Events » 2016 Service Improvement and Innovation in Universities

2016 Service Improvement and Innovation in Universities

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In October last year, with guidance and support from a steering group of senior university sector leaders, the LH Martin Institute ran its first Service Improvement and Innovation in Universities conference in Melbourne. With over 100 delegates attending, this two day event was very well received. It built on earlier successful Service Improvement conferences at the University of South Australia in 2012 and the University of Newcastle in 2013.

This year’s conference will take place in Brisbane on 11 and 12 August. Once again organised by the sector and for the sector on the principle of high quality – low cost to participants, our broad aim remains to build our capability as institutions, and boost the overall performance of universities.

Download the full conference agenda here.


1. Future landscape for universities
New contexts, new tools, new providers, new business models, new ideas: We welcome speakers from all backgrounds and contexts who have a vision for the future. Topics may include the university of the future, new providers, programs of the future, the future student experience, community engagement in the future, the role of industry collaborations, research innovations or how technology, social media or science may shape the future. This is the theme where there are no boundaries. Speakers will inspire us and challenge you and the status quo.

2. Deciding what to change
How does your organisation or business area decide what to change? What process do they follow? What evidence is required? How are priorities determined? 'What internal and external resources are used? How is buy in achieved? In this theme we are interested in uncovering the different approaches used by organisations, business areas or leadership groups to decide what to change (and what to keep). We want to uncover what works and what doesn’t and why. (Examples may include planning processes, stakeholder consultation, financial pressures, portfolio management, business process reviews, developing a business case, responding to a crisis).

3. Delivering change
Once decisions to change have been made, share with us your case studies of implementing service improvement or service innovation. What was the plan, and how did it go? Presentations may vary from ICT projects though to program reviews, establishing a new research institute, closing a department or letting people go. Presenters will walk through the processes followed, obstacles faced and overcome (or not), tactics used, lessons learnt and benefits realised.

Presentations and case studies from leaders within and beyond the sector will offer insights into service improvement and innovation, organisational redesign challenges, as well as potentially transformative or disruptive projects.

Would like to submit a paper or contribution? Read our Call for Papers page for more information.


The presenters below are correct as of 30 June 2016.

Professor Michael Rosemann,  Head of Information Systems School, Queensland University of Technology

Dr Rosemann is a disruptive thinker with a passion for foresight innovation, process design and research management. His work is focused on creating exciting future worlds with today’s possibilities making current practices obsolete.

Professor Anthony Arundel, Director and Professor of Innovation, University of Tasmania

Anthony Arundel has been involved in the design and statistical analysis of several large-scale questionnaire surveys including the Community Innovation Survey (CIS) in Europe, several European Innobarometer surveys, the Canadian SIBS survey, the Australian Public Sector Innovation Indicators (APSII) survey, the Tasmanian Innovation Census and a recent survey of management and service innovations in Australian and New Zealand universities.


Associate Professor Ian Marshman, Honorary Fellow, Melbourne  Centre for the Study of Higher Education, University of Melbourne

Ian has played major roles in reform of the University’s administration, the implementation of new administrative systems and processes, budgetary and planning reform, the development of the Melbourne Scholarships program and student-facing aspects of the Melbourne Model, the planning and implementation of major University projects and the management of University’s quality assurance and improvement activities.




Professor Dawn Freshwater, Senior Deputy Vice Chancellor & Registrar, University of Western Australia

Having a research track record in working with marginalized groups, including offenders and those experiencing severe and enduring mental health problems, Dawn has developed creative and imaginative approaches to inclusivity and to understanding how large organizations use social systems as defence mechanisms as a proxy for managing uncertainty and anxiety.


 Mr Craig McInnis, Director, PhillipsKPA

Craig’s consultancies at PhillipsKPA cover a wide range of higher education policy and organisational issues and include program evaluations, strategic reviews of universities and faculties, and due diligence assessments of institutional performance. He has led many high-profile policy projects and initiatives promoting national and institutional change for government and universities across all Australian jurisdictions, as well as internationally.





Dr Sallyanne Atkinson AO, President of the Council of Women's College at the University of Queensland and former Lord Mayor, Brisbane City

A non-executive company director since 1991, she is a former Lord Mayor of Brisbane and former Senior Trade Commissioner to Paris, Chair of Queensland Tourism and Special Representative for Queensland in South East Asia. She is currently an active mentor to businesses large and small, and is currently President of the Council of Women’s College at the University of Queensland, Chair of the Advisory Board of the Queensland Brain Institute at UQ and holds Honorary Doctorates from three universities.


Mr William Confalonieri, Chief Digital Officer, Deakin University

Having passion for the application of emerging technologies, he believes that digital innovations and changes in technological paradigms will substantially transform organisations and industries over the next few years, with the evolving expectations on rich digital experiences being the enablers of that transformation.



Dr Kristin Alford, Director - Science, Creativity & Education (Sci.C.Ed) Studio at University of South Australia

Kristin is a futurist and the the inaugural Director of the Science Creativity Education (Sci.C.Ed) Studio. This new cultural institution at the University of South Australia aims to inspire young adults about the potential of science in creating futures.



Dr Simon Eassom, Global Manager of Education Solutions, IBM Smarter Cities

Within IBM, Simon has worked to integrate a full range of services and solutions for the Education sector – from business strategy development and IT operations to resource productivity; from cost reduction and organizational restructuring to driving innovation and change through the adoption of digital technologies – that combine the best of IBM’s class-leading technologies into comprehensive solutions that help educational institutions succeed in a changing environment and global marketplace.


Mr Dorjee Sun, serial social entrepreneur and director of social enterprises such as Who Gives, Carbon Agro and Carbon Conservation.

Dorjee is a serial social entrepreneur who has founded 15 companies with 2 acquisitions and 4 exits and assets sales. Dorjee is a founder and director of the Home Group which owns equity in companies that work in the areas of conservation, agriculture, philanthropy, technology and financial innovation.



Ms Jan Owen AM, Chief Executive Officer, Foundation for Young Australians

A pioneer of the youth sector in Australia, Jan has dedicated most of her working life to social change and encouraging young people to give back and invest their talents in their communities and things they are passionate about. Jan is the author of Every Childhood Lasts a Lifetime (1996) and The Future Chasers (2014) and in 1999 received a fellowship for leadership and innovation to the Peter Drucker Foundation in the US. Read more about the New Work Order in Jan's blog post.


Read more about the key presenters and steering committee.


  • Gain valuable insights from leaders and peers in the sector who have successfully carried out transformational change, big and small.
  • Opportunities to discuss key issues affecting your institution and the sector as a whole.
  • Bring back ideas on how to establish a service improvement initiative in your institution or extract more value from a current one.
  • Learn how to think outside the square, create focus on people and culture and translate these into results for your institution.
  • Enhance your institution’s chances of future success through an increase in service quality.
  • Opportunities to network with peers and participate in interactive group sessions that will capture new thinking and better practices.


Senior university executives and managers or directors of business units, particularly those with responsibilities for business and process improvement, change management, administration, planning and service delivery.

Below are examples of their position titles.

• Deputy or Pro Vice-Chancellor
• Registrar or Deputy
• Vice-Principal or Deputy
• Chief Operating Officer
• Chief Finance Officer
• Chief Information Officer
• Project Director or Manager
• Director or Manager of Business Improvement
• Director or Manager of Change or Transformation
• Director or Manager of Administration
• Director or Manager of Planning
• Director or Manager of Services (e.g. Student Services, Research, HR, Finance and IT)


This conference is organised by the LH Martin Institute and led by a steering committee comprising:

Stephen Weller, Chief Operating Officer, Australian Catholic University and Past President, Association for Tertiary Education Management. Read Stephen's blog article on the pursuit of service excellence.
Janet Beard, Senior Honorary, Fellow LH Martin Institute, University of Melbourne
Karen Hill, Chief Information Officer, The Australian National University
Mark Williams, Strategic Projects Director, University of South Australia.

We have set a modest fee to cover costs rather than to make profits, with discounts for group bookings.


“An excellent event, the best and most useful conference I've been to in a long time.” – 2015 participant

“The presentations from speakers outside the higher education sector were of more interest and value to me. They are far ahead of us on service excellence in the digital age.” – 2015 participant

“The choice of keynote speakers was really good, generally great to hear about instances in other industries and not just our own since we are all working in that environment.” – 2015 participant


Conference opens (registrations): 8.30am, Thursday, 11th August 2016.
Conference closes: 3.30pm, Friday, 12 August 2016.

Note: The start and closing times are indicative only and subject to change; once confirmed, the full conference program will be available on this website.

Venue: Pullman Hotel, King George Square, Brisbane

Dinner Venue: Fix Restaurant @ Port Office Hotel, Cnr Margaret & Edward Streets, Brisbane


A$1,250 + GST

The conference fee is set and includes meals during the conference sessions and conference dinner on the first evening. It does not include travel and accommodation. See information on accommodation below.

10% discount applies for a group conference registration with five or more people from the same institution. Please contact Melissa Hendicott to make a group registration.


Registration is now closed. Top organise late registrations, please contact Melissa Hendicott ( or call +61 3 9035 6429)



For full details on acommodation and special conference rates, please download the General Information sheet.

General enquiry

For other queries regarding this conference, please contact Melissa Hendicott or call +61 3 9035 6429.

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