The Committee 2018/2019

President –  Ashley Irving

AshleyAshley joined ACE in June 2012 as Principal. A native Australian from Melbourne, Ashley holds degrees in mathematics, business and linguistics as well as an International Diploma of Language Teaching Management from the University of Queensland (RSA/Cambridge ESOL).

After a twenty-year career in corporate banking culminating in a position as Associate Director at Rothschild Bank, Ashley decided that ELT would be more fun. Since then he has worked in the ELT industry for twelve years, including a two and a half-year stint in Brazil and Argentina where he learnt that he just can’t dance.

Before taking his position with ACE, Ashley was Director of Studies and Admin Manager at the Access Language Centre in Sydney, and Teaching Centre Manager with AMES in Sydney.



Vice President  – Alisdair Creanor

Alisdair Creanor 171011 (002)Alisdair Creanor is appointed Chief Executive Officer of ANZ Royal on 6 November, responsible for leading execution of strategy, providing valued insights and financial services to clients in Cambodia, and across the Mekong and the broader ANZ network.

Alisdair has deep experience in International banking sector, having worked in London, New York, Paris and Melbourne. In his current role at ANZ, Alisdair is a member of the Institutional Leadership Team, and is responsible for leading the Institutional transformation agenda, the development and delivery of the divisional strategy, as well as running a number of central functions across ANZ’s global Institutional business.

Alisdair has been at ANZ since early 2015, prior to which he held a number of roles at Lloyds Banking Group, including in Equity Capital Markets, Wholesale Banking, and Strategy and Performance. Earlier in his career, Alisdair set up and ran a digital logistics business in the UK, before joining Bouygues group, the French conglomerate.


Vice President – Paul Dodd  

Paul-Dodd (1)

Regional Manager, Infinity Financial Solutions










Committee Member – John McGinley


John McGinley is a Managing Partner at Mekong Strategic Partners, an investment and advisory firm focused on Cambodia and the countries of the Mekong Region. Resident in Cambodia since 2003, John has a deep knowledge of the finance sector and the local and international business communities in Cambodia. John has served on the Auscham committee for 10 years.

Prior to establishing Mekong Strategic Partners, John worked for ANZ Bank for 7 years as the Head of Strategy for the Greater Mekong Region, covering Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam, Myanmar and Thailand.

Other roles undertaken by John
– Investment Committee Member – Clean Energy Fund for South East Asia
– Board Director – AMRET Microfinance
– Co-Founder and Vice Chairman – M’Lop Tapang – Cambodian Child Rights NGO
– Director – Mekong Strategic Infrastructure
– Chairman – Mekong Sustainable Finance Working Group

stephen higgins_bCommittee Member – Stephen Higgins

Current: Partner at Mekong Strategic Partners

Stephen was with ANZ for 18 years, and most recently as CEO of ANZ Royal Bank, one of the largest banks in Cambodia.

Prior to joining ANZ Royal Bank, Stephen was ANZ’s Group Head of Investor Relations, responsible for ANZ’s global investor relations program and for the management of ANZ’s relationships with investors, brokers, ratings agencies, and market regulators. This role worked closely with the Board, CEO, and CFO of ANZ, along with other key executives across the bank. During this period, ANZ was rated by fund managers and analysts as the best in Investor Relations in Australasia for three consecutive years.

Prior to joining Investor Relations, Stephen had roles in Corporate Banking and Esanda Finance, ANZ’s leasing subsidiary.

Other roles undertaken by Stephen include
– Chairman, ANZ Laos, 2010-2012
– Chairman, Wing Cambodia, 2009-2011
– President, Australian Business Association Cambodia, 2008 – 2011
– Member of ANZ’s Group Corporate Responsibility Committee 2010-2012
– Vice Chairman, Association of Banks Cambodia, 2010


Retail and Commercial Banking, People leadership, Finance



Treasurer  – Paul-Adair-c-2014_bwPaul Adair
Education: Victoria University of Wellington
Paul has had 24 years professional experience in commercial and professional service organizations. He has both technical knowledge and practical experience in financial reporting, implementing IFRS, developing Corporate Governance frameworks and risk management strategies as well as internal and external audit skills. His international experience has been garnered from working in a diverse array of businesses around the globe. Before arriving in Cambodia he gained extensive international accounting experience working in Australia, England, Ireland and New Zealand.


Business Manager –  Julie Littlejohn

Screenshot 2015-07-01 09.02.51Julie was the Executive Director of the New Zealand – Thai Chamber of Commerce in Bangkok for 8 years prior to moving to Phnom Penh in September 2014.  Her prior experience was in the banking and finance sector with Bank of America in London, Sydney and Singapore, in a variety of positions including: loans administration, finance and management reporting.  An Australian citizen, Julie lived for 8 years with her family in Sydney.






© Mark van Luyk


Committee Member – Anneliese Helmy

Anneliese Helmy am an Australian living in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. After arriving in Cambodia my husband and I found that there was a great opportunity to start our own businesses.

My qualification is in fashion design and pattern making. I have worked as a pattern maker in mainstream fashion since 1993 and in 2000 I switched to the bridal industry to learn the art of making couture gowns. I have always wanted to start my own wedding brand.

My first business was Anne Noelle Bridal but as I found I needed manufacturing it was a natural decision to open a sewing workshop that would be qualified to make our wedding gowns. This is how Fairsew was born.

Fairsew is based on the concept of having a smaller sewing workshop that is able to produce small quantities of high quality products but still adhere to ILO principles. We pay above minimum salaries to our staff and we offer subsidised health care, on job training for all aspects of our sewing and training for soft skill development.



Committee Member: image2Chris Robinson

Chris is a partner at DFDL Cambodia. He advises investment funds, large corporations and financial institutions on acquisitions, divestment, joint ventures, fundraising and restructuring projects in the Asia-Pacific region, most recently in Vietnam, Cambodia and Myanmar. Prior to moving to Asia in 2008, Chris served as the General Counsel for several listed Australian companies.  He started his legal career at Hunt & Hunt Lawyers and was previously a member of the board of the Sydney Kids Committee, which raises funds for the Sydney Kids Hospital.




Ex Officio Member – Kate Wilson

Second Secretary
Australian Embassy, Cambodia

Kate holds a Masters of Arts in Asia Pacific Policy Studies from the University of British Columbia and qualifications in international development and public policy from the University of Queensland. She worked in the not-for-profit and local government sectors in Queensland before joining the Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID) in 2011. In addition to working on the Australian Government’s aid program to Cambodia since 2012, Kate’s past academic and professional work has focused on community relations in mineral extraction sectors, urbanisation and city planning, and disability rights in Australia and the Asia-Pacific region.

Kate’s responsibilities at the Australian Embassy include business engagement and trade policy.


Committee Member – Todd Smith, Ripple Effect Consulting

Todd-SmithTodd comes to us from the beautiful paradise of New Zealand and has lived in the beautiful paradise of Cambodia since January 1999.He has over 24 years of leadership experience working with adult leaders, youth leaders, teachers, managers, staff, mentors and young people in New Zealand and Cambodia.  He has carried a wide range of roles and responsibilities involving teaching, training, leading, management and staff development, mentoring/coaching and energising & motivating, while relating to people of all ages, especially adult and young leaders.

His professional and personal achievements centre on a desire to see people reach their potential and use their skills and abilities to do and be the best they can, both personally and professionally.  This is the ‘ripple effect’ in action.

Todd created and leads Ripple Effect Consulting Asia Pacific which specializes in the growth of people and the enhancement of their companies, their teams and their projects.  The Ripple Effect has been working alongside individuals and organisations in Cambodia and Asia Pacific since January, 1999.

Ripple Effect believes that training is effective when it is a creative, fun and participatory.  Ripple Effect Consulting Asia Pacific specializes in the design and delivery of tailor-made, creative, interactive and participatory training experiences/training packages, ranging from workshops, small group work, coaching, round table training and follow ups which are participant-centred. Their forte also includes curriculum development, leadership/ management development, training of trainers, motivational and inspirational input sessions, succession and strategic planning, project evaluations and running corporate/team conference, retreats, sports events & fun days.

Ripple’s approach centers on effective application and outcomes, towards supporting personal, professional and organisational/business growth and development.

Committee Member – Nathan Green 



Nathan Green is a freelance writer from New Zealand who specialises in business and politics in Southeast Asia but who also writes globally for clients on topics like business management, infrastructure development, energy and extractive industries, fraud and other economic crimes, and manufacturing. Much of his work concerns how advanced technologies like AI and the Internet of Things are transforming the way we work, but he especially enjoys writing about how entry-level jobs like those in the readymade garment sector play a critical role lifting families and their countries out of poverty, and preparing them for more rewarding and better paid work in the future.

His clients include a Big Four firm, one of the world’s largest management consultancies, an international financial institution focused on developing countries, a global provider of business news and information, and several smaller boutique agencies. He was a journalist and editor at the Phnom Penh Post from 2007 to 2009, but he no longer works as a journalist. In Southeast Asia, he has also lived and worked in Myanmar, Vietnam and Thailand, and written about Laos, Singapore, Malaysia and the Philippines. When in New Zealand, he provides public relations advice to the government; this included running media and external relations for the Ministry of Justice for three years at a time of major change across the sector. This has given him a keen interest in government affairs and an insight into how a proactive communications approach can help governments develop effective public policy that works for everyone.



Committee Member – Ruwan Hulugalle


Ruwan Hulugalle’s professional experience in Cambodia spans government, business, and education. Ruwan formerly worked as economic and commercial advisor at the U.S. Embassy in Phnom Penh where he supported American businesspeople and investors in their dealings with Cambodian businesses and the government and produced various assessments on the economic, political and commercial climate in Cambodia. Ruwan received various commendations from the U.S. Ambassador for improving economic and commercial relations between countries and held a “Top Secret” security clearance. Ruwan decided to leave government service for the private sector and founded Ruwan Hulugalle & Company (RHC), a consulting company which currently has heavy emphasis on education.

Ruwan received his Juris Doctorate from the University of Hawaii and also received degrees from the University of San Diego and Georgetown University. He also is certified in Pacific-Asian Legal Studies from the University of Hawaii and in Mediation from the Mediation Center of the Pacific, and has attended various U.S. Government-sponsored professional training programs including ones on security and economic development.

He is also an Honorary Fellow (FCMA) member of the Australian Institute of Certified Management Accountants, which he is also helping to introduce to Cambodia.

Ruwan’s personal goal is to contribute in very small ways to the redevelopment taking place in Cambodia, and enjoys walking around Phnom Penh when the weather permits.


Committee Member – Geetha Yoga 


Geetha Yoga is the Chief Operating Officer of Hagar International and has an extensive management experience across finance, HR, operations, governance and IT management. She has worked with organisations including the ANZ Australia, White Lion, Aruluen, Open Family and YMCA. Following a successful career in the Australian banking and finance sector which spanned more than 16 years, Geetha transitioned to a senior corporate services role in the Not-For-Profit (NFP) sector in 2010. She has also served on a range of boards.







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