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Professor Paul Harpur OAM appointed to ACSES Advisory Board

The Australian Centre for Student Equity and Success (ACSES, formerly the National Centre for Student Equity in Higher Education) is pleased to welcome Professor Paul Harpur OAM as the newest member of its Advisory Board.

Professor Harpur is a distinguished scholar, currently serving as Professor with the TC Beirne School of Law at the University of Queensland.

He is dedicated to advancing disability rights and inclusion and holds a prestigious four-year ARC Future Fellowship focused on supporting universities to become disability champions of change.

An Associate with the Harvard Law School Project on Disability, Professor Harpur also chairs sector-wide disability steering group Universities Enable and serves as an Australian Human Rights Commission Include Ability Network ambassador.

Beyond his impressive contributions to academia and disability advocacy, Professor Harpur has a remarkable personal history.

Demonstrating his commitment to excellence and perseverance, he is a dual Paralympian and, in 2022, was honoured as the Blind Australian of the Year.

Most recently, Professor Harpur was awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia for service to people with disability at the 2024 Australia Day Honours.

Curtin University Vice-Chancellor and ACSES Advisory Board Chair Professor Harlene Hayne said ACSES was honoured to have Professor Harpur as an Advisory Board member.

“Professor Harpur brings with him invaluable expertise, insights and a passion for creating a more inclusive society,” Professor Hayne said.

“We’re delighted to welcome him onto the ACSES Advisory Board to help the Centre in its work to ensure student equity becomes firmly incorporated into Australian higher education.”

Professor Harpur said Universities and Vocational Education and Training were the ideal machines to help drive inclusion.

“Higher education trains the leaders of tomorrow, employs the leaders of today and produces research and innovation that opens the doors of opportunity to everyone,” Professor Harpur said.

“I am honoured to have the opportunity to have a leadership role in supporting ACSES in its mission to change higher education for the better.”

ACSES Executive Director Professor Shamit Saggar said Professor Harpur would be an invaluable asset to the Centre’s Advisory Board.

“Professor Harpur’s remarkable contributions to academia and disability advocacy, coupled with his drive for positive change, are a perfect match with ACSES’s vision to create a nation where no student is left behind,” Professor Saggar said.

“We look forward to benefiting from his leadership and knowledge as we continue this work.”

Professor Paul Harpur OAM with his guide dog, Sean.


The Australian Centre for Student Equity and Success (ACSES, formerly the National Centre for Student Equity in Higher Education), is an evidence-based research and public policy centre funded by the Australian Government Department of Education and based at Curtin University.

ACSES is committed to providing the higher education sector with tangible proof of what works to improve the quality and impact of student equity practices in higher education.

Media Contacts:

Miriam Fisher, ACSES Communications and Stakeholder Engagement Manager

Tel: (08) 9266 4327    Mobile: 0478 266 357   Email:

Sam Jeremic, Corporate Communications Consultant, Curtin University

Tel: (08) 9266 3549     Mobile: 0407 601 993   Email:

Posted 27 March 2024 Posted in