Our Leadership Team


Our Leadership Team

Polytechnic Institute Australia maintains the highest levels of academic leadership and corporate governance.

PIA’s degree and diploma programs are of the highest standards, comply with Commonwealth Government requirements, and are designed to be accredited by the relevant professional bodies.

PIA’s Academic Board and Board of Directors ensure that the education provided is of the highest standard


Academic Board

Emeritus Professor Peter Flood (Chair)

Professor Flood is a distinguished Australian academic with five decades of activities as a scientist, geologist, and higher education administrator. He has First Class Honours in Science and a Masters in Science from the University of New England, and a PhD from the University of Queensland. In addition, he holds a Diploma from Harvard University in Educational Management. He is the author of more than 350 research publications.

He is currently Honorary Professor at the University of Sydney and has held previous appointments at the University of Hong Kong and the University of Miami. He lectured at the University of Queensland (1972-1979), the University of New England (1980-2009), and the University of Sydney (2013-2014).


Mr Harry Halliday

Mr Halliday is Director of Event Coordination and Customer Service at NokiaEDU. He was previously a Director at Alcatel-Lucent University (Telecommunications) for 16 years. Prior to that Mr Halliday was Principal at Tweed Valley College.

Professor Richard Fletcher

Professor Fletcher is currently Adjunct Professor of Marketing at Western Sydney University. Prior to his retirement from WSU he was Professor of Marketing and Head of the School of Marketing and International Business. He has a BA (Syd), MA (Syd), M.Com - Marketing (UNSW) and a PhD (UTS) for research in International Marketing.

He is the initiator and principal author of the textbook "International Marketing - an Asia Pacific Perspective", now in its 7th edition, and has authored more than 120 research publications.
Prior to becoming an academic in 1989, he was an Australian Government Trade Commissioner for 25 years and represented the commercial interests of both Australian firms and the Australian Government whilst variously based in New Delhi, Bombay, San Francisco, Jakarta, Teheran, Libya, Los Angeles and Bangkok.



Professor Leigh Deves

Professor Deves holds an Honours degree in psychology and research methods (UNSW, 1977), a Masters of Business Administration (MGSM, 1985), and a Doctor of Philosophy (IMC, 1996). Professional experience in operations planning and research preceded commencement of an academic career at the Faculty of Business, at the (then) University of Western Sydney (now Western Sydney University) in 1987. At the University of Western Sydney he demonstrated a commitment to academic innovation, commercial development and managing business programs delivered on-campus within several Australian corporations and through an extensive international network.

Senior academic positions include Director, Graduate School of Management (1994–2000), Director, International Programs, Sydney Graduate School of Management (2001-03), and Professor of Management, Charles Darwin University (2006-10), where he has held the honorary position of Professorial Fellow since 2017.

Publications include management related journal articles, reports and research monographs. Research papers, including keynote addresses, have been presented to conferences and institutes in Europe, Scandinavia and Asia. He has served on the editorial board of an international journal since 2006.

Dr Michael Milgate (Dean)

Dr Milgate has held a number of senior academic positions (Academic Director or Dean) with various Higher Education Providers before joining PIA, as well as positions with several Australian universities and the Australian Defence Force Academy.

Dr Milgate’s degrees are in management and marketing, higher education, history and legal theory. He holds Fellowships with the Royal Society for the Arts, the Australian Marketing Institute, and the Institute of Managers and Leaders, and membership with a number of other education and management organisations.

Dr Milgate has worked with facilities and engineering, aerospace, forensic IT, and wine industries in Australia and internationally.


Board of Directors

Professor John Tarrant (Chair)

Professor Tarrant is a part-time Professor at the Law School of the University of Western Australia.

Professor Tarrant’s tertiary qualifications include a Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Commerce, Bachelor of Science, Bachelor of Laws with Honours, Master of Laws, Master of Defence Studies, Doctor of Juridical Science, and a Doctor of Philosophy. He also has a certificate in Law Teaching and diplomas in Taxation, Finance and Adult Education. Prior to joining UWA, he worked in the mining and petroleum industries as a company director with an emphasis on developing junior mining companies.
Professor Tarrant is a Barrister of the High Court of Australia and has been admitted as a legal practitioner in Western Australia, Victoria, New South Wales, Queensland, the Australian Capital Territory, and New Zealand. .


Mr Michael Abraham

Mr Abraham is currently the global financial controller for one of Australia's top 25 fastest growing companies.

During his tenure Mr Abraham has driven efficiencies and reduced risk across the company, against the background of a company growing exponentially. He is an experienced financial controller working across many sectors over the past 19 years, and has a demonstrated ability to adapt to a variety of environments, effectively restructuring people and processes to optimise efficiency and output. He has specialist knowledge in complex financial model development. Commercially minded, Mr Abraham is a strong negotiator with proven success in obtaining attractive contract terms. He has successfully lead international and interstate business establishments and restructures, and specialises in utilising both financial and non-financial data in order to manage risks.


Mr Jeff Egan

Mr Egan is a Director of the public relations firm Flagship Communications Pty Ltd. Prior to establishing Flagship Communications in 2003, Mr Egan worked as a Ministerial Adviser in the Howard Government and a teacher in the Catholic Education system. He has more than 19 years’ experience in stakeholder engagement, government relations, community consultation, issues management and media management.

Mr Egan holds numerous qualifications in communications and education, including a Master of Arts degree in Organisational Communication, a Bachelor of Education, a Graduate Diploma in Communication, a Graduate Certificate of Public Relations and a Certificate IV in Workplace Training and Assessment. He is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and member of the Public Relations Institute of Australia (NSW Division)


Khushboo Bagga

Khushboo is an external member of the Board of Directors with expertise in education, holding a Bachelor of Education, a Bachelor of Science and a Masters of Science.

Chief Executive Officer

Professor James Barber

Professor Barber holds a First Class Honours degree from Flinders University, a PhD in experimental psychology from the University of Adelaide and a Doctor of the University (honoris causa) from Flinders University. In 2015, he retired as Vice-Chancellor and President of the University of New England, Australia in order to pursue his interests in educational start-ups. Prior to serving as Vice-Chancellor at the University of New England, Professor Barber was Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic) at RMIT University in Melbourne, and served three terms as Head of Department at Flinders University before taking up the position of Dean at the University of Toronto in Canada. He is the author of more than 150 refereed journal articles and 6 books, and the winner of North America’s highest literary award for evidence-based practice, the Pro-Humanitate Medal, for his research into child welfare. He is a former winner of the Vice Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching at Flinders University and his contribution to higher education was formally recognised in a motion by the New South Wales Parliament in 2014.