
Patrick Hew BSc ‘96, PhD ‘01, Research Scientist, Defence Science and Technology Group

Education and Training

Claire Omodei MBA ‘15, Operational Readiness Specialist, Rio Tinto
Megan McCracken BA ‘88, MIR ‘94, Owner and Principal, Pleiades Global
Pauline Willis BPsych ‘93, Director, Lauriate Ltd
Rubi Mabrouk GradDipEd ‘07, Education Officer, Department of Education

Engineering, Energy and Resources

Jiz Loong BE ‘07, SPS Lead, INPEX
Khoo Soon Aun BE ‘14, Project Engineer, Woodside Energy
Danny Ma Bcom, BE ‘02, Senior Manager, Business Development, McDermott Australia
Bruce McCracken BCom ‘91, BJuris ‘91, LLB ‘92, Managing Director,BMG Resources Limited
Bindi Shah BSc ‘08, BSc(Hons) ‘10, MBA ‘18, Reserve Capacity Analyst, Australian Energy Market Operator
Kelechi Anyaegbu MBA ‘16, Principal Consultant, Data Engineering Pty Ltd

Health and Medicine

Neesha Seth MPsych ‘09, Principal Consultant - Organisational Psychologist, PeopleSense by Altius
Adela Tang BHlthSc ‘11, BSc(Hons) ‘12, MPH ‘14, Senior Policy Officer, Department of Health, WA Health
Ace Choo BSc ‘08, MInfectDis ‘10, Project Manager, Telethon Kids Institute
Rebecca Penco BSc ‘12, DMD ‘17, Dentist
Harjit Kaur MBBS ‘09, MPH ‘16, Medical Advisor, Australian Government, Department of Veterans’​ Affairs

Human Resources

Rhiannon Compton BSc ’16, MCom ‘18, People and Performance Adviser, IMS
William Schofield BSc, BCom ‘15, HR Advisor, CITIC Pacific Mining
Hamish Coffey BSc ‘13, MCom ‘18, HR Business Partner, Beaver Group of Companies
Kassy Taylor BA, BCom ‘14, Compliance Manager, Politis Central Services group
Kathleen Franklyn BSc ’88, BSc(Hons) ’89, PhD ’95, GradDipEd ‘16, Career Development Consultant


Aaron McDonald LLB ‘07, LLM ‘16, Director, Pragma Lawyers
Ebony Back BA ‘15, JD ‘18, Lawyer, Allens
Brett Davies BA ‘82, BA ‘84, BJuris ‘87, LLB ‘88, LLM ‘93, SJD ‘15, Partner, Legal Consolidated Barristers and Solicitors

Media, Marketing and Communications

Jeffrey Effendi LLB, BCom ‘14, Founder, DrawHistory
Anna Burchfield MIntRelns ‘14, Digital Communications Officer, Main Roads Western Australia
Kasia McNaught BA ‘07, Digital Marketing Advisor, Business Station


Zara Torre BDS ‘07, LLB, BA ‘14, MPH ‘18, CEO and Founder, The Difference
Michael Coghill BCom ‘08, Co-Founder, Total Green Recycling
Michelle Phillips BPEd ‘91, GradDipEd ‘92, MEd ‘94, Female Football Operations and Engagement Manager, West Cost Eagles Football Club

Property, Real Estate and Construction

Johnson Tan BCom ‘11, Financial Accountant, Scott Park Group
Zac Evangelisti BEnvDes ‘14, MArch ‘17, Project Manager, Minderoo Group
David Allen MBA ‘99, Director and Co-founder, David Allen Properties

Recreation and Fitness

Aaron Yeak BCom, BE ‘08, Director, F45 Training Belmont
Peter Peeling BSc(Hons) ‘05, PhD ‘09, MBA ‘19, Associate Professor, The University of Western Australia
Mark Lane BPEd ‘87, CEO, Surfing WA
Daniel Gibbons BA ‘09, Manager, WACA
Olivia Birkett BSc ‘01, General Manager WA, Bon Leisure

Science and Research

Ian Baxter BSc ‘80, Principal, SEAPEN Marine Environmental Services
Doug McGhie BSc(Agric) ‘72, PhD ‘81, MBA ‘91, Managing Director, Science Matters Pty Ltd
Dr Maska Law BSc ‘98, PhD ‘04, Business Analyst, Systemic
Lucy Furfaro BSc ‘14, BMedSc ‘15, PhD ‘19, Postdoctoral Research Associate, Women and Infants Research Foundation

Social Services and Community

Lou Forster MBA ‘16, Head of People and Brand, Chorus
Aden Date GradCertSocImp ‘15, Director//Freelance Consultant, Only the Human
Kate Chaney LLB ‘98, Director, Innovation and Strategy, Anglicare WA
Mark Teale BA ‘07, CEO, Council on the Ageing WA

Technology and Information Services

Conrad Pires MBA ‘16, Lead, Space Hub Perth
Andrew Walker BE ‘14, CTO, VROMO
Raymond Zhang BSc, BE ‘06, Principal Project Delivery Technology South Flank, BHP


Kim Hewson EMBA ‘10, Board Member, Regional Development Australia Wheatbelt
Manny Papadoulis BCom ‘83, Commissioner and Deputy Chairman, Tourism WA

Programme structure

9:30am: Registration
Delegates are encouraged to arrive and register on time to ensure their place in chosen workshops and insider conversations.
10am: Welcome and opening keynote
Professor David Sadler, Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Education) at UWA, will welcome delegates and introduce opening keynote Simon Griffiths, Co-Founder & CEO at Who Gives A Crap.
11:05am: Concurrent workshops #1

Stream: Moving In

Personal Brand: What’s yours?

Your brand tells the world - employers, customers, contacts - who you are, what you're passionate about and what you're capable of. It defines you and shapes the opportunities you attract.

What is your personal brand? In this session, you’ll hear from a panel of accomplished UWA graduates who know their brand and how to use it.


Vanessa Vershaw BA '92
Leadership Coach, Harvard Business School | Board Member, qChange: Nudge Makers 

Toto Boutdara BSc '14
Brand & Image | Chief Consultant at Totostips | Chief Advisor at Australia - Laos Business Advisory | Board Director at Cahoots

Jeffrey Effendi LLB, BCom '14
Social Entrepreneur | Founder & Head of Creativity, DrawHistory

Stream: Moving Forward

A roadmap: Shaping your career through vision and goals

Have a goal, have a goal! You’ve heard it before. Here’s the thing. If you are clear about what you want, what excites you in your work and what challenges you, you are in the best position to recognise opportunities as they present themselves and grab hold of them.

Learn from alumni who’ve built careers driven by vision and begin zeroing in on what’s important to you and what you really want to do.


Charlie Gunningham MBA '99
Commercialisation Adviser, Department of Industry, Innovation & Science

Dr Katherine Iscoe PhD '12
Director, The School of Body Confidence | Co-Founder, MyFiziq Limited

Aaron McDonald LLB '07, LLM '16
Director, Pragma Lawyers

Mark Zhang BSc, MPE '18
Director, Profile Injection Moulding

Stream: Moving On

C-c-c-changes: Embracing career transitions

Whether you choose it or it chooses you, change can be a challenge. There’s the fear. Stuck on the cusp, afraid to act. There’s uncertainty, even resentment and real hardship. There’s also exhilaration, pride. What makes the difference if filtering out the noise until only the opportunity remains.

Hear from alumni who have embraced, even pursued, major career changes and learn what coming out the other side meant to their careers and their lives.


Sandy Anghie LLB, BCom '97, BEnvDes '11, MArch '14
Architect | Project Manager Historic Heart of Perth

Conrad Pires MBA ‘16
Lead, Space Hub Perth and CEO, Picosat Systems

Emma Woods MBA ‘18
Business Analyst, Velrada

Lyndsay Potts BA ’90, BA(Hons) ’91, MPsych ‘85
General Manager, Lee Hecht Harrison 

Aaron Yeak BCom, BE ‘08
Owner, F45

12pm: Connections luncheon

When you put great people together in a room, good things happen. Especially when those people are UWA alumni. Conference delegates will be joined by accomplished alumni from across the career spectrum.

Mostly you’ll enjoy good food and better conversation. You’ll also receive some great pointers on using social media to further your career, including a way to intantly connect with everyone in the room via LinkedIn.

If you finish lunch early, take advantage of the professional camera on hand to update your LinkedIn photo.

Introduction: Tayyeb Shah, Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Global Partnerships) at UWA.

1:10pm: Concurrent workshops #2

Stream: Moving In

Get your CV [and yourself] to the top of the heap

A CV tells a story about who you are. Of course, it can’t tell the whole story - but enough to capture interest and shout potential, with a little something extra to make you more than a name on a page.

Learn how to get your CV noticed; how to use it to paint a picture that piques curiosity and gets you in the door.

Bring along your own CV for constructive coaching.


Rhiannon Compton BSc ’16, MCom ‘18
People and Performance Adviser at Integrated Managed Services 

William Schofield BSc, BCom '15
HR Advisor, CITI Pacific Mining

Hamish Coffey BSc '13, MCom '18
HR Advisor, Connected HR

Stream: Moving Forward

Exceptional you! Strength in diversity

Everybody’s different. Everyone has unique strengths and weaknesses. A key to career success is knowing yourself, playing to your strengths and collaborating with others to offset your weaknesses.

In this session, learn to celebrate your uniqueness through the stories of alumni who have built success by knowing who they are and what they and others have to offer.


Shalini Saldanha BSc, BE ‘98
Principal Advisor, Rio Tinto

DJ Lim BCom ‘11
Director, JLL

Fadzi Whande GradCertSocImp ’14, EMBA ‘15
Principal Consultant Workforce Diversity

Megan McCracken BA ’88, MIR ‘94
Owner and Principal, Pleiades Global

Stream: Moving On

Connections: The amazing impact of mentors and networks

Never underestimate the power of connection. Every successful person knows they didn’t get to where they are on their own. It took mentors, referrals, advice. A little help from a friend.

In this session, alumni will share tips and tricks for tapping into your networks, to gain as well as to give.


Angel Chen LLB, BCom ’15, BCom(Hons) ‘16
Strategy Chief, DrawHistory

Christian Bauer LLB ‘94
Legal Counsel, Wesfarmers 

Carmen Braidwood BA ‘02
6PR Radio Host

Veronika Komarenko BCom '11, CA
Director, Optimize Business Advisory

2:05pm: Concurrent workshops #3

Stream: Moving In

The inside scoop for acing interviews

There’s a lot of tips out there on how to do well in interviews, some of them conflicting. Truth is, while they may ask about it in different ways, most employers wait to hear the same things.

Find out from the employers themselves what those things are, how you can prepare to speak to them and what is, by far, the most important piece of information you need in advance of a job interview.


Kassy Taylor BA, BCom ‘14
Compliance Manager, Politis Central Services Group 

Kathleen Franklyn BSc ’88, BSc(Hons) ’89, PhD ’95, GradDipEd ‘16
Career Development Consultant, Curtin 

Nicholle Harris BCom ‘15
Workforce Lead, St John of God

Stream: Moving Forward

Not just a job: The evolving world of work

Careers are becoming increasingly complex. In the world of tomorrow, it’s very likely you’ll have your day job, your business ‘on the side’ and the volunteering you do to upskill, make connections and create positive change.

Alumni who are ‘doing it all’ will talk about whether a separation of work and life is realistic. Yes, you can have it all. You just may have to have it all at once.


Tshung-Hui Chang BCom ‘93
Director, Torque Metals Limited

Lou Forster MBA ‘16
Head of Brand & People, Chorus

Andrew Walker BE ‘14

Charlotte Smail BEnvDes ’13, MArch ‘18
Consultant, Tower Human Capital Group

Stream: Moving On

Beyond the Big 4: A great, big, beautiful world

Not that there’s anything wrong with the Big 4. Or the Big 10. Or the Big 20. And not that you can’t build an amazing career in Perth with one of those companies. Just that there are options and lots of them.

Learn from a cosmopolitan alumni panel about non-traditional career paths, both in Perth and around the world.


Kate Chaney LLB ‘98
Director, Innovation and Strategy, Anglicare WA

Dr Angie Kings-Lynne BSc, BE ’02, PhD ‘06
Engineering Consultant | Transmin

Mark Stickells BA ‘94
Executive Director, Pawsey Supercomputing Centre

3pm Insider Conversations

The easiest way to describe this session is speed-dating by sector. Pre-select the four career sectors that interest you most and spend 15 minutes with alumni leaders in each. Get the inside scoop on opportunities and pathways within that sector and gain insights to help you decide if it’s a fit for you.

4pm Keynote speaker
Brenda Tournier, Director of Alumni and Community Engagement will introduce closing keynote Jay Munro, Head of Career Insights Australia & New Zealand at Indeed.
4:50 - 6pm UWA CareerConnect reception

Dr Doug McGhie, Warden of Convocation, will thank vounteers and delegates before we end a great day with refreshments and the chance to connect one more time with alumni who inspire you. This is your chance to find a mentor, arrange a catch-up, even explore job opportunities.