Profiles of High Achievers

They have each followed their own path to remarkable success. Their fields of endeavor are diverse, from music to medical research, from business to acting, from fitness to writing. Changing Links tips our collective hat to each of these high achievers who could be role models for anyone.

Amy Grant

Amy Grant.Amy Grant was born in November 25, 1960. She is an American musician. Apart from being a musician, she is a songwriter, media personality, actress and author. She is very popular for her contemporary Christian music. In 1980s and 1990s, she crossed over to pop music and performed very well. She has sold more than 30 million albums all over the world. This has earned her the tittle Queen of Christian Pop. She is a granddaughter of A.M Burton who is the founder of Life and Casualty Insurance.

She has produced popular hits such as Father Eyes in 1980s. Other hits in her music career include Angels and El Shaddai. She has won 6 Grammy awards, 22 Gospel Music Association Dove Awards. Her album was the first Christian album to ever go platinum. On Hollywood Walk of Fame, she was honored with a star. The award was granted in 2005 due to her great contribution to entertainment industry. Site: AmyGrant.com

Anne Kelso

Anne Kelso.Professor Anne Kelso AO is the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the National Health and Medical Research Council of Australia (NHMRC). From the years 2000 to 2006, she was also appointed as the CEO of the Cooperative Research Centre which focuses on vaccine technology. Some of the places where she developed her expertise were the Swiss Institute for Experimental Cancer Research (SV), the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research (WEHI), and the Queensland Institute of Medical Research (QIMR).

Her professional development was not limited to these – she has also served as the president of the Australasian Society for Immunology. She was appointed an officer in the Order of Australia last June 2007. She has also been a director from 2007 until 2015 of the WHO collaborating center.

Professor Kelso got the reputation of being one of the best researchers in the field of immunology in Australia after obtaining her PhD in immunology at the University of Melbourne. There, she researched cell-meditated immunology.

Bruce Rauner

Bruce Rauner.Bruce Rauner is an American businessman, born on February 18, 1957. He is also a philanthropist and a politician. He is the current Governor of Illinois. He was born in Chicago and raised up in Deerfield, Illinois. His father, Vincent Rauner was a lawyer, and his mother was a nurse. He has 3 siblings, Paula, Mark and Christopher.

Bruce Rauner graduated summa cum laude with a degree in economies. He later received an MBA from Harvard University.

Business career

Bruce was the chairman of a private equity firm GTCR. He worked there for more than 30 years. He started working in the firm in 1981, after graduating from Harvard University, through his retirement in 2012. After exiting GTCR, Governer Rauner opened a self-financed venture office known as R8 capital partners.

Bruce Rauner also served as the Chairman of Choose Chicago, a non-profit organization that serves as the city’s convention and tourism bureau. He resigned in May 2013. He also worked as the Chairman of Education Committee of the Civic Committee of the Commercial club of Chicago.

Darren Scammell

Darren Scammell.Darren Scammell is the president of Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand. He has wide experience in financial services. Some of the training institutions he attended include Haileybury College and Monash University where he studied BEc, Economics, and accounting. Some of the financial fields where he is an expert include government, banking, energy and natural resources, property, internal controls, assurance, expert audit, corporate finance among other areas.

Darren Scammell is among top personalities in Australia with vast knowledge in the field of finance. He heads the Chartered Accountants Australia which is a professional body with more than 100,000 talented individuals with lots of knowledge in the finance field. The individuals at the professional body utilize their skills in daily lives to make a difference in Australian and beyond. The individuals under his leadership work in different financial service organizations across Australia and New Zealand. He leads the institution with other board members who play different roles.

Glyn Davis

Glyn Davis.Glyn Davis is the vice-chancellor at the University of Melbourne. He was born in 25th July 1959. He studied at Marist Brothers College and later moved to University of New South Wales where he studded political science (Good Universities). He also studied in Australian national university and completed a thesis in his doctoral studies. The independence of Australia broadcasting corporation was the title of his thesis. His academic achievements include post-doctoral appointments in the Brookings Institution, University of California and Harvard.

Margaret Gardner is his wife. She is the current vice-chancellor at Monash University. Glyn Davis has been serving the University of Melbourne as a vice chancellor since January 2005. He is also a professor of political science. He lectures in the faculty of arts. His publications appear in Public Policy. He started his career as a public lecturer back in 1985. In 1998 he become a professor. In government, he has served as a public sector equity commissioner.

Kacy Paide

Kacy Paide.Kacy Paide is a professional organizer since 2001, and has helped more than 600 individuals to find out what they need in life, why they need it, and how they can achieve in the easiest way possible. Aside from working with her clients at home, she’s also known for transforming the offices at Ogilvy Public Relations into an engine of success (Office Organiser). Over the years, she has also given a lot of productivity and organizing presentations at The World Bank and in other offices around her area.

Katy has been featured in the Men’s Health, Martha Stewart, Washingtonian and Northern Virginia Magazine, and Washington Post. Her excellent writing skills have also been demonstrated in Attention Magazine.

Aside from being a writer, she conducts video tutorials, public forums, consulting, and blogging. Her main goal is to help people create a beautiful and functional space that they can be proud of, without having to face any difficulty during the process.

Kayla Itsines

Kayla Itsines.Kayla Itsines is a 24-year-old fitness trainer. She studied a fitness training course at the Australian Institute of Fitness. She graduated and started her career as a women-only fitness trainer. She comes from Adelaide, Australia were she started her career as a personal trainer who focused on women. From her career as a fitness trainer, she learned the weakness of the methods which she was supposed to use as a trainer due to complaints which her clients where giving out.

Due to continued complaints from her women clients, she decided to carry out research and came up with the most effective methods which women can use to achieve Bikini Body Confidence. Due to freedom she had at the fitness center when her manager was not around, she discovered most effective methods which women can use to achieve bikini body shapes. She decided to call the program, bikini body confidence. She uses cardio techniques and nutrition planning to achieve the desired results in women (Performance Body Works). She finally left her job as a women fitness trainer at the Adelaide gym and focused on her bikini body confidence helping women worldwide. Website: Kayla.Itsines.com

Melina Marchetta

Melina Marchetta.Melina Marchetta is a vibrant Australian writer and teacher who is best known as the author of novels. Her novels include: Saving Francesca, Looking for Alibrandi, and On Jellicoe Road among others. This 51-year-old woman won the Michel L. Printz Award after her book Looking for Alibrandi caught the attention of people. She has also been listed among the best film awards for the best screenplay. Her novels are now in 18 countries and 17 languages.

Melina Marchetta was a secondary-school English teacher for ten years before she wrote her second book, Saving Francesca. This novel was awarded the CBCA Book for the year Award of older readers. Her following novels brought great success to her.

Melina is of Italian descent and currently resides in Sydney, Australia. Her personal life includes motivational talks in schools, attending interviews, book club meetings at libraries, book signings and educating students about novels. Marchetta also has a blog, which she uses to update her library, educate readers and hearing what people say about her novels.

Paul Wappett

Paul Wappett.Paul Wappett is the Chief Executive Officer of Open Universities Australia.

  • OUA of one of the largest Australia online learning organizations (OSA).
  • It has more than 300 employees and an annual turnover of over $200 million.

Paul Wappett is passionate about the power of education in transforming individuals, communities, families and economies. He is a lawyer by profession. Before he became the executive officer of Open Universities Australia, Mr Wappett served as a lawyer in Clayton Utz. He also played legal and commercial roles in CPA Australia, Mobil Oil Australia and the Western Bulldogs Football Club.

Mr Wappett has a degree in commerce and law. He graduated from the University of New South Wales. He also has a master’s degree (MBA) from the Melbourne Business School. Other roles include acting as a chairman of Berry Street, which is the largest child protection agency based in Victoria. He has been a board member in the agency since 2007.

Rich Skrenta

Rich Skrenta.Rich Skrenta is a technology executive that has more than two decades of industry experience. Aside from that, he’s also the CEO and founder of Topix, which one of the most popular online news portals to date. Before Topix, Rich Skrenta was also an engineer for a wide range of products within AOL Music, AOL Shopping, as well as Netscape Search.

  • That’s not all, he was also the co-founder and chief executive officer NewHoo, which was later transferred to Netscape, and the name was changed to Open Directory Project.
  • The ODP that time was considered to be the biggest human edited directory ever made and it was used by several search engines, such as Yahoo, Google, AOL, and many more (see DMOZ, Activate Press).

Rich Skrenta was also a part of the improvement of the VMS Monster, which was an old MUD for VMS. VMS Monster was considered to be part of the brainchild behind the TinyMUD. Lastly, he was famous for his contribution in the development of TASS.

Robert Doyle

Robert Doyle.Robert Keith Bennett Doyle is a well-known Australian politician and Melbourne’s 103rd lord mayor. Born on May 20, 1953 in Melbourne, Australia, he attended secondary school in Geelong and later graduated from Monash University in 1977. He began working as a teacher the following year at Geelong College. In 1982, Doyle moved back to Melbourne where he worked as the head of the department at Lauriston Girl’s School. Three years later, he changed schools again, upgrading to a senior administrator and a teacher of English at Scotch College.

State Politics

Doyle served as a Victorian Legislative Assembly Member for Malvern from October 3, 1992 to November 25, 2006. He also served as the opposition leader of Victoria from August 20, 2002 to May 8, 2006. On November 30, 2008, Robert Doyle was elected as Melbourne’s 103rd lord mayor under the Liberal Party of Australia. He assumed office on December 1, 2008 with Susan Riley as his deputy.

Tom Cruise

Tom Cruise.Tom Cruise, born as Thomas Cruise Mapother the 4th on July 3, 1962 is one of Hollywood’s biggest celebrity actors.

Tom started out his career in acting at age 19 in the film Endless Love (1981). It was quickly followed by Taps (1981) and The Outsiders in 1983, and finally having his first leading role in the movie Risky Business, in 1983. His first breakthrough in the spotlight came in the movie Top Gun, as the hotshot pilot Pete “Maverick” Mitchell.

Tom Cruise propelled his acting career forward during the 90’s, starring in A Few Good Men in 1992, Interview With The Vampire in 1994 and Jerry Maguire in 1996. His next big film was the Mission Impossible series, where he portrayed action protagonist Ethan Hunt. In 2000, Tom Cruise starred in Hollywood movies such as Minority Report in 2002, The Last Samurai in 2003, Jack Reacher in 2012, Oblivion in 2013 and Edge of Tomorrow in 2014.

All in all, Tom Cruise won Best Actor Empire Award in Minority Report and Movie of the Year Award for Last Samurai in 2003. He has won 3 Golden Globe Awards and has been named highest-paid Hollywood actor in 2012.