Advisory Board

National Centre for Student Equity in Higher Education Advisory Board members

The NCSEHE Advisory Board comprises an experienced and knowledgeable group of politicians, academics, spokespeople, and equity advocates.

The Advisory Board has an important role in the effective governance of the Centre and is a source of expert advice. It has no delegated authority from Curtin University to formally control the Centre, but wields significant influence through its involvement in the Centre’s planning and budgeting.

Ms Erin Watson-Lynn


Erin Watson-Lynn has served as the Chair of the NCSEHE Advisory Board since 2017. Erin is also Head of Programs at the foreign policy think tank, the Perth USAsia Centre, based at The University of Western Australia. Prior to joining Perth USAsia Centre, Erin was Director of Asialink Diplomacy at the University of Melbourne, and previously was appointed at Monash University, United Nations ESCAP and Swinburne University of Technology. While her early research focused primarily on gender and South Asia, Erin has developed broader expertise In Australia’s engagement with the Indo-Pacific and track II multilateralism including ASEAN and the G20.

Prof Carmen Lawrence

School of Psychology, University of Western Australia

Dr Lawrence entered politics in 1986, serving at both State and Federal levels for 21 years, including as Premier and Treasurer of WA. She retired from politics in 2007 and is now Professor Emerita in the School of Psychological Science at the University of Western Australia.

Prof Marcia Devlin

Universities Australia Nominee

Professor Marcia Devlin is Senior Deputy Vice-Chancellor and a Professor in Learning Enhancement at Victoria University (VU). Her research—in the areas of teaching and learning, leadership and equity—is widely read and highly cited. A graduate member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors, Professor Devlin serves on a number of Boards including the NCSEHE Advisory Board; Education and Training Advisory Board of Open Colleges; the VU Online Board; and the Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority and its Executive and Audit Committees. Professor Devlin is a Specialist for the Hong Kong Council for Accreditation of Academic and Vocational Qualifications, a Fellow of the Institute for Managers and Leaders Australia and New Zealand and a Lifelong Fellow of the UK-based Society for Research in Higher Education.

Mr Robert Latta

Australian Government Department of Education and Training

Mr Latta manages the Governance, Quality and Access Branch in the Higher Education Group within the Australian Government Department of Education and Training. In this role, he manages equity and access programs, governance and system design. Mr Latta has held various positions in the department, including Parliamentary coordination, business improvement, the management of financial and corporate systems and international education. Earlier employment includes various roles in the private sector (largely IT focussed) and the higher education sector (with a particular focus on international education).

Ms Lara Rafferty

Equity Practitioners in Higher Education Australasia

Ms Lara Rafferty has over 20 years’ experience in student and staff equity, diversity and inclusion in several tertiary education institutions. She is Assistant Director, Student Diversity and Inclusion at RMIT University where she leads the development and implementation of RMIT strategy and programs. Ms Rafferty has served on a number of Boards for organisations in the not-for-profit sector engaged in service provision and advocacy related to gender equity, people with disabilities, cultural diversity and family violence. Ms Rafferty has been Secretary of the Equity Practitioners in Higher Education Australasia for the last five years.

Mr Paul Nicholls

Director of Strategic Partnerships Curtin University

Paul Nicholls is the Director of Research Partnerships at Curtin University and is responsible for supporting and enabling the ‘Demand Driven’ research strategy across the university. This involves capability development, strategic planning, collaborative initiatives with industry and government and improving the ‘permeability’ of the university by external stakeholders. Paul sits on a number of diverse boards and committees, and holds the responsibility for Curtin’s research Institutes and Centres that generate the majority of Curtin’s research outputs. Paul has been responsible for enabling the university strategy around computational and data sciences particularly focused on the Square Kilometre Array, Pawsey Supercomputing Centre, the Curtin Institute for Computation and Innovation Central Perth, a partnership between Cisco Technology’s, Woodside Energy, Data61 and Curtin.

Dr Buly Cardak

Department of Economics and Finance, La Trobe University

Buly Cardak is Associate Professor in the Department of Economics and Finance in the La Trobe Business School. His research interests relate to development and application of theoretical and empirical economic models of individual and household decision making. These models have been applied to a range of finance, investment and social policy issues, but it is his work on the economics of education that has the widest readership and impact. Completing his PhD in Economics at the University of Melbourne, he has held positions at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and Deakin University. Buly has published research in a range of journals and has been awarded competitive external funding totalling more than $800,000 to undertake various research projects.

Emer. Prof. Lesley Parker

Chair of Advisory Committee

Emeritus Professor Lesley Parker has dedicated many years to leadership, research, teaching and policy development in higher education. As well as serving as a member or chair of the councils of numerous schools, colleges and industry bodies, Lesley has authored many publications, especially in the area of gender equity in science and mathematics education, and was awarded the Order of Australia in 1998.