New business leader has passion for growth


Dr Teresa Schwellnus at Alice Springs campus.

Dr Teresa Schwellnus at Alice Springs campus.

Charles Darwin University’s new Alice Springs based Education Manager Business Leader is passionate about changing people’s lives and determined to see Central Australia’s entrepreneurs flourish.

Dr Teresa Schwellnus said that she had identified a strong “business spirit” among community and business leaders since arriving in the Red Centre at the beginning of the year.

“I moved to Alice Springs, having previously been the General Manager for Tai Poutini Polytechnic, a regional education provider in New Zealand,” Dr Schwellnus said.

“In this new role with the Central Australian Business team, we are exploring ways to expand delivery of cost-effective and quality training to people in as many types of business as possible.

“Our team of seven lecturers delivers a broad suite of entry level and vocational business courses here in Alice Springs, with some of them regularly visiting Tennant Creek, Yulara, Lajamanu, Timber Creek.”

Dr Schwellnus said that three new courses had just been added to the VET portfolio – a Certificate II in Financial Services, a Certificate III in Microbusiness Operations and a Certificate 3 in Record Keeping.

“We continue to explore the market for other opportunities and to match courses that meet the needs of people seeking knowledge and skills to support economic growth.”

Dr Schwellnus said the Business team had recently been realigned with the College of Business and Law, a move that would strengthen the bond between the vocational sector and the higher education sector.

“As a College, we offer courses ranging from entry level certificates through to diploma, bachelor, masters and other post-graduate offerings. We provide for people just starting their careers, those returning to the workforce after an absence, or those who are ready for the next step – for the entire family – so to speak.”

Dr Schwellnus said it was never a bad time to start a VET course.

“A feature of most VET courses is the ‘rolling start’, which means a student can enrol when they are ready, rather than having to wait until the start of the year or the start of a semester. And flexibility is important to students in today’s busy world, which is why we offer online and on-campus options either in part-time or full-time study mode.”

Dr Schwellnus said she completed her PhD in Law at Leiden University in the Netherlands. She practised law in the High Court of South Africa and was later a Professor of Law at (what was then) the University of Port Elizabeth.

In 2000 Dr Schwellnus and family migrated to New Zealand where she worked for several business schools before her most recent move to Alice Springs this year.

“I like to live in a place where I can be a part of the community,” she said.

“My passion is to see businesses grow.”

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