La Trobe Business School

Month: September 2016

Professors of Practice Profiles – Janet Russell: “The mix of experience in our Professor of Practice team is outstanding and complementary to the LBS faculty, in total providing an invaluable resource to our students.”

Janet Russell

When La Trobe Business School introduced the Professors of Practice concept early last year, Janet Russell was one of the first Professors of Practice to be appointed.

As one of the first Business Schools in Australia to pioneer this concept, LBS intends that Professors of Practice will provide students with invaluable insights into the industry, while also  strengthening links between LBS and industry.

With experience spanning from being a CEO and Managing Director to running her own executive coaching service for successful entrepreneurs, tech specialists, lawyers and accountants, Janet Russell has an impressive breadth of experience to bring to La Trobe Business School. ”As an executive coach, I aim to help clients identify the thoughts and behaviours that can hold them back in their careers or leadership roles so they can grow conscious of these and develop new ways of thinking and behaving that serve them and their organisations much better,” she says. “The key in my work as an executive coach is to ask the right questions to unlock what the real or underlying issue is for an individual. For example, I’ll often deal with clients who have been promoted on the basis of research they conducted, but they feel unequipped for their new position because they are insecure about their managerial or people skills. By asking the right questions, you can support an individual to deal with the often irrational fears that hold them back from realising their own potential.”

Currently, Janet Russell teaches on La Trobe Business School’s MBA programme, where she delivers subjects on Responsible Leadership, HR and Management. “I really enjoy teaching especially as my professional experience and knowledge are well aligned with La Trobe Business School’s values and goals, like creating work-ready graduates and fostering global citizens.” Janet says. “I was also very pleased to see that our Business School was named one of the only PRME champions in Australia recently. A strong focus on sustainability and developing responsible leaders is crucial for organisations globally.”

In November last year, Janet travelled to Hanoi, Vietnam, where she taught an intensive course on responsible leadership to twenty MBA students. “It was a wonderful experience to compare and contrast the learning environment of our Hanoi based students with our Australian based students.

When asked what she thinks a Professor of Practice should bring to a course, Janet Russell is clear: “Relevant experience and practical application of how what’s studied in a business subject translates into the real world of work and organisational environments, which I think all Professors of Practice have in abundance. The mix of experience in our Professor of Practice team is outstanding and complementary to the LBS faculty, in total providing an invaluable resource to our students.”

LBS’s Dr Tarek Rana recently appointed as a member of Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand (CAANZ) executive committee!

Dr Tarek Rana

Dr Tarek Rana was recently appointed as an executive committee member of the Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand (CAANZ), Albury-Wodonga branch.  CAANZ was created though the amalgamation of the Institute of Chartered Accountants Australia (ICAA) and the New Zealand Institute of Chartered Accountants, and has a membership of 115,000 professionals.

For an accountant, being named a member means receiving the Chartered Accountant title. This title is an internationally recognised professional designation that reflects the highest standards of ethical, professional and technical expertise. To qualify as a Chartered Accountant of CAANZ, members have to gain and maintain one of the toughest professional accountancy and finance qualifications in the world.

“Being on the AW regional committee of CAANZ provides La Trobe Business School with an opportunity to engage more with one of the largest accounting professional bodies in the world and within the regional business community,” Dr Tarek Rana said. “I am keen to build on this relationship, not only to foster growth within La Trobe Business School, but also to increase students’ employability.”

Dr Tarek Rana is La Trobe Business School’s Campus Coordinator for the Albury-Wodonga campus and a Lecturer in Accounting. Prior to becoming an academic, Tarek was a Principal and senior manager of professional accounting firms in Sydney and Canberra. He has over ten years public practice experience in business services, taxation, auditing, and financial planning as well as consulting services including financial management, cash flow management, and performance management.

When it comes to engaging with diverse stakeholders including academic colleagues, students, staff, business organisations, and the public service, Dr Tarek Rana demonstrates a consistently proactive approach. With CAANZ, Tarek maintains the same positive and proactive approach: “This relationship can be very meaningful to the broader Albury-Wodonga region in the sense that it can make important contributions to businesses and the professional community in this area.”

As an example of these contributions, in collaboration with the CAANZ Albury-Wodonga committee, Tarek is planning to develop projects with regional significance, including costing public services associated with an ageing population and regional community development.

La Trobe Business School dares to Dream Big


Ordinary Australians who dare to dream big are seeing their hopes become real, thanks to a bold project shaping a better nation for all. The winners of My Big Idea have been revealed– ten plans to address specific challenges facing Australia, submitted by regular people and adopted by leading universities and corporate partners.

One such plan is to deliver dreams specifically focussed on building skills for older Australians wanting to start a small business and to establish a free community group to bring together over 55’s. La Trobe Business School will be incubating the ideas proposed by Doug Jacquier (South Australia) and Steve Oesterreich (NSW), developing concepts of a Seniors Enterprise Centre and Over-55 Start-Up Group.

The concept is to “create employment for over 55’s, rather than seek employment”, said La Trobe Business School’s Professor of Entrepreneurship, Dr Alex Maritz. Federal Minister for Industry, and Science Greg Hunt said My Big Idea was about shaping the future through a nationwide competition. “Innovation and science in particular are fundamental to Australia’s future prosperity and quality of life. It touches all our lives”, he writes. Since start-up activity for over-55’s is the highest growing sector of entrepreneurship in Australia, La Trobe Business School (LBS) is well equipped to meet this challenge, enhancing “active ageing” for this age group, said Professor Maritz. The LBS incubation team add significant value to the project, consisting of Professors, Academics, PhD Candidates, Students and LBS networks. “We have the unique ability to integrate this project into the entrepreneurship courses we offer, as well as the communities in which we engage, notwithstanding our expertise in the development of entrepreneurship and innovation in the greater Melbourne and Victoria northern corridor”, Professor Maritz said.

As noted on the My Big Idea website, “My Big Idea is a non-politically aligned project driven by the Australian Futures Project – a registered charity focused on sourcing and bringing to life some of Australia’s most innovative and inspiring ideas for the country’s future.”

La Trobe Business School will also be hosting a Start-up Bootcamp on 8 October 2016, whereby the incubation team will deliver on the My Big Idea promise to train 500 Australians to be positive change makers!

For more information, contact LBS academic Dr Alex Maritz.


LBS PhD Student Pedro Flores wins the 2016 AARES-NZARES Heading West Award


Recently, LBS PhD student Pedro Flores won the 2016 AARES-NZARES Heading West Award. For this award, Pedro travelled to the Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society in Nelson, New Zealand, where he presented his winning paper on Economics of Biodiversity Conservation in the Peruvian Amazon. The abstract of the winning paper, “Including the maintenance of ecosystem resilience of an old-growth forest as a choice for natural carbon sequestration funding. An ecological-economic approach”, can be found below.

La Trobe Business School would like to congratulate Pedro on his success!


Australia is one of the first countries to prepare long-term pathways studies to decarbonize its economy. Peru is a megadiverse country with the second extension of forests in the Amazon basin. The design of efficient public policies for these territories is challenging due the fragility of public institutions and lack of economic valuation of important ecosystem services provided from old-growth forests.

This paper presents an ecological-economic model for a key non-timber forest product of the Peruvian Amazon basin: the Brazil nut (Bertholletia excelsa) and analyses the bioeconomic dimensions of two ecosystem services: pollination and the forest cover to provide habitat for flora and fauna. Could the investment in natural carbon sequestration in the Amazon be the best economic option for developed countries as Australia or New Zealand to mitigate the effects of climate change instead of man-made carbon sequestration strategies? We discuss the implications of this choice from the ecological-economics perspective.

LBS’s Mark Morris: “What is the future of accounting?”


Recently, LBS Professor of Practice Mark Morris gave a presentation on the Future of Accounting at the Australian Tax Office. In the presentation, Mark speaks about how the ATO has adapted themselves to a changing world in the past, and how he thinks they can adapt themselves to new technology in the future. Mark looks at what the key drivers are of the profession changing in the framework of a globalised world, and where tax firms are and need to be now. He addresses questions like ‘How can firms stay ahead of the curve?’, ‘What skillset do they need?’ and ‘What strategies do tax firms need to develop for a market in 2020?’

To know what his answers to these questions are, watch Mark Morris’s presentation in full, below:


LBS academics showcase their research at the Academy of Management conference in California


By Dr Sajad Fajezi

The Conference

The 76th Annual meeting of the Academy of Management was held in Anaheim, California from 5-8 August this year. The world’s premier conference for the management discipline attracted over 10,000 scholars from all over the world, with over 2,500 sessions and activities to choose from.

This year, four LBS management academics attended the conference and their participation ranged from chairing symposia, and attending professional development workshops, through to presenting their research at paper sessions.

The Participants

In line with this year’s theme, ‘making organisations meaningful’, Associate Professor Suzanne Young presented her research on corporate governance, health governance and corporate reputation and legitimacy management. Dr Jennifer Spoor and Dr Jillian Cavanagh chaired a symposium entitled ‘Supporting Employment Outcomes for Individuals with a Disability’. Dr Sajad Fayezi presented a paper on flexible and sustainable procurement, and Dr Swati Nagpal presented her research undertaken with three other LBS academics into corporate reputation and legitimacy management.

The Hallmarks

As one of the largest gatherings of management scholars, Academy of Management is comprised of 25 management disciplines represented by Divisions and Interest Groups. LBS staff have showcased their work across such divisions as Social Issues in Management (SIM), Health Care Management (HCM), Operations Management (OM) and Human Resources (HR). Through active engagement, LBS management academics have been able to discuss a number collaborative projects with some of the pioneering researchers in their respective areas of interest. Participating in various events associated with meeting editors of the leading management journals was another hallmark of this truly international forum. By way of example, the Operations Management Division had organised various sessions to meet editors and associate editors of Journal of Operations Management, Journal of Supply Chain Management, Journal of Business Logistics and Journal of Purchasing and Supply Management.

The Benefits

All in all, the conference has significantly contributed to further development and dissemination of the research undertaken by LBS academics with the ultimate goal that it will be published in some of the most prestigious journals of their respective management discipline. This will contribute to the international reputation of LBS, its research quality as well as visibility and can create new opportunities for international and multidisciplinary collaboration to address some of the pressing business and management issues of our time.

The Papers

Paper Session: Corporate Governance perspectives and CSR: Issues for Stakeholder Management

Author: Magalie Marais, Montpellier Business School
Author: Suzanne Young, La Trobe Business School

Paper Session: Backsourcing in Public Health: Towards a Model of Analysis

Author: Suzanne Young, La Trobe Business School
Author: Manuela M Macinati, Catholic University of the Sacred Heart 

Paper Session: Flexibility and Sustainability Priorities in Procurement: Practices, Relationships and Trade-Offs

Author:  Sajad Fayezi, La Trobe Business School 

Paper Session: CSR and social risk: from risk minimization to risk sharing

 Author: Swati Nagpal, La Trobe Business School
 Author: Suzanne Young, La Trobe Business School
 Author: Geoffrey Durden, La Trobe Business School
 Author: Timothy Marjoribanks, La Trobe Business School 

Symposium: Supporting Employment Outcomes for Individuals with a Disability

Chair: Jennifer R. Spoor, La Trobe Business School

Contact Chair: Jillian Cavanagh, La Trobe Business School

For further information, please contact the relevant LBS academic directly.




Olympics Explainer: intersex athletes at the Rio 2016 Games

Emma Sherry

By Emma Sherry

In the lead-up to the 800m women’s final at the recent Rio Olympic Games, much of the lead up discussion focused on the South African athlete Caster Semenya. The history of sex verification in sport has been long and for many traumatic, with international sport organisations policing women with “masculine” features, subjecting them to a barrage of blood test, scans and physical examinations. However in sport, the traditional gender binary of male and female has been challenged and the right of intersex athletes to compete on the world stage has now been established by the Court of Arbitration of Sport.

What is intersex? “Intersex” is a general term used for a variety of conditions in which a person is born with a reproductive or sexual anatomy that doesn’t seem to fit the typical definitions of female or male. Differences may be found in anatomy or genetics, however intersex anatomy doesn’t always show up at birth. Sometimes a person isn’t found to have intersex anatomy until she or he reaches the age of puberty, or finds himself an infertile adult, or dies of old age and is autopsied. Some people live and die with intersex anatomy without anyone (including themselves) ever knowing (Source:

Caster Semenya’s case, and those of other athletes such as India’s Dutee Chand has been strongly fought over a number of years, with the international governing body of athletics (IAAF) and the International Olympic Committee (IOC). The primary source of disagreement between the athletes, genetic and endocrine specialists, and the sport organisations is the inability for the science to draw a “line in the sand” between a male and female athlete.

In July 2015, the Court of Arbitration for Sport found that the IAAF policy regarding levels of testosterone in female athletes was not justified, noting: “While the evidence indicates that higher levels of naturally occurring testosterone may increase athletic performance, the Panel is not satisfied that the degree of that advantage is more significant than the advantage derived from the numerous other variables which the parties acknowledge also affect female athletic performance: for example, nutrition, access to specialist training facilities and coaching and other genetic and biological variations.”. The decision of the court ordered that the rules to be shelved until the IAAF could provide further evidence that could show there was a clear difference between male and female testosterone levels, and how big an advantage the extra testosterone gave hyperandrogenic women. This decision subsequently saw the IOC also change its gender policy, noting that it would not regulate women’s natural testosterone levels until the issue is resolved via further scientific research.

These athletes, many of who for the first time discover their gender differences via competition testing, are under substantial pressure and criticism during the Games, with Semenya reportedly under armed guard in the Olympic Village following fears for her safety. This criticism from fans and competitors has however rallied support from her country people, with South African’s rallying to defend their athletics star.

She did exceptionally well in the final, and won gold. But regardless of the result, she will forever remembered at these games for her bravery and strength in continuing to compete in a sport that she loves against all odds.

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