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Board of Directors

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Peter Polson

Non-Executive Director and Chairman

Peter was appointed Non-Executive Director and Chairman of IDP Education in March 2007 and became Chairman of IDP Education Limited when the company listed on the Australian Stock Exchange in November 2015.  

Peter has broad experience in the financial services industry, first as Managing Director of the international funds management business with the Colonial Group, then as an executive with the Commonwealth Banking Group with responsibility 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 currently Chairman of Challenger Limited, 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. 


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Andrew Barkla

Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director

Andrew was appointed as Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director of 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. 


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Ariane Barker

Non-Executive Director

Ariane was appointed as a Non-Executive Director of IDP Education at the completion of its IPO in November 2015 and is Chair of the Audit and Risk Committee.

Ariane is a Board Member of Commonwealth Superannuation Corporation since September 2016, a Non-Executive Director and Chair of the Audit and Risk Committee at Atlas Arteria since March 2021, a member of the Investment Committee at the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute since 2011, and a former Board Director of Emergency Services & State Superannuation (ESSSuper).  

She has extensive experience in international finance, risk management, debt and equity capital markets and venture capital, with over 20 years in senior executive roles at JBWere (part of National Australia Bank), Merrill Lynch, Goldman Sachs and HSBC in the United States, Europe, Japan, Hong Kong and Australia. She was previously the CEO of Scale Investors from 2017 to February 2021. 

Ariane is a graduate and member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors (AICD). 


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Professor David Battersby AM

Non-Executive Director

David was appointed as a Non-Executive Director of IDP Education in February 2011.

He was appointed Vice-Chancellor of the University of Ballarat in 2006 and, in 2014, he became Foundation Vice-Chancellor of Federation University Australia, 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 Stirling

Non-Executive Director

Colin was appointed as a Non-Executive Director of 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. 


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Greg West

Non-Executive Director

Greg was appointed as a Non-Executive Director of IDP Education in December 2006.  

Greg is on the Council of the University of Wollongong and a Director and Chair of the Audit Committee of UOWGE Limited, a business arm of the University of Wollongong with universities in Dubai, Hong Kong and Malaysia. Greg is also a Director and Chair of Education Australia Limited.  

Previously, Greg was Chief Executive Officer of a dual listed ASX biotech company. He has worked at Price Waterhouse and has held senior finance executive roles in investment banking with Bankers Trust, Deutsche Bank, NZI and other financial institutions.  

Greg is a Director of the St James Foundation Limited.  

He is a Chartered Accountant with experience in the education sector, investment banking and financial services. 


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Chris Leptos AM

Non-Executive Director

Chris was appointed as a Non-Executive Director of IDP Education at the completion of its IPO in November 2015.  

Chris recently retired as Chairman of SEA Electric and is Chairman of the National Heart Foundation of Australia. In 2020 Chris was appointed by the Federal Government to conduct a statutory review of the National Housing and Investment Corporation Act reporting to Parliament in 2021.  

In 2021 Chris was appointed by the Federal Government as the Independent Reviewer of the Food and Grocery Code under the Competition and Consumer Act. 

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 was previously a Senior Partner with KPMG and Managing Partner Government at Ernst & 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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