Over 1500 new students have graduated from the UNSW Business School. At prestigious graduation ceremonies, students left their university inspired by guest speakers including:

  • Emeritus Professor Frederick Hilmer AO, Former President and Vice-Chancellor, UNSW
  • Company Director, Ray Greenshields
  • Ivan Wheen, Co-founder and Director, Nanuk Asset Management
  • Richard Elmslie, Co-CEO and Chief Investment Officer, RARE Infrastructure Limited
  • Kirsty Rankin, Regional Managing Director, MasterCard Global Loyalty Solutions, Asia Pacific
  • Dr Joe Fernandes, Head, Global Investment Solutions Group, Colonial First State Global Asset Management
  • Deanne Stewart, Chief Executive Officer, MetLife

Deanne Stewart (BCom '93) is CEO of MetLife Australia where she is responsible for leading and driving the corporate strategy with a strong focus on profitable long-term growth.

Deanne has over 20 years' experience in financial services including roles at BT Financial Group, Merrill Lynch Investment Management Inc and McKinsey and Company in London.

After completing her Bachelor of Commerce at the UNSW Business School, Deanne won the prestigious Fulbright scholarship and completed her MBA at the Yale School of Management.

Deanne shared with graduating students insights from her long career, including lessons learnt from a time of over-work where she found herself not enjoying her role.

Challenging the conventional definition of a business leader, Deanne said a true leader, "is a person who has positive impact on the lives of others: Those you work with, consumers, the community or other stakeholders. In this context, everyone can 'lead' from the day they begin work", she said.

A lack of ethical leadership, Deanne said, and a relentless focus on short term profits has played itself out over the past decade. She encouraged graduates to use both their 'head' and their 'heart' when doing business.

"I'm amazed at how many people in business don't", she said.

"When they leave their house, their loved ones of a morning, they leave behind all the things that make them special - the human desire to care, to connect, to love. As a consequence, too many workplaces are aggressive, bottom-line focus, win at all cost. If you are able to truly be your 'whole' self at work, you will stand out and be a leader".

Read Deanne's complete graduation speech.