Academic Team

Kaikee Madan

Lecture and Tutor Sydney

20 years’ hotel experience and a keen interest in Work Integrated Learning

Master of Management, 20 Years Hotel Experience, Lecture and Tutor at The Hotel School Sydney

Natasha Hobbs

Lecture Melbourne

Natasha’s career includes extensive experience in corporate and leisure travel

Natasha Hobbs's Story as Lecture in The Hotel School Melbourne

Jack Iveson

Head of Academic Operations Sydney

A solid higher education background along with extensive hospitality experience

Jack Iveson's Story as Head of Academic Operations in The Hotel School Sydney

Melbourne Staff

Amanda Ford
Lecturer Melbourne
Amanda is in the midst of completing her doctorate at La Trobe University that is investigating the relationship between Melbourne’s events and its livability status. She finished her degree in 2014 as an SCU distance education student – so is very familiar with many of the subjects that the students of The Hotel School will find themselves doing.


  • PhD Candidate, Latrobe University
  • Bachelor of Business (Hons.), Southern Cross University
  • Bachelor of Business (Convention & Event Management), Southern Cross University
Dr Jillian Adams
Lecturer and Tutor Melbourne
Jillian graduated with honours in Geography and majors in Literature, Journalism and Fine Arts then went off to Paris to pursue a career in hospitality. She is a qualified teacher and a graduate of Cordon Bleu in Paris. She completed a Masters in Oral History and Historical Memory at Monash University in 2011. Jillian completed her PhD at Central Queensland University in the School of Education and Creative Arts in November 2015. In it she argues that narrative non-fiction and domestic material culture from the 1950s in Australia challenges the static and often nostalgic impressions of the housewife. She has co-edited a special edition of online journal MC, published work in numerous academic journals and presented papers at local and international conferences.


  • PhD in Food History and Creative Writing
  • Masters in Oral History and Historical Memory, Monash University
  • Diploma in Professional Writing, Council of Adult Education (CAE), Melbourne
  • Bachelor of Arts (Hons. Geography), Melbourne University
  • Bachelor of Arts (Literature and Journalism), Deakin University
  • Diploma of Education, Melbourne University
  • Certificate IV in Workplace Assessment and Training, Swinburne University
  • Professional Sensory Evaluation, University of Adelaide
  • Reading Historic Cookbooks: A Structured Approach, Radcliff Institute for Advanced Study, Harvard University
Ranjini Tissera
Lecturer and Tutor Melbourne
Ranjini started her career in the banking industry. When she left the industry in 1999, she was working as a Senior Manager Corporate Finance of a large banking institution. She started teaching in 2001 and has since taught tertiary students in Malaysia, New Zealand and Australia. She studied Law and Business as an undergraduate and earned an LL.B as her first degree. She is a continuous learner and, at different stages of her working life, has studied for post graduate qualifications in commerce, accounting and finance, and economics.


  • Bachelor of Laws, University of Colombo
  • Graduate Diploma in Commerce, University of Auckland
  • Master of Economics, La Trobe University
  • Master of Professional Business Studies, AUT University
  • Certificate in Tertiary Teaching, AUT University
Gregor Blair-Smith
Lecturer and Tutor Melbourne
Gregor’s educational background began in biochemistry. He left this vocation to join the family business in construction and worked on industrial and high rise projects for many years as a project manager before turning to Hotel Management. After 20 years in hotels as a Hotel General Manager, he turned to teaching in vocational hospitality and tourism, and then higher education for the past 11 years. He currently teaches hospitality and tourism operational subjects for The Hotel School Melbourne and management subjects for the RMIT College of Business.


  • Master of Business Administration, University of Queensland
  • Bachelor of Science (Biochemistry)
Jenine Fleming
Lecturer and Tutor Melbourne
Jenine has over 20 years’ experience in the Victorian tourism industry, working as a marketing professional at leading attractions including Scienceworks, Melbourne Museum, State Library of Victoria and Melbourne Zoo. She also has experience in the commercial sector, with her marketing career beginning in the automotive industry at Honda, followed by reservation and account executive positions at Holiday Inn. Jenine has substantial experience in developing and implementing innovative and multi-faceted marketing campaigns for programs, events and exhibitions, including blockbuster exhibitions such as Titanic at Melbourne Museum and Star Wars at Scienceworks. She has also played a key role in the development of strategic plans for Museum Victoria, State Library of Victoria and Western Melbourne Tourism (WMT), where she held the positions of Chair and Board Member. Jenine currently lecturers and tutors at The Hotel School Melbourne and William Angliss Institute, teaching Introduction to Professional Practice, marketing and event subjects. Jenine has a Bachelor of Business in Travel and Tourism Management, with a major in Marketing and a minor in Hospitality Studies from Victoria University. She is also a graduate of the Melbourne Tourism Industry Leadership Program and a judge for the Victorian Tourism Awards.


  • Bachelor of Business in Travel and Tourism Management, Victoria University
  • Melbourne Tourism Industry Leadership Program
Nadia Vago
Lecturer and Tutor Melbourne
Nadia joins the Hotel School Melbourne at SCU with over 10 years tutoring experience at La Trobe University in the Business School (Tourism & Hospitality) and over 10 years industry experience in the Hospitality and Hotel Industry in operational, supervisory and managerial roles in properties, including The Langham Hotel Melbourne, Sheraton Towers Southgate, Quest Serviced Apartments and Le Meridien at Rialto. Nadia has completed a Diploma in Hospitality followed by an Honours Degree in Business (Tourism and Hospitality) at La Trobe University in 2000. In 1998, during Nadia’s degree she was also awarded the “Best of La Trobe University” by the School of Tourism and Hospitality and a panel of industry judges. Most recently Nadia has also completed her Certificate IV in Training and Assessment. In July 2016, Nadia was also awarded the “Pro Vice-Chancellor’s Teaching Support Staff Award” from La Trobe University, Melbourne. This was in recognition of enhancing the overall student learning experience by contributing to subject development and improvement.


  • Diploma in Hospitality
  • Bachelor of Business (Tourism and Hospitality) (Hons.), La Trobe University

Sydney Staff

John Iveson
Head of Academic Operations Sydney
John brings a solid higher education background along with extensive hospitality experience to The Hotel School team. John has substantial online framework and pedagogical development experience with strong hands-on instructional design experience through the implementation of online programs in multiple types of platforms. He has also been involved in creating best practice in open space learning through the delivery of ‘flipped classroom’ base models, peer-supported learning schemes and coaching practices in the classroom. John has extensive hospitality experience having worked in and owned a number of restaurant operations globally.


  • Master of Arts, University of Technology, Sydney
  • Bachelor of Arts, Caldwell College, NY
Chafica El-Labban
Lecturer Sydney
Chafica El-labban is a Graduate of The Hotel School and one of our great success stories. Chafica teaches multiple units across the bachelors and master’s program at The Hotel School. With access to industry and her experience in the field Chafica works on inspiring students to reach beyond their potential and become active leaders in the industry. Chafica has worked for multiple international hotel chains and brings with her practical knowledge and skills which she applies in the class room. Chafica is an entrepreneur in the digital marketing field and utilises her current business trends and experiences to support the learning experience.


  • Bachelor of Business in Hotel Management
  • Masters of Management in International Tourism Management
Glenn Murray
Lecturer Sydney
Glenn has lived hospitality for over two decades and has vast experience in several sectors of the hospitality industry, including International hotels, restaurants, tropical resorts, multinational hospitality and event companies. He has traveled and worked extensively throughout Europe, the UK and the Americas in search of the true ‘Hospitality Experience’. Having started his career as a qualified chef he moved into executive roles then on to operational management positions. Glenn has been lecturing for eight years within hospitality and tourism and has lectured within the Faculty of Hospitality, Sports and Marketing at the Western Sydney University, The Faculty of Business, Justice & Behavioural Sciences at Charles Sturt University as well a senior lecturer at the Le Cordon Bleu Culinary Art Institute within the Bachelor of Business International Restaurant Management and International Hotel Management since 2011.


  • Master of International Hospitality and Hotel Management
Julie Luiker
Lecturer & Academic Support Coordinator
Joining The Hotel School in 1990, Julie remains one of the longest serving team members. Julie focuses communication and tourism across the bachelor program and coordinates the academic learning service to develop and ensure students are supported to maximise their academic results.


  • Master of Arts, Organisational Communication
  • Bachelor of Education, Adult Education
Dr Andrew Le
Lecturer Sydney
Andrew has significant experience in teaching, research and consulting in tourism and hospitality. Prior to joining The Hotel School, he worked as (sessional) lecturer/course convenor at Griffith University, Hanoi University, and IMC KREM University. His area of research interests covers tourism, hospitality and sustainable development. Over the past 19 years, Andrew has been active in provision of capacity building and consulting services for tourism and hospitality projects funded by international organisations such as the Europe Aid, ADB, UNESCO, and USAID.


  • PhD, Tourism and Hospitality Management, GU
  • MSc Leisure, Tourism and Environments (Cum Claude), WU
  • BSc Tourism Management (Hons.), VNU
  • BA International Relations, DAV
Kaikee Madan
Lecturer and Tutor Sydney
Having grown up in a family-owned hotel, Kaikee was inspired to work in the hotel industry from a young age. He went on to work at international 4 and 5-star hotels, reaching the position of Executive Chef before making the move into food and beverage management. Kaikee was also involved in opening 3 hotels. Armed with 20 years’ hotel experience and a keen interest in Work Integrated Learning, Kaikee moved into tertiary education to share his experience and mentor a new generation of industry stars, working for a time at TAFE NSW before taking up a position at The Hotel School Sydney.


  • PhD candidate, Business and Management (Hospitality and Tourism)
  • Graduate Certificate in Research Studies
  • Master of Management
Sayem Hossain
Lecturer Sydney
Sayem Hossain is a Lecturer in Entrepreneurship and Management with 6 years teaching and research experience at several Australian and overseas universities including THSS, UC, UNSW and HKBU (Hong Kong). In the class room, Sayem adopts innovative and contemporary approaches to teaching which has been recognised by several awards including - Dean's award for excellence in teaching and learning (UC). Prior to embarking on a journey to academia, Sayem served in several IT based MNC’s for 7 years in various roles including - Accounts Manager, Relationship Manager and Marketing Consultant which has been instrumental in Sayem’s present career as he can relate the real-world business knowledge in the class-room setting. Sayem’s research interest involves Entrepreneurship, Social Entrepreneurship, Sustainability, and Service Innovation. His research has appeared in ERA ranked journals and he is also a contributor to various blogs, news bulletins and online magazines. While doing his PhD on Entrepreneurship and shaking hands with many of the greatest entrepreneurs of the world, Sayem caught the virus of entrepreneurship which he loves to inject among his students to inspire them!


  • PhD candidate, Entrepreneurship, UNSW (ADFA)
  • Master of Research (UC)
  • Master of Business Administration
  • Bachelor of Business Administration

Academic spotlight on

Trish Powers
Trish Powers
Lecturer Sydney Staff

Trish Powers is a Lecturer at the Hotel School Sydney. In this capacity, she teaches on various Event Management units within the hospitality discipline. Originally trained and working as a High School teacher Trish has subsequently held senior teaching posts in higher education over the last twenty years. A passionate educator, Trish has received seven Excellence in Teaching Awards covering both online and face-to-face modes. She has delivered four presentations and papers at education conferences internationally. Actively involved as a consultant and trainer, Trish runs her own Training Company consulting to business and universities both in Australia and China. She has also worked extensively as an Event Director and as a model, makeup artist and journalist. Trish is currently working on her Doctorate in Education with the University of Wollongong on a topic related to adults successfully transitioning into online higher education.


  • Masters in Adult Education with Distinction, University of Wollongong