Author Archives: dan_it

Deal signed – Pearson eLibrary

Virtu and Pearson Education South Asia are pleased to announce that we have just signed an e-books deal initially comprising 30 titles that will form the basis of the Virtu online library. Virtu Institute was originally established in Australia as a Registered Training Organisation (RTO). Virtu is fully committed to online learning and provides a complete online teaching and learning environment including its e-library.

Virtu Institute has commenced Singapore operations using Singaporean expertise for its software platform and curriculum development and is currently also pursuing CPE registration as a PEI.

Black Mountain

Tan Haur, Virtu Lecturer is noted for using technologies and genres to achieve interesting tonal spectrums, surface textures as well as expressive painterly qualities. He is an MA graduate (High Distinction) of the Australian National University in digital imaging and photography. He has been highly active in photographic exhibitions, workshops and events, exhibiting his travel scenes, underwater-series and landscapes.
His Black Mountain series, inspired by the Australian landscape – depicted as rich and full of possibilities. Composed of multiple viewpoints, Black Mountain evokes mountain retreat that is lush with eucalyptus forests, gum trees and rocky terrain. The series was acquired by Belle Vue Residences Singapore and has received the Silver Award in the Paris PX3 Photo Competition (Digital Fine Art Cat) 2011.

Art and Chairs

Tan Haur Virtu Lecturer has integrated fine art with product design in a Charity Show (Arts and Design Against Cancer, year 2012). Mr S R Nathan the former President of the Republic of Singapore acquired the chair designed by Tan on 23rd May 2012 at the Red Dot Design Museum. The visual images on the upholstery was created based on the artistic process of Tan Haur’s underwater sketching and digital photo imaging creation. It was a combination of seascape, mindscape and self-reflection through his underwater experiences in South East Asia.

Tan Haur is a multi disciplinary artist and his practice includes the development of individual works/exhibitions, curatorial projects and collaborations.  He draws inspiration and ideas from a given location, everyday objects and daily life.  He immerses himself into different environments, experiencing the differences, and experimenting

different mediums and technologies in art creation and interaction, continuously in search of the relationship between Nature, Culture, Art, Media and Technology.

Tan practices Zen in daily activities and the creation of art are a journey of self-discovery to understand and get closer to his true being. He likes to work on cross disciplinary projects like integrating fine art and commercial design that challenge conventions and by breaking the norm results in different alternative techniques.  Tan Haur’s love for digital art, photography, painting and underwater sketching has motivated him to share this new genre with other enthusiasts around the world.  He has traveled to many countries creating art at high altitudes up upon summits as well as deep down in the ocean. His artist’s blog and website is at: –

Also Clowning Around

Professor Gus Guthrie our inaugural Chair of the Board of Directors was a member of the Coastal Caring Clowns, a group of happy volunteers who since 2001 have been bringing joy by visiting hospitals, nursing homes, respite centres and medical facilities. Caring clowning can involve anything from singing a song, giving a hug, or performing some clown-like silliness to move someone into a moment of well being and caring in a light-hearted and heart-felt way. Caring Clowns also teach new clowns the process, practice and ethics of being a Caring Clown.

Gus was always fascinated by clowning, and attended the second of Barbara Brewster’s workshops in Buderim in January 2001 and has never looked back, and “Charlie” was born. Gus (Charlie) became the inaugural President of the Coastal Caring Clowns Inc. in July 2001, an office he held for 5 years (as well as being Secretary for the first 3). Charlie with over 10 years of caring clowning

had a wealth of experience and lots of “war stories” and was happy to help and encourage new clowns. He enjoyed doing simple magic, especially card tricks, and longed to learn to juggle, which he could not seem to get the hang of. Gus also had a second clown character called Dr Marmaduke Fungus MB BS (Bachelor of Magic, Bachelor of Silliness).

Over the last years Charlie gave talks to many Probus, Rotary and View Clubs, and  groups up and down the Queensland coast to spread awareness of caring clowning. In August 2010 Charlie was elected a Life Member of the Coastal Caring Clowns for his continuing services to the organisation.

Gus retired from our Virtu Board of Directors in August 2012 due to ill health, and sadly passed away in January 2013.

Virtu Off and Flying

Virtu Institute is off and flying enrolling students to study from January 2013. Students who enrol between 1 November 2012 and 13 January 2013 will get a 20% discount on their first 6 subjects. Virtu lecturers are ready to begin teaching their subjects and all at Virtu look forward to meeting our first students.

Study from home, study from work, study in Australia or study from overseas, study our courses designed for all who want to be a great designer, educator or business person…. join us NOW for unmatched Quality Learning Online.

Cal Swann






NatDip, MA

Profile: Cal Swann was Professor in the School of Design at Curtin University of Technology, Australia. Prior to that, he was Professor and Head of the School of Design at the University of South Australia and before that he was Professor and Dean of the Faculty of Art and Design at Liverpool Polytechnic (now Liverpool John Moores University) in England. He was Head of Graphic Design at London’s Saint Martin’s School of Art in the 1980s, among many other teaching and design roles around the UK.

His special interest is in typography and the communication of language in its spoken and printed forms. An MA in Applied Linguistics from Lancaster University in 1986 saw the two disciplines merged in Language and Typography (1991, Lund Humphries),

following the earlier how-to-do-it manual Techniques of Typography (1969, 1981) also for Lund Humphries (Watson Guptill in the US). He has written many articles for journals and presented papers in international conferences (just Google ‘Professor Cal Swann’). A former Fellow of the Design Institute of Australia and a Fellow of the Chartered Society of Designers (UK), Cal has been a designer and educator in England and Australia throughout the last five decades.

Retired from the full-time grind, he continues to design graphics, write articles, teach typography workshops, play enthusiastic (but amateur!) jazz, and enjoy family life under a cloudless, Australian blue sky.

Chief Executive Officer (CEO)






Professor Ron Newman
Qualifications: ASTC Ind Des, GDipHEd (UNSW),

Profile: As a professional designer who joined the ranks of academia full time in 1994, Professor Newman brings a mix of design and business experiences, higher education and an acute business acumen to the management of projects and academic units.

Professor Newman completed his studies in Industrial Design at the National Art School (NAS) in the early 1970s and has held various design and design management positions in Australia and Europe. Senior design positions with Philips, Email and for six years as Research and Development Manager for Sebel Furniture paralleled his editorial stewardship of the national magazine Design in Australia and various executive roles within the Design Institute of Australia (DIA).

For five years in the late 1980s Professor Newman was the Chief Executive Officer of the public company, Exhibit Resources, which he established, a company involved in design and fabrication of museums and exhibitions. Professor Newman has held many board directorships and consultancy positions to major companies.

Professor Newman was Head of School of Design Studies, College of Fine Arts (COFA), the University of New South Wales (UNSW) for eight years from 1992 to 2000 and from 2002 for 4 years he was Director & Dean of Sydney College of the Arts, the visual arts Faculty of the University of Sydney. In January 2005 Auckland University through its business incubator, IceHouse, appointed Professor Newman into a parallel role as Entrepreneur in Residence, a residency designed to initiate new collaborations within Auckland University and encouraging outreach to the commercial community of New Zealand.

In September 2006 Professor Newman left the University of Sydney, to join Raffles Education Corp (REC) to become Vice President and later (2008) President of Raffles University System, at REC’s headquarters in Singapore. Professor Newman left REC in 2011 and is currently CEO of Virtu Institute.

Along with his other qualifications and experience Professor Newman holds a TAE40110 Certificate IV Training & Assessment.

Chair Academic Board








Dr. Lee E. J. Styger
Qualifications: MSc, PhD, CEng, CSci, CEnv, FIED, FIMMM, FICME, FCILT, REngDes, SMSME, MIEAust

Profile: Dr Lee Styger is the Executive MBA Director of the University of Wollongong’s Sydney Business School. Before joining the Sydney Business School, Lee worked with many blue chip organisations in the business development, product development and people development spaces.

Lee is a thought leader and creative thinker. He is a rare individual who has forged a career in both industry and academia. Working in advanced technology and platform development, Lee’s career foundation has been in the new product development, rapid prototyping, niche production and 3D printing disciplines. Lee has worked on programs in industries as diverse as medical devices, automotive, avionics, environmental and education.

Lee has been a member of, and chaired, many prestigious design and industry committees and boards, delivering programs though out the European Union, Asia and the USA. He is regularly called upon to deliver keynote talks and lead innovation groups for businesses.

His experience has resulted in a passionate belief of the imperative that winning organisations must deliver meaningful customer delight through differentiation and value creation, at the heart of which lies good design.

Gan Chin Huat






Title:Provost and Vice President
Qualifications: B.A.(NUS), B.Soc.Sci(Hons)(NUS), M.Ed (Harvard)

Profile: Mr Gan Chin Huat, PK, PPA(P), PBM, has more than two decades of experience in the management of the public school system in Singapore. He served in Temasek Junior College after graduating from the National University of Singapore with an Honours Degree in Economics, and a Diploma-in-Education from the Institute of Education. He went on to obtain the Master of Education from Harvard University, USA under the Singapore Ministry of Education Scholarship and subsequently served as Vice-Principal of Monk’s Hill Secondary School and Principal of Dunman Secondary School. He was promoted to School Cluster Superintendent in December 2000 and Deputy Director, Schools Division in April 2004 where he was responsible for providing guidance to more than 90 schools ranging from primary to pre-university levels apart from his extensive involvement in policy review work at the Ministry of Education.

Mr Gan attended the Global Public Policy Executive Program in Peking University in 2007 under the Singapore-China Foundation Scholarship and had led Principals to Roundtable Forums with their counterparts in Beijing, Shanghai, Suzhou, Nanjing, Wuxi, Chengdu and Zhengzhou.

A life member of the Singapore Academy of Principals, Mr Gan also represented the Ministry on the Boards of Governors of the Singapore Sports School and Temasek Polytechnic. He is the Founding President of the Association for Cultural & Educational Exchanges. For his contributions to education and community service, Mr Gan was conferred the Commendation Medal in 1996 and the Public Administration Medal (Silver) and Public Service Medal by the President of Singapore in 2003.

Mr Gan joined Raffles Education Corporation Limited in April 2010 as Director, Special Projects and was responsible for the setting up of the new Raffles University Iskandar and Raffles American K-12 International School in Iskandar, Malaysia. He concurrently served as Vice President cum Registrar of Raffles University Iskandar.

Mr Gan joined on-line web-based higher education provider, VIRTU Design Services Private Limited in Oct 2012 as Vice-President and Provost, looking after academic management and compliance matters. He concurrently serves as Senior Education Consultant to Golden International Holdings Private Limited, responsible for its Preschool Education Development. He is also an Associate Trainer with the Singapore Civil Service College.

Design Registrar








Ms Monique Eggeling

Profile: Monique Eggleing is a mum of two and lives in the Sydney Northern Beaches. Monique has been involved in RTO administration for several years and joined Virtu in early 2015. Monique also works for the Manly Chamber of Commerce with a strong background in: membership, management, marketing and events management. Through her various roles in rugby league and sports administration Ms Eggeling has understood the importance of developing a community around and activity; in Virtu’s case, education.
Monique’s knowledge and enthusiasm for the suburb of Manly is infectious as she strives to help local businesses grow, network and become more sustainable into the future.

Ms Eggelings role in Virtu makes her the best first point of contact for all student enrolment, complaint or appeal matters.