NCSEHE Fellows

Dr Lynette Vernon

Adjunct Fellow

Lynette Vernon holds a Vice-Chancellor's Research Fellowship (2020–22) at Edith Cowan University, after having worked at the NCSEHE for three years as a Research Fellow. Originally a high school science teacher, Lynette worked in schools across Australia for 20 years and completed her Graduate Diploma in Psychology online through Charles Sturt University. Her PhD thesis, completed at Murdoch University, examined the developmental implications for adolescent wellbeing, schooling and sleep quality when using technology at night. Lynette collaborated with colleagues at Murdoch and Griffith Universities to develop Australia's Biggest Smartphone Survey sponsored by the ABC. Global media highlighted Lynette's research and she was awarded a prize for the paper with the highest media impact, reaching an audience of over two million people in Australia alone. Lynette continues to collaborate with the NCSEHE, in particular using quantitative methodology with a focus on the impact of disruptions on the wellbeing of students in higher education.


Adjunct Fellow

Professor Sue Trinidad was the NCSEHE Director for seven years, prior to which she was Deputy Pro Vice-Chancellor and Dean of Teaching and Learning in the Faculty of Humanities at Curtin University from 2007-12. Her role included overseeing the academic programs and leading the Higher Education Participation and Partnerships Program (HEPPP) for a large faculty with many Low SES, Indigenous and regional students. Professor Trinidad is an established scholar and researcher in the area of higher education and led the NCSEHE team on numerous research projects to build the evidence base in this important area of student equity in higher education in Australia.

Professor Sally Kift

Visiting Professorial Fellow

Sally Kift PFHEA has been Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic) at James Cook University (2012-2017) and is President of the Australian Learning and Teaching Fellows (ALTF). Prior to commencing at JCU in 2012, Sally was a Professor of Law at QUT, where she has served as Law Faculty Assistant Dean, Teaching & Learning (2001-2006) and QUT’s foundational Director, First Year Experience (2006-2007). Sally received a National Teaching Award (AAUT) in 2003 and in 2006 was awarded one of three inaugural Australian Learning and Teaching Council (ALTC) Senior Fellowships. In 2007, Sally led a Project Team to the award of a further ALTC National Teaching Award for the Law Faculty’s Assessment and Feedback practices. In 2009, she was appointed an ALTC Discipline Scholar in Law. In 2017, she became a Principal Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.

Professor James Smith

Adjunct Professorial Fellow

James Smith is a Father Frank Flynn Fellow at Menzies School of Health Research, focusing on alcohol and other drugs harm minimisation. He was a 2017 NCSEHE Equity Fellow, hosted through Charles Darwin University (CDU), and was the Co-Lead of the Indigenous Leadership Research and Evaluation Network and Program Manager for the Whole of Community Engagement initiative at CDU. James has held senior strategic roles spanning health and education settings across the Northern Territory and South Australia.

Dr Cathy Stone

Adjunct Fellow

Dr Cathy Stone is an independent consultant and researcher in post-secondary student equity, retention and success. She has been a Conjoint Associate Professor in Social Work at the University of Newcastle, Australia since 2011 and was an inaugural 2016 NCSEHE Equity Fellow, developing national guidelines to improve student outcomes in online learning. Cathy’s research and publications focus particularly on the experiences of mature age, First-in-Family, regional and online students.

Dr Matt Brett

Adjunct Fellow

Matt Brett is Director of Academic Governance and Standards at Deakin University. He was a 2017 Equity Fellow with the NCSEHE and has continued with the Centre as an Adjunct Fellow. Prior to commencing with Deakin University, Matt worked at La Trobe University in policy and planning roles, and the University of Melbourne in student service and policy roles. Matt is also Non-Executive Director and Vice-President of Melba Support Services. Matt prepared the sector's first institutional Mental Health Strategy in 2008, an approach now adopted as industry standard. Since 2012, he has been an investigator in over $1.7 million of competitive research grants. He has published widely on a range of student equity related issues and was co-editor of 'Student Equity in Australian Higher Education, 25 Years of A Fair Chance For All'.

Professor Maria Raciti

Adjunct Fellow

Maria Raciti is Director of the Indigenous and Transcultural Research Centre at USC. Maria uses marketing tools and techniques for the greater good — being the active pursuit of equity, social justice and betterment. Her main research areas are social marketing, services marketing and higher education. Maria is an Adjunct Fellow with the NCSEHE, was a 2018 NCSEHE Research Fellow, and was part of a 2019 Departmental Taskforce with the Australian Government Department of Education, Skills and Employment. Maria is a Principal Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (UK) and is co-leader of two research groups being the USC Indigenous Studies Research Theme and the USC Transcultural and Indigenous Pedagogies Research Group.

Louise Pollard

Adjunct Fellow

Louise Pollard is Director, Admissions and Student Services, at The University of Notre Dame Australia (Fremantle), having completed a 2017 Equity Fellowship through the NCSEHE. Prior to this, she was the Manager of Aspire UWA, a nationally-recognised widening participation program at The University of Western Australia and has over 18 years’ experience in developing, implementing and reviewing a range of education and community development projects in a range of contexts in Australia and internationally.

Dr Katelyn Barney

2019/20 Equity Fellow

Katelyn Barney is a Senior Lecturer in the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies Unit at The University of Queensland. Her research focuses on facilitating pathways for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students into and through higher education and collaborative research with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women who perform contemporary music. She has published across these areas, co-edited a number of Special Issues of journals, and also edited the books Collaborative Ethnomusicology: New Approaches to Music Research between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians and Musical Islands: Exploring Connections between Music, Place and Research. She is also an Australian Learning and Teaching Fellow and Managing Editor of The Australian Journal of Indigenous Education.

Dr Andrea Simpson

2020 Equity Fellow

Dr Andrea Simpson is the Head of Discipline for the Audiology program within the School of Allied Health at La Trobe University. She has worked as a clinician in Indigenous communities in Victoria, Queensland and the Northern Territory, a project officer in higher education student equity and services, an academic and, more recently, course coordinator and team leader. Her research is focused on the interplay between education and health outcomes.

Dr Janine Delahunty

2020 Equity Fellow

Janine is a lecturer in Academic Development and Recognition, and project manager for various externally-funded research projects at the University of Wollongong. Her core interest is how the learning-teaching experience can be enhanced and the student experience improved, primarily through evidence-based resources and professional development to foster teaching and reflective practices. Her research has involved people from diverse backgrounds including First-in-Family, regional and Indigenous students, research degree students, and online educators and learners. Janine’s motivations stem from her own venture into university study as a mature age student, studying part-time for many years and doing the family-study-work balancing act. She has published across linguistic, higher education and academic development journals.

Mr David Eckstein

2020 Equity Fellow

David is a careers education consultant in the higher education sector. His Fellowship project analyses the provision of targeted careers support for students with disability in Australian universities, and will result in open-access tools and guidelines for all universities to use. He recently established Swinburne University’s AccessAbility Careers Hub — a specialist initiative for students with disability that received the 2019 National Association of Graduate Careers Advisory Services best practice award. His interests include student notions of professional self, employability in the curriculum, industry partnerships that progress disability confidence, discrimination and harassment, alternative dispute resolution, and the use of narrative methods to help people develop and implement meaningful workforce participation plans.

Associate Professor Tim Pitman

2020 Equity Fellow

Tim Pitman is a Senior Research Fellow at Curtin University in the School of Education. He has worked in the Australian higher education sector since 1996 and his PhD in Education was completed at The University of Western Australia in 2012. His research focus is on higher education policy, with a particular focus on increasing the representation of disadvantaged students. He has researched and published widely on these and other topics. In 2020 he joins the NCSEHE as an Equity Fellow. His Fellowship will focus on how universities can best support people with disability, who come from regional, rural and remote Australia, in their higher education studies.