In lieu of a face-to-face conference in 2020, an October WebFest was hosted, with a series of topical and relevant webinars themed around Crisis, responsibility and opportunity: Educational leadership during major change presented every Thursday.
Session info and Speaker bios
The many faces of education: Challenges, opportunities and the future
This panel discussion explored the future of education in the VET and higher education sectors, particularly in light of the recent and rapid transformation of education offerings and support services in response to COVID-19.
Amanda Achterberg, Chief Learning Officer, Bendigo Kangan Institute
Amanda is passionate about education and fundamentally believes in it’s worth for students, industry and the community. She is a career educator and strong believer in driving quality student outcomes, by engaging and building educator capabilities in educational design, digital delivery, assessment and facilitation skills. In her current role, she has focused on building a comprehensive and future focused Education Plan, to promote innovative education and support students throughout their learning journey.
Professor Glyn Davis, Chief Executive Officer, Paul Ramsay Foundation
Professor Glyn Davis AC joined the Paul Ramsay Foundation as Chief Executive officer in January 2019. He was previously Vice-Chancellor at the University of Melbourne. Alongside his role at the Foundation, Glyn Davis remains Distinguished Professor of Political Science in the Crawford School of Public Policy at the Australian National University and Visiting Professor at the Blavatnik School of Government, Oxford.
Professor Davis is a public policy specialist, with experience in government and higher education, who delivered in 2010 the Boyer Lectures on the theme The Republic of Learning. His most recent book is The Australian Idea of a University.
Megan Lilly, Head – Education and Training, Ai Group
Megan Lilly is the Head of Education & Training for The Australian Industry Group (Ai Group) and Managing Director of the Australian Industry Group Training Services (AiGTS). In this role Megan is responsible for the development of all education and training policy as well as the operation of the group training organisations . Ms Lilly is a member of the Australian Industry Skills Committee, board member of National Apprentice Employment Network, Deputy Chair – Worldskills Australia, member of the Australian College of Educators, the Australia Pacific Training Coalition, and the Naval Shipbuilding College – Delivery Advisory Committee. Megan was also on the AQF Review Panel. She has been a member of the Australia India Education Council, including Chairing the Skills Working Group, Australian Qualifications Framework Council, Queensland Ministerial Commission, Victorian Skills Commission and was a member of the National Skills Standards Council, and the National Quality Council.
Course delivery: Lessons for the future
The COVID-19 crisis created the circumstances for a rapid and wholesale rethink of how we structure and deliver courses. This three-person panel drew on the experience of educators in responding to and transforming their courses to meet the new reality and to meet student needs.
Dr Paul Whitelaw, Academic Director, The Hotel School Partnership, Southern Cross University
Dr Paul Whitelaw is the Academic Director of The Hotel School, a partnership between Southern Cross University and global hospitality and real estate investment company, MULPHA. Prior to joining SCU, he was an Associate Director at William Angliss Institute where he was responsible for the Faculty of Higher Education, as well as institute wide portfolios in quality, research and scholarship. He has a life long commitment to the hospitality industry and is actively involved in several teaching and learning projects including leading the development of the Threshold Learning Outcomes for Tourism, Hospitality and Events in coursework programs.
Associate Professor Thomas Cochrane, Technology Enhanced Learning, Melbourne Centre for the Study of Higher Education, The University of Melbourne
Associate Professor Thomas Cochrane has expertise in qualitative research in technology-enhanced learning, with a focus upon action research, and design based research methodologies. His specialisations include mobile learning, designing mixed reality learning environments, heutagogy (self-regulated learning), communities of practice, and the scholarship of technology enhanced learning. His research portfolio includes over 50 peer reviewed journal articles, 32 book chapters, and over 150 conference proceedings.
Associate Professor Mitchell Parkes, Program Director, Academic Development at Learning and Teaching Transformation (LaTT) at the University of New England
Associate Professor Mitchell Parkes’ background is in ICT and online education, but also has qualifications in Science, Library Science and History. Mitch holds an Advance HE Senior Fellowship and received an Australian Award for University Teaching citation in 2016.
Associate Professor Melanie Williams, Associate Dean (Scholarship), William Angliss Institute
Associate Professor Melanie Williams' main role is to support and mentor vocational and higher education teaching staff in taking a scholarly approach to improving learning and teaching practice. Melanie has worked in academic development in VET and higher education for over twenty five years, including as a private consultant. Research interests include the scholarships of learning, teaching and engagement, transformative learning, personal epistemology, and scenario planning – a practice of long term futures research.
The importance of leadership: New thinking and strategies for an education sector in flux
This interview explored factors that are likely to impact the sector beyond COVID-19, what the latest literature and research tell us regarding effective leadership, and the strategies that leaders can adopt to ensure they meet, identify and manage challenges and maximise opportunities in a post-pandemic world.
Professor Warren Bebbington, Professorial Fellow, The University of Melbourne
Former Vice Chancellor and President, University of Adelaide and Deputy Vice Chancellor, University of Melbourne, Professor Bebbington is now a Professorial Fellow, L.H.Martin Institute, University of Melbourne; Professor Emeritus in Music, University of Adelaide; and Visiting Professor, National Academy for Education Administration, PR China.
He chairs Melbourne University Press, arts and design college LCI-Melbourne, and the peak autism body in Victoria Amaze Inc. Educated at University of Melbourne then as a Fulbright Scholar in New York, he was awarded an Australian Council of Teaching and Learning Citation for “30 years of outstanding teaching,” in 2007. In 2020, Professor Bebbington received the Order of Australia (AM) for significant service to education, particularly to the study of music.
Professor Kerri-Lee Krause, Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Student Life), The University of Melbourne
Professor Kerri-Lee Krause is an experienced university executive who is internationally recognised for her contributions to higher education policy, research and practice. Professor Krause is an Honorary Professorial Fellow, Melbourne Graduate School of Education, a lifetime fellow of the international Society for Research in Higher Education and is internationally recognised for research on the contemporary student experience. Her research program spans higher education curriculum renewal, the changing nature of academic work, and factors influencing higher education quality and standards.
Supporting scholarship and learning at the organisational and sector level
The theme of this session considered how organisations and the wider education sector can support scholarship and the adoption of evidence-based teaching and research practice at the organisational and sectoral level and across different groups and stakeholders.
Dr Jeanette Baird, Honorary Senior Fellow, LH Martin Institute, MGSE, The University of Melbourne
Dr Jeanette Baird is a higher education consultant with extensive experience in quality assurance and governance. She is an Honorary Senior Fellow of the LH Martin Institute at the University of Melbourne, a Council member of the University of Divinity in Australia, and an Adjunct Professor of Higher Education at Divine Word University in Papua New Guinea.
Jeanette’s international activity includes quality audits and advice on quality assurance standards and processes; current projects are for Myanmar and Papua New Guinea. In Australia, she focuses on reviews of institutional corporate and academic governance. Her research explores tertiary education in emerging nations.
Liz Baré, Honorary Fellow, LH Martin Institute, MGSE, The University of Melbourne
Liz Baré has a deep knowledge and understanding of human resource management, having headed the HR function in three different organisations including an extensive period as Vice-Principal (Human Resources) at the University of Melbourne. In recent years, Liz was Head of Administration at the University of Melbourne, where she was responsible for service delivery of IT, HR, Finance, Research, Marketing, Property and Grounds as well as overseeing a major restructure of administrative service delivery.
Leah Dowsett, Manager, Strategic Planning, Curtin University
Leah Dowsett has worked in tertiary education for more than twenty years, transitioning from a career in the hospitality industry and further studies in journalism and literature. She began in higher degree by research student administration, moving across to planning in 2013 and recently completed a master's degree in tertiary education management. Her expertise is in environmental scanning, analysis and high-level reporting, with a particular focus on, and interest in, the outcomes and impacts of global university rankings.
Dr Paul Rowland, Chief Executive Officer, Sydney International School of Technology and Commerce
Paul has had a career extending over 20 years in the Australia Higher Education (HE) sector. This included roles at Director, Executive Director and Pro Vice Chancellor level in three prominent Australian universities, focusing on organisational strategy, business and academic planning, and external stakeholder engagement and collaboration.
He is presently the Chief Executive Officer of a Sydney-based private HE provider, specialising in the provision of undergraduate degree and diploma programs in Information Technology (IT) and Business Information Systems (BIS). In this role Dr Rowland led the School’s TEQSA registration and course accreditation processes, and has overseen the School’s strategy for the commencement of teaching in fully on-line mode during the current COVID 19 conditions.
Business not as usual: Education business models for a disrupted sector
Prior to COVID-19, most discussions on disruption focused on the impact of the digital revolution on education delivery business models. However, COVID-19 has shown that the potential impacts may come from other quarters. This facilitated roundtable discussion considered and analysed the factors that are likely to shape future educational business models, and the implications for the business models and what these models might look like to best meet social and student needs.
David Barnett, Managing Director - APAC, Pearson
David has worked in the education industry for the past thirty-three years, most of which has been at Pearson. In that time, he has held a variety of executive roles working in Pearson’s businesses in higher education, schools, vocational education and career development, across the region. David was appointed Managing Director of Pearson Australia in 2002 and Pearson Asia Pacific in 2016. He is responsible for helping lead the transformation of Pearson’s business in Asia Pacific from print & analog to digital & services, with a focus on delivering value to the learner.
David is a graduate of Macquarie University, MGSM and the Australian Institute of Company Directors. He is currently a Director of the Copyright Agency and was formerly Chairman of Robert Menzies College, a university residential college at Macquarie University.
Megan Aitken, Educational Consultant: Digital Transformation
Megan is the Director of Hedgerow Consulting and provides digital transformation advice to universities and vocational training colleges. More recently, she was General Manager, TAFE Digital where she became a critical part of the institute’s three-year modernisation program. TAFE Digital, the online arm of TAFE NSW, is Australia’s largest online vocational trainer, offering 250 courses to over 100,000 students. Prior to this, Megan was Head of the Strategic Projects Unit at the University of New England, Armidale, where she managed the university’s Structural Adjustment Programme which aimed to equip the university for an online future. She has over 20 years’ experience in senior management roles in Asia and Australia in financial services, having worked for organisations such as Westpac, UBS Warburg and JPMorgan. Megan holds a Bachelor of Business and Master of Arts from the University of Technology, Sydney.
Dr Stephen Weller, Chief Operating Officer and Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Australian Catholic University
Dr Stephen Weller has more than 30 years’ experience in tertiary education across six universities in three states. He holds a PhD in Organisational Justice from Victoria University; a Master of Business Administration from the University of Technology, Sydney; a Master of Commerce, Employment Relations from the University of Western Sydney; and a Bachelor of Arts, Government and Public Administration from the University of Sydney.
Ray Fleming, Asia Pacific Higher Education Strategic Programs Manager, Google Cloud
Ray is responsible for the strategic programs and partnerships across the Asia Pacific region for
Google Cloud, and has spent his entire career working in education technology at Google,
Microsoft, and other technology companies. From working with tertiary education organisations
at global and national level, Ray brings insights into the rapid pace of change being seen as
digital disruption occurs in every industry. An award-winning writer, Ray’s also been a columnist
for Times Education. With both opportunities and challenges apparent as digital transformation
accelerates higher education, Ray’s experience has led to him being invited as a regular
speaker to tertiary leaders at conferences, leadership retreats and workshops.