The Australian National University


ANU College of Business and Economics

Welcome to the ANU College of Business and Economics’ alumni update.

I would like to start by acknowledging what a difficult time this is for everyone. The health and wellbeing of our CBE community is of upmost importance to us, so please take necessary measures to look after yourself and your loved ones.

You may be aware that ANU has now implemented remote work and study arrangements until the end of Semester 1, Saturday 27 June. During this period, we will continue to uphold the teaching and research continuity of the College, and both the University and the College are dedicating significant resources to supporting our students and staff in the areas of online course delivery, working and studying off campus, wellness, careers and employability and student services. You can also read more about the University’s efforts to mitigate the disruption here.

First alumni update for 2020

The CBE Class of 2019 is now part of our alumni cohort and I am happy to welcome them to this expanding and supportive network.

The College is also happy to welcome back alumnus Ben Mitchell, who recently returned to ANU as a Senior Fellow in the practice of Management. Ben graduated in 2019 with a Master of Business Administration and brings significant business and leadership experience from both public and private sectors to ANU. Ben has particular expertise in Indigenous affairs and was Co-Chair of the National NAIDOC Committee from 2008–2018.

In this update, I would like to share highlights from the College’s first alumni event in Melbourne, recent research and alumni accomplishments, and some of our engagement plans for 2020.

Alumni event in Melbourne

CBE held its first alumni and friends event in Melbourne on 11 February. Our keynote speaker was Mr Phil Ruthven AM, a respected futurist and strategist on business, social and economic matters, who was awarded a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) in 2014 for his services to business and the community. He shared insights into what Australia could learn from recent corporate failures. Our Communications team had the opportunity to interview Phil before the event, and I invite you to read Australia’s corporate culture needs a boost for his views on why boards of directors in Australia have become increasingly worried.

College and alumni accomplishments

The College celebrated significant research funding and publication successes in 2019, with our academics awarded funding from industry and the Australian Research Council (ARC). Nineteen CBE academics are Chief Investigators on twenty-one active research projects funded by the ARC. Many more are undertaking research funded by other parts of government, the private sector and philanthropists. Over a hundred publications were accepted into top international journals throughout 2019. You can read one recent research highlight by Associate Professor Geoff Warren, Dr Gaurav Khemka, and PhD candidate Yifu Tang here: Superannuation rise is a divided issue.

In recent award news, the University has received the Exclusive Global Employers' Choice Award (selected by 60,000+ employers among 1,600+ global university partners of Lockin China), as part of the 2020 Global University Career Development Award from Lockin China. The CBE Careers and Employability Team are a key contributor to this university-level award, which is a testament to their success in providing exceptional services and innovative programs for Chinese students over the past two years.

I would also like to highlight some personal achievements:

  • Professor Alan Welsh from the ANU Research School of Finance, Actuarial Studies and Statistics was recently appointed as a Co-Editor of Biometrics, a renowned journal that emphasises the role of statistics and mathematics in biosciences.
  • Ms Katerina Kormusheva from the ANU Research School of Management received a national award from the Australian Award for University Teaching program for her contributions to student learning. In 2019, Katerina was also the recipient of the ANU Vice-Chancellor’s award for Citation for Outstanding Contribution to Student Learning, after winning the CBE award in the same category.
  • Earlier in the year, two of our alumni were recognised for their accomplishments when they were awarded Australia Day Honours:
    • Catherine Holmes AC, who became Queensland's first female Chief Justice in 2015, was awarded a Companion of the Order of Australia (AC). She was recognised for her eminent service to the judiciary, notably to criminal, administrative, and mental health law, and to the community of Queensland. Catherine graduated from ANU with a Bachelor of Economics in 1977.
    • Mike Wilson OAM, whose service to community health, particularly to diabetes research, was recognised with a Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM). He is currently the Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director of Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation Australia, a not-for-profit supporter of Type 1 diabetes research. Mike graduated from ANU in 1995 with a Bachelor of Economics. You can read about Mike’s insights on improving the levels of collaboration between research and industry in Australia, and why it’s an exciting time to be part of the country’s not-for-profit sector in his interview Reinforcing Community Health.
  • Last month, CBE alumna Jamila Rizvi was named the Victorian recipient of the 2020 Australian Award for Excellence in Women's Leadership. The Awards recognise the contribution of women towards the advancement of gender equality across Australia, who have improved the likelihood of other women within their field having greater access to leadership equality.
  • Finally, I would like to acknowledge CBE alumna Sophia Hamblin Wang, who was recognised by Time Magazine as one of the six innovators who are making the planet a more sustainable and accessible place for future generations. Sophia is the Chief Operating Officer of Australia-based Company Mineral Carbonation International (MCi) and spoke to CBE’s Graduating Class of 2019.

Congratulations to each of you on your accomplishments!

Looking ahead

Although we have had to postpone a number of events scheduled in Australia and overseas over the coming months, our commitment to providing CBE alumni with an abundance of opportunities is unwavering.

I encourage you to keep an eye on the CBE events webpage, which we will continue to update with virtual event opportunities for our alumni.

In times of crisis, it is more important than ever for researchers to use their subject matter expertise to solve the social and economic issues we all face. The College has set up a new page that is home to academic responses to COVID-19, and features their ongoing contributions to policy development. Professors Rabee Tourky and Rohan Pitchford, along with prominent CBE alumni, have been instrumental in the debate around how to position the Australian economy during this crisis to ensure a speedy recovery. Their work has helped the Government adopt an approach of “economic hibernation”. Read more about it here.

Virtual career workshops for students and alumni

We learn from those who come before us. The CBE Advancement team and the CBE Careers team are seeking your expertise to support students and other alumni in their career journey via a series of virtual workshops. This is a great opportunity for you to engage with our brilliant CBE students and alumni; profile your professional experience and knowledge; discuss emerging trends in your field; highlight your organisation; and make a difference.

If you would like to volunteer to lead a virtual workshop (on a topic of your choice, either in a group/panel or individually), please register your interest here.

For enquiries about the virtual career workshops or to share any ideas you may have about alumni activities we could implement, including during these challenging times, please contact

Please stay connected with us through our LinkedIn page for more stories and information related to alumni engagement, research and student experiences at the College.

Be well and stay safe,

Professor Steven Roberts

Dean, ANU College of Business and Economics


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Read more about our research at


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