Meet Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington's alumni contacts in Melbourne, Brisbane, and Perth.


Steve Bott (BCA Hons)

Email: steven.bott@gmail.comconnect with Steve on LinkedIn or join the University's Brisbane alumni group on LinkedIn.

Steve has been based in Queensland for over 10 years. His professional experience began in wealth management at an investment platform and he then transitioned to financial advice. Throughout his career, Steve has worked in Japan, New Zealand, and Australia. He currently works as a Financial Adviser in his own business—Investorwise Financial.

In addition to his Bachelor of Commerce (Hons) from Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington, Steve also has an Executive MBA from the Australian Graduate School of Management (AGSM) and an Advanced Diploma in Financial Services (Financial Planning).

What are your top tips for alumni newly-arrived to Brisbane?

  • Buy or rent a house with a pool. Or choose neighbours with a pool!
  • Avoid the EKKA.
  • Learn how to pronounce Toowong, Indooroopilly and Woolloongabba.
  • Do your exercise before 8am.
  • Use the bike paths to commute if possible. Huge cycling infrastructure across the city and we have the weather to use it all year.

How can alumni best build their professional networks?

I have found the best way its to be as active as possible. You need to be meeting people and telling your story as much as possible. Opportunities will come when you seek them.

What are must-do iconic activities for alumni moving to or visiting Queensland?

While Brisbane has all the things you’d expect in a major city, the real fun happens outside of the city. The sunshine coast and Gold Coast have beaches, hiking and all the outdoor activities you could wish for all within an hour or two from the city.

Wider Queensland is great too, Fraser Island is very popular for a camping or 4WD trip, and of course the Great Barrier Reef speaks for itself. I’ve never been into outback Queensland but I hear it is spectacular.

Any former Wellingtonian has been fuelled on coffee. Where’s the best place to find a good brew?

Like anywhere, go for the smaller boutique places. These are owned and operated by coffee lovers, and it’s always nice to support local as well.


Ashwin Sharma (BCA/MBA)


Ashwin is an experienced financial executive who is currently CFO for technology company the Stargate Group where he is responsible for the accounting and human resources functions. In addition to this Ashwin dabbles in app development having teamed up with a friend to develop a few apps and start an online jobs board for Fiji. He is also an experienced barista and has an Instagram account for Coffee Cups (CoffeeCupGallery) with over 16,000 followers. Ashwin completed a Bachelor of Commerce at Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington in the 1980s and returned a few years later to complete his MBA.

Find out more about Ashwin in his Q&A, view his LinkedIn profile, or take a look at the Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington's Melbourne alumni group on LinkedIn.


Alison Panther (BCA)

Alison, who holds a Bachelor of Commerce from Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington, has lived in Perth since 2010. She has worked for The University of Western Australia as well as Curtin University in a number of different roles. Prior to moving to Perth, Alison spent time living in Bangkok, the US and in Singapore, where she worked for Virgin Mobile, even getting to meet Richard Branson!

Find out more about Alison on her LinkedIn profile, or take a look at the University's Perth alumni group on LinkedIn.