Open Colleges
Login
Phone Icon 1300 161 345
Free Course Guide

Our People

Our People

Open Colleges is built on team engagement, passion and diversity and our people are focused on a commitment to improving the standard of education opportunities available to adult learners in Australia.

Get a Free Course Guide

/ Our People

Our Leadership Team

The culture of Open Colleges is founded on over a century of commitment to high standards, accessibility, affordability and real engagement between students, trainers, support staff and management, as well as dedicated faculty direction.

Our people are here because they have all been students at some time, and are now top professionals in their field, committed to providing you with the best student and stakeholder experience possible.

Jose Miguel Herrera-Perea

Managing Director 

Over the past 20 years, Jose has held positions driving growth and shareholder value in Europe, Australia and Asia. Jose’s passion for education is exhibited through his studies and career choices. 

Prior to joining Open Colleges, Jose amassed a wealth of experience across iconic organisations at the cutting edge of digital such as Google, SEEK Ltd, IDP Education Pty Ltd and Fujitsu. As COO, Jose led an ASX listed start-up focused on artificial intelligence for 3 years.  

Before that, he was Executive General Manager of Open Universities Australia Pty Ltd (OUA) for 6 years. His key achievements include leading OUA's emerging digital division, globally launching Open2Study: a MOOC platform and building an engaged community of 1+ million users across 100+ countries within two years.  

In 2014, Jose was accepted by Stanford University in the Stanford Innovation and Entrepreneurship Certificate Program. His qualifications include:

  • Graduate Certificate of Business Management from Monash University  
  • Bachelor in Business Management and Organisation from Universidad Complutense de Madrid 
  • Diploma in Web Design from Dublin Business School 
  • The APAC Executive Programme from INSEAD 
  • Member of the Institute of Public Accountants (IPA) 

Jose is bringing in a new era at Open Colleges, by providing new direction through transparency and collaborative leadership. 

Alexis Watt

Chief Executive Officer - Open Colleges Services

As CEO of Open Colleges Services, Alexis engages with a wide variety of organisations including Universities, non-University Higher Education Providers TAFEs, independent RTOs, employment and labour market agencies, and governments. Working closely with partners across this network, Alexis and his team apply technology to education, developing and delivering innovative solutions to meet the needs of students, workers, institutions and governments.

Alexis holds a number of appointments to State and Commonwealth government commissions and with steering groups involved in developing tertiary education and workforce skills for domestic and international students. His role covers policy, funding, innovation and reform and he strives to continuously improve the experience of tertiary education to better support lifelong learning, career development, and personal and economic productivity.

Alexis has managed multiple national and local programs with State and Commonwealth governments, working on international student pathways from South East Asia, India, Nepal and Kenya. He has also worked on large scale projects in aged care, community care and health industries. 

As a Board member and Deputy Chair (VET) of the Independent Tertiary Education Council Australia, the national peak body for private education and training, Alexis has unique insights into national policy for the VET sector, including funding, regulation, quality assurance and reform.

Jaco Jonker

Executive General Manager - Corporate Services and Chief Financial Officer

Jaco is a multifaceted leader having held executive positions across various industries.   

With a career spanning over 19 years of financial expertise, Jaco has worked in the capacity of CFO, CEO and now as Executive General Manager at Open Colleges.   

Jaco spent 10 years at South Africa’s leading e-commerce marketplace ‘bidorbuy.co.za’, where he was responsible for the overall management, growth and strategic direction of the business. He was also responsible for identifying and executing on opportunities for investment in start-ups and other complementary technology businesses, including a very successful online payments aggregator. He has also worked in financial roles at Rectron Pty Ltd as the group financial director and gained 4 years of auditing experience at Deloitte in South Africa and the USA. 

As a CFA charter holder and Chartered Accountant, he has a wealth of experience in auditing, financial reporting, budgeting, forecasting, modelling, valuations, management and strategic planning.    

Jaco has gained skills across various countries, including South Africa, USA, UK and Australia. He has served on several boards of directors and executive committees spanning several industries including, distribution, online marketplaces and online payment aggregators.  

His qualifications include: 

  • Bachelor of Commerce (Honours) in Accounting & Finance from the University of Johannesburg.  
  • Member of the South African Institute of Chartered Accountants (SAICA) 
  • Member of CFA Institute 

Jaco joined Open Colleges as interim CFO and has now assumed the position of Executive General Manager and CFO where he is involved in finance, technology, data and course development. 

Jeff Lim

Executive General Manager - Customer Experience 

Jeff is an accomplished senior leader, with over 20 years’ experience in marketing, business strategy and digital specialisation.  

He has worked across a range of industries including sport, leisure and recreation, education, media (digital, TV & print), news and entertainment, property, auto, employment, travel, transport, consulting and more. 

Having held C-level and senior executive marketing roles at The B Hive, ingogo, Nine Entertainment Co, The Travel Corporation, Fairfax Media and MGSM, marketing great brands like nine, Domain, AAT Kings, Daily Mail Australia, 9Now,  MyCareer, Mi9 and more. 

He holds a Masters of Management and a Postgraduate Diploma in Management from Macquarie Graduate School of Management and a Bachelor of Commerce in Marketing from Western Sydney University. Jeff is an Associate Fellow of the Australian Marketing Institute (AFAMI), a Certified Practicing Marketer (CPM) and has won several marketing industry awards. 

At Open Colleges, he leads the customer-facing teams prior to enrolling as a student, across the areas of sales, marketing, product and technology.  

Christine Robertson

Executive General Manager - Education and Training

Over the last 20 years Christine has held a wide range of teaching, education management and executive leadership roles in Vocational Education Institutes and dual sector Universities across Australia.

Prior to joining Open Colleges she held the role of Executive Director Quality and Performance at Holmesglen, one of Australia’s largest and most innovative TAFE Institutes. Before this she was the Pro Vice-Chancellor Vocational Education and Training at Charles Darwin University in the Northern Territory, with responsibility for building a strong and skilled workforce to service major regional  infrastructure projects and community and economic development needs across the Northern Territory and South East Asia.

Her achievements in this role included leading significant strategic, operational and cultural change across the University’s VET sector to revitalise key aspects of the educational leadership and quality management practices.  

Integral to this change was the development of a new brand and marketing strategy to more effectively communicate the value, quality and relevance of vocational education and training to prospective students, industry and community partners.

Under her leadership, CDU VET was recognised as one of Australia’s top three VET training providers at the 2017 Australian Training Awards and was the Northern Territory’s Training Provider of the Year across two consecutive years - 2017 and 2018. The new CDU VET Brand won a Gold and Silver Award for Business Innovation and re-branding at the 2018 Asia Pacific Stevie Brand Innovation and Marketing Awards. 

Before moving to the Northern Territory Christine was the Deputy Director Vocational Education at RMIT University where she led the design and implementation of a range of innovative training partnerships with state based, national and international government, commercial and community enterprises.

Christine was the former Deputy Chair of TAFE Director’s Australia and holds academic qualifications in Community Development and Adult Education, vocational qualifications in Training and Assessment and Management, and a Masters of Education Leadership and Management.

Erik van Eekelen

Executive General Manager - EduTech

With over 15 years of international experience in online retail, logistics, fintech, greentech and online education, Erik is an experienced leader in Product, Technology and Innovation.

Prior to starting at Open Colleges, Erik worked in positions as CTO, CIO, Head of Product, and Head of Business Transformation for a variety of organisations, including the largest online retailer in The Netherlands (Bol.com), the most advanced European start-up in the field of distributed (green) energy management for Electric Vehicles, and a number of successful consultancies.

During his last period in Australia, Erik was the CIO of Open Universities Australia, in which his responsibilities included the fast-tracked development of the first Australian MOOC (Massive Open Online Courses) platform with over 1 million students across 2.5 years.

Erik holds a Masters in Artificial Intelligence, with a minor a Business Economics from the University of Amsterdam and is an accredited facilitator and trainer in several agile, lean and innovation methodologies. Erik is a regular international public speaker with a number of keynote appearances over the years including European Commission Event (Dublin), DreamForce Conference (San Francisco) and CXO Disrupt (Brisbane), just to name a few.

At Open Colleges, Erik leads the Education Technology teams responsible for the digital learning experience of the student and all system development. This includes the areas of product management, software development and configuration, and learning experience.

Bill Lovegrove

Chair

Emeritus Professor Lovegrove was the Vice Chancellor and President of the University of Southern Queensland (USQ) from 2003 until retiring as USQ’s longest serving Vice-Chancellor in December 2011.

Prior to his appointment at USQ, Emeritus Professor Lovegrove was Deputy Vice Chancellor (Research, Internationalisation and Commercialisation) at Griffith University. He also held senior positions at the University of Wollongong after commencing his academic career at the University of Tasmania. Throughout his career Emeritus Professor Lovegrove developed an international research profile in the area of visual information processing and dyslexia.

Emeritus Professor Lovegrove’s qualifications include a Bachelor of Arts, First Class Honors and PhD in Psychology through the University of Queensland. He also completed an Advanced Executive Program at the Kellogg School of Business of North Western University in the United States.

He has extensive committee and Board experience having represented Universities Australia on the Universities Grants Committee of the University of the South Pacific, the Board of the Australian Universities Quality Agency (AUQA), the Board of Australian University Sport and chaired the Board of Graduate Careers Australia. He has also been a member of the board of a number of CRCs and is currently the Chair of the Study Queensland Industry Council and the Board of the Smart Water Research Centre.

Cathy Stone

Cathy's professional background is in Social Work, student support and research aimed at enhancing student equity in higher education. 

Accredited as a Mental Health Social Worker with the AASW, and a member of the Australian College of Social Work, Cathy has a long standing interest in and commitment to student equity, widening participation and improving the student experience for increasingly diverse university student cohorts. 

Following nearly 20 years in management and counselling within Student and Academic Services at the University of Newcastle, Cathy worked with Open Universities Australia as the Director of Student Success until the end of 2014.

Marcia Devlin

Professor Marcia Devlin’s research interests and expertise span higher education policy, equity, Indigenous higher education, standards, leadership, interdisciplinarity, teaching and learning, student engagement and learning, digital education and eLearning.

Current and recent national work includes contributing to federal policy development in the area of equity and leading national studies of effective teaching and support of students from low socioeconomic status backgrounds and of effective university leadership of learning and teaching.

She currently holds an Australian Research Council (ARC) grant on international student policy.

The author and co-author of more than 360 commissioned reports, studies, and articles in international peer-reviewed journals, Marcia also writes regularly on higher education matters for newspapers. Professor Devlin launched the SHEER Centre and presented the inaugural Sounding Board Scholars address in 2013. 

Get a Free Course Guide

Enter your details below to receive a free course guide and a consultation with an Education Advisor.

By downloading the Course Guide, you agree to our Privacy Policy and receiving email and other forms of communication from us. You can opt-out at any time.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.