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Board of Directors

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Peter Polson

Non-Executive Director and Chairman

  • Peter was appointed as a Non-Executive Director at IDP Education in March 2007. His experience spans the financial services industry with positions at the Colonial Group as Managing Director of the international funds management business and as an executive with the Commonwealth Banking Group. He was responsible for all investment and insurance services, including the group’s funds management, master funds, superannuation and insurance businesses and third-party support services for brokers, agents and financial advisers.
  • He is Chairman of Challenger Limited (listed company director since November 2003), Challenger Life Company Limited, Avant Group Insurance Limited and Very Special Kids. Peter is also a director of Avant Mutual Group Limited and Avant Group Holdings Limited



Andrew Barkla

Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director

  • Andrew was appointed as Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director at IDP Education in August 2015.
  • He has extensive experience in the technology, services and software industry, with more than 20 years of senior management experience in roles across Australia, New Zealand, Asia and North America.
  • Prior to joining IDP Education, Andrew worked for SAP as President of Australia and New Zealand. Before this, he held leadership roles at Unisys, including Vice President of Unisys’ Asia Pacific Japan operations covering 13 countries, Member of Unisys’ Global Executive Committee, and Chairman of Unisys West: a technology services joint venture between BankWest and Unisys.
  • Earlier in his career, Andrew was Vice President and General Manager of PeopleSoft’s Asia Pacific region prior to the company’s acquisition by Oracle.



Ariane Barker

Non-Executive Director

  • Ariane was appointed as a Non-Executive Director at IDP Education at the completion of its IPO in November 2015 and is Chair of the Audit and Risk Committee.
  • As the CEO of angel investor network, Scale Investors, Ariane works to support female entrepreneurs and gender balanced startups who are in early stage businesses. She is a member of the Murdoch Children's Research Institute (MCRI) Investment Committee and Development Board, and is a former Board Member of Emergency Services & State Superannuation (ESSSuper).
  • Ariane has extensive experience in international finance, risk management, and debt and equity capital markets, having worked in executive roles with JBWere, National Australia Bank, Merrill Lynch, Goldman Sachs and HSBC in the United States, Europe, Japan and Hong Kong.
  • Ariane is a graduate and member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors (AICD).



Professor David Battersby AM

Non-Executive Director

  • David was appointed as a Non-Executive Director at IDP Education in February 2011. He was appointed Vice-Chancellor of Federation University Australia in early 2014 and was previously Vice-Chancellor of the University of Ballarat, completing his term of office in 2016.
  • He took up his current appointment as an Adjunct Professor at Southern Cross University in 2017.
  • David’s previous senior appointments have been at universities in Australia and New Zealand and he has undertaken consultancies for UNESCO, the OECD and various government agencies.
  • He was foundation Chair of the Australian Regional Universities Network and the board of the Museum of Australian Democracy at Eureka and is currently on the board of directors of the Melbourne Institute of Technology.
  • David is also Deputy Chair of the Board of Education Australia Limited.


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Professor Colin J. Stirling

Non-Executive Director

  • Colin was appointed as a Non-Executive Director at IDP Education in February 2018. He is the President and Vice-Chancellor of Flinders University and brings more than thirty years of experience in international education in Australia, the UK and the USA. Colin is a Director of Education Australia Limited and has held various other board positions across health, academic and community organisations.
  • Educated at the University of Edinburgh, and with a PhD from the University of Glasgow, Colin began his award-winning scientific career at the University of California, Berkeley.



Greg West

Non-Executive Director

  • Greg was appointed as a Non-Executive Director at IDP Education in December 2006. He is a Chartered Accountant with experience in investment banking and financial services. Greg is Chief Executive Officer of the ASX listed biotech, Benitec Biopharma Limited and a Director and Chair of the Audit Committee of UOWD Limited (a business arm of Wollongong University).
  • Previously, Greg has worked at Price Waterhouse and held senior finance executive roles in investment banking with Bankers Trust, Deutsche Bank, NZI and other financial institutions. Greg is also a Director of Education Australia.



Chris Leptos AM

Non-Executive Director

  • Chris was appointed as a Non-Executive Director at IDP Education in November 2015. His other Board roles include Chairman of SEA Electric, and President and Chairman of the National Heart Foundation.
  • He is also a Senior Advisor to Flagstaff Partners, a member of the Advisory Board of The University of Melbourne Faculty of Business & Economics and the Advisory Council of Asialink, he is an Adjunct Professor at Monash University, and a Governor of The Smith Family.
  • He was previously a senior partner with KPMG, and Managing Partner Government at Ernst and Young where he had national responsibility for leading the public sector and higher education practice. 
  • He is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants and a fellow of the AICD.


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