First business Doctoral student powers ahead in Alice Springs 

Jean-Luc Revel, CDU's first Alice Springs-based Doctoral student in Business Administration

A long-time resident of Alice Springs, Jean-Luc Revel continues his quest for life-long learning now that he is Charles Darwin University’s first Alice Springs-based Doctoral student in Business Administration.

Jean-Luc’s hunger for study has already earned him degrees in business administration, public administration and technology management.

He applied his skills during a 39-year career at Power and Water Corporation and its previous guise, the Power and Water Authority, Northern Territory Electricity Commission and, before self-government, the Commonwealth Electricity Supply Undertaking.

Proudly displaying a checkerboard wall of qualifications, Jean-Luc explained his passion for the non-profit sector and satisfaction studying with Northern Territory University (now CDU) convinced him to return for a Doctorate in Business Administration (DBA).

His DBA by coursework, a mix of theory and research, will examine capacity-building in not-for-profit organisations under the supervision of senior lecturer in international management Dr Murray Redman.

“I’ve seen a huge change in the role of non-profit organisations, especially in areas where government has withdrawn support or services,” he said. “And they are having to compete in a tight marker for finances, staff and other resources.”

Jean-Luc wants to examine the consequences and opportunities arising from these changes.

He cites the increased competition for corporate and community sponsorship as benefactors scrutinise the benefits to their organisations.

“The old days of handing around the hat for sponsorship has changed with companies now carefully assessing how far their dollar will go in the eyes of the community and media,” he said. “From what I’ve observed, good service delivery is the first step to attracting the business but before you change anything, you must try to understand what you’ve already got.”

Born in Madagascar and educated in France, Jean-Luc said he was also drawn to the cultural considerations of organisations in Indigenous communities, having experienced many cultural influences of his own.

He said his CDU studies had reinforced the importance of culture in the diverse Northern Territory community.

“It’s unacceptable to have staff shortages in Northern Territory when we have such a large Indigenous population,” he said.

His thirst for study began early in his management career where there was no theory “and we worked through trial and error”.

His said his experiences completing a Bachelor of Public Administration in 2000 at the then NTU convinced him to return.

“I found the quality of the program taught at NTU was excellent and often I found it harder getting a higher mark than I did whilst studying a NSW-based qualification,” he said.

Jean-Luc’s advice for other budding students was simple.

"Applying yourself through a persistent commitment to study will always see you achieve more than those who are merely gifted," he said.