PHILANTHROPIST and business ‘turnaround king’ Basil Sellers has been awarded an honorary doctorate by Bond University.

The doctorate recognizes Mr Sellers’ “significant charitable work, sports development and corporate acumen”.

It is the second honour the university has bestowed on Mr Sellers, with its largest and most state-of-the-art theatre – Basil Sellers Theatre – also named in recognition of his contributions to the community. 

Born in Bulsar, India, before migrating with his family to Adelaide, in 1948, Mr Sellers earned a reputation for his ability to turnaround ailing companies and his philanthropic work. He was named a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) in the 2003 Australia Day Honours.

Bond University vice chancellor and president, Tim Brailsford, said Mr Sellers' significant impact on charitable and community organisations made him the ideal recipient of an honorary doctorate.

“On anyone’s measure, he has enjoyed a stellar business career, demonstrating a well developed sense of business acumen and hard work,” Professor Brailsford said.

“However, Mr Sellers is not one to rest on his laurels and it is a credit to his character that for the past 25 years he has been concentrating on giving back to the community through philanthropic activities.

“One of the criteria for the award of a Doctor of the University degree is that the candidate must have made an outstanding contribution to society generally and there can be no doubt that Basil Sellers fulfils that requirement.”

Among Mr Sellers' many achievements is the purchase of a site in Chennai, India, for the Association for Non-traditional Employment for Women (ANEW) two decades ago.  The charity now sees the graduation and full-time employment of nearly 1,000 disadvantaged girls, including many from the slums, each year. 

A keen sportsman, Mr Sellers supports a plethora of sporting charities, including a respite centre for elite athletes from the Australian Institute of Sport, along with the McGrath Foundation and the Steve Waugh Foundation, among others.

His philanthropic activities extend to art, having commissioned numerous sculptures that take pride of place at sporting venues such as the SCG and the new Adelaide Oval, along with founding or contributing to art prizes and fellowships.

In business, he made a name for himself as the ‘turnaround king’ after transforming National Textiles from a company facing financial closure to the largest of its kind in Australia.

He took his skills overseas to London, where he was chairman and chief executive of Gestenter PLC, an imaging and electronics company, now owned by Ricoh, Japan.

“Mr Sellers’ achievements are many and Bond University is delighted to recognise his significant accomplishments with the honorary doctorate,” Prof. Brailsford said.


BRISBANE-BASED engineer Jo-Anne Dudley, whose job description includes regular commutes to Mongolia, has been named Queensland’s Exceptional Woman in Resources for 2018.

Ms Dudley, who is the senior manager for strategic mine and resources planning with Rio Tinto, has worked in underground mines throughout Australia, Africa, the USA and Mongolia. 

A mother of two, Ms Dudley moved her family from Brisbane to Vancouver in 2010 to work on a feasibility study for the Oyu Tolgoi mine in Mongolia. Now based back in Brisbane, she travels regularly to Mongolia and manages 30 people across three locations: Brisbane, Ulaanbaatar and the Oyu Tolgoi mine.

Ms Dudley has been a regular guest lecturer in Caving Studies at the University of British Columbia, and chaired the voluntary group Women in Mining and Resources Queensland (WIMARQ) in 2008 and 2009.

A member of the University of Queensland Women in Engineering Initiative Advisory Board, Jo-Anne Dudley helps promote the entry of women into engineering, supports them at university and prepares them for post-university life.

“To ensure that not only the strongest survive those early, and often lonely years, I am a passionate participator in the WIMARQ/QRC mentoring program having mentored four wonderful women in resources over the past three years,” Ms Dudley said.

Ms Dudley was only the second woman in New South Wales to gain an underground mine manager certificate and is one of only two females in Rio Tinto as a designated ‘competent person’ to sign off on reports of reserves and resources under the Joint Ore Reserves committee (JORC) code.

The annual Resources Awards for Women, organised by the Queensland Resources Council (QRC) and WIMARQ, were presented by Queensland Minister for Women Di Farmer at the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre on March 8.

More than 1,000 people attended, including about 450 watching via the internet in Moranbah, Mount Isa, Blackwater, Curragh Mine, Cannington Mine and Rockhampton.

“These awards play a pivotal role in our sector’s efforts to bring better gender balance to our workforce,” QRC chief executive Ian Macfarlane said.

“The QRC and its members have a goal of at least 20 percent women in ‘non-traditional’ roles — such as engineering, earth sciences, trades and operators — by 2020,” he said.

“Since 2006 these awards have provided a cohort of role models and ambassadors to inspire women to enter and remain in our resources sector.

“The economic and social benefits of better gender balance for our sector are clear and we believe that women should have equal access to the rewarding and high-paying careers it offers.

“It’s been over a decade since the introduction of our Women in Resources Action Plan, the proportion of women working in non-traditional roles in our sector in Queensland has risen from just six percent to 14 percent in our latest survey of members.

“I’m hopeful that with the increasing emphasis placed on gender balance by our members, such as BHP, which has a goal of gender parity in all occupations by 2025, we will reach our goal.

“If we are to attract the best and brightest into our increasingly technological sector, we need to scoop from the entire talent pool, not just half of it.”

Other category winners were:

Excellence in Diversity Programs and Performance: Rio Tinto.

Exceptional Young Woman in Queensland Resources: Holstein Wong, BHP.

Exceptional Tradesperson, Technician, Operator in Queensland Resources: Dannielle Weston, Hastings Deering.

Gender Diversity Champion in Queensland Resources: Rachel Durdin, Rio Tinto.

Exceptional Queensland Minerals and Energy Academy (QMEA) Student in Queensland Resources: Caitlyn Barnes, Moranbah State High School.

BOUTIQUE marketing agency PDPR Marketing and Creative has attracted former Brisbane BMW corporate account manager Kayla Pearce to the role of general manager with a brief to drive growth in the automotive sector  and continue expansion in the agency’s cornerstone retail and property industries..

PDPR co-director Briana Cicchelli said Ms Pearce would manage the firm’s burgeoning automotive industry client portfolio. 

“We are delighted to recruit such an experienced business development heavyweight to lead PDPR as our new general manager,” Ms Cicchelli said.

“As a result of her time working at Brisbane BMW, Kayla is well positioned to utilise her experience to take advantage of the comprehensive suite of marketing services we offer, which are already proven winners in the lifestyle marketplace.

“In addition, Kayla is a highly regarded and well-known within the automotive industry. With her vast automotive and commercial experience, she will be an invaluable asset to the PDPR creative team.”

Ms Cicchelli said the GM appointment reinforced the strong growth and expansion currently experienced by the boutique agency, with PDPR’s commitment to automotive a seamless fit with other lead portfolios of retail and property.

“2017 saw massive growth within our property portfolio, with developers in both Sydney and Shanghai signing with us,” Ms Cicchelli said.

The agency will also now expand into Sydney, with plans to open a second office near the CBD by June.

“2018 is set to be a massive year for us,” Ms Cicchelli said. “The Sydney office will allow us to better service our national and international clients while the appointment of Kayla Pearce will support us in expanding further into the automotive market,” Ms Cicchelli said.



THE Institute of Public Accountants (IPA) has welcomed the announcement of the appointment of Deen Sanders to the role of chief executive officer of the Financial Adviser Standards and Ethics Authority (FASEA).

“The appointment of Dr Sanders is an excellent decision made by the Minister for Revenue and Financial Services, the Hon Kelly O’Dwyer,” said IPA chief executive officer, Andrew Conway. 

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CHRISTINE HOLGATE has taken the managing directorship and CEO reins at Australia Post, succeeding Ahmed Fahour who has completed more than seven years in the role.

Ms Holgate – whose childhood experiences included her parents operating Royal Mail post offices in the UK – has joined Australia Post after a successful nine-year tenure as CEO of Blackmores and previous executive roles with Telstra, JP Morgan and Cable and Wireless. 

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