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ICMS Ambassador for Civic Leadership appointed IHEA Deputy Chair

ICMS Ambassador for Civic Leadership appointed IHEA Deputy Chair

July 24, 2023

A passion for civic leadership and giving back to the higher education community is what drives ICMS Professional Scholarships Chair Ann Whitelock, who has recently been appointed deputy chair of Independent Higher Education Australia (IHEA).

IHEA is an advocacy body representing Australia’s private higher education institutions, of which the International College of Management, Sydney (ICMS) is a member. The IHEA Board of Directors holds a crucial leadership role in Australian independent higher education, defining the organisation’s strategic direction and overseeing its operational performance.

Representing ICMS for the good of the whole sector

As Deputy Chair of the Independent Higher Education Australia (IHEA) board, Whitelock, along with the other directors, is a representative of the organisation’s independent members at large.

The IHEA board is responsible for ensuring that the organisation operates in the best interest of its members. Although each director’s expertise may be influenced by their institutional affiliations, they adhere to the board’s principles of impartiality and objectivity.

By working together, the board can leverage the expertise of its members to support the growth and development of the independent higher education sector in Australia.

With accountability to IHEA members, the Board ensures compliance with relevant regulations and adherence to the constitution. Through their leadership, the IHEA Board of Directors support progress and innovation within the higher education sector.

IHEA advocates for the recognition and respect of independent higher education providers in Australia. The organisation strives to promote academic and quality standards within member institutions, while advocating for equity for these institutions and their staff and students.

IHEA is committed to excellence, productivity, and growth in independent higher education, contributing to the Australian economy and society as a whole, all while upholding principles of equity, choice, and diversity within a trustworthy education system.

As former Education Minister Dan Tehan said, “A vibrant and competitive higher education sector ensures Australians have more choice and opportunity in education. Private education providers offer an alternative which improves standards and competition across the board.”

Civic Leadership about People, not Institutions

According to Whitelock, the act of civic leadership can be attributed to individuals serving the wider community rather than institutions acting alone.

ICMS, and the Australian higher education landscape in general, has benefitted from Whitelock’s involvement in a number of key areas affecting the sector, as well as other areas of community engagement.

Civic leaders, such as Whitelock, can help to promote accountability and transparency within their communities, ensuring that all voices are heard, and that decisions are made with the best interests of the whole community at heart.

For example, Whitelock’s membership to the Australian Business Network provides opportunities for her to attend various forums alongside political leaders who have decision-making power.

By working collaboratively and leveraging the power of collective action, civic leaders can have a profound impact on social, economic, and political landscapes, driving progress and promoting positive change.

Multiple Civic Leadership Roles

Whitelock, who serves on a number of boards, was a high achiever in Australia’s business sector* before pivoting in recent years towards civic leadership and philanthropy. She is the current Chair of ICMS Professional Scholarship Program. Since its inception in 2011, the ICMS Professional Scholarship program has awarded over $13million worth of scholarships.

Whitelock is a member of both the Australian Institute of Company Directors and the Catholic Business Network and has also served as a former Director, and now Deputy Chair, of the board for the Womens Resilience Center – a local charity dedicated to supporting survivors of domestic violence on the Northern Beaches.

She is a board member for the Mito Foundation, a reputable organisation widely recognised for their signature fundraising event, the Bloody Long Walk.

These roles within Australia’s higher education sector significantly contribute to sustaining its reputable quality and are a fantastic example of the civic leadership that ICMS champions.

* Ann Whitelock has a diverse professional background ranging from business ownership in hotel management to positions as a General Manager and National Sales Manager in hospitality and tourism, as well as the financial services sector. Her extensive experience led her to win the Small Business Award and earn a nomination for Telstra Business Woman of the Year.

To connect with Ann Whitelock, click here.

For more information about IHEA, click here.

For more information about ICMS, click here.


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