Member Details

Mr John Abbott AM

John Abbott AM
Mr John Abbott AM

John has had a long career in operations and business management in power generation, oil and gas, chemicals and minerals processing. John has both Engineering and Law qualifications and is a Fellow of the Institution of Engineers Australia. John has had a long association with CQUniversity with the development of postgraduate courses in Engineering.

Professor Nick Klomp

CQUni Vice-Chancellor Professor Nick Klomp
Professor Nick Klomp

In his role as Vice-Chancellor and President, Nick drives the strategic planning, financial and external affairs of the University across its network of campus and teaching locations in Australia. Nick also represents the University to government, industry, the wider community and internationally. Nick is passionate about student engagement in learning, excellence in teaching, and research with impact. He has been presented with a teaching excellence award, has been nominated for awards in the promotion of science, and is recognised internationally for his research in applied ecology and environmental science.

Associate Professor Celeste Lawson

CQUni Council member Celeste Lawson
Associate Professor Celeste Lawson

Celeste is President and Chair of CQUniversity's Academic Board. She is also the Head of CQUniversity's Professional Communication degree. She has extensive practical experience in journalism and policing. She researches and publishes in social media, communication and public relations, with a focus on pedagogy, adult learning and online education. She has published Communication Skills for Business Professionals (Cambridge University Press), and was an editor in Constructing Methodology for Qualitative Research (Palgrave Macmillan). Celeste teaches undergraduate and postgraduate students in public relations and communication units and supervises Masters and PhD students.

Emeritus Professor Robert Castle

CQUni Council member Robert Castle
Emeritus Professor Robert Castle

Rob is an economist who has extensive experience in international education and academic administration. He was Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic) at the University of Wollongong and has served in many advisory roles in higher education.

Mr Peter Corones AM

CQUni Council member Peter Corones
Peter Corones AM

Peter is a business proprietor with a strong business background of some forty years. He has spent a large part of his working life in community involvement and local Government including serving as Mayor of Gladstone City for 14 years. Peter has a wealth of experience and knowledge in industrial development, tourism, education and training, and environmental responsibility. His civic duties include membership of a number of key private and Government boards across three decades, including some 18 years as a director of the Gladstone Ports Corporation. He was a founding director and has served as Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of the region’s primary promotional and development agency established in 1983, the Gladstone Area Promotion and Development Limited, which today celebrates over 30 years. Peter has been acknowledged for his service to the community of the Gladstone Region with his appointment as a Member of the Order of Australia in 2009.

Dr Rochelle Macdonald

CQUni Council member Rochelle Macdonald
Dr Rochelle Macdonald

Rochelle is the Chief Executive Officer of Mid West Ports and is based in Geraldton, WA. As an experienced executive in the maritime transport sector, Rochelle has a proven track record in strategy development, project delivery, commercial negotiations and in achieving significant growth in trade. She has played a key role in the design and delivery of key projects of national significance, on behalf of the State of Western Australia, including Gorgon, Pluto, Wheatstone, Anketel, and Cape Preston East. Rochelle’s approach to stakeholder engagement includes significant consultation with and development projects for local communities. Rochelle has a belief in the value that education offers to all, and is particularly interested in generating work placements for job-ready graduates.

Mr Ian McPhee AO PSM

CQUni Council member Ian McPhee
Mr Ian McPhee AO PSM

Ian is a company director, a member of a number of audit committees, and has undertaken a range of strategic governance reviews. Ian has held a range of senior executive positions in the Australian Public Service, including Deputy Secretary, Financial Management Group, Department of Finance, and Auditor-General for Australia from 2005 to 2015. Following his accounting studies at CQU, Ian has had a close involvement with the accounting profession during his career, having served as a member, Deputy Chair or Chair of several Standards Boards. He is currently a member of the International Ethics Standards Board for Accountants. Ian is a Fellow (and Life Member) of CPAA, CA ANZ and IPAA, and a graduate of the AICD. Ian was awarded an honorary First Class Medal of Honour by the Government of Indonesia in 2009, an honorary degree of Doctor of Central Queensland University in 2012, and is currently a Distinguished Honorary Professor at the Australian National University.

Dr Robyn Minchinton

CQUni Council member Robyn Minchinton
Dr Robyn Minchinton

Robyn is a medical scientist; her career has spanned over 40 years in the public health sector in diagnostics and research in hospitals, the Red Cross Blood Service and higher education. Robyn is experienced in executive and laboratory management, corporate and research governance. She is a Consumer Representative on several Cancer Australia committees. Robyn is dedicated to mentoring students and early career scientists and supports research collaborations and real community involvement in research. She champions lifelong learning for everyone.

Ms Patrice Brown

CQUni Council member Patrice Brown
Patrice Brown

Patrice is a proud CQU alumni, fifth-generation Central Queenslander and successful businesswoman with significant experience as a board director for a range of regional organisations. Patrice is the CEO and founder of CQG Consulting, one of regional Queensland’s largest environmental consultancy firms and 50% owner of Tunuba Pty Ltd, a Darumbal Indigenous business. She has led numerous multi-disciplinary teams to deliver environmental impact assessments for major projects throughout Australia and presented at national and international conferences on sustainability, impact assessment and Indigenous engagement. Awarded the Telstra Business Women’s Queensland Entrepreneur in 2017 and the Institute of Managers and Leaders’ Owner/ Entrepreneur in 2018, she was one of 10 female business leaders in the Queensland Government’s Advancing Women in Business Initiative and a member of the Queensland Premier’s former Business Advisory Council. Patrice plays an active role in regional communities through various advisory body roles.

Mr Joel Buchholz

CQUni Council member Joel Buchholz
Joel Buchholz

Joel is the Principal of Pimlico State High School in Townsville. He has taught and held leadership roles in a range of public schools in rural, regional and metropolitan settings as well as within remote Indigenous communities. Joel has also held a number of advisory and board roles with a focus on youth, education and regional development. He is one of twelve Queensland Plan Ambassadors appointed by the Premier to lead community engagement and provide strategic advice in relation to the state's 30-year strategic plan. Joel is a member of the Board of Trustees of the Council of International Schools and he has previously served as the Deputy Convenor of the National Advisory Council for the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.

Ms Shelia Houston

CQUni Council member Shelia Houston
Shelia Houston

Shelia has been actively involved in the field of International Education for over 25 years. She has extensive experience successfully leading large, complex and diverse global organisations, including one of the world's largest study abroad companies. Shelia is also passionate about philanthropy and is helping students in need through her Foundation for Global Scholars.

Mr Mark Peters

CQUni Council member Mark Peters
Mark Peters

Mark has practised as a Lawyer for over thirty years in the UK, NSW and Queensland. He has a strong background in commercial litigation and now practises solely in employment law and workplace relations. He has a passion for good corporate governance, particularly in education, having held board positions in one of Queensland's largest group training apprenticeship schemes, and a leading independent school in North Queensland where he was Chairman for over 12 years.

Dr Gerard Ilott

CQUni Council member Gerard Illot
Dr Gerard Illot

Gerard has been serving CQUniversity since 1994 in both professional and academic roles and is the elected Academic or Teaching Staff member on Council. He is a Fellow of CPA Australia and is also a Chartered Accountant. In 2014 he was admitted to the award of Doctor of Philosophy for his thesis on information technology governance and its relationship with corporate governance. Gerard brings knowledge and experience to his role of Council Member, especially concerning project evaluation, financial risk, and financial reporting.

Mr Bruce Young

CQUni Council member Bruce Young
Bruce Young

Bruce is the elected Professional Staff member on Council. Bruce is a Senior Systems Engineer in the Information and Technology Directorate. Bruce is an Alumnus and long-standing staff member of CQUniversity and has been part of the journey from the days of the Capricornia Institute to the diverse locations and offerings we have today. Bruce has a strong family bond to CQUniversity with his wife, both of his parents and his brothers also being alumni. Bruce has strong community ties in Rockhampton, particularly with sporting affiliations in basketball and Australian Rules Football.

Miss Gabrielle Rooney

Gabrielle Rooney
Gabrielle Rooney

Gabrielle is the elected student member. Coming from a rural background, Gabrielle is very passionate about rural growth, promotion and opportunities. She is currently in her third year of a Bachelor of Education (Secondary) with minors in Mathematics and Psychology. Teaching is one of Gabrielle's many passions and she hopes to be able to eventually return to rural areas and supply a high quality of support, opportunity and education for disadvantaged students. She is very eager to learn from this position on the Council and looks forward to the future outcomes of CQUniversity.