Jonathan Cowper, UWA’s new Chief Financial Officer, has always enjoyed working in new industries and cultures.
While he’s no stranger to WA having worked in Perth between 2009-2015, this will be his first role in the higher education sector, a challenge he’s well equipped for and looking forward to.
“I certainly enjoy fresh challenges and I’ve built my career on this philosophy.
“As we’re all aware the University has gone through a significant amount of change and all Australian universities are currently working within a complex policy environment.
“One of my primary aims as CFO is to help enable the University to operate effectively within this changing landscape; as an organisation we need to be nimble and make the most of new opportunities as they arise,” he says.
With over 10 years of Financial Director (a role also known as CFO) experience, Jonathan will bring a strategic focus to UWA’s financial operations and will work initially to identify what financial steps need to be taken to ensure the University can achieve its strategic goals.
“From my perspective it’s really important that finance is more than just a function of the University; we need to be a strategic business partner.
“We need to think outside of the functional box, add value for our clients and we need to continually be asking how can I help?
“While we have staff centrally based and in the faculties, ultimately we’re all working towards the same goal and I’m keen we develop a one-team ethos, “he says.
Originally from County Durham in North East England, Jonathan says his family are happy to call Perth home again. After moving back to England in 2015 it quickly became apparent that it wasn’t ‘home’ anymore.
“Right before my eyes I observed how my four children went from being outdoorsy Perth kids, to being cooped up inside on the Xbox thanks to the grim English weather.
“It was a no-brainer to look for opportunities back in Perth, now I just need to dust of my golf clubs and see if I remember how to play,” he says.