Byron Community College Board Members
Let us introduce you to the dedicated and impressive Byron College Board of Directors.
Chairperson – Alison Pearl
Native New Yorker Alison Pearl was born in Manhattan and graduated from the Bronx High School of Science. She received a B.A. in Dance from Bennington College and a M.A. in Choreography from the Ohio State University. After a performing and teaching career she founded one of the first personal training and corporate exercise companies in Manhattan. Clients included the New York State District Attorney’s Office, The Museum of Modern Art, Philip Morris Corporation and Viking/Penguin Press.
Since moving to Australia in 1988 she’s authored a book for Simon & Schuster, built an organic avocado and bamboo farm, and promoted international and Australian bands, touring, creating festivals and retreats. She was featured in the book ‘The Promoters’, by Stuart Coupe, and in a cover story in the Australian Weekend Magazine on Australia’s promoters. She’s the founder and director of Summersong Music Camp for the last 20 years.
Vice Chair – Suzie Mylecharane
Suzie Mylecharane started out as a primary school teacher, morphed into a fashion manager/overseas buyer for an Australia wide chain of stores based in Sydney (In Shoppes) and during that period became the costume designer for the original production of “Hair” In Australia. Self-employed from age 24, she sea-changed to the Northern Rivers, continuing in the fashion world with a cottage industry manufacturing industry employing 12 people in the Uki area. Ku Clothing sold Aus wide with several international outlets. In tandem, Suzie set up a Music Events business which produced shows on the Nth Coast of NSW for musicians on tour.
A progression led Ku Promotions into touring international groups Australia wide using major festivals as a springboard and developing a successful touring circuit. During that time large outdoor events became a staple. Ku was funded by the NSW Ministry for the Arts for 16 years until sold. During that period Suzie and Alison (who joined Ku for a 6 year period) were featured in Stuart Coupes book “The Promoters” as well as a cover story in the Weekend Australian magazine. Currently in semi-retirement happily still dabbling in fashion and loving working in Community projects including Byron Community College.
Treasurer – Victoria Jeffery
Victoria is the Finance Manager for social entrepreneur Mr Lev, one of the Founders of Organic India. Organic India teaches Indian farmers how to grow certified organic tea and herbs for the world market. Mr Lev is also fully vested in the wellness industry, most prominently, being the part owner of Peninsula Hot Springs on the Mornington Peninsula VIC, and Maruia Hot Springs in New Zealand. Victoria has held this position for the past 18 years. Prior to this position, Victoria ran her own successful bookkeeping business, and has also owned numerous restaurants and accommodation villas over the decades, the most successful being Byron Fresh and Four Winds Villas
David Heilpern LLB, LLM attended public High School in rural New South Wales, and attended law schools at University of New South Wales, Macquarie University and Australian National University. He started practice with the Australian Government Solicitor and then went into private practice on the North Coast of New South Wales specialising in criminal law. He undertook many high profile test cases representing drug law reform and environmental groups. Whilst continuing to practice, David was part of a small team that successfully lobbied for a Law School at Southern Cross University. He became a senior lecturer in criminal law and eventually Head of School.
David has published four books, several chapters in edited works and over twenty journal articles. In early 1999 David was appointed as a Magistrate and undertook country service in the West of New South Wales then Batemans Bay and then Byron Bay and Lismore. In between, David was the senior civil Magistrate for NSW for five years. David regularly writes papers on current issues in criminal justice, and has over 40 Local Court reported decisions. He was the longest serving member of the Chief Magistrates education committee, and is senior faculty member of the Orientation Program, a position he has held for 13 years. He also trains magistrates interstate and overseas on a regular basis.
In 2018 David presented the annual Tristan Jepson Memorial Foundation lecture in Sydney titled “Lifting the Judicial Veil – Vicarious Trauma, PTSD and the Judiciary: a personal story”, which garnered significant publicity and has led to cultural shift in the recognition of mental health issues in the Judiciary.
In 2020 David left the bench to return to private practice and academia, and in 2022 was appointed the Dean of Law at Southern Cross University.
Jules is an award-winning ceramicist and photographer, who exhibits throughout Australia & sells her work internationally. With a background in Graphic Design and Photography having studied at UWS Sydney, Jules has over 30 years experience in the creative industries. Positions include Art Director, Senior Account Executive, Graphic Designer and Photojournalist. As an acclaimed multi-medium artist and designer Jules Hunt is constantly exploring and evolving the design, colour and form of her art creating a style that is unique and vibrant across the mediums of photography, ceramics, pottery, metal work, painting and textile design.
Mick has a Bachelor of Arts, first class honours in Politics from University of Queensland, 1982. In 1989, Mick commenced working as a journalist at ABC Radio, producing documentaries for Radio National’s Encounter and the Social History Unit.
As a reporter in Radio Current Affairs, in 1992 Mick won the United Nations Association Media Prize for a Background Briefing documentary on the El Salvador peace accords. As executive producer for Radio National Mick led a team to consolidate current affairs into the AM morning program. In 1996, he left the ABC to work as a researcher and producer with the Seven network’s Witness program before returning to Radio National in January 2000. Mick works now as a freelance journalist, guest presenter for ABC Radio North Coast, a public speaker and MC.
Trained as an Epidemiologist, Hudson holds a Bachelor of Science in Biology from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, a Masters of Public Health from The University of Texas, a Graduate Certificate in Immunology from the University of Hartford, and a Doctorate from Sydney Medical School. Hudson was a founding Associate of the Marie Bashir Institute for Infectious Diseases and Biosecurity at the University of Sydney and has taught extensively in the University’s Schools of Public Health, Medicine, and Pharmacy.
Currently Chair of the Human Research Ethics Committee and Vice Chair of the Research Development Committee at Townsville University Hospital and Health Service, Institute of Health Research and Innovation.
A resident of the Northern Rivers region since 2001, having moved here to contribute to the founding of the University Centre for Rural Health, the (then) new University of Sydney campus in Lismore. During his tenure in that position he also co-founded and was a faculty member of the North Coast Medical Education Collaboration, a joint venture of the University of Western Sydney School of Medicine, Sydney Medical School, and the University of Wollongong Graduate School of Medicine.
An active in the local arts scene, having a show, “Postmodern Backlash” on Bay FM Tuesdays 6-8 PM, and as bassist with the Ballina Players, Bangalow Theatre Company, and Lismore Symphony Orchestra.