Steering Board

The Centre's Steering Board comprises of representatives of key stakeholders of the Centre.

Professor Mark Hargreaves

Pro Vice-Chancellor (Research Collaboration & Partnerships) University of Melbourne

Mark Hargreaves

Mark Hargreaves is Professor of Physiology at The University of Melbourne, Australia. He has BSc (Physiology - 1982) and PhD (Physiology - 1989) degrees from The University of Melbourne and an MA (Exercise Physiology - 1984) from Ball State University (USA). He is a Fellow of the American College of Sports Medicine and Exercise and Sports Science Australia.

As Pro Vice-Chancellor (Research Collaboration & Partnerships), he has oversight of the internal schemes that foster interdisciplinary research and the important research relationships with external organisations.

His research and teaching interests focus on the physiological and metabolic responses to acute and chronic exercise, with an emphasis on carbohydrate metabolism. Current research projects examine the molecular regulation of glucose transporter GLUT4 expression in skeletal muscle and adipose tissue by exercise. He is a Consulting Editor for Journal of Applied Physiology and serves on the editorial boards of the American Journal of Physiology (Endocrinology & Metabolism), International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism and Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise. He is a Director on the Board of the Victorian Institute of Sport.

Professor Susan Dodds

Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research and Industry Engagement) La Trobe University

Susan Dodds

Professor Susan Dodds is the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research and Industry Engagement) and Professor of Philosophy at La Trobe University. Her research is in applied ethics and political philosophy and she is recognised nationally and internationally for her leadership in research ethics and public policy development related to emerging medical technologies.

At La Trobe University, she provides strategic leadership and oversight of the University’s research and industry engagement activities, research excellence, the graduate research experience, research infrastructure, industry partnerships, research commercialisation and researcher support.

After completing her Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy and Political Science at the University of Toronto, Susan came to La Trobe University to complete her PhD in philosophy. She has held roles at the University of Wollongong, the University of Tasmania (where she was Dean of Arts and Deputy Provost) and the University of New South Wales (where she was Dean of Arts and Social Sciences).

She is an active researcher and the leader of the ethics, policy and public engagement theme of the Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for Electromaterials Science (ACES). She has served on a number of national committees and is also the Chair of the Board of the Australasian Association of Philosophy.

Geoff Dea

Chief Executive Officer SuniTAFE

Geoff Dea

Geoff Dea is an experienced accountant and leader with demonstrated experience in providing strategic and business advice to a range SME’s and not-for-profit organizations.

Geoff’s employment history also includes leadership roles in the financial services and not-for profit industries.

His 20 year career in public accounting has included roles as a client adviser, Principal in charge of a team of accountants and advisers, and Chief Executive of a large regional accounting and financial services organization.

He also worked with Mallee Family Care as Director Corporate Services, before being appointed to the Chief Executive role at the Sunraysia Institute of TAFE.

Professor Mike Stewardson

Director of MRIC

Mike Stewardson

Professor Mike Stewardson is the Director of MRIC. Mike leads the Water, Environment and Agriculture Program in the Faculty of Engineering and Information Technology at the University of Melbourne, and as a director of the Murray Darling Basin Authority. His research interests include ecohydraulics, hypomorphology and freshwater ecosystem management.

Professor Ashley Franks

Co-Director of MRIC

Ashley Franks

Professor Ashley Franks is the Co-Director of MRIC, Pro Vice-Chancellor (Research Capability) and Director of the Securing Food, Water and Environment Research Focus Area at La Trobe University. He has extensive research management experience having served as the School of Life Science’s Research Director and the Academic Coordinator of Research For the College of Science, Health and Engineering. As an Applied Environmental Microbiologist, his has research interests in soils, plant-microbe interactions and sustainability.

David Harris

MRIC Co-Director

General Manager Operations SuniTAFE

David Harris

David Harris is a highly experienced Manager of large teams and a successful private business owner. Starting his career as an Electrician has given David broad practical hands on skill base and understanding of trades. After completion of his A Grade Electrical License David entered University and completed a Bachelor of Business prior to commencing as a Qualified Valuer with Knight Frank Australia.

An opportunity then arose to acquire a Real Estate Business in Mildura which David owned and successfully operated for 17 years. A desire to enter the larger corporate market saw David sell the business and move into a Senior Leadership role as a State Manager with LJHooker in 2007.

Managing over 80 offices in Victoria and Tasmania proved a great training ground for overseeing large disparate teams and when a new opportunity arose as a Commercial Manager with Crowe Horwath (Findex) David was a logical choice. Over 6 years with Findex David managed a variety of teams in multiple offices as a Regional Commercial Manager (WA, SA, Tas and NW Vic).

A desire to give back to the Community and to take on a new challenge lead to David’s change to his current role as Chief Operating Officer with SuniTAFE. Acquiring a broad range of skill sets from a wide variety of roles during his career has allowed David to assist SuniTAFE to become widely respected and efficiently run, and has contributed to SuniTAFE’s recent recognition as Large Training Provider of the Year (2019).

Peter Forbes

Manager, Planning and Regional Coordination

Regional Development Victoria

Peter Forbes

Having lived and worked in Bendigo and Mildura over the past 30 years, Peter's heart belongs to north west Victoria.

Peter currently works for Regional Development Victoria with responsibility for supporting the Mallee and Loddon Campaspe Regional Partnership Committees.

Through this role Peter works to discover what is important for the Community and Economic Development of the region and helps to realise these ideas.

With a background in Agricultural Science and a Social Sciences Masters, Peter has had a varied career in Agricultural Science, Natural Resource Management, Environmental Management and now Regional Development.