Keynote Speakers

Associate Professor Alan Bain
Faculty of Arts and Education, Charles Sturt University

Professor Suzi Derbyshire
Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Learning and Teaching) Queensland University of Technology

Professor Stephanie Marshall
Director of the Centre for Higher Education Research into Innovation in Learning, The University of Manchester

Professor Mark McMillan
Deputy Pro Vice-Chancellor and Professor of Indigenous Education and Engagement at RMIT University

Roundtable sessions

Please click on the + sign to the right of the presentation title to view the presenters biographies and abstract.


Angela Carbone - The Challenges of leading learning and teaching: Perspectives from Associate Deans (Education)

Presenters Biography

Angela Carbone

Angela Carbone is the Associate Dean Learning Innovation in the Faculty of Science, Engineering and Technology at Swinburne University of Technology.  Prior to this role, Angela was the Director of Education Excellence at Monash University. She has extensive educational leadership experience and an international profile in scholarship of learning and teaching 

Tara Magdalinski

Tara Magdalinski is the Associate Dean, Learning Innovation in the Faculty of Health, Arts and Design at Swinburne University of Technology. Prior to this role, Tara was the Head of Subject for Sports Management and the Associate Dean for Teaching and Learning in the School of Public Health, Physiotherapy and Sports Science at University College Dublin. 

Sandra Luxton

Sandra Luxton is the Associate Dean, Learning Innovation in the Faculty of Business and Law at Swinburne University of Technology.  Sandra has over 20 years' experience in academia holding many leadership roles including Director of the Master of Marketing (online), Director of Industry Based Learning, Director of Study Tour Programs, and Manager - Undergraduate Open Learning. 

Nell Kimberley

Nell Kimberley is Associate Dean (Learning & Teaching) for Monash Business School. Nell has a long history of teaching excellence and educational leadership. She currently leads initiatives relating to new course development, curriculum innovation, academic staff training and development, academic integrity and quality assurance. 



Across Australian tertiary institutions Associate Deans Education are primarily charged with the responsibility of leading strategic development and to provide oversight of the operational implementation of strategies relating to Learning, Teaching and Scholarship. More generally they have overall accountability for ensuring the implementation of the University’s Learning and Teaching strategy within their Faculty. Often this includes facilitating leadership of teaching and learning innovation, driving specific agendas and ensuring the quality of courses and programs.    

With the opportunity to drive, develop and implement strategies relating to innovative and contemporary learning and teaching practices, comes the challenges of leading large scale changes often without any direct influence or line management over staff and negotiating plans with a number of competing stakeholders including: academic staff, Deans, PVCs, DCVs. 

This discussion will be led by Associate Deans of Education/ Learning Innovation across two Australian universities, with teaching and learning responsibility across the broad disciplines of Humanities, Business and Technology.   The presentation will stimulate a roundtable discussion highlighting common challenges which they believe are worthy of further exploration to create and maintain a high quality, productive and supportive educational environment for staff and students. 

Associate Professor Nick McGuigan - Preparing for the Professions of the Future: How to Foster Creativity and Innovation within and across Disciplines?

Presenters Biography

Associate Professor Nick McGuigan

Nick is directly involved in applied research, focusing on the enhancement of educational programs of accountants. His research interests include student conceptions of learning, learning technologies, integrated thinking and creativity, innovation, systems design and regenerative economics. Nick has led and/or taken key roles in competitive research funded projects equating to just over one million Australian dollars, including Federal State level grants in both Australia and Germany. He has received multiple Dean’s Teaching Excellence Awards and a Vice Chancellors award for Teaching Excellence and Outstanding Contributions to Student Learning. Nick has published widely in international accounting and education journals, presented at numerous conferences and been invited to present at research centres and professional organisations in Europe, Australia and New Zealand. He has held visiting academic positions in Germany, England and New Zealand and been appointed to various American Accounting Association (AAA) committees. Nick is currently the Co-Chair of the Accounting and Finance Association of Australia and New Zealand (AFAANZ) Accounting Education Special Interest Group and is chartering an accounting futures project. Nick is an Associate Editor of Higher Education and Research (HERD) Journal, Issues in Accounting Education and Accounting Education. 



Susskind & Susskind (2015) show many of today’s professions are currently under disruption. New technologies are set to transform the information available to professionals. The willingness to experiment and be creative is crucial to creating and adding value in today’s world (Porter, Hills, Pfitzer, Patscheke, & Hawkins 2011). This presentation aims to stimulate a round-table discussion on how to systematically foster creativity and innovation within and across disciplines. 

The professions of the future will require individuals to transcend traditional disciplinary boundaries, hold high degrees of resilence, agility, creativity, social intelligence and be able to think in novel, integrated and adapative ways (Davies, Fidler, & Gorbis, 2011). Remarkably different to the current model of business education. To better equip individuals for the professions of the future curricula that provide meaningful opportunities for students to actively shape, discover and explore their own professional identities and creative abilities will be required. 

This presentation aims to explore how art can be used as a way to ground the learning of particular disciplines in the students lived experience. Therefore affording students an opportunity to form deeper connections to their discipline and an opportunity to explore their own professional identity. Practical examples will explore how art and creative thought is used to place an emphasis on creativity, design and integration – key elements of the professions of the future.  

Illustrative examples will explore how artists can influence educators (formal accounting artist-in-residence program within business schools; use of visual tools and metaphors workshops; shakespeare actor-led workshops that explore body, presence and awareness) and art pedagogical techniques and methodologies implemented in disciplinary courses, can be used to empower student-centered learning (structural modelling, photographic documentation and analysis, portfolio design, film and digital media, image collage construction). 



Davies, A, Fidler, D & Gorbis, M (2011). Future work skills 2020. Institute for the Future for University of Phoenix Research Institute, Palo Alto, California, viewed 15 September 2017, 

Porter, M.E., Hills, G., Pfitzer, M., Patscheke, S., & Hawkins, E. (2011). Measuring shared value: How to unlock value by linking social and business results. Foundation Strategy Group. Available at:

Susskind, R. & Susskind, D. (2015). The Future of the Professions: How Technology will Transform the Work of Human Experts, Oxford: Oxford University Press. 

Dr Lisa J Cary - Leadership in Learning & Teaching: A Narrative Exploration of Identity

Presenters Biography

Dr Lisa J Cary – Higher Education Academy Programmes Coordinator, Murdoch University 

Lisa has taught, studied and conducted research in Higher Education in Australia, Canada and the United States of America (USA), and was the Associate Dean for Learning & Teaching in the School at Education at Murdoch before stepping into her current position. She is committed to research that reveals how the work we do in Higher Education is framed and shaped discursively and how this then frames our knowing of leadership in the learning and teaching space in Higher Education.  She has published widely in high-ranking journals in the areas of Educational Leadership, Qualitative Research and Curriculum Studies. In 2015, Lisa developed the Murdoch University Learning & Teaching Certificate with the Centre for University Teaching and Learning (CUTL), and this program was accredited by the Higher Education Academy UK (HEA) in 2016.  She is currently in the process of developing a pathway for recognition of the great work done by our leaders in learning and teaching. 

Dr Susan Blackley – Director Student Engagement, Faculty of Humanities, Curtin University 

Susan is the Director of Student Engagement in the Faculty of Humanities at Curtin University. Prior to this she was the Director of Student Experience and Partnerships in the School of Education, and Primary Education Course Coordinator. Susan has a strong program of collaborative educational research and her current research lies in digital professional portfolios, STEM education, LEGO robotics, and professional identity. Susan led the Humanities Gender Equity Working Group and contributed to Curtin’s Athena SWAN Bronze Award application. She is a HERDSA Fellow and a member of the National Executive with the portfolio of Learning and Teaching. In this role, she mentors Associate Fellows to submit their HERDSA Fellowship applications, and also is a Fellowship Assessor. Recently, Susan was awarded a Senior Fellowship of the Higher Education Academy (UK), and is committed to investigating the leadership roles enacted by academics in higher education settings.  

Associate Professor Jennifer Howell – Dean, Learning and Teaching, Faculty of Humanities, Curtin University 

Jennifer is the Dean, Learning & Teaching in the Faculty of Humanities at Curtin University. She has a long track record of research and teaching in the area of educational technologies and has taught in pre-service teacher education programs in Australia, Hong Kong and the United Kingdom. Previously, she was the Director of Student Experience and Community Engagement in the School of Education at Curtin University, and established the Professional Learning Hub. This has proven to be an exciting innovation, delivering professional learning workshops and opportunities throughout Western Australia. Her research areas are online communities, LEGO robotics, STEM education, and more recently, educational leadership. 



The journey into educational leadership is not always intentional - more commonly it is a pathway triggered by unexpected opportunities or at the prompting of line managers. This incidental transitioning potentially has an enormous impact on the identity and effectiveness of leaders. In this presentation we explore the foundational assumptions of ‘doing’ leadership and the journey academics take as they move from traditional research/teaching roles into those of leadership. Learning and teaching within any institution has its challenges as it is a unique context with many competing agendas and leadership in this space does not have an extensive body of research nor the usual theoretical underpinnings. This presentation seeks to challenge the codified knowledge base of learning and teaching in Higher Education and, in doing so, it will attempt to reinvent and reinterpret notions of ‘leadership’ and ‘learning and teaching’. The presentation will include a critical discourse analysis of three narratives of leadership, experienced across two Australian universities situated within Western Australia. These narratives highlight the competing epistemologies and political agendas that impact on educational leadership and leadership identity and will contribute to a wider understanding of the challenges such leaders face.

Dr Lee Meng Lim - Using simulation to develop person-centred care leaders

Presenters Biography

Dr Lee Meng Lim 

Dr Lim, External Advisor to the CEO, IHM; former Dean, International Engagement, Director of Studies, Acting CEO and General Manager of IHM.  Dr Lim has been involved with IHM since its inception.  She takes a leading role in the institute, drawing on her extensive leadership experience and expertise. She was the primary course designer for the Institute of Health and Management (IHM) nursing management and leadership programs and postgraduate nursing courses.  A former Senior Lecturer and International Coordinator, Victoria University and was involved in all aspects of leadership development, including curriculum design and development, teaching, research and international engagement.  Dr Lim took on many leadership responsibilities and contributed to shaping the university culture.  Her leadership contributions to the university were recognised in 2007 when she was awarded the Vice Chancellor’s Citation for Outstanding Service to Victoria University and again in 2009, when she was awarded the Vice Chancellor’s Citation and Award for Outstanding Engagement and the Peak Award for Outstanding Engagement. In 2011, Dr Lim was invited as a guest speaker to present on effective leadership skills titled Don’t Just Tell Me – Show Me at the APHM International Nursing Conference (2011).  Dr Lim has also extensive experience facilitating leadership workshops/seminars/conferences internationally including:  Malaysia (Columbia Asia, PKJ, Segi University, IJN, Gleneagles Medical Centre and Subang Jaya Medical Centre); and Singapore:  (Parkway Health Organisation, Parkway College, Alexandra General Hospital, and Tan Tock Seng) and the National Kidney Foundation (Singapore). 

Mr Bijo Kunnumpurath 

He is CEO of IHM, and an accomplished entrepreneur and business executive who utilises skills from a varied business background to bring a proactive approach to business development, innovation and change management to the education and training of health care professionals. He explores and investigates on new and bespoke technology based on innovative learning and teaching methodologies including simulation and their application which will enhance leadership development in nursing. He is a visionary leader who provides direction for the organisation and work closely with the teaching staff to ensure high quality delivery of postgraduate nursing courses.  

Associate Professor Anthony Welch ( Central Queensland University) 

Dr Anthony Welch is the Associate Professor, Mental Health, School of Nursing, Midwifery and Social Science, CQU. He has held a number of positions in the discipline of nursing in both the private and public sectors of the health care industry (Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, and Hong Kong). Such positions have included Hospital Manager, Director of Nursing, Deputy Director of Nursing, Senior Supervisor, Unit Manager, Principal Educator, Senior Lecturer, Associate Professor, Director of Undergraduate Studies, and Director of Post-Graduate Studies. He was also a foundation member of two Schools of Nursing in Australia.  He has thirty years of teaching in the tertiary sector including Professional Development, Psychiatric/Mental Health Nursing, Creative Arts Therapy, Counselling, Spirituality, Men’s Health, Qualitative Research Methods, Evidence-based Practice, Trans-cultural Nursing, Indigenous Health, Community Health, and Philosophic Inquiry. Other professional activities - invited International Scholar/Professor, Invited Keynote Speaker, Member of an Aged Care Consultancy Team to China under the auspices of the Myer Foundation, and Ministerial appointments.   

Dr Brian Zammit, Education Consultant, Former Lecturer of Victoria University 

Dr Zammit has seventeen years of tertiary – sector experience, teaching in the Humanities and Social Sciences, including units such as graduating projects, foundations of political science, politics of the US, European History and Sociology of Health. He also has a strong background in strategizing the provision of support to first year students, at an academic as well as pastoral level. In addition, He has an extensive experience as a course co-ordinator (Bachelor of Arts; Bachelor of Arts (Laws), with responsibilities in areas such as curriculum/ course development and student advice.  



Effective nursing leadership is pivotal to advancing the profession of nursing.   Developments in the health care industry have impacted on the service delivery by nurses who are not only confronted with meeting organisational, economical, scientific, inter-professional and political demands of service delivery but also maintaining the integrity of the profession through the provision of quality and safe person-centred care.   

Nurses are required to advocate and promote the values of respect for the individual needs of the person and their family irrespective of age, gender, culture, religion and illness experience. The development of such skills and attitudes has been a major challenge for educators who are time poor in the teaching and learning space with little opportunity to prepare nurses for leadership positions as they advance in their professional careers. 

There are many innovative learning and teaching methods used in leadership development, but simulation in leadership development has been identified and substantiated as an effective method of positively influencing person-centred care leadership in nursing.  A combination of anecdotal evidence from student feedback, and observation of engaging in simulated scenarios involving the application of leadership skills and a subsequent review of existing research literature validates this opinion. It is also noticeable that as a nurse acquires skills in leadership a growth in confidence occurs and the ability of the nurse to assume a leadership role in providing quality person centred care. The aim of this presentation is to demonstrate how simulation can contribute to the development of person-centred care leaders in nursing. 

Associate Professor Nina Fotinatos - So many learning and teaching leadership identities: How can we keep up and are the current methods working?

Presenters Biography

Associate Professor Nina Fotinatos 

Associate Professor Nina Fotinatos is currently Director of the Centre for Learning, Innovation and Professional Practice (CLIPP) within the Academic Portfolio. Associate Professor Fotinatos has extensive background in teaching quality, student retention, academic student success programs, leadership, management, budgets, leading institution projects and implementing institutional change focused on learning and teaching professional development. Associate Professor Fotinatos is currently engaged with research practices within a number of domains including teaching quality, leadership, human resource management, student support initiatives, academic professional development and gender equity and diversity.



Leading learning and teaching requires a range of leadership identities to remain agile and effective. There are a range of key stakeholders engaged with learning and teaching in the higher education sector who all benefit from specific leadership identities. The environment plays a significant role in leadership identity formation and the outward presentation of these attributes across a higher education institution.  The environment varies depending on the priority lens and the intersection of these lenses.  

Learning and teaching leaders tackle issues and challenges with specific lenses such as those linked to the student experience, academic capability, infrastructure and strategic large-scale initiatives. Many of these lenses vary and change depending on government and sector influences. 

This presentation links leadership identity theories with practice for a female senior learning and teaching leader in regional multi-campus dual-sector institution. The case study identifies the labyrinth required to navigate specific challenges while leading meaningful change to improve student retention and success and reinvigorate the academic workforce towards stronger blended online and digital learning platforms.  

Associate Professor Zofia Pawlaczek - Enabling curriculum leadership by stealth: the first 12 months of a renewed program quality assurance process

Presenters Biography

Associate Professor Zofia Pawlaczek

Ms. Heidi Macklin 



Curriculum leadership is fraught with tensions including disciplinary challenges, accreditation, institutional priorities, curriculum team differences, learner feedback and industry expectations.  Curriculum development requires strong understanding of the forces making up a course or program. The Australian regulator for Higher Education, TEQSA, take a pragmatic approach to overseeing quality assurance.  The entity trusts higher education providers to describe quality assurance mechanisms and implement optimum academic governance across this.  The complexities of curriculum leadership, and TEQSA’s HESF, have informed the development of the program quality assurance process in this case-study. This paper reports the first year of design, implementation and evaluation that occurred with a new quality assurance process in one of Australia’s largest universities.  We examine the role of learning and teaching leadership and the critical junctures supporting this practice.   Five distinctive and influential phenomena have been identified:   1) The program manager as curriculum leader. 2) Faculty quality managers/teams as context-specific leaders; 3) The program quality assurance team as capacity-building leaders; 4) The panel review chairs as collegiality leaders; and 5) Faculty L&T heads as academic and business leaders.  The pertinent learnings from this project have been understanding the distributed leadership roles, providing extraordinary opportunity to nuance communication and capability development. 

Professor Jillian Hamilton - Reciprocal Learning: A pedagogical model for empowering students to lead by enriching future curriculum

Presenters Biography

Professor Jillian Hamilton

Professor Jillian Hamilton is Associate Director: Academic Development at QUT; is Course Coordinator of QUT’s Graduate Certificate in Academic Practice; and leads the Sessional Success Suite of academic development programs. She taught in Art and Design in the Creative Industries Faculty for over a decade before assuming this senior leadership role. Jillian is a Principal Fellow of the UK Higher Education Academy (PFHEA), and has been recognised by an Australian Award for University Teaching (AAUT) Program Award; AAUT Teaching Excellence Award; AAUT Citation; Benchmarking Leadership for Sessional Teaching (BLASST) Award for Institutional Excellence; Higher Education Research Network’s Best Publication Award; and several university teaching excellence awards. She has led OLT projects on HDR supervision, has 8 PhD completions, and is a regular PhD examiner as well as an international course quality assurer.  

Michelle Fox

Michelle Fox is a Lecturer in Academic Development at QUT and is a Senior Fellow of the HEA (SFHEA). Having taught in QUT’s International College and Creative Industries Faculty for many years, she now leads QUT’s Effective Communication in face to face and online environments subjects and coordinates the Sessional Academic Success Program. She has received institutional and national recognition for innovative approaches that motivate learners to adapt and thrive through reflective practice, drawing on their strengths, building confidence, and initiating academic identity formation,  including an AAUT Program Award, AAUT Citation and BLASST Award. 



Much progress has been made in recent years in more deeply engaging students in their learning through strategies that actively recruit students as partners in curriculum design, afford opportunities for the co-creation of content, and build leadership and support through peer programs. In this paper, we consider how a distributed leadership approach can cohere these pedagogical strategies into a model we call reciprocal learning, in which students lead by contributing learning resources into future curriculum. We outline a model and principles for this ‘strengths based’ approach and what it might include, such as enabling students to contribute exemplars of high achieving assessments; developing content or topic summaries, and offering advice to future cohorts. We illustrate these approaches through examples from across programs and levels in multimodal artefacts including postcards, guides, interviews, instructible videos, and infographics.  

We discuss the benefits of reciprocal learning to those who contribute such resources; such as deepening and consolidating their learning, increased confidence through recognition, and the agency to positively influence future curriculum and their peers. At the same time, we discuss the beneficiaries of this virtuous circle–future students who gain enriched curriculum; are inspired by exemplary practices of past cohorts and motivated by their modeling; relate to the trusted voices of successful peers who echo and reinforce the curriculum; and gain insights into proven strategies for transposing curriculum materials and activities into achieving the subject’s learning outcomes.  

Susan F. Stevenson - Taking a comprehensive approach to leadership development in learning and teaching

Presenters Biography

Susan F. Stevenson 

Susan has held a range of senior academic and research leadership roles in higher education and quality assurance contexts and is currently President of the International Higher Education Curriculum Designer & Academic Leadership Society. Susan founded the New Zealand Curriculum Design Institute and has lead numerous successful qualification designs for institutions in New Zealand. She now leads the FREEDOM Institute of Higher Education which provides the most comprehensive range of graduate and postgraduate higher education facilitator, curriculum designer, academic management and academic leadership programmes in New Zealand.  



Development of higher education sector learning and teaching leadership development predominantly follows an apprenticeship or series of day long workshops over time. These approaches sit in stark contrast to what are considered adequate professional preparation for early childhood, primary and high school age teachers and leaders of learning and teaching. This presentation presents the work of two institutions in New Zealand who decided not to compromise on the development of learning and teaching leaders in higher education settings. After conducting an extended grounded research project reviewing more than 500 exemplars of learning and teaching related documentation they designed and implemented an eight-level graduate/postgraduate pathway for learning and teaching leaders.  This presentation challenges the assumptions behind the usual development of learning and teaching leaders in higher education and the world of possibilities available if a more robust professional education pathway is provided.

Louise Maddock - Leading Learning & Teaching at the program-level: Developing practice-informed approaches for continuing professional learning

Presenters Biography

Louise Maddock

Louise Maddock is a Senior Learning and Teaching Consultant in the Centre for Learning Futures at Griffith University.  She is a member of the Griffith Institute for Educational Research and is currently completing her PhD studies using practice theory to explore the leading of program-level educational transformations in higher education.  Louise lectures in the Graduate Certificate of Higher Education, facilitates professional learning programs and leads action research projects focusing on curriculum transformation and leadership development. 

Samantha Carruthers

Samantha Carruthers is a Senior Consultant - Leadership for Learning at Griffith University’s Learning Futures.  She is a psychologist, specialising in group and organisational change, with over 20 years’ experience in community-based, not-for profit and government organisations. Her current practice focuses on activating shared leadership in complex systems, for transformational change. She applies action research methods, with current projects delivering organisational culture change and leadership development. She enjoys teaching an educational leadership and innovation course. 



With a growing emphasis on evidencing degree-program quality in Australian universities, there is increased value for academic learning leaders to develop curriculum leadership capabilities that enable ongoing enhancements to learning and teaching in their program.  How do we enable context-specific practice-informed continuing professional learning for academics leading learning and teaching?  

By reconceptualising academic work as professional practice (Boud & Brew, 2013), this paper will present examples of developing practice-informed participatory action research approaches that aim to provide context-specific (site-based) continuing professional learning for academic learning leaders.  In addition, this presentation will explore the challenges of locating academic continuing professional learning in practice rather than individual development, and the challenges that adopting a practice perspective poses for those supporting the professional learning of academics.  

This presentation explores the theme of leadership development in learning and teaching. 

Samantha Carruthers - Trees falling in forests: Evidencing leadership of learning and teaching, within a system of distributed leadership

Presenters Biography

Samantha Carruthers

Samantha Carruthers is a Senior Consultant - Leadership for Learning at Griffith University’s Learning Futures.  She is a psychologist, specialising in group and organisational change, with over 20 years’ experience in community-based, not-for profit and government organisations. Her current practice focuses on activating shared leadership in complex systems, for transformational change. She applies action research methods, with current projects delivering organisational culture change and leadership development. She also enjoys teaching an educational leadership and innovation course. 

Louise Maddock

Louise Maddock is a Senior Learning and Teaching Consultant in the Centre for Learning Futures at Griffith University.  She is a member of the Griffith Institute for Educational Research and is currently completing her PhD studies using practice theory to explore the leading of program-level educational transformations in higher education.  Louise lectures in the Graduate Certificate of Higher Education, facilitates professional learning programs for educators, course convenors and program directors and leads action research projects focusing on curriculum transformation and leadership development. 



Committed to building leadership for learning, Griffith has focused on developing Program Director role, to enhance program (degree) quality and to strengthen organisational leadership.  Since 2014, a program of activities has shifted the program leaders’ identity from being an administrator and coordinator to being a director and leader.  

This presentation will briefly describe the approach taken to facilitate this identity shift and then shares lessons learnt.  The theme for discussion relates to identity - the challenge of claiming recognition as leader, within a system where leadership is distributed. “How can I say I led (that) when it was a team effort?”. “Who am I to put my hand up and say my leadership resulted in (that particular outcome).” For some, claiming leadership feels contradictory to their values of collegiality.  It challenges their academic identity.  Such intrapersonal conflict can be a barrier for leaders’ development, recognition and progression.   

Discussing this theme goes towards understanding how to frame and articulate leaders’ contributions to shared learning and teaching outcomes, within a distributed system, in order to strengthen the identity of learning and teaching leaders.  

Margot McNeill - Whole-of-college transformation through diverse, distributed and developmental leadership: multiple levers for driving change

Presenters Biography

Margot McNeill

Margot McNeill is currently DVC, Learning and Teaching at International College of Management Sydney. 

Responsible for teams leading curriculum innovation projects, learning design and professional development, ‘work integrated learning’, student support and library services, her role involves leading collaborative partnerships with stakeholders from across ICMS to transform learning, teaching, curriculum and the student experience.   

Margot has held a range of senior positions and consultations in both higher education and vocational sectors, public and private, in Australia and New Zealand. Her research interests and much of her project work explore ‘technologies for learning and teaching’ and ‘change management to implement these technologies as a driver of transformation and staff capability building'. Research underpins her leadership, teaching and professional development work and she has over 600 citations for journal articles, conference papers and book chapters (Google scholar, 2018).  

Previous roles include Head, L&T Transformation at Navitas L&T Services, and Senior Manager, Learning and Teaching Enhancement in UNSW’s Learning and Teaching Unit.   



Most educational institutions have publically available strategic plans and yet there is often a gap between these visions and the action of individuals. This is especially the case in highly sessionalised environments where academic leaders often lament their inability to connect with and support these staff members toward their strategic priorities (see BLAST framework). Diverse, distributed and developmental leadership is required in order to embed these plans into the lived experience of students and staff.  

International College of Management Sydney (ICMS) is a private higher education provider on Sydney’s Northern Beaches, focusing on industry experience and preparing students for success in their future  careers. Innovation and quality are keys to maintaining relevance.  

This presentation to prompt the round table discussion will begin with an overview of  ICMS’s three tiered framework for academic leadership, along with examples of specific change management projects that have been designed to build middle level leadership capability and empower informal leaders as catalysis for sustainable change. 

Questions will then be posed to access the 'collective intelligence' of the participants. The session will explore strategies that have been successful in other contexts and how they can be adapted and refined for use in contexts relevant to the audience. Participants will come away with the original academic leadership framework, the examples of implementation plus some additional strategies from the roundtable discussions. 

Dr Stephen Dann - Learning Leadership through Serious play: Apply a corporate facilitation platform for flattenededucational leadership training

Presenters Biography

Dr Stephen Dann is a Senior Lecturer in the Research School of Management, College of Business and Economics at the Australian National University. He is a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (UK), and recipient of the Australian and New Zealand Marketing Academy Conference Emerging Educator award, the College of Business and Economics Education Innovation award and the Australian National University Vice Chancellor’s Citation for Outstanding Contribution to Student Learning.  He is also a Certified Lego® Serious Play™ Facilitator, having run sessions in Australia, Canada and the United Kingdom. 



Leadership can often be conflated with hierarchy.  By trade, academics often exist in vertically structured environments, differentiated by letters in job titles (Level B, C, D and E), with authority flowing from a vertical location which enforces hierarchy by default, approach to academic life.  With leadership being more than ranks and organizational chart, teaching contemporary leadership practice in the classroom requires unlearning our workplace practice to engage in new methods of experiential leadership teaching. One approach is based on the adaptation of the Lego® Serious Play™ facilitation methodology to the classroom.  LSP was developed by the Lego Corporation to generate a new leadership environment to solve problems through shared understanding and establish processes to unlock the knowledge in the room through flattened leadership where shares of voice were equalized, and contributions enabled from voices that were often silent in vertically focused organizations.  The LSP process enables the development of participatory leadership skills through active listening, proactive sense-making, and levelling the playing fields (with an emphasis on play) in story sharing environments. This panel will discuss how to adapt a commercially focused facilitation framework into a pedagogically driven, leadership enabling process that can lead by doing, sharing and showing contemporary leadership practice in a safe facilitated environment.  

Associate Professor Sarah O’Shea - Building leadership and legacy in the post-OLT era: The role of the Teaching and Learning Academy

Presenters Biography

A/Professor Sarah O’Shea

A/Professor Sarah O’Shea leads the Adult, Vocational and Higher Education discipline in the School of Education, UOW. Sarah has nearly 25 years experience teaching in universities and the adult education sector, she has also published widely on issues related to educational access and equity. In 2016, Sarah was appointed to Chair the Wollongong Academy in Teaching and Learning Excellence (WATTLE), this leadership community supports excellence in teaching and learning. Over the last two years, WATTLE has grown its membership base and now has a thriving presence on campus. 

Aside from WATTLE related activities, Sarah also engages in research on student access and participation. In 2016, she was awarded an ARC Discovery project exploring the persistence of students from equity backgrounds; this international study builds upon an Australian Government Teaching and Learning Fellowship (2015-2016) and consolidates a decade of work in this field. 

During her career, Sarah has also received numerous awards for teaching excellence including a national Australian Award for University Teaching (AAUT) Citation (2012), her work has been recognised as one of UOW 40 Research Impacts and in 2016 she was recognised as one of UOW's Women of Impact



With the demise of the Office for Learning and Teaching combined with increasing metrics around ‘measuring’ quality in teaching and learning, how we, as a HE sector, continue to support quality teaching and learning practice as well as create meaningful leadership opportunities remains unclear. As a response to this, a number of Australian universities have established Teaching and Learning Communities or Academies to provide a space where quality teaching and learning practices can be disseminated and celebrated.   

One such Academy is the University of Wollongong’s Academy for Tertiary Teaching and Learning Excellence (WATTLE), which aims to establish an education-focused network which showcases expertise, scholarship and research in teaching and learning, both within and outside of UOW. Based on experiences of Chairing WATTLE, this session will explore the benefits, challenges and impacts that such organisational entities offer as well as explore other frameworks that the university teaching and learning sector has adopted to sustain staff passion and dedication to student learning and quality teaching practices. 

The presentation will also focus on the future of teaching and learning leadership in the sector, as opportunities for national recognition and reward disappear, how can we sustain and capacity build in this field? 

Professor Jillian Hamilton - Leading from the outset: Developing leadership capabilities and values for early career academics

Presenters Biography

Professor Jillian Hamilton

Professor Jillian Hamilton is Associate Director: Academic Development, at QUT. A Principal Fellow of the UK Higher Education Academy (PFHEA), she is Course Coordinator of QUT’s Graduate Certificate in Academic Practice, which spans dimensions of learning and teaching practice, curriculum design, blended and online learning, research, and leadership. She leads the Sessional Success Suite of academic development programs, including a distributed leadership program with Advisors deployed across sixteen schools to provide support, local and focal development and a sense of belonging for sessional peers. This work was recognised by an Australian Award for University Teaching (AAUT): Program Award; and Jillian has received an AAUT: Teaching Excellence Award; AAUT Citation for Outstanding Contributions to Student Learning; the Award for Institutional Excellence at the National Leadership Summit: Benchmarking Leadership for Sessional Teaching and several QUT Vice Chancellor’s Awards. With 8 PhD completions, she is a regular PhD examiner. She has led OLT Strategic projects on HDR supervision and recently won the Higher Education Research Network’s Best Publication Award.  



As the higher education sector faces unprecedented academic renewal and an increasingly competitive environment, some universities have recognized the need for institutional succession planning and have introduced leadership programs for senior and mid-level program leaders. However, it remains likely that academics become ‘incidental leaders’, without first establishing a thorough understanding of the role of a leader, their leadership values, or a set of enabling strategies. Early career academics in particular may be left to acquire leadership ‘know-how’ on the job, since professional development designed for them (where it exists) tends to focus on the dual imperatives of research and learning and teaching quality. Rarely does it focus on leadership capabilities, even though we know that this cohort leads from the outset–supervising sessional teams, designing programs, participating in advisory committees etc. 

This paper first describes a preparatory module on academic leadership for early career academics in a large Australasian university (QUT). It then goes on to provide a socio-cultural perspective on early career academics’ perceptions of leadership by presenting a systematic content analysis of artefacts produced by participants (N= 110). This includes an analysis of what leadership entails, including the differentiated work of leaders, managers, mentors and administrators. And it includes the traits of leadership (emergent, authentic values) derived from the leadership philosophies produced by participants. Through these analyses, the paper elucidates the principles and strategies that early career academics plan to enact as they navigate the complexities of their new roles leading in higher education. 

Professor Elizabeth Johnson - Agile leadership for learning and teaching teams

Presenters Biography

Prof Elizabeth Johnson

Prof Elizabeth Johnson is Pro Vice-Chancellor, Teaching and Learning at Deakin University and is the Director of the Teaching and Learning Centre of the Australian Council of Deans of Science.  Liz is a OLT National Teaching Fellow with awards for learning and teaching from the Federal Government’s Office of Learning and Teaching and from the Australian Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, as well as institutional awards.   

At Deakin University, Liz leads Deakin Learning Futures which delivers Deakin’s online learning environment, leads teaching innovation projects and supports course development and building staff capability for learning and teaching. Liz has led whole-of-institution curriculum reform projects at Deakin University and La Trobe University and is currently leading a national project, Successful WIL in Science, on work-integrated learning in science faculties funded through the Office of the Chief Scientist of Australia.  



Decades of educational research have made better learning and teaching an imperative for higher education. Bradforth et al. (2015) in the eminent science research journal, Nature, proclaimed ‘every university now has at its disposal the tools to improve undergraduate STEM teaching, and no defensible reason for not using them.’ A quality agenda calls for more sophisticated understanding of learning and assessment, and technical expertise in teaching, assessment, online learning, work-based learning and other priorities. Simultaneously, universities welcome more diverse students and seek to provide an egalitarian and supportive learning environment.  

It is not surprising that teaching responsibilities are becoming more demanding as universities move to more sophisticated teaching practice. Academics report increasing pressure to be expert teachers as well as experts in their discipline (Bexley, James, & Arkoudis, 2011). In practice, contemporary university teaching requires teams of experts for effective delivery at scale. 

Leading multi-disciplinary teams is a challenging task, particularly in the complex mix of structures and disciplines that make up a modern university. This presentation presents lessons learnt from development of team-based learning support including local and centrally-located educational specialists. It calls for a shift in leadership of learning and teaching to an agile and responsive approach that can adapt to different disciplines and changes in provision. 

Bexley, E., James, R., & Arkoudis, S. (2011). The Australian academic profession in transition. Canberra: Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations, Commonwealth of Australia.  

Bradforth, S. E., Miller, E. R., Dichtel, W. R., Leibovich, A. K., Feig, A. L., Martin, J. D., . . . Smith, T. L. (2015). University learning: improve undergraduate science education. Nature, 523, 282-284.  

Dr. Lesley Sefcik - Homeward Bound: Developing and Connecting Future Female Leaders

Presenters Biography

Dr. Lesley Sefcik

Dr. Lesley Sefcik is a Lecturer and Academic Integrity Advisor at Curtin University. She provides university-wide teaching, advice, and academic research within the field of academic integrity. Dr. Sefcik has an interdisciplinary education with a Phd in Environmental Science  (University of Michigan) focusing on Plant Physiological Ecology and Global Change, a Bachelor of Science in Biology  (University of Michigan)  and a Graduate Diploma in Education (Murdoch University). Dr. Sefcik’s professional background is situated in Assessment and Quality Learning within the domain of Learning and Teaching. Pasts projects include development of the External Referencing of Standards (ERoS) system for external peer review of assessment. Current projects include the development and implementation of academic integrity related programs for students and staff at Curtin, and research related to the development and implementation of remote invigilation for online assessment. Lesley Sefcik has also been awarded a Fellowship to be part of the international Homeward Bound Leadership Training Program for 2019. 



Globally women are underrepresented in leadership and executive decision-making positions, and changing this trend has been difficult despite women representing a significant percentage of university graduates and the workforce. In conjunction with this, we are at a time of unprecedented global environmental change. This leads us to the necessity of a social turning point in which the female voice must be prominently heard at the decision making table to find a path to a more equitable and ecologically sustainable future. The Homeward Bound leadership training program aims to strengthen the influence of women with a STEMM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math, Medicine) background in order to direct policy and decision making towards this aim. As part of the program, participants develop leadership and strategic skills, a sound understanding of science, and a strong purposefully developed network that they will be able to use to impact policy and decisions towards this goal. This talk will examine some of the key strategies used in Homeward Bound and share some of the positive impacts that are developing as a result of the program.