ISSUE 23 /MARCH 2014
As 2014 progresses, so too will our new state-of-the-art
Business School facility. As we report, the project is on
The Business School’s innovative MBA program is to be
expanded in 2014 with two new core units...
The University of Sydney inspired Besa
Deda to achieve extraordinary success
in the banking industry, but dedication
and g...
Severin.stalder (sourced from 8 June 2013, 21:15:53), The Great Wall of China at Jinshanling, Wikimedia Commons,
viewed 4t...
Wikimedia Commons,
Construction has been underway since
July last year and the Business School’s
innovative, ambitious and world-class
Professor Stephen Satchell’s
apartment at E4 Great Court, Trinity
College, Cambridge, is comfortable but
not grand and is ...
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Sydney Business Connect March 2014


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Sydney Business Connect March 2014

  2. 2. As 2014 progresses, so too will our new state-of-the-art Business School facility. As we report, the project is on schedule and will be ready to accommodate the school in early 2015. In this edition we also look at the Business School’s rapidly evolving relationship with China (page 8); we profile alumna Besa Deda who is now Chief Economist for the St.George Banking Group (page 6) and we provide an update of the activities of our multidisciplinary research networks. Importantly, we also report on the establishment of the Business School’s Business Alumni Network (page 5). Having this network in place marks another significant and exciting milestone in the Business School’s development and we invite you to actively participate in its activities in 2014. Finally, we would like to congratulate John Brogden AM and Trevor Danos AM who were recognised for their contribution to our community in the Australia Day honours. Professor Tyrone Carlin and Professor David Grant Co-Deans, The University of Sydney Business School WELCOME TO OUR FIRST EDITION OF SYDNEY BUSINESS CONNECT FOR 2014. We would like to take this opportunity to wish our alumni and friends a very happy New Year. The year ahead is promising to be exceptional for the University of Sydney Business School. We will further consolidate our position as one of the world’s leading centres for management and leadership education; continue to excel as a thought leader across an extraordinarily broad range of disciplines and see a Business School of the future rising on the Abercrombie Precinct redevelopment site (see story page 12). Of course, we look forward to a successful 2014 confident in the knowledge that it will be built on foundations laid in 2013, a year which saw our Master of Management Program ranked in the world’s top 50 by the prestigious Financial Times and our Global Executive MBA named the number one program of its kind in Australia by the Australian Financial Review’s BOSS magazine. In late 2013 we strengthened our learning and teaching environment by starting a major hiring round for new staff in areas of strategic significance. By the end of 2014 we will have engaged more than 30 new staff, including several new professors. We fully expect that these highly talented people will make an outstanding contribution to the delivery of our world-class undergraduate and postgraduate programs this year and beyond, and that they will further enhance our capacity to produce world-class research of value to business, government and the community. 2013 saw the highly successful launch of our innovative and industry-oriented MBA program, with a unique mix of units focused on leadership development and traditional management skills. This year we will expand the program with two new core units, ‘Critical analysis and thought leadership’ and ‘Managing people and organisations’, and four new elective subjects. These new units will cover important aspects of leadership, strategy and vital communication skills. Optimistic: Professor Tyrone Carlin and Professor David Grant, Co-Deans of the Business School OUR MARCH UPDATE WORLD RANKING FOR OUR MANAGEMENT COURSES London’s highly respected Financial Times has ranked the Business School’s Master of Management Program in the top five courses of its kind in Asia and in the top 50 in the world. The course was the only Australian program to be ranked by the Financial Times. Meanwhile, the Australian Financial Review’s BOSS magazine has given the top ranking to the Business School’s Global Executive MBA in its biennial assessment of management programs. WOMEN OF INFLUENCE The Chancellor of the University of Sydney and Business School alumna, Belinda Hutchinson, and the Business School’s Professor of Employment Relations, Marian Baird, have both been named among the Australian Financial Review’s ‘100 Women of Influence’. The awards are dedicated to identifying and celebrating the bold, energetic women who are changing Australia. TOP APPOINTMENT FOR OUR PROFESSOR The Business School’s Professor of Business Regulation, Professor Andrew Terry, has been appointed to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission’s key Franchising Consultative Committee. Professor Terry, an internationally respected expert on franchising, is currently engaged in a two-year research project to identify the structural, regulatory, commercial and legal barriers to the franchising sector in Southeast Asia. ALLIANCE TACKLES SHIPPING CHALLENGES COLLABORATIVELY The Business School’s Institute of Transport and Logistics Studies has joined with six of the world’s leading research institutions to address the complex challenges facing shipping ports around the world. The group, to be known as the Global Port Research Alliance, aims to establish a research and training platform in port operations, maritime and logistics through collaboration between its members and with industry. HONOURING ALUMNI ON AUSTRALIA DAY We would like to congratulate the following alumni who were recognised in the Australia Day honours for 2014.  Mr John Brogden AM (MPA ’01), graduate who has served as Chairman, Lifeline Australia since 2012. For significant service to the community through representational roles with social welfare organisations, particularly Lifeline, to the business and financial sectors, and to the Parliament of New South Wales. Mr Trevor Danos AM (LLB ’81, BEc ’81, GradDipSc ’12), graduate and current Independent Chair, Steering Committee, Sydney Adventist Hospital Clinical School at the University of Sydney. For significant service to the community through contributions to a range of scientific, education, government, legal and charitable associations. STUDENTS HAVE A VOTE The Business School’s annual Academic and Professional Staff Awards have for the first time included a students’ choice category. Dr Angelo Aspris and Vycke Zheng Wu (both from the Discipline of Finance); Dr Boris Choy (Discipline of Business Analytics); and Angela Hecimovic (Discipline of Accounting) were chosen for awards from more than 600 student nominations. BUSINESS BRIEFS THE UNIVERSITY OF SYDNEY BUSINESS SCHOOL ALUMNI MAGAZINE 2014 THE UNIVERSITY OF SYDNEY BUSINESS SCHOOL ALUMNI MAGAZINE 20142 3
  3. 3. MBA PROGRAM EXPANDS IN 2014 The Business School’s innovative MBA program is to be expanded in 2014 with two new core units and four elective subjects designed to equip the next generation of creative business leaders with cutting-edge management skills. The new core units are ‘Critical analysis and thought leadership’ and ‘Managing people and organisations’. The flagship MBA was launched in March 2013 with a mix of core units focusing on leadership development as well as more traditional and technical management areas of strategy, accounting, finance, data analytics, marketing, HR and organisational behaviour. GRADUATION THANK YOU Thank you to our alumna Arahni Sont (BEc’ 79), Board Member, Arts Access Australia and Business Alumni Network Executive Committee member, for providing an engaging occasional address to postgraduate students and families at our graduation ceremony on 11 October 2013. SAVE THE DATE – CONNECT OVER COCKTAILS IN SYDNEY The first Connect over Cocktails alumni networking reception for the year will be held from 6 – 8pm on Thursday 3 April 2014 at the University of Sydney Business School CBD Campus, Level 17, 133 Castlereagh Street, with guest speaker Angus Harris, Co-CEO, Harris Farm Markets. To register your interest in attending, please email CULTURE IS KEY TO A CAPABLE AUSTRALIAN ARMY Chief of the Australian Army, Lieutenant General David Morrison AO, told the Business School’s Annual Alumni Dinner in October 2013, “The Australian Army needs to have a more inclusive culture, because if it doesn’t, it won’t be the capable force you need it to be.” Lieutenant General Morrison spoke at length about the role of leaders in the development of organisational cultures, the army as a business, and the need to include more women in the Australian Defence Force. “I can think of no-one better qualified to dispense insights on subjects like organisational leadership and management cultures than the Chief of the Australian Army”, concluded Business School Co-Dean, Professor Tyrone Carlin. HEAD OF KEY UN WOMEN’S COMMITTEE SAYS MERITOCRACY IS A MYTH “While a merit-based system might seem fair, it is heavily influenced, perhaps unknowingly, by preconceived notions of men and women and their roles in society,” said the Executive Director of the Australian National Committee of UN Women, Julie McKay (EMBA’ 11) at a Business School Connect over Cocktails alumni event in November 2013. Ms McKay said that when a woman seeks a promotion or asks for a pay rise, she risks being seen as overly ambitious and arrogant. However, when ambition is talked of as a male quality, it is considered to be “important for leadership”. “The biggest challenge is to educate men to understand what equality means to their mothers, their daughters and their sisters,” Ms McKay said. Co-Dean, Professor David Grant; Lieutenant General David Morrison AO; and Adjunct Professor Hugh Harley, President of the Business Alumni Network EVENTS BUSINESS SCHOOL LAUNCHES VITAL ALUMNI NETWORK The Business School launched the University of Sydney Business Alumni Network (BAN) in line with its drive to strengthen ties between current students, graduates, academics and industry. BAN membership will be granted automatically to all Business School graduates, and will be open on an opt-in basis to all other University of Sydney alumni and friends. The Vice-Chancellor of the University of Sydney, Dr Michael Spence, described alumni as critical to the University and to the Business School. “Alumni are enormously important to the life of the University not only because they are our friends but because they are our advocates in the community,” Dr Spence said. “They also have a role to play as we think through strategy and the way forward.” He added that “they are also important as philanthropic support for the University”. Adjunct Professor Hugh Harley (BEc ’84, LLB ’86), Financial Services Leader at PwC Australia and an Honorary Professor at the Business School, was elected President of the new network. “I believe that universities are ultimately about communities and the success of a university really does need two-way communications between itself and its community. Alumni are a way to do that,” Adjunct Professor Harley said. “People can support the University in all sorts of different ways and, of course, the University can also support its alumni. It’s a great two-way trade.” President of the University of Sydney Alumni Council, Mrs Annie Corlett (BEc ’80), said she was “delighted” by the response from the Business School community. “I am certain that the BAN will provide new ways for alumni to reconnect with the University, the Business School and each other,” she said. Co-Dean, Professor Tyrone Carlin, said that BAN members would “benefit from opportunities to increase their business networks, further develop their capacity to serve as business leaders and discover ways that they can provide ambassadorial support to the Business School”. “The Business Alumni Network represents an important step for the Business School in our efforts to leverage the depth and breadth of business talent that the school has fostered and produced over the years,” added Co-Dean, Professor David Grant. For more information on the new network, visit From left to right, Hui Zheng, Emma Ringland, Matthew Gibbs, David Jacobs, Hugh Harley, Arahni Sont, Frank Perry, Simon Thorp; absent: Michael Crivelli, Julie McKay, Kate O’Reilly INVITATION FROM THE FACULTY OF ARTS AND SOCIAL SCIENCES TO PRE-2011 ECONOMICS ALUMNI In January 2011, the economics component of the Faculty of Economics and Business was merged with the Faculty of Arts to create the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences. Those who graduated with an economics degree before that date are eligible to receive communications from the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences. For more information, please contact Kate Macfarlane, the faculty’s Alumni Relations Manager, at THE UNIVERSITY OF SYDNEY BUSINESS SCHOOL ALUMNI MAGAZINE 2014 THE UNIVERSITY OF SYDNEY BUSINESS SCHOOL ALUMNI MAGAZINE 20144 5
  4. 4. The University of Sydney inspired Besa Deda to achieve extraordinary success in the banking industry, but dedication and good fortune also helped her along the way. Early in her career Besa Deda (BEc (Hons) ’97) was told that her success would be determined by what she knew and who she knew, as well as a little luck. Now, having reached the top in her chosen career, Besa (pictured right) believes that those observations were extraordinarily astute. Besa is the Chief Economist for the St.George Banking Group, which includes the Bank of Melbourne, BankSA and RAMS. She is one of the youngest people to hold such a senior position in the banking and finance sector and one of the few women to do so. “The University of Sydney gave me much of what I needed to know and some of the who I needed to know, through the contacts that I made while I was studying there,” says Besa, adding that there may also have been a little luck along the way. Knowledge, networks and luck, perhaps, but Besa’s success also owes a lot to her determination and her capacity for hard work. When asked about her earliest university memories, she surprisingly recalls Aesop’s fable of the Grasshopper and the Ant and the lecturer who recounted the story. The fable extols the virtues of hard work and planning for the future. SOFTER SKILLS CRUCIAL Besa appreciates the technical skills gained at university but says that the “softer skills” were also important. “You can have 10 people in a room and they can all have the same degree but they might not all be great communicators or have strong interpersonal skills,” she says. After completing her honours degree in economics in 1997, Besa joined the Colonial Group’s graduate program and in 1999 was appointed economist in the Group’s Treasury Services. In 2000 she moved to the Commonwealth Bank of Australia as an economist with CommSec and then with Global Markets. Besa also had roles as a strategist in foreign exchange and senior strategist in fixed income. She was appointed to her current position with the St.George Banking Group in 2008. “I have responsibility for the bank’s economic research and forecasting,” she explains. “This includes forecasting the RBA’s cash rate, bond yields and currencies. I also provide assessments of where the Australian economy is now and where it is likely to go and convey these assessments to staff, clients and the media.” ENCOURAGING OTHERS Is the fact that she is one of the youngest chief economists in the country and one of the few women in such a role important to her? “It is important in that it is a privilege to be in this position and there are some people who might be encouraged by it for their own careers,” she says. “But of most importance to me is that I am in a job that I really love. The people I work for and with are also important.” Has the pathway to the top been more difficult for a female economist? Again, Besa says no. “I have certainly not come across any glass ceilings here at St.George. The team has always been supportive. I have two young children and St.George has been incredibly supportive of flexible working arrangements.” Besa recalls her first St.George presentation to the board and executive management. “A lot of people in that room later sent emails of encouragement and that has stuck with me,” she says. “Sometimes I am asked externally to give presentations because they need a female on the panel but I don’t see that as discrimination,” Besa says. “I think they are making an effort to be inclusive and I see it as an opportunity to prove myself.” “I have had a career path and I have not necessarily found it harder because I am a female.” While Besa may not face age or gender-related questions, her professional knowledge and her ability to forecast economic outcomes is regularly tested by not only St.George’s senior management and the group’s clients, but also dinner party guests and members of the public. “People often think that as an economist you have the answer to everything,” she says. OK, so what about the outlook for the Australian economy? Besa answers by saying that she is expecting a gradual economic recovery in 2014, but with the slowdown in mining investment, Australia’s ability to transition growth to the non-mining sector will be crucial. “We are focusing on the decline in investment in the resources sector and the non-mining sector’s capacity to pick up the slack so the economy can continue to grow,” she says. “This is why the RBA has cut interest rates to their current level, and we feel it has left the door open for another rate cut, although it may not take up that option.” Finally, what advice would Besa offer to today’s students? “Try to study something that you really enjoy and pursue a job that you really enjoy because you are likely to be more successful if you love what you do,” she concludes. “Also, remember there is something to be learned from any role you do and, like Aesop’s fabled ant, work hard.” THE WISDOM OF AESOP INSPIRES CHIEF ECONOMIST THE UNIVERSITY OF SYDNEY BUSINESS SCHOOL ALUMNI MAGAZINE 2014 THE UNIVERSITY OF SYDNEY BUSINESS SCHOOL ALUMNI MAGAZINE 20146 7
  5. 5. Severin.stalder (sourced from 8 June 2013, 21:15:53), The Great Wall of China at Jinshanling, Wikimedia Commons, viewed 4th February 2014, BEIJING IS A BUSTLING FINANCIAL AND POLITICAL CENTRE OF GLASS AND STEEL TOWERS, TRAFFIC SNARLS AND MORE THAN 20 MILLION PEOPLE, EACH PURSUING THEIR OWN UNIQUE VERSION OF WHAT PRESIDENT XI JINPING TERMS THE CHINESE DREAM. One of those 20 million is Yong Zeng. In 2004, Ms Zeng established BESTalent Search Consulting, an executive recruitment firm which now counts leading financial institutions and international law firms among its clients. Another is Chun Ling (Michael) Zhang who, after five years with Motorola, has recently been appointed Country Senior Marketing Director for Microsoft MSN, China. While they may seem to have little in common, Ms Zeng and Mr Zhang, along with many other Chinese men and women, are pursuing their dreams with cutting-edge business and leadership skills they gained at the University of Sydney Business School. These shared skills were recently recognised in the 2013 Australia China Alumni Awards – Ms Zeng (MBA ’01) was a finalist in the Entrepreneurship category and Mr Zhang (MMktg ’11) a finalist in Corporate Achievement. The Business School currently has around 3000 Chinese students enrolled in a wide range of undergraduate and postgraduate programs. Like Ms Zeng and Mr Zhang, all of them have a dream to fulfil. “The Chinese dream means different things to different people and our students are no exception to this,” says Co-Dean, Professor David Grant. “But their dreams do share a common feature and that is to develop successful careers as business leaders.” BROADER ENGAGEMENT The Business School’s commitment to providing talented students with world-class professional and personal skills is part of a broad policy of engagement with China for the benefit of the business sectors, educational institutions and the people of both China and Australia. Over the past year, the Business School has forged new links and strengthened existing ties with key tertiary institutions in China. It has also established a China-Australia Business Research Network, which is already undertaking groundbreaking research. In recent months, the network has produced a series of reports on Chinese investment in Australia in association with its corporate partner, KPMG. THE CHINA EXPERIENCE Students engaged in the Business School’s new MBA program have provided Chinese firms with valuable insights into doing business in Australia and with local organisations, while Master of Management students have been offered internships with companies operating in China. In a tertiary education first, 24 of the Business School’s MBA students worked during the year as consultants to six Chinese organisations keen to learn about Australia and its business opportunities. “In cooperation with these Chinese companies we developed a program which allowed students to use their own work experience to provide advice on the best approach to the Australian market,” says the Business School’s Professor of Chinese Business and Management, Professor Hans Hendrischke. “There is no better place for MBA students to gain global experience than on the ground in China, particularly in Shanghai, which is such a dynamic business centre,” says the Business School’s Associate Dean, Management Education, Professor Richard Hall. In December and January, more than 40 undergraduate Bachelor of Commerce students worked as interns with 12 multinational and local firms in China including KPMG, PwC, the China Energy Conservation and Environmental Protection Group, and the accounting firm BDO. The internships in China were a part of the Business School’s highly successful Industry Placement Program. “This move reflects the importance of China to the global economy and, more specifically, Australia’s own economic future,” said the Director of the Business School’s Business Programs Unit, Dr Leanne Piggott. NEW RELATIONSHIPS In August, the Business School signed a wide-ranging memorandum of understanding on future cooperation with the prestigious Zhejiang University School of Management. “The Zhejiang University School of Management and the University of Sydney Business School are both ambitious, innovative and entrepreneurial in their teaching and research activities and we recognise these qualities in each other,” said Co-Dean, Professor Grant. The Business School also has an older relationship with Antai College of Economics and Management at Shanghai JiaoTong University, where key elements of its MBA program are now delivered. China is Australia’s most important business and trading partner, and Co- Dean, Professor Tyrone Carlin, says the Business School has a vital role to play in strengthening that partnership. “We are developing a mutually beneficial two-way street with China’s clever young people who recognise the world- class learning experience on offer at the Business School, and Australian students keen to gain valuable insights into Chinese business,” says Co-Dean, Professor Carlin. “These students are the Chinese and Australian business leaders of the future and our aim is to ensure that they are about to work closely together with a high degree of mutual understanding.” BUSINESS SCHOOL STRENGTHENS CHINA TIES THE UNIVERSITY OF SYDNEY BUSINESS SCHOOL ALUMNI MAGAZINE 2014 THE UNIVERSITY OF SYDNEY BUSINESS SCHOOL ALUMNI MAGAZINE 20148 9
  6. 6. Wikimedia Commons, WHEN BUSINESS MET SHAKESPEARE ALUMNUS MATTHEW GIBBS (BEc ’89, GradCertPA ’01) DEMONSTRATES THAT SHAKESPEARE’S POETRY RESONATES WITH THE MODERN BUSINESS WORLD. Be not afeard; the isle is full of noises, Sounds, and sweet airs, that give delight and hurt not. Sometimes a thousand twangling instruments Will hum about mine ears; and sometime voices That, if I then had waked after long sleep, Will make me sleep again; and then in dreaming, The clouds methought would open, and show riches Ready to drop upon me, that when I waked I cried to dream again. That poetic speech comes from the least poetic of characters – the half-human ‘monster’, Caliban, in The Tempest. As unlikely that poetry could drop from the mouth of Caliban, so it might seem surprising that Shakespeare applies to my work as the General Manager of Media and Communications at the Australian Securities Exchange. But as that undeniably poetic character, Hamlet, observed: “There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy.” Shakespeare’s ‘infinite variety’ of characters and themes, wisdom and insights offers guidance and nourishment daily. As his friend and sometime rival Ben Jonson wrote: “He was not of an age but for all time.” Good leadership is certainly for all time. In business, employees crave it and the market rewards it. Henry V knew it could help him win the battle of Agincourt against the odds in 1415: This day is called the feast of Crispian. He that outlives this day, and comes safe home, Will stand a tip-toe when this day is named, And rouse him at the name of Crispian. He that shall see this day, and live old age, Will yearly on the vigil feast his neighbours, And say, ‘Tomorrow is Saint Crispian.’ Then will he strip his sleeve and show his scars, And say ‘These wounds I had on Crispin’s day.’ Old men forget; yet all shall be forgot, But he’ll remember, with advantages, What feats he did that day. Then shall our names, Familiar in his mouth as household words – Harry the King, Bedford and Exeter, Warwick and Talbot, Salisbury and Gloucester - Be in their flowing cups freshly remembered. This story shall the good man teach his son; And Crispin Crispian shall ne’er go by, From this day to the ending of the world, But we in it shall be remembered. We few, we happy few, we band of brothers; For he today that sheds his blood with me Shall be my brother; be he ne’er so vile, This day shall gentle his condition; And gentlemen in England now abed Shall think themselves accursed they were not here, And hold their manhoods cheap, whiles any speaks That fought with us upon Saint Crispin’s day. Calls to band together and go the extra mile are as important in the boardroom as much as on the battlefield. Having a good name is also important. Companies value it as ‘goodwill’ and link it to trust and reputation. Shakespeare understood the importance of a good name, as did one of his least trustworthy characters, Iago from Othello: Good name in man and woman, dear my lord, Is the immediate jewel of their souls. Who steals my purse steals trash. ‘Tis something, nothing: ‘Twas mine, ’tis his, and has been slave to thousands. But he that filches from me my good name Robs me of that which not enriches him And makes me poor indeed. Not everyone appreciates Shakespeare’s words. There’s a famous story about a theatre patron loudly complaining after seeing Hamlet for the first time: “I don’t know why everybody thinks Hamlet is such a well-written play. It is full of clichés.” One of them is the financial tip given by Polonius to his son Laertes: “Neither a borrower nor a lender be.” Many a retirement saving may have been preserved if that advice had been heeded. Hamlet himself offers some useful guidance for public company boards anxious to avoid misleading the market: Suit the action to the word, the word to the action, with this special observance, that you o’erstep not the modesty of nature. In business, as in life, nothing stays the same for long, including at the top. Surveys reveal that the average tenure for CEOs in Australia is less than four and a half years. If a regime change is on the cards, Macbeth can help: “If it were done when ‘tis done, then ‘twere well / It were done quickly.” Shakespeare’s kings knew about the transience of power. Especially Richard II: For God’s sake, let us sit upon the ground And tell sad stories of the death of kings; How some have been deposed; some slain in war, Some haunted by the ghosts they have deposed; Some poison’d by their wives: some sleeping kill’d; All murder’d: for within the hollow crown That rounds the mortal temples of a king Keeps Death his court and there the antic sits, Scoffing his state and grinning at his pomp, Allowing him a breath, a little scene, To monarchise, be fear’d and kill with looks, Infusing him with self and vain conceit, As if this flesh which walls about our life, Were brass impregnable, and humour’d thus Comes at the last and with a little pin Bores through his castle wall, and farewell king! Cover your heads and mock not flesh and blood With solemn reverence: throw away respect, Tradition, form and ceremonious duty, For you have but mistook me all this while: I live with bread like you, feel want, Taste grief, need friends: subjected thus, How can you say to me, I am a king? Shakespeare’s language transcends the ages: something other 16th century favourites, such as bear baiting and codpieces, have failed to do. A line from Shakespeare can illuminate a contemporary event and bring new meaning and understanding, including to the workplace. Business knows when to cut its losses (or take its profits) and move on. As ever, Shakespeare assembled the right words – particularly in his own farewell to the theatre from The Tempest: Our revels now are ended. These our actors, As I foretold you, were all spirits and Are melted into air, into thin air: And, like the baseless fabric of this vision, The cloud-capp’d towers, the gorgeous palaces, The solemn temples, the great globe itself, Yea, all which it inherit, shall dissolve And, like this insubstantial pageant faded, Leave not a rack behind. We are such stuff As dreams are made on, and our little life Is rounded with a sleep. This article is an edited version of a speech given by Matthew Gibbs in 2013. Matthew is the General Manager, Media and Communications at the Australian Securities Exchange, and a member of the Business Alumni Network Executive Committee. New insights from Shakespeare: Matthew Gibbs THE UNIVERSITY OF SYDNEY BUSINESS SCHOOL ALUMNI MAGAZINE 2014 THE UNIVERSITY OF SYDNEY BUSINESS SCHOOL ALUMNI MAGAZINE 201410 11
  7. 7. Construction has been underway since July last year and the Business School’s innovative, ambitious and world-class centre of learning is beginning to take shape. The $250 million Abercrombie Precinct Redevelopment, as it is known, is the most significant capital investment in the Business School’s history. The new facility will include six floors of teaching, learning and administrative space with a 550-seat lecture theatre, three 300-seat theatres, learning hubs, 41 seminar rooms, eight case study rooms, and a cafe. Sydney Business Connect spoke to the University of Sydney’s Project Delivery Team. Q: Is the project on target? A: The work has been tracking well against the program since the design and construction contract was awarded to John Holland in July last year. Of course, we have quite a challenge ahead if we are to complete the remaining works by early 2015. We will be working on the structure, services, fitout and facade concurrently over the next 12 months. Q: What have you achieved so far? A: The target was to complete the first basement concrete pour before Christmas – this was successfully achieved. Another key achievement was the development of a design concept for the main atrium feature staircase, which spans six floors. A number of concepts were developed by various architectural firms. A successful design was endorsed by the University in late December. Stage 2 of the Abercrombie Precinct Redevelopment is the delivery of student accommodation facing Abercrombie Street, adjacent to the Business School. The project team was successful in negotiating with John Holland to undertake the construction of this facility in tandem with the Business School project. Works will commence in March. Despite a significant amount of plant and machinery on site and more than 70,000 hours of work time, there has been no lost time due to injuries incurred on the project. ABERCROMBIE PRECINCT PROJECT COMING TO LIFE Q: What have been the most interesting developments since July 2013? A: One of the most interesting events was a smoking ceremony held at the start of the project. The development is on the land of the Gadigal people of the Eora Nation. For this reason, John Holland invited local elder, Uncle Max, to conduct a smoking ceremony to ward off the evil spirits and to allow good spirits to enter. Q: What will we see emerging over the next 12 months? A: With the building scheduled for completion in early 2015, over the next 12 months you will see the transformation of the site from a hole in the ground to a reinforced concrete structure, services/plant installation, facade erection, and internal fitout and finishes. Q: Is it going well? A: Both the University’s Campus Infrastructure and Services management team and the contractors are driven to deliver this project in time for the first semester of teaching in 2015. Over the past six months a strong relationship has developed between the University and John Holland. We have worked in close collaboration on the design and we have been able to effectively resolve issues as they have arisen. Another social media giant is just around the corner, according to entrepreneur and Business School graduate Thai Huynh. “The University of Sydney Business School has provided me with more than a degree,” says alumnus Thai Huynh (BCom ’13). “It made me a globally minded and entrepreneurial citizen.” Thai approached the Business School because he thought his story might encourage other students and graduates to consider a business start-up as an unconventional but highly rewarding career. His story is indeed encouraging. Born in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, he arrived alone in Australia in 2007 at the age of 18. After a brief period in Adelaide, he moved to Sydney to study for a Bachelor of Commerce (Liberal Studies) degree. “The Business School provided me with very practical skills,” Thai says. “It taught me how to think.” Thai’s ability to think outside the square was tested last year when he helped facilitate a global youth leadership conference for 800 people in strife-torn Egypt. The conference was organised by AIESEC, a global not-for- profit organisation that seeks to transform talented young people into globally responsible leaders. “It was humbling to know that I was working at the conference with the next generation of leaders who could focus on world issues at a time of such civil unrest, and it inspired me to make a bigger contribution when I returned to Australia,” says Thai, who is a director of AIESEC’s Australian chapter. Now 24, Thai is applying the skills gained at the Business School to two start-up businesses. One is Jeansfit, a made- to-order online clothing outlet catering to the needs of customers who fall outside standard sizes for jeans. The other is Kapcher, described as a “global real-time online community marketplace for photographers and videographers”. “Kapcher connects event organisers to nearby photographers and videographers who can capture their next big moment within their budget and within their needs,” Thai says. Incubated while Thai was studying at the Business School, Kapcher was the runner up in the recent Sydney Startup Weekend competition and a finalist in the prestigious contest’s global level. “The Sydney event allowed my team to network, make connections and meet potential investors,” he says. While many start-ups fail, Thai says that some succeed spectacularly. “I am convinced there is another Facebook or Snapchat out there just waiting to be developed,” he says. Thai believes that students and graduates with an idea ought to devote three to six months to it. “This allows time to develop the idea, build a good team to execute it, examine the market, make connections and attract investors,” he says. “If the project fails, move on and apply what you have learnt to the next start-up.” It was the Business School’s practical, hands-on approach that gave rise to Kapcher and provided Thai with the skills to see it through. “When I reflect on my time at the Business School, I realise that it was less about systems and programs that change constantly, and more about the skills that are relevant today and will remain so into the future,” he says. THE UPSIDE OF START-UPS Aboriginal elder, Uncle Max, conducts a smoking ceremony at the construction site Thinking outside the square: Thai Huynh THE UNIVERSITY OF SYDNEY BUSINESS SCHOOL ALUMNI MAGAZINE 2014 THE UNIVERSITY OF SYDNEY BUSINESS SCHOOL ALUMNI MAGAZINE 201412 13
  8. 8. Professor Stephen Satchell’s apartment at E4 Great Court, Trinity College, Cambridge, is comfortable but not grand and is unlikely to attract a second glance from a casual observer. The apartment, or “rooms” as Professor Satchell’s home is more accurately termed in university circles, was once much larger but today consists of an unremarkable living room, a bedroom, a library, a bathroom and a kitchen. Indeed, the only hint that there is actually something special about this place comes by way of a leafless and rather forlorn apple tree which struggles in the cold of the British winter outside the living room window. “Legend has it that my tree is descended from the one that dropped the apple and thus gave rise to Sir Isaac Newton’s theories on the forces of gravity,” Professor Satchell says. “But the story of the falling apple itself is possibly a myth,” he hastens to add. The historic reality of the falling apple remains open to debate, but it is certain that Sir Isaac Newton, like Professor Satchell, was a Fellow of Trinity College, Cambridge, and again, like Professor Satchell, lived at E4 Great Court. “While the rooms have changed a great deal, many physicists and mathematicians want to see them and I have lots of visitors,” Professor Satchell says. “One Brazilian scientist was so emotionally moved that he wept profusely.” This year, Professor Satchell joins the University of Sydney Business School’s Discipline of Finance but will remain a Fellow of Trinity College and retain the rooms that were once home to the English physicist and mathematician widely regarded as one of the most influential scientists of all time. A key publication in what became known as the “scientific revolution”, Sir Isaac’s book, Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy published in 1687, laid the foundations for most of classical mechanics. His work, Principia, dealing with the laws of motion and universal gravitation, shaped science’s view of the physical universe for more than 300 years. Sir Isaac studied and taught at Cambridge before becoming a Fellow of Trinity College in 1667. It was a position that normally required the holder to take holy orders in the Church of England – a tradition Sir Isaac managed to avoid with the help of King Charles II. “I have no doubt that he had many deep thoughts in these rooms,” Professor Satchell says. “It is just a magnificent place to live and work when I am in Britain.” Professor Satchell understands that another Trinity alumnus, philosopher, mathematician and historian Bertrand Russell, also occupied the rooms at E4 Great Court, as did philosopher Charlie Broad. “The rooms were more extensive then and it said that Broad used what is now the porter’s lodge for his model train set,” Professor Satchell says. Professor Charles Martin, a distinguished Professor of Philosophy at the University of Sydney (1966– 1971) recalled during a visit to Professor Satchell’s home that as a doctoral student, he was supervised there by Broad. SYDNEY BUSINESS CONNECT Coordinator: Kathryn Cowe Writer: Trevor Watson Sydney Business Connect uses Titan Gloss coated paper which is made 100% carbon neutral, FSC certified, and Chlorine Free. Contact the Business Alumni Office: Kathryn Cowe and Alexandra Middleton Alumni Relations Managers The University of Sydney Business School The University of Sydney NSW 2006 AUSTRALIA T +61 2 9114 1128 F +61 2 9114 1140 E In consultation with staff, alumni and industry representatives, the Business School established five cross-disciplinary networks last year to undertake research in areas likely to benefit Australia’s economy and its people. In recent months, these networks have engaged with stakeholders to prepare for several strategic research projects in 2014. BUSINESS OF HEALTH NETWORK The Business of Health Network has been connecting with researchers in a range of disciplines. It has also built stronger links with the Charles Perkins Centre, the University’s obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular disease research institute. A series of workshops developing multidisciplinary project proposals are underway. The ‘Conversations in Health’ series of discussions will continue throughout 2014. BALANCED ENTERPRISE RESEARCH NETWORK (BERN) BERN has established an extensive network of more than 200 researchers and practitioners working in corporate, social and environmental sustainability. In 2014, BERN will promote sustainable business practices through a range of initiatives including: -- collaborative research with EY (formerly Ernst Young) and Net Balance -- a symposium entitled Corporate Social Responsibility: New Challenges, New Concepts -- a symposium on business and biodiversity in collaboration with the Sydney Environment Institute (SEI) and -- workshops on research methods in the area of business sustainability. RESEARCH NETWORK UPDATE INNOVATION AND CHANGE RESEARCH NETWORK The Innovation and Change Research Network has engaged with researchers across a range of disciplines as well as the representative of a venture-capital organisation in an effort to develop research proposals. It has also looked at local and international institutions to pinpoint exemplary innovation practices around the world. This will contribute to several initiatives in the coming year, including: -- a networking event to link researchers with practitioners in the venture-capital industry -- a forum inviting chief strategy officers from leading Australian companies -- a research symposium on design thinking in business and -- the establishment of an invention studio in the Business School’s CBD campus. LEADERSHIP PRACTICE AND PERFORMANCE SYSTEMS RESEARCH NETWORK (LPPS) The initial meeting of the network’s Business Reference Group in December 2013 introduced the preliminary results of the first research projects undertaken by LPPS and identified specific research priorities and projects. This year, LPPS will work with corporate members who wish to support specific research projects through access to their organisations, links to other industry contacts, and in-kind and financial support. AUSTRALIA CHINA BUSINESS RESEARCH NETWORK In 2013, the Australia China Business Research Network consolidated its public profile with high-impact reports on Chinese investment in Australia. This work provides the basis for external and internal expansion in 2014. The network will expand its public outreach through commercial consultancies currently under negotiation with state governments and peak industry bodies. NETWORK NEWS Broad enquiry, big ideas, fresh insights, best practice: it’s all on offer from our research networks in the year ahead. IF ONLY THE WALLS COULD TALK From physics to fiction, Cambridge University’s Trinity College boasts numerous esteemed alumni – and one in particular is the apple of its eye. Follow us online: Accredited by Australian member of THE UNIVERSITY OF SYDNEY BUSINESS SCHOOL ALUMNI MAGAZINE 201414 THE UNIVERSITY OF SYDNEY BUSINESS SCHOOL ALUMNI MAGAZINE 2014 15
  9. 9. CRICOS 00026A Apply now Accredited by Australian member of