Our team is passionate about higher education and its transformative possibilities.

Our consultants are highly experienced advisors with deep sector experience

From our extensive networks, we have chosen to partner with a number of leading experts to bring specialized expertise, connectivity and capacity

We are building a number of alliances to benefit our clients in terms of impact.


  • Michael Wells

    BA LLB (Melb)
    M Marketing (Melb)

    Mr Michael Wells, Founding Director, is one of the leading advisors on higher education in Australia. He advises universities and independent higher education providers (iHEPs) on governance, business planning, regulatory strategy, and quality assurance. Michael was a full-time Commissioner at the Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency (TEQSA) from 2011-2015 and Executive Director of Finance and Planning at the University of Melbourne from 2005-2011 where he was a member of the Senior Executive Committee and Academic Board. Prior to the University of Melbourne, Michael’s career focussed on legal practice, strategy consulting and brand valuation.

    Ph: +61 418 316 606


  • Sarah Griggs

    BA (Hons) (Melb)

    Ms Sarah Griggs, Principal, has worked in higher education for over twenty years, bringing extensive experience in strategy development and implementation, leadership and management, institutional performance and business intelligence. At Wells Advisory, Sarah specialises in strategic and business planning, student profile planning and accountability frameworks, faculty structures and governance models, strategic risk frameworks, organisational change and KPI setting. Previously, Sarah held senior leadership roles at the University of Melbourne, including the Director, University Strategy, Planning and Performance and the General Manager, Faculty of Arts.

    Ph: +61 438 576 644


  • Dr Paula Kelly
    Senior Consultant

    BA (Hons) (Mon)
    Grad Cert Quality Assurance (Melb)
    MA (Mon)
    PhD (Melb)

    Dr Paula Kelly, Senior Consultant, advises on higher education policy settings, quality assurance, regulation and accreditation. Paula understands the complexities of the higher education environment including the regulatory and legislative frameworks that govern it.  Prior to joining Wells Advisory, Paula held an academic position at the University of Melbourne and is currently an Honorary Fellow of the Centre for the Study of Higher Education; and a regulatory role at the Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency (TEQSA).

    Ph: +61 427 318 362


  • Dr Carolyn Daniel
    Senior Consultant

    PhD (Mon)
    BA (Hons) (VU)

    Dr Carolyn Daniel, Senior Consultant, brings substantial contemporary experience in higher education regulation, policy and quality assurance. Carolyn has held senior roles in both Commonwealth and Victorian Government within the education portfolios, most recently in a senior regulatory role at TEQSA. Combined with a background in educational policy and academic research, Carolyn has a strong knowledge of the Australian tertiary education sector including higher education and vocational training. As Senior Consultant, Carolyn provides strategic regulatory advice based on her expertise and technical knowledge of the tertiary education sector, in particular higher education entry and quality improvement for colleges and universities already registered.

    Ph: +61 417 431 600


  • Anna To
    Senior Business Analyst

    BA/BSc (Hons) (Melb)

    Anna To, Senior Business Analyst, specialises in analysing complex quantitative information and providing data insights for a diverse range of audiences and contexts. Her experience spans across higher education, local and state government, and not-for-profit sectors. Anna is the primary analyst at Wells Advisory, working on a wide range of projects and providing analytic support, insights and advice to the team. Prior to joining Wells Advisory, Anna held analyst positions at the University of Melbourne and Victoria University, providing information and insights to senior management. Areas of focus include: market and competitor analysis, student experience, retention, graduate outcomes, modelling impacts arising from government policy changes as well as identifying risks and opportunities.

    Ph: +61 419 030 733


  • Janelle Brooks
    Office Manager

    Janelle Brooks is the Office Manager at Wells Advisory. She has an extensive background and qualifications in administration and human resource management, specializing in employee relations and has previously held roles as Executive Assistant, Administration Manager, and Human Resources Business Partner in a range of sectors, including media, retail and insurance. Janelle has also run her own business. Most recently, Janelle has been Practice Manager of a busy Eastern Suburbs dental practice.  Janelle holds an Undergraduate Diploma in Human Resource Management from the University of West London (England) and a Certificate of Office Management (Box Hill Institute).

    Ph: +61 432 777 170


  • Prashant Bhatia
    Graduate Analyst

    M. Global Media Comms [Melb]
    B.Com (Acc & Econ) [Swin]

    Prashant Bhatia recently graduated with a Masters in Global Media Communications from the University of Melbourne with first-class honors. During his Masters, he was a Graduate Ambassador for the Faculty of Arts and a representative for the Graduate Student Association in the University’s Selection Procedures Committee working on scholarship proposals, new course design and university’s academic disciplinary policies. He wrote and published opinion editorials on Australian media industry, mental health system and mainstream media rhetoric. He started his own podcast series, interviewing political and social influencers in Melbourne. He is a volunteer speaker for Beyondblue, and has spoken at schools, universities, sporting clubs and local council events, creating awareness about mental health and reducing stigma. He was awarded Melbourne University’s 2018 Leaders in Communities Award.

    Before beginning his Masters, Prashant worked at Swinburne University teaching Macroeconomics and International Finance to undergraduate and postgraduate students. He also worked as a Research Analyst for Open Universities Australia. He completed his Bachelor’s in Commerce and was awarded the Mary Antoinette Richardson prize for the Highest Achieving Graduating student.

    Prashant came to Melbourne as an international student in 2008 and worked his way to become a permanent resident and finally an Australian citizen in November 2013. His journey gave him a unique perspective on tertiary education, diversity and representation in the wider Australian socio-political landscape.

    Ph: +61 452 448 532



  • Emeritus Professor Peter Lee
    Principal Advisor

    LLD (Monash, Honoris Causa)
    PhD, (ChemEng) (Monash)
    B.E. (ChemEng) (RMIT)

    Emeritus Professor Peter Lee is an experienced senior executive of large organisations that have complex stakeholder environments. Peter’s unique combination of technical excellence and understanding of human and stakeholder psyche means he has regularly been called upon to guide corporate, government and non-government organisations.

    He was the Vice-Chancellor & CEO at Southern Cross University for seven years after having held senior positions at the University of South Australia (DVC Academic), Curtin University of Technology (Executive Dean of Engineering, Science and Computing) and Murdoch University (Foundation Dean of Engineering). He has served on a number of corporate, university, research and government boards, including the peak body, Universities Australia, for which he was Chair of the Finance, Audit and Risk committee. Peter is an expert in corporate and academic governance of higher education institutions.

    Peter is one of the most highly distinguished engineers in Australia. He is a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering; and a Fellow of the Institution of Engineers Australia. He has been repeatedly named as one of the most influential engineers in Australia and has been awarded the Centenary Medal for services to Australian society. Emeritus Professor Lee has authored four books and 270 journal papers.

    Peter partners with Wells Advisory on key projects.

    Ph: +61 419 941 175


  • Emeritus Professor Janelle Allison

    Emeritus Professor Janelle Allison
    Principal Advisor

    Emeritus Professor Janelle Allison has over 25 years’ experience in higher education and most recently was Pro Vice-Chancellor (Community, Partnerships and Regional Development) and Principal of University College at the University of Tasmania.

    Janelle has a background in Geography and Regional Planning. She has worked with regional communities and in regional development in Australia, (particularly Queensland) as well as overseas in Africa, Papua New Guinea, Cambodia and Indonesia. Janelle has taught in a range of settings including planning/ design studios, rural community development, short courses and training for regional development in provincial governments in Indonesia and more recently into the Bachelor of Regional Resource Management on Cradle Coast Campus. In this role Janelle has introduced students to intensive mode delivery and problem based learning.

    More recently Janelle has focused her interest on alternative participation strategies and entry pathways to learning – a critical issue for the North West of Tasmania. She led the establishment and development of University College and its innovative curriculum model for two-year associate degrees designed to provide new and alternative pathways for Tasmanians into higher education.

    Janelle’s career has had a long-term focus and impact on workforce development and local and regional economic development. Her work has been pursued within an applied and reflective research model. She is a Business Member of the Joint Commonwealth Tasmania Economic Committee (JCTEC).

    Janelle partners with Wells Advisory on key projects.

    Ph: +61 408 452 548

  • Sendur Kathir
    Principal Advisor

    MBA (Mon)
    B.A.Sc. (RMIT)
    B.E. (RMIT)

    Sendur Kathir is a highly experienced leader in information technology, especially the rapidly evolving digital landscape in education markets.  He has over 20 years’ experience in education, government and telecommunications.

    He started his career in consulting and progressed to senior vendor-side roles. In 2005 he took on the role of CIO at The University of Melbourne, later styled Executive Director Digital. Over a decade in this role, Sendur led one of the largest and most diverse IT portfolios in Australia. In 2015, he was awarded Education CIO of the Year. In recent years, his digital leadership has delivered key initiatives in mobility, analytics, business intelligence, social media integration, 3D printing and cloud adoption.  He has a significant transformation track record underpinned by financial and cultural turnarounds. He is expert at visioning, strategy formulation and execution to enable business growth.

    Sendur has strong commercial acumen, having held full P&L responsibility for up to $500 million and leading teams of up to 12 direct reports and 600 indirect reports. Sendur has served on several Boards including Victorian Education and Research Network (VERNet) and various Commonwealth and State Government initiatives.

    Sendur partners with Wells Advisory on key projects.

    Ph: +61 404 007 557


  • Chris Patton
    Principal Advisor

    Bachelor of Arts (UBC)
    Master of Arts (GUELPH)

    Chris has over 30 years’ experience in the higher education sector in both Australia and Canada including roles at UBC, UoG, SFU, UOW, La Trobe, UNE, SCU and Navitas and is currently Principal and Founder of McKay Patton Advisory Pty Ltd.  As vice president at UNE and SCU for 10 years he was responsible for substantial enrolment growth in both domestic and international students.

    Chris has detailed experience launching, leading or controlling several third party arrangements from both the for-profit and public university provider perspective, both on-shore and internationally.  He has been involved in scoping, negotiating and successfully launching other innovative education venture partnerships such as launching SCU Online with Keypath Australia.  Based on this complex exposure over almost two decades to market forces facing higher education in Australia, Chris is at the forefront of understanding the challenges and the emerging risks faced by public and for-profit Australian education providers as they compete to remain relevant in a dynamic market.

    Chris specialises in the areas of business development, student enrolment growth strategy, the application and operation of entrepreneurial public private ventures to harness growth opportunities and the improvement of providers’ operations and compliance with regulatory requirements in Australia.

    Chris partners with Wells Advisory on key projects.

    Ph: +61 408 283 679


  • Professor Hamish Coates
    Principal Advisor

    BSc (Melb)
    BA (Hons) (Melb)
    MEd (Melb)
    PhD (Melb)

    Professor Hamish Coates contributes to the field of higher education through research, leadership and development. Over 20 years he has led over 70 influential projects, worked across 50 countries, authored over 200 publications, procured over AU$25 million in funding, conducted hundreds of workshops, given over 270 keynotes and presentations, and generated ongoing revenue streams. He has an h-index of 35, more than 5,500 citations, and is sought internationally as a speaker.

    Hamish is a Tenured Professor at Tsinghua University’s Institute of Education and also Deputy Director of its Global Research Centre for the Assessment of College and Student Development. He was Professor of Higher Education at the University of Melbourne, Founding Director of Higher Education Research at the Australian Council for Educational Research, and Program Director at the LH Martin Institute for Tertiary Leadership and Management.

    Hamish concentrates on improving the quality and productivity of higher education. Considered an authority in several areas, areas of expertise include large-scale evaluation, tertiary education policy, institutional strategy, assessment methodology, learner engagement and success, and academic work and leadership.

    Hamish partners with Wells Advisory on key projects.

    Ph: +96 187 0158 3083


Alliance Partners