Archive for the ‘ABS News’ Category

ABS Team Wins ‘Best Paper’ Award

Thursday, July 12, 2018

At the beginning of July Associate Professor Lisa Barnes (Head of ABS) presented a paper authored by Warrick Long, Lisa Barnes, Maria Northcote and Tony Williams to the annual Accounting and Finance academics in Australia and New Zealand (AFAANZ), held in Auckland, NZ. The paper was titled ‘Disruptive Changing University Environments: Have Accounting Academics been gazumped?’, and won the best paper award for the education stream at the conference. The topic comes from the PhD work of Warrick on the lived experience of Australian accounting academics. Congratulations to Warrick, Lisa and the other authors.

Welcome MLM Winter School Students!

Friday, July 6, 2018

July means Winter School for the Masters of Leadership and Management (MLM) students in ABS. Each year they come for their two week residential component of their program.

In this first week students in the Strategic Planning for Leadership unit worked on a group presentation project, which was presented on Thursday, under the watchful eye of Associate Professor Lisa Barnes.

Enjoy the collegial time together and the opportunity to not only learn from fantastic ABS staff, but to also from each other and build your professional network.

The Importance of Being Earners

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

The ABS team understands the values of relationships with stakeholders, and the importance of networking. This was validated to our 2nd and 3rd year cohorts of students by encouraging them to attend our two excursions held in Semester 1, 2018.

The first one was to “Professional Advantage” an IT company based in North Sydney (  Run by Avondale Alumni Derek Rippingale, the firm gave their time to give students a tour of the three story building, and the opportunity to talk to staff about their career journey, and how many of them literally fell into positions due to people they knew or networks like “LinkedIn”.

Students were then given the opportunity to reflect on the importance of CVs, and some even put their own CVs up for analysis by the group to seek improvement. The lesson here was if you only had 10 seconds to review a CV, what would you really see? They were then briefed on the importance of choosing the right staff with the right cultural fit. They also directed students to their blog for further information Feedback from the day was overall that students enjoyed visiting a real life business, talking to real employees and finding out how to improve their CVs to get past the 10 second rule.

Figure 1: Professional Advantage:

The second excursion was two fold, firstly it involved a tour of the Palmdale Group ( facility at Ourimbah, including the grounds, the Chapels and the crematorium. Students were given the opportunity to ask staff questions regarding the industry, potential growth, challenges that lie ahead and were treated to morning tea in the new café, an identified growth area of the business. Part 2 of the excursion was a visit to Life Health Foods, ( where the CEO Dean Epps gave a presentation of the growth of the firm over its 3 years since its inception. Students were then given a tour of the factory, and were given a taste of the products along with a presentation done by marketing in terms of future growth within the plant based food industry.

Figure 2: Life Health Foods:

Students enjoyed the variety of businesses that they visited and especially the behind the scenes tours. Some students were interested in potential internship programs offered by the businesses, in the hope they would gain some real world job experience before they graduate.

Finally the Life Health Foods HR manager gave a talk on the importance of engagement on your resume, showing that by going above and beyond the norm, will put you in front of other graduates, thereby confirming stakeholder engagement and networking can help students in their quest of the importance of being earners.

Another enriching student experience provided by Avondale Business School.

Avondale College Research Soars to new International Heights

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Avondale Business School presented a paper at the European Accounting Association ( Annual Conference at Bocconi University entitled “Are they ready? Accounting academics’ perspectives of the preparedness of new student cohorts”. The paper was from the research done by Warrick Long as part of his PhD, and was co-written by colleagues, Associate Professor Lisa Barnes, Professor Tony Williams and Associate Professor Maria Northcote, all from Avondale College of Higher Education. It was presented in Milan, Italy on 1st June 2018.

Presenting to this conference proved a success with the paper receiving positive feedback at the conference by participants, particularly as the conference is the largest and most competitive conference for presenting of “Accounting” issues globally, see scientific program link (

But the importance of the papers acceptance is shown in the statistics from the conference itself. A total of 1,089 papers were presented at the conference, with only 24 of them being from the Accounting Education stream, of which 5 papers were from Australia, with 90 papers presented by representatives from Australia in total (as shown below)


The paper was presented in a concurrent session competing against 34 other presentations. With over 3,000 delegates in attendance, the European Accounting Association Conference is one of the largest conferences in the world. But it wouldn’t be worth travelling 29 hours door to door unless a bit of sight-seeing followed in the city of Milan, settled in 400 B.C.

The Duomo (Milan Cathedral) is a tourist must-see. The cathedral took nearly six centuries to complete with its Gothic architecture. The Milan Cathedral in Italy is the world’s fourth-largest church in the world. This view is taken from the roof looking down to one of the main plazas. It took over 700 steps to capture this view!

Milan is also home to Santa Maria delle Grazie convent, housing Leonardo da Vinci’s mural “The Last Supper”. The Last Supper is a late 15th-century mural that took over four years to complete. The work is presumed to have been started around 1495–96. The painting represents the scene of the last supper of Jesus with his apostles, as it is told in the Gospel of John, 13:21. Leonardo has depicted the consternation that occurred among the twelve disciples when Jesus announced that one of them would betray him. It is one of the world’s most recognizable paintings. The ABS representative couldn’t help but take this selfie!

And of course, no trip to Europe would be complete without analysis of their “small and smart” vehicles and parking precision, for a city with a growing population but limited space.

Finally, it was time to admire the architecture of the city buildings and of course, the conference venue of Bocconi University, where the conference paper was successfully presented.

Overall, the conference was a success with over 3,000 delegates attending, and over 1,000 papers presented over the three days. Great to see Avondale Business School show casing their research on the world stage.



ABS Hosts Future Students

Thursday, June 7, 2018

Avondale Business School hosted some students from various Adventist high schools around New South Wales. The students were attending the Futures Day at Avondale College, which is our Open Day, where high school students have the opportunity to come and visit our College campus and gain some information into the courses that we offer.

The students who visited ABS were hosted by Warrick Long, one of our lecturing staff, who shared with the students the opportunities and the experiences they will gain through studying Business with ABS, in particular Warrick highlighted the opportunity to gain practical work based experience and that the ABS lecturing staff take a personal interest in the development of all students.

The students left with new insights about the Bachelor of Business Degree, the depth of experience of the ABS staff and the potential for them to gain a head start in their business careers. They also took away one of the prized ABS promotional pens!

ABS hopes that the students will choose Avondale Campus for their future studies and look forward to seeing them again.

The Great Debate 2018

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Business students in the Professional Ethics class participated in the annual Ethics Great Debate, as their final assessment for the semester. The two teams argued an ethical issue from a case study involving an aged care facility, and much loved staff member, missing medications and a terminally ill child.

Whilst the “for” team won the crowd support for the persuasiveness of their arguments and position, the “against” team acquitted themselves very well. The audience appreciated their professionalism and the depth of research they put into their arguments.

Although the debaters were nervous, their professionalism shone through when their turn to speak came, and students afterwards were appreciative of the experience. During the debrief after the debate, the students agreed the subject had challenged their thinking, made them expand their thinking skills, and had prepared them well for entering the workplace where they will face ethical dilemmas first-hand.

Their lecturer, Warrick Long, commented that this subject is one of his favorites to teach as it “…provides a forum where students are confronted with the realities of there often being no one right answer for the challenges of the workplace, and seeing their thinking mature and develop is very rewarding”.

The Great Debate is held each year in first semester as the final assessment for the subject BBUS36090 Professional Ethics (Christian Studies III).

Avondale Business School collaborates with Business

Monday, May 15, 2017

Business and College collaboration is a wonderful way to enhance student learning. A recent excursion organised by the Avondale Business School to Sydney saw students visit 3 business to get insights into risk management, marketing, human resources and accounting.

The first business to open its doors was the Mascot Air Base facility. Manager of Airline safety lead them into the emergency procedures training facility which demonstrated the approach to risk management, in particular in relation to the evacuation of passengers in the event of an emergency. Students were privileged to be shown the various different aeroplane doors used to deploy passengers, rafts and survival kits. They were also shown the pool used for ocean training, in both the dark and in the rain.

Students were then put into the emergency procedure training simulator, where they experienced a crash landing in which the cabin lights turned off and the cabin filled with smoke. Students followed the orders of the cabin staff in relation to “evacuate, evacuate” and were led safely out of the simulator. Some students also were given life vests to deploy, and shown the various safety features such as the water activated light. Students had a better appreciation for flight crew and risk management procedures, after this confronting experience.

Students then headed out to Allianz stadium, for a tour of the facility. Students were taken down the ramp into the stadium, and the logistics of running the stadium that is shared by three different codes of sport (NRL, Rugby Union and Football) was explained. The marketing of the stadium signs, the sponsorship of the different codes and general keeping of the grounds were explained. Students asked questions such as who are the sponsors and what are the benefits of sponsorship from a marketing perspective.

Student then headed into the Sydney Roosters facility where they were led into the boardroom for an “Apprentice” style session (yes Mark Bouris is on the Board of the Sydney Roosters), by the Chief Financial Controller Mr Manuel Vlandis. Students were presented with financial information about the club and the challenges of running a rugby leagues club from a financial perspective. Questions were asked of the salary cap, costs of injured players, and how the model works in relation to revenue streams such as memberships, gate takings and sponsorship. The CFO was happy to answer the questions, and speak of his relationship with the Board and the new strategic plan they are currently developing.

Students then headed next door to the NSW Waratahs headquarters. There the player development manager Lachie McBain explained the complexities of running a rugby club, including issues such as preparing players for life after sport. He talked about the initiatives the club has in place for players such as further education and financial planning. He discussed the available careers in a rugby association, and his role in relation to his employer being RUPA (Rugby Union Players Association), formed to prepare players for life after sport. The club facilities were shown to the students, including the training areas, technology viewing areas and player lounge. Students asked questions in relation to membership numbers, revenue from Foxtel, sponsorship and player wages.

Feedback from the day included the following:

“It gave us insights into jobs where we do not see what happens behind the scenes”

“It was awesome to see business applied in a sporting context”

Avondale Business School will continue working with these businesses in the future, turning textbook learning into the reality of business. As the late Wallaby and Lawyer Ross Turnbull stated “There is nothing that I learnt in SPORT that doesn’t apply to BUSINESS, or LIFE” (2014). This excursion came from research done previously into the education of current sports people for their career after sport, a paper to be presented at the Global Conference on Education and Research (GLOCER 2017), which will be held during May 22-25, 2017 at the University of South Florida Sarasota-Manatee campus in Sarasota, Florida.


Diversity in Business

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

uber vs taxiA few weeks ago in a ‘Diversity in Business’ class we discussed the historical disadvantage people with a disability experience with regards to workforce participation. As an area of interest to me, some of the statistics explored were quite surprising. So you can imagine the potential for the creation of jobs that a partnership between Uber, the ride-sharing car service provider and Enabled Employment, an Australian start-up operated by people with disability for people with disability, may have. Uber is hoping the partnership will not only help Enabled Employment members find income opportunities, but also encourage the 53 per cent of disabled people with a driving licence to consider driving on the Uber platform.

“Uber is a big believer in diversity and are already challenging the stigma by offering an extension to their app which accounts for people with difficulties in hearing or speaking. This opens up a world of opportunities for people with disabilities to earn a flexible income as Uber-partners”, Enabled Employment CEO Jessica May said. “Uber offers flexible options for people with disabilities and their carers to get back into the workforce, which is what is needed to increase diversity. As long as the requirements for Uber are met, people can be their own boss, work when they want, including around medical appointments or their limitations, and still earn a decent wage.”

Uber may be facing controversy with regards to its business model, with the taxi industry particularly vocal about it’s practices, but this is a good initiative that will likely be considered a step in the right direction to the four million people in Australia who live with a disability.

– Peter Williams –

Lecturer:  Avondale Business School


phone:  02 4980 2175


Opportunity comes our way …

Friday, June 12, 2015

opportunityOpportunity comes our way….


I often bump into or get connected with some of my high school or college class/college mates. This sends me to the world of reflection and memory mode trying to recollect details about this old friend or acquaintance of mine. When things get put together and I can see how things have changed over time in regards to this person. How he or she is faring now and what sort of opportunities were taken by this friend. How successful an opportunity has turned in to for this friend?

Time and time I notice that one thing is common to many of my friends who have been successful and unsuccessful in career or life can be pointed to the opportunity that was seized or missed out in the right time and place.

Two thoughts come up in regards to opportunities and they are so true when we look back and the reality is that it happens to us too.

“Many of us wait for opportunity to knock on our doors. However, most successful people are prolific door openers and do not wait for knocks.”

“Many times SUCCESS is more about DOING the things you know you should do, not waiting to learn the ‘secrets’ that you don’t know.”

Another motivational quote that I found on the web that reads like this;

“Lucky people get opportunities; Brave people create opportunities; And Winners are those that convert problems into Opportunity.”

There are numerous illustrative stories told where opportunity plays a key role in the lives of people’s success. Here are a few links for you to connect and read them.

– David Wilson –

Lecturer, Avondale Business School



Employee Wages

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

wagesAre we paying too much for our employees’ wages?

When Nobel Prize winning Economists speak, how willing are we to listen? James Mirlees has recently suggested that without wage cuts “from the board room to the factory floor”, Australia’s unemployment rate will steadily rise. Announcements in the past two weeks show that Australia’s wages are growing at only 2.6%, a rate smaller than the inflation rate and some of the slowest wages growth seen in over 20 years. This combined with speculation of interest rate rises before the end of the year is likely to have a big impact on living standards, and could have “material effect on Australia’s housing bubble and household debt levels”. Perhaps it is time to begin proactively considering the possibilities of what this could mean for both individuals and business in the future.

–      Peter Williams    –