Academic Board


Dr. Julie Foreman

Dr. Julie Foreman is the esteemed Chair of the AE Academic Board. Joining AE in 2021, Dr. Foreman seamlessly merged her vast industry experience with her profound knowledge of academic governance. Previously serving as the Deputy Dean at Swinburne University, she achieved her PhD in Accounting there in 1987, with a focus on corporate board accountability. Before her tenure at Swinburne, Dr. Foreman showcased her leadership as a multi-state manager for service operations and engineering at Telstra. Beyond her roles, she stands recognized as a CPA subject expert, both authoring and reviewing several essential modules for the CPA education program.

Independent Member

Prof. Alun Jackson

Alun Jackson, a distinguished member of the Academic Board. Professor Jackson boasts a prestigious academic journey, holding positions of  Honorary Professor at  the University of Melbourne and Hong Kong University. His expertise is further highlighted by his Fellowships with the European Society of Cardiology and the Cardiac Society of Australia and New Zealand. With a deep-rooted experience in health education and leadership, he has notably served as the Director of the Problem Gambling Research and Treatment Centre at the University of Melbourne. Additionally, he has held influential roles in the University of Melbourne Faculties of  Education, Arts and Medicine, Dentistry and Health Sciences.

Independent Member

Dr. Frances Hughes

Dr. Frances Hughes is a member of AE’s Academic Board. At national, regional, and global scales, Dr. Hughes has showcased unparalleled strategic leadership in tackling intricate health challenges, leveraging her prowess as a nurse. Her influence on public policy stretches over three decades, both within domestic and international spheres.

In recognition of her remarkable contributions, 2020 saw Dr. Hughes being honoured as a Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit for her dedicated services to nursing and mental health. Her leadership was further evident as the CEO of the International Council of Nursing between 2016 and 2018. Notably, Frances was the pioneering nurse recipient of the Harkness Fellowship in Health Care Policy.

Beyond these accolades, Dr. Hughes held the significant role of commandant colonel for the RNZ Nursing Corp for a commendable seven years, where she imparted strategic nursing leadership to the New Zealand Army. Her journey and accomplishments are a testament to her dedication and influence in the field of health and nursing.


Dr. Narelle Whatley

Dr. Narelle Whatley is an expert with a profound understanding of the intricacies of domestic abuse, particularly as experienced during childhood. Completing her PhD in 2020, Dr. Whatley delved deep into the narrative analysis of survivor experiences of childhood domestic abuse, shedding light on this critical issue. While pursuing her doctorate, the University of Tasmania recognized her academic prowess, bringing her onboard the Social Work faculty team. Beyond academia, Narelle boasts a wide-ranging industry background. From championing community development to expert case management, her versatility shines. A notable aspect of her expertise is trauma-informed care – a testament to her dedication to understanding and addressing the profound impacts of trauma. With a specialisation in rural and remote practice, Dr. Whatley brings a unique perspective to understanding the experiences of those in less accessible areas.

Course Coordinator - Bachelor of Community Services

Dr. Doris Asante

A proud alumna of the University of Sydney, Dr. Asante pursued her Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) from 2019 to 2022 in the Department of Government and International Relations. Her compelling thesis explored the State-Civil Society Relationship in the Implementation of UNSCR 2242. Before this, she undertook a Bachelor of Social Work (Honours) and a Bachelor of Criminology and Criminal Justice, both at the University of New South Wales (UNSW) Australia.

Dr. Asante’s has contributed significantly to scholarly discourse with her publications, examining the intersections of gender, security, and governance. Her recent papers shed light on topics like the role of civil society in counter-terrorism governance and the gender dynamics in countering violent extremism.

As an educator, Dr. Asante’s teaching journey comprises various courses at Sydney University and the Australian College of Applied Professions, covering contemporary political issues, gender, security, and human rights, among others. Further complementing her academic accomplishments, Dr. Asante’s professional experience paints a vivid picture of her commitment to societal change. As a Research Consultant at the Cultural and Indigenous Research Centre Australia, she has been at the forefront of culturally-informed research projects addressing the needs of Indigenous communities.

Head of Quality Assurance

Ms. Gita Gerard

Gita Gerard brings over 20 years of experience in the Education and IT sectors to the academic board of Acknowledge Education, with a strong background in compliance and operations. Gita has excelled in various roles, including Compliance Officer at ANMF (Vic Branch) Education Centre and Project Officer at Youth Projects. Her expertise includes coordinating re-registration applications, maintaining compliance with regulatory bodies, conducting internal audits, and managing training plans and reports. Gita holds a Bachelor of Arts and certifications in quality auditing, training and assessment, system management, and WHS and QMS auditing. Her extensive experience and dedication to excellence make her a valuable academic board member.