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Date published: 11 November 2011

Open Universities Australia (OUA) is pleased to announce the appointment of Paul Wappett to the role of Chief Executive Officer. Mr Wappett replaces the outgoing CEO, Stuart Hamilton who retires after eight years in early 2012.

Mr Hamilton has served in the role of CEO since July 2003 and has played a critical role in OUA's ongoing success. Under Mr Hamilton's leadership, OUA has evolved from a small, distance-based learning provider into Australia's clear leader in online higher education - repeatedly achieving 41.5% revenue growth (CAGR 2008-2011) and delivering expected 2011 turnover of more than $150 million.

Mr Wappett joins OUA after an extensive global search process. Sam Weiss, OUA Chairman said: "Paul was the standout candidate on the basis of his previous activities in overseas markets, understanding of the online environment and experience in the delivery of online education."

Mr Wappett is currently the Executive General Manager - Strategy for Australia's largest professional accounting body, CPA Australia, where he was instrumental in setting the strategic direction that has seen CPA Australia become one of the world's largest accounting bodies.

During his time with CPA Australia, Mr Wappett was responsible for CPA Australia's successful entry into a number of new markets including China, Vietnam, the United Kingdom, Indonesia and New Zealand. He also led CPA Australia's redesign of its core education model, resulting in the launch of new education products and programs designed to provide pathways for potential members with non-traditional backgrounds.

He is a longstanding advocate of accessible education, and is a firm believer in the obligation of education providers to ensure high standards of quality but also to provide an engaging and positive student experience.

He takes up the role in February 2012 following a handover period with Mr Hamilton.

About Open Universities Australia - the leader in online learning

Owned by seven of Australia's premier universities, OUA is the national leader in quality online tertiary education. Enrolling more than 144,000 students since 1993, OUA provides access to over 1100 units and 130 qualifications taught by 20 leading Australian universities and tertiary education providers.

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