I have had varied and multiple careers across sectors with my roles sharing a common denominator; endeavouring to get vested interest groups to take up change, generally government policy.
For example, as a private sector CEO of a medical organisation; working as a policy advisor between a federal minister for health, state and territory governments and medical stakeholders; and as a principal policy advisor managing large scale policy shifts.
I came to ECU seeking an opportunity to share my unique experiences and 'give something back'.
My portfolio is University-wide, focused on:
- enhancing the University's external relations through governance and advisory roles, industry and higher education sector partnerships;
- devising strategy for, and in turn, securing external investment to boost capacity in teaching and research including through the development of new services, research and educational infrastructure for the communities ECU serves; and
- delivering impact (in respect to sustained and desired business results) as a product of industry engagement. This includes through translational research outcomes that address unmet market and community needs, such as leading a major stream within ECU's $17.8 million Collaborative Research Network.
The culture at ECU is strongly supportive of research and research teams are the result of a considered blend of colleagues in academic, research, commercial and creative domains.
This strategic fusion has certainly positioned my ECU team as front-runners in simulation-related research for example, with a sizeable number of projects being externally funded through competitive processes.
As well, over the past six years, following successful open-tender/ grant submissions, we have attracted $29.4m of external investment generated for simulation-based education and research for projects, including:
- a regional study testing simulation-based learning for suicide prevention amongst GPs;
- eye tracking to assess level of distraction during simulation-based learning;
- measuring physiological responses and performance during simulation; and
- using simulation-based learning to help patients and their carers better deal with anxiety related to chronic disease management.
This research emphasis sets my team's work apart from many similar entities and affords benefits to all 8,805 health students at ECU from consolidating the research/ teaching/ learning nexus, along with a range of growing opportunities, including for ECU's Higher Degree by Research students.
Our Collaborative Research Network project partnered with University of Melbourne, University of Queensland and the University of Western Australia.
Our simulation-based research has seen me lead three international studies in the fields of paramedicine, nursing and clinical psychology, with a current project validating serious games in motion - all with UK, US, and North American partners.
I have a values-driven style; these values (insight, integrity, rational inquiry, courage and personal excellence) provide a frame of reference for me so that reasoning and decision making are straightforward. My personal values are a close fit with those of ECU and I believe that securing such alignment is vital.
In my spare time I am a squad and open water swimmer, doing between three and five km a day, so Perth's aquatic facilities and beaches are a major attraction.
From the organisational viewpoint, choosing ECU means you are part of an inventive and contemporary organisation that is visionary and dynamic but not impractical, measured but not risk averse, and competitive but not aggressive.
The governance mirrors this as well; there is palpable support and an individual focus, whether staff or students, across all layers of the University. There are exceptional leaders at ECU that afford ongoing and salient learning opportunities; not something that can be taken for granted. The personalised and approachable nature of the modus operandi is a key strength of ECU and both distinctive and significant.
ECU is energetic and enthusiastic to take on the many challenges facing the Higher Education sector, but also to create a new path. The systems behind decision-making provide good risk analysis and mitigation, so the approach is evidence based and decision-making can be done with confidence.