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Meet the Team

Susan Grylls LLB, BSc, LLM 

Chief Executive Officer

Susan has lived in the Pilbara for over 6 years with her family and is an active member in the Karratha Community with a wide network of connections to Industry, local business and Government. Susan highly values education and brings incredible knowledge to her role as CEO of the Pilbara Universities Centre.

Takeia Beard BA, MEd, MIndigenousEd, GDipEd, GradCertLHE, GradCertTech

Port Hedland Study Hub Coordinator / Tutor

Tiki moved to the Pilbara as a graduate teacher in 2013. After working as a secondary teacher in a remote school for three years, she relocated to Port Hedland with her family and continued teaching in a number of different forums. Tiki has studied remotely on a range platforms, working with both coursework-based and research studies.

As the Coordinator for the Port Hedland PUC, she is able to support students throughout their academic journeys. With a commitment to continued education, Tiki understands the value of study and is committed to furthering opportunities for students throughout the Pilbara. She is able to provide pastoral support, academic assistance and tutoring, and a first-hand account of what it is like to study remotely from Port Hedland.

Dr. Jacinta Homann BA/BBS, MBS, Ph.D

Academic Coordinator / Tutor

Jacinta has a Ph.D. in Marketing and over ten years’ experience in tertiary level lecturing and academic research in marketing and related subjects at universities in New Zealand and Australia. She first moved to the Pilbara in 2012, living in Karratha then Newman, and worked as a community consultant helping local government, business and not-for-profit organisations in the Pilbara with a variety of business activities. Jacinta and her family then lived in the Middle East, before returning to the Pilbara in 2018.

As the PUC’s academic learning coordinator, Jacinta provides administrative, academic and pastoral support to new and current students, assisting with study planning and progression. She leads the PUC tutorial team and also tutors students, as well as developing academic content and curriculum. Having been a student for over ten years herself, Jacinta loves working with students through teaching and the study journey. Jacinta lives in Karratha with her family and keeps fit by running, bike riding and jungle gyming with her three young sons.

Leticia Penipe BSc, GradDipNurs, MMidwifery, RN

Nursing Support Officer

Leticia has a Bachelor of Science in Registered Nursing and completed her Graduate Program in Nursing in Albany, before deciding to come back to Perth to complete her Masters in Practice in Midwifery. Having recently graduated her and her husband were looking for a new adventure, deciding to relocate to Karratha from Perth in June 2020, she and her husband are having fun exploring and settling into the North-West.

Leticia has taken up the role of the Nursing Support Officer to assist Nursing Students with their studies, placements and general enquiries. She values the relationship between Universities and Health Services to see the success of local Nursing Students become competent health practitioners.

Karen Huang  BIB/BBM, MIR

Project Officer – Education and Specialty Projects

Karen Huang holds a Master’s in International Relations and Bachelor’s in International Business/Business Management. She has sound experience and knowledge in International Trading and Business after worked 7 years in the field. Karen has been assisting The University of Melbourne with its student mentor program and also guest-speaking in Tamkang University since 2013. Over the last couple years, she has expanded her study and research topics to the internationalisation strategies and the economic development plans. Karen believes that the Pilbara region has its great potential to be the new economic hub of Australasia. Her vision at the Pilbara Universities Centre is to connect the students to bring a closer connection between North West Australia and the World.

Kelly Schmidt BSLS, AdvDipAcc

Financial Controller

Kelly’s career spans over ten years’ with varied experience in Financial Management and Accounting from general and complex bookkeeping and BAS services to budget management and forecasting, cash flow management, risk mitigation and corporate strategy.  Prior to joining the Pilbara Universities Centre in early 2019, she worked with various other not-for-profit organisations, international corporations, local businesses and sole traders in a variety of industries and at various stages of financial growth. 

Kelly is currently working towards her Masters of Professional Accounting.  She is passionate about developing the Pilbara Universities Centre into a strong and established community focused NFP association from its humble Start-Up beginning.

Jemma Burrows-Smith  

Administration and Student Support Officer

Jemma has lived in Dampier with her husband and two children since 2010.  Working in the Construction, Manufacturing and Marine industries, Jemma brings with her over 20 years of accounting and administration experience.  Also having worked for the Education Department, she sees the need for tertiary support for the students that live in the Pilbara.


Leanne Mott

Marketing & Administrative Project Officer

Leanne is one of the first students to study CQUni’s STEPS enabling course at the PUC and is aiming to commence an Engineering degree in 2021.  She is passionate about learning and has now joined the PUC team, working part time as a marketing and administrative project officer.  Leanne believes that to belong to a community you must give back to the community.  She does this through her volunteer roles at the Nor West Jockey Club (Roebourne Races) which she thoroughly enjoys. Leanne has forged great partnerships with local business and industry and is passionate about supporting local.  She ascribes to the “you only live once” motto, so you might as well have a go! Leanne has lived in Karratha for over 10 years and I has an 11 year old daughter.

Join the PUC

We always have an eye out for talented, passionate personnel to join our team. We offer a friendly, relaxed working environment with an emphasis on maintaining a good work-life balance.

We are currently seeking:

Seasonal Tutors  (EOI)

Exam Invigilators  (EOI)

Applications for the above-mentioned positions are now open.  If you would like to apply please click on the above link for a job description or send your CV to

Sessional Tutors

Continuous Expressions of Interest

PUC employs sessional (casual) tutors in a wide range of disciplines to support students studying at the Centre.  As a minimum, tutors require a Bachelor degree in the field they would be teaching into plus postgraduate qualifications and/or at least five years of recent relevant experience.   All tutors must be approved by our University partners.

If you meet the minimum requirements and would be interested in sharing your knowledge and experience for two hours or more on a weekly basis, please express your interest by emailing your CV to

Currently, PUC is seeking tutors across the following disciplines:

  • Mathematics
  • Agriculture
  • Sociology
  • Psychology
  • Social Work
  • Economics
  • Business
  • Accounting
  • Education (Primary, Early Childhood, Secondary)
  • Environmental Science
  • Nursing
  • Human Resources
  • Marketing
  • Indigenous Studies

Exam Invigilators 

Continuous Expressions of Interest

PUC is the examination centre for the region and often requires exam invigilators on a casual basis towards the end of each semester.   No experience is required but a level of maturity, sensibility and attention to details is.   If you would like to be considered on the casual pool, please email your CV to