Our People

Our Board


Dean Lynch


Dean Lynch is Snowy Hydro Relations Manager and is involved in all levels of government and community stakeholder engagement for the Snowy Hydro 2.0 project. The fifth-generation grazier was Mayor of the Cooma Monaro Shire for eight years, followed by two years as Administrator of the amalgamated Snowy River Regional Council. He sat on the NSW Government Joint Regional Planning Panel and was Chairperson of numerous Council and Community committees. Dean continues to sit on various committees and is also a partner in a retail business. Dean was instrumental in establishing the Cooma Universities Centre during his term as Mayor, during which time Cooma Monaro Shire and Snowy Hydro concept designed and then established the Centre prior to gifting it to the community. He sat on the governing Board of the Cooma Universities Centre (now CUC Snowy Monaro) up until becoming Chair of the Country Universities Centre.

Praveena Karunaharan

Praveena Karunaharan

Non-Executive Director 

Praveena is the Head of Governance and Compliance and Group Company Secretary at Snowy Hydro, where she is responsible for corporate governance and regulatory strategy across the Snowy Hydro Group. Prior to joining Snowy in 2013, Praveena was a Director in PwC's Risk Consulting division where she advised ASX listed clients on governance, risk and compliance practices and led organisational and regulatory change programs. At PwC, she was the Risk Consulting lead for the PwC Foundation where she provided pro bono strategy and governance advice to NFPs including Rob de Castella's Indigenous Marathon Project and the Reach Foundation. Praveena also served as a youth mentor for Mission Australia. Praveena’s prior NFP experience also includes 15 months as Board observer with Habitat for Humanity, Australia, followed by a term on the Habitat Board Risk Committee.

Kim Houghton

Non-Executive Director

Dr Kim Houghton has worked on regional economic development in Australia for almost 20 years. Kim is currently Chief Economist at the Regional Australia Institute and leads the think tank’s policy and research work. Kim works to ensure the Institute’s work has practical application and supports a better policy environment and more vibrant regional economies. Kim established and ran the consulting firm Strategic Economic Solutions and has over 20 years' experience in regional development consulting across Australia and overseas. Kim has a passion for engaging, motivating, informing and connecting regional leaders from business, community and government.

Kim’s previous roles include: Director of consultancy Strategic Economic Solutions, Associate with Elton Consulting; Chief Economist, Council of Small Business Organisations of Australia; Policy Officer, Economic Planning Advisory Commission; Executive Officer, Australian Japan Research Centre and Policy Officer, Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet.

Duncan Taylor

Non-Executive Director 

Duncan Taylor is the founder of Country Universities Centre, and previously served as the voluntary CEO. Duncan was the inaugural Chair of the original Cooma Universities Centre which later became the Country Universities Centre Snowy Monaro, and now sits on a number of Centre Boards in NSW and Queensland. 

Duncan is a former Member of the TAFE NSW Commission Board and former President of the Isolated Children’s Parents’ Association of New South Wales, and previously sat on the Rural and Remote Education Advisory Group that advised the NSW Government and Department of Education on strategies to improve educational outcomes in rural and remote areas.

Duncan is a farmer on the Monaro and South West Slopes of NSW, and was a founding director of agricultural assets management company Growth Farms Australia.

Alix Greenhill

Non-Executive Director 

Alix Greenhill is the Finance Manager of Cubbie Ag, the largest irrigated cotton farm in Australia, spanning 93,000ha located near Dirranbandi and St George Queensland.

Alix previously was the inaugural Centre Manager of CUC Balonne a successful low-population pilot model in remote Queensland. She has been a strong advocate for the region and CUC having been involved in numerous community and regional committees as part of her current and prior role. Alix understands first-hand the benefits of having access to a CUC as a current Master of Business Administration student and is a strong believer in equitable opportunity to access higher education.

Paul Broad

Non-Executive Director 

Paul Broad is a seasoned executive with a distinguished career in the utilities and infrastructure sectors. He served as the CEO of Snowy Hydro Limited, a key player in the Australian energy industry known for its iconic Snowy Mountains Hydro-electric Scheme. During his tenure at Snowy Hydro, Broad was instrumental in steering the company through significant expansions and technological upgrades, including the development of the Snowy 2.0 project, which aims to increase the generating capacity of the existing scheme.

Prior to his role at Snowy Hydro, Broad held various leadership positions, including CEO of Infrastructure NSW, Managing Director at Hunter Water Corporation, and CEO of AAPT.

CUC Central

Chris Ronan

Chief Executive Officer

Chris leads CUC as CEO, he has worked in the higher education and not-for-profit sectors across the United States, New Zealand, and Australia with a focus on Regional, Rural and Remote higher education policy, student equity, widening participation and rural student transitions.

He holds a master’s degree from the LH Martin Institute for Tertiary Education Leadership and Management at the University of Melbourne with a focus on Regional, Rural and Remote higher education policy and is a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors (GAICD). Chris is the National President of the Society for the Provision in Education in Rural Australia (SPERA) and an Executive Member of Equity Practitioners in Higher Education Australasia (EPHEA).

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Ashlee Jones

Chief Operating Officer

Ash began work with Country Universities Centre Goulburn as Centre Manager from 2017, starting with CUC Central in 2021. She provides facilities and staff support across the network to ensure best practice in operations. She supports both established and emerging CUC Centres to ensure excellent staff are equipped to improve access to study in their communities.

She has experience in the university sector working in student support and has worked as a high school teacher for over 8 years in both teaching and management roles. Ash holds a Bachelor of Commerce and Arts from the University of Wollongong and a Bachelor of Education from Charles Sturt University.

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Erin Wrafter

Director, Widening Participation

Erin was the founding Centre Manager of CUC Western Riverina 2019 -2022 and returns to the CUC network after working across multiple roles within the Widening Participation and Outreach team within a higher education institution. Erin's passion for regional, rural and remote communities and their higher educational aspirations has led her to complete a Graduate Certificate in Tertiary Education and Master of Education (Wellbeing) in addition to her Bachelor of Education (Secondary).

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Paul Cranch

Director, Strategic Partnerships

Paul leverages his extensive background in education, community and economic development to enhance our mission. With expertise in strategic planning and partnership negotiation, he excels in engaging communities and building impactful relationships with government and private sector entities to promote growth and prosperity. Originally from Roma, Paul has a deep connection to rural communities and appreciation for improving access to education for rural students. His goal is to not only to advance educational opportunities but also stimulate regional economic growth, driven by a belief in education's power to transform lives and uplift communities.

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Kinne Ring

Director, Student Services

Kinne has worked at the University of Newcastle and the University of Wollongong before she was the Centre Manager at CUC Macleay Valley based in Kempsey. Kinne is passionate about equity in Higher Education with demonstrated experience in university outreach, events and marketing for over 6 years and has been with the CUC Network for over 3 years.

Kinne has a Bachelor of Business, Major in Marketing (2016) and a Graduate Certificate in Professional Equity and Inclusion (2023) from the University of Newcastle. Creating positive social impact in the regions is Kinne’s main goal, and works across domains of education and local government as she is also an elected Councillor.

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Erin Miskelly

Associate Director, Quality

Erin commenced at the CUC in early 2023 after working more than 16 years within the higher education sector across three Australian Universities in various roles within Admissions, Enrolment, Compliance and Policy. She is passionate about ensuring quality education is accessible to all students, especially in rural, regional, and remote Australian communities and growing the skillsets of these communities.

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Sarah Rolton

Network Coordinator

Sarah joined the CUC network in 2020, delivering innovative Widening Participation programs to the community at CUC Far West in Broken Hill. Sarah was appointed as Centre Manager at CUC Far West in 2022 and continued the success of the Centre building on key services and building further programs. Sarah has a Bachelor of Educational Studies, and is working towards a Graduate Certificate in Career Development from James Cook University. Sarah supports consistency, innovation and efficiency of the CUC network. As a regional person, Sarah is passionate about the CUC and has seen firsthand the positive impact of the model on regional communities.

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Courtney Westaway

Operations Coordinator

Courtney began her journey with Country Universities Centre in 2022. A proud Cooma local, Courtney completed a traineeship with Snowy Hydro in 2014 and comes to us after 7 years in the Early Childhood Sector shaping her communities youngest minds with the passion and drive for education. Courtney provides administrative support, payroll and bookkeeping for the Network as well as managing the Network database. In 2023 Courtney is studying with the University of New England beginning her Bachelor of Business.

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Bell Ives

Design Coordinator

Bell is a graphic artist and designer born and raised in Tamworth in regional NSW. She studied a Bachelor of Arts (Cultural Studies) at the University of Sydney, before moving to Beijing where she lived and worked as a visual arts teacher and education co-ordinator for 8 years. Upon returning to Australia, she pursued her passion for graphic design, completing a Diploma at The Design Centre, Enmore. Drawing from her experiences in both face-to-face and remote learning environments, Bell is deeply passionate about the practical benefits that equitable access to tertiary education can provide. Within her present role, she assists the CUC network by supporting design for both print and digital collateral, alongside upholding a consistent visual brand across the network.

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