Our Team

Adam Gowen

Centre Manager

Adam is a Wiradjuri man who is passionate about the Shoalhaven and Higher Education. Having lived in Ulladulla for over 25 years he is keenly aware of the obstacles local university students face. He holds a first class honours degree in Indigenous Studies (UOW), and a Graduate Certificate in Theology from Indigenous perspectives (University of Divinity/Whitley College/NAIITS). He has previously worked in a variety of roles for UOW including as Indigenous Future Student and Community Engagement Ambassador for Batemans Bay and Bega campuses, and as a tutor in the Indigenous Studies and Sociology disciplines. His dedication and effectiveness in this space has been recognised by the awarding of the (UOW) Vice-Chancellors Award for Excellence in Community Engagement (2018), and the Woolyungah Indigenous Centre Commitment to Regional Students Award (2019).

Our Board

Wayne Dedden

Chair

Wayne currently enjoys working with the Board and management of Country Universities Centre Southern Shoalhaven as their Chair. He has resided in Mollymook Beach for over 35 years and is driven by equity and access to local services. Now a Director with Jarrah Partners Group P/L, Wayne was formerly Managing Director of Corporate Connexions International – primarily an organisational behaviours consultancy engaged in many varied workforce projects. His local interests also included a role as Chair of Woodstock Financial Services Ltd which operates the two local Bendigo Community Banks at Milton and Sussex Inlet where their main purpose was to ‘Help our Locals Build Better Lives’. He has previously worked as an Operational Commander with NSW Police throughout their Southern Region.

Robert Richards

Treasurer

Robert is a CPA qualified accountant and partner at Juggernaut Advisory. He brings a valuable skillset to the board of CUCSS and is motivated to see business relationships grow and multiply, and the development of the local economy. Robert is the vice-president of the See Change chapter of BNI and has previously served as president and treasurer of the local chamber of commerce and treasurer for the Makai Paddlers Society. He has lived in the local region for since 1999.

Paul Ell

Secretary

Mr Paul Ell has been the Company Secretary of CUC Southern Shoalhaven since October 2018. Paul is employed as an Associate Solicitor for the region’s largest law firm, RMB Lawyers and currently serves as the president of the Shoalhaven and Districts Regional Law Society. Paul brings a wealth of experience in university governance and leadership having served as a member of the Council of the University of Wollongong (UOW) since 2018. Paul also sits on the university’s Audit and Risk Management Committee. Paul also currently serves as a member of the board of UOW Pulse Ltd, the primary student services provider at UOW. Paul has a longstanding passion for creating educational opportunities for disadvantaged young people having supported the work of various community organisations and causes throughout the Illawarra and South Coast, including the Smith Family.

Paul Goodwin

Non-Executive Director

Paul Goodwin is currently a Senior Project Officer with the NSW Department of Education. Paul’s role is to work across local high schools on the South Coast and Industry employers to strengthen relationships, build partnerships to education young people on the career and work opportunities across industry partners. Paul works closely with industry and community groups such as the Business Chambers, Shoalhaven Defence Industry Group, various Local, State and Federal Government agencies, Employment Service and Education/Training providers, facilitating projects that meet future workforce and industry needs. Paul has been the former Chair of Shoalhaven Workplace Learning Program and The Far South Coast Gateway strategy leadership group, former committee member for Regional Development Australia Far South Coast, Shoalhaven Business Chamber, NSW South East Regional Leadership Group AND Local Planning Committee for the Regional Jobs Investment Package.
Paul has an extensive background in Tertiary and Vocational Education and Training, Business Development, Community and Regional development. Prior to this role, Paul was the Senior Manager for TAFE NSW, managing the campuses across the three Local Government areas of the South Coast region for the former Illawarra Institute, managing the physical and human resources to deliver training for up to 10 000 annual student enrolments annually and Project Manager for Regional Development Australia – Far South Coast.

Denise Lofts

Non-Executive Director

An Australian Comm Bank Teaching Award Fellow, Denise has been a passionate and influential educator in NSW Public Schools for over 34 years. She has successfully taught across a diverse range of schools, Inner City, Western Sydney to remote rural locations, her breadth of experience has enriched her educational experience and influence. Currently, Denise is the principal of Ulladulla High School, President of the Secondary Principals Illawarra South Coast and Deputy President of NSW Secondary Principals, she has been focussed on equity for all public school students, by having access to the best education possible.
Her innovation is reiterated through her numerous research scholarships, awarded the NSW Premiers PWC Leadership Scholarship and Department of Education Leadership Fellowship to research professional practices that supports future global learning. On completing her Masters, at UTS, Denise is currently working on her Doctorate with UNSW, researching how philanthropic support enhances equity in rural education.

Libby Davies

Non-Executive Director

Libby Davies AM has had a long career in education, community and social policy sectors, holding leadership and senior executive positions. She is a resident of the Shoalhaven and passionate about supporting and working with the community to enhance social, economic and environmental wellbeing.

Libby has been responsible for transformative social change programs and building whole of community capacity to be the drivers of positive social change and gender equality. She was the inaugural CEO of White Ribbon Australia (White Ribbon), Australia’s national primary prevention organisation with a particular focus on engaging men to be active drivers of social change to stop men's violence against women, retiring in July 2018. Libby has previously held CEO positions in national organisations such as Family Services Australia, UnitingCare Australia and Brain Injury Australia. Libby has also served on numerous national, ministerial, state and NFP boards, including the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare and as Chair of UnitingCare NSW/ACT; and advisory councils; and has been extensively involved in national curriculum development across secondary and tertiary platforms.

She is currently also on the Board of the Maggie Beer Foundation and South Pacific Heathland Trust Ulladulla. In 2015 Libby was awarded the NSW ‘For Purpose and Social Enterprise’ Telstra Women in Business Award, winner in the 2016 100 Women of Influence Awards and finalist in University of Newcastle National Leadership Alumni Awards. In 2018 she was awarded Member of the Order of Australia (AM) in recognition of her service to the community through leadership and advisory roles. She is a graduate of the University of Newcastle, University of Sydney and completed the AICD’s course.

Violet Green

Non-Executive Director

Violet Green is a Walbunga woman, from the Yuin Nation of NSW. Violet has spent most of her working life in roles to improve the lives of others and growing economic and educational opportunities in the region.
Violet holds a BA from the University of Wollongong and currently works as a Regional Investment Officer in Jervis Bay Territory. Violet brings a comprehensive understanding of government, education, and employment to the to the CUC Southern Shoalhaven Board.
In 2011 Violet was awarded a Secretary’s Excellence Award from the Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations in recognition of her holistic and innovative practices, vision and leadership, for place-based work at Wreck Bay and throughout South Eastern NSW.

Dr. James Walker

Non-Executive Director

Dr James Walker is a rural General Practitioner and partner at Milton Medical Centre, where he has now been working for 5 years. He previously lived and worked in Sydney where he gained considerable experience in the field of Emergency Medicine.
James has been practising Medicine for eleven years. An inherent part of Medical practice is education, be that of Medical students, junior doctors or oneself. As such, he is cognisant of the demands placed on both teachers and students – engaging in both roles on a daily basis - and is motivated to promote access and communication in educational environments to facilitate optimal learning opportunities.
Originally from the UK, James is a graduate of Cambridge University and Bristol University.

Monica Davis

Non-Executive Director (Ex-Officio)

Monica was appointed CEO of CUC in May 2021. Previously, she was the Director of Educational Delivery for the CUC where she developed the CUC's student support model and collaborated with Australian universities to make higher education more accessible to regional, rural and remote students. Monica completed her Bachelor of Science with Hons I from the University of Newcastle, and a Masters in Geostatistics from the University of Adelaide. Monica is a member of the executive of the Society of the Provision of Education in Rural Australia, and was the convenor for the recent Best Practice in Regional Study Hubs Symposium.

Country Universities Centre Southern Shoalhaven