Archive for the ‘Professional Development’ Category

ABS Develops Avondale College Leaders

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Recognizing the need to invest in developing its leaders, Avondale College commissioned its Avondale Business School to develop and implement a program for middle and aspiring leaders. The Avondale College LEAD program was crafted and delivered by ABS monthly throughout the second half of 2018. Word of the program spread to other entities, who sponsored their own staff to also attend. The success of the program is such that it is being expanded for 2019 with any Avondale Staff invited to attend, and a range of new topics being developed, including dealing with conflict and toxic people, leading teams, and leading change. Participants from this year enjoyed the program and the following comment typifies their responses “I have very much enjoyed the sessions I have attended – love your presentation style and have appreciated learning some new concepts and skills”. Avondale Business School can also help you develop your leaders, and to find out how, contact Warrick Long at or 02 4980 2168.

Board Memberships: Can you Contribute?

Sunday, November 18, 2018

Here at the ABS several of our staff are engaged with the community by being on Boards and offering advice to particularly Not-For-Profit Boards on issues of governance, strategic planning and financial analysis. Currently all full-time staff at the ABS volunteer their time for community engagement via occupying board positions or as members of sub-committees as shown in the table.

Being on a Board is usually voluntary, but what it means to the business is an over-arching strategic perspective that senior executives do not get in the day to day running of the business. The Australian Institute of Company Directors has issued its Corporate Governance Framework to assist particularly Not-For-Profit Boards, ( in recognising their duties in relation to various legislative requirements of directors such as the ACNC (Australian Charities and Not-for-Profit Commission) and ASIC (Australian Securities and Investments Commission).

Associate Professor Lisa Barnes has joined the Audit and Risk Committee for ACARA (Australian Curriculum Assessment and Reporting Authority) which is governed by the ACARA Act 2008 and the Public Governance & Performance Accountability Act 2013. At her first meeting they discussed the continued risks associated with the organisation and updated the current risk register in light the Boards risk appetite matrix. Members of the committee meet 4 times a year to support the Board in making sure the organisation is compliant with legislation, and that the organisation is continuing to assess its risks going forward particularly in relation to the information provided by the My School website ( that enables Parents to seek information on schools.

Graduate Returns to Share with Current ABS Students

Friday, September 21, 2018

Students in the Strategic Responses in Business unit were treated to a firsthand account of what business intelligence really means. Mr Todd Saunders (graduate of Avondale Business School), and now Sanitarium General Manager for Australia and New Zealand spent time with the class not only explaining business intelligence, but answering their questions regarding all aspects of the business.

The effective collection, analysis and use of business intelligence is a major differentiator between companies that succeed and fail, and Todd was able to show students all these components from the perspective of Sanitarium. Students had their eyes opened as to how much data is collected, and how it is used, noting that even weather data plays an important role in forecasting both raw material prices and sales projections.

The Strategic Responses class involves students engaging in a computer simulation where in groups they run companies in the computer sensor industry, competing over 8 years (one per week for 8 weeks) against each other. They must make decisions for each round that involve production estimates, marketing decisions, financing options, HR components (including negotiating a new EA with their staff) and R&D strategies. The unit culminates in the last class of semester when students must run and annual general meeting facing their shareholders (invited College Staff) based on their company results.

The time spent with Todd was valuable for the students in not only assisting them in their class, but also bridging the gap between theory and real-world experience. ABS appreciates the time Todd dedicates to assisting the development of ABS students.


External Advisory Chair Congratulates ABS

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Last week the ABS held its bi-annual external advisory committee meeting, chaired by Associate Professor Jonathan Tyler, Deputy Head, Accounting Discipline Group at the University of Technology Sydney. The external advisory committee, whose main role is to provide support and advice to ABS regarding the programs and offerings. It is made up of all staff at ABS, the Avondale College Vice President (Academic and Research) and Dean of the Faculty of Education, Business and Science, as well as external academic and external industry practitioner representatives.

David Wilson (ABS), Associate Professor Lisa Barnes (ABS), Associate Professor Jonathan Tyler (UTS), Warrick Long (ABS)

The ABS presented its annual report, with highlights involving the growing number of current research projects, staff involvement at Avondale College and external engagement activities of staff, as well as increasing student engagement in internships and excursions. Staff were congratulated on the two PhD submissions, “Best Paper” awards at recent conferences, and their research plans going forward. Jonathan Tyler said, “He is pleased to see the increase in attendance by ABS lecturers at Conferences” as this allows opportunities to network and advertise our college. He strongly encouraged the lecturers to continue to attend conferences and to align ourselves with “Recognised Researchers” which could potentially lead to additional research grants. He lauded positively about ABS staff being members with various committees at the College and faculty level having exposure and voice. The ABS team showed appreciation for the review, advice and positive assurance from the external advisory.

All smiles at ABS

Monday, September 17, 2018

The Avondale Business School celebrated the completion of their innovative research project with the business Professional Advantage, by way of sharing a lunch in the Smart Hub premises. Professional Advantage is an Australian IT consulting company, with its head office in North Sydney. They have been using the Avondale Business School “Smart hub” to avoid the up to 3 hours a day commute to their North Sydney Offices.

The Avondale Business School has been involved in a research project with Professional Advantage, researching the benefits of the use of a smart hub, embedded in a business school. The reciprocal advantages for ABS has been the exposure for students to a real live business operating here at the ABS. Students have had the opportunity to see the employees at work and to ask questions about their IT consulting roles.

The ABS secured a grant for their research project Remote Business Hubs embedded in Higher Education Institutions: Stakeholder Engagement of Business, Educators in Business and Business Students” from the Avondale College Lifestyle Research Centre, and they hope to publish from their research to encourage more businesses to consider the benefits of remote smart hubs to create a better “Work/Life” balance for employees.

Sydney Teams Gather at ABS for Day of Learning and Fun

Sunday, September 9, 2018

Getting away from their usual environment, 13 colleagues from the Greater Sydney Conference of the SDA Church Company, Schools Company and Aged Care Company spent a day with the Avondale Business School (ABS) for their annual Professional development program. ABS have been involved with providing a day of fun, challenge and learning since 2014, with this year’s focus being communication. Peter William and Warrick Long from ABS took the team through some refreshers, and new issues in communication within their workplace. Paris Lawrence, from the Avondale Marketing team challenged the team with using social media to effectively connect both corporately and personally. Participants were appreciative of the practical relevance and personal touches of the presentations, not to mention the great food and environment. See you next year!

If you would like to discuss having ABS provide your next team Professional Development event, simply email or call Warrick Long on or 02 49802168.

Avondale College LEAD Program

Thursday, August 9, 2018

Developing leaders is a focus of Avondale College, and the Avondale Business School (ABS), through Warrick Long, is front and center in providing training for the Avondale staff through the Avondale LEAD program. LEAD stands for Leadership, Experience and Development, representing the focus of the initial six month program.

Participants meet together every month for a session where they discuss a key aspect of leadership, drawn from the four building blocks of leadership. Additional leadership resources are available to participants, including book reviews, recommended readings, videos and articles. A leadership challenge is set at each session, so participants have some goals to implement their new found knowledge. For those participants that are wanting to go a bit deeper and get some recognition for their participation, there is a series of assessments for them to undertake.

Ensuring that the program meets its goal of developing leaders, Warrick Long and Associate Professor Lisa Barnes (ABS Head of Discipline) are researching the effectiveness of the program through surveys and feedback, which will also form the basis of a research project for publication.

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.

ABS Challenges Directors

Friday, June 1, 2018

The Board of Directors of Adventist Senior Living NNSW recently completed several modules of professional development, delivered by the Avondale Business School team. The sessions were held over three days, in February and May, and topics included the roles and responsibilities of directors, as well as finance, marketing, human resources and information management for directors.

Warrick Long and Associate Professor Lisa Barnes shared cutting edge practices and the latest research in these areas, also drawing on their extensive experiences as directors and leaders in the not-for-profit sector, including with aged care and disability services. The directors appreciated the interactive nature of the sessions, with up to date and practical information. Their feedback reflected that while they had been challenged, they were presented with easy to understand relevant concepts.

ABS presenter, Warrick Long, noted that “this is a great example of a board of directors taking their responsibilities very seriously, and endeavoring to improve their knowledge and sharpen their governance skills – it was a pleasure to work with them”.

The Avondale Business School has a suite of programs that can help your directors and leaders develop the winning edge for your business. For more information, contact Warrick Long to discuss customizing something unique for your organisation.

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.