Keynote speakers

Professor Pip Pattison AO

Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Education), University of Sydney

Reshaping the Student Experience at the University of Sydney

Professor Philippa (Pip) Pattison AO is Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Education) at the University of Sydney, responsible for the University’s strategy and vision for teaching and learning and students’ educational experience.

A quantitative psychologist by background, Professor Pattison began her academic career at the University of Melbourne, and has previously served as president of Melbourne’s Academic Board and most recently as Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic). The primary focus of her research is the development and application of mathematical and statistical models for social networks and network processes. She was elected a Fellow of the Academy of the Social Sciences in Australia in 1995.

Professor Pattison was named on the Queen’s Birthday 2015 Honours List as an Officer of the Order of Australia for distinguished service to higher education, particularly through contributions to the study of social network modelling, analysis and theory, and to university leadership and administration.

Professor Pip Pattison

Professor Philippa Levy

Pro Vice-Chancellor Student Learning, University of Adelaide

Co-creating research-based learning for the 21st century

Philippa joined the University of Adelaide as Pro Vice-Chancellor (Student Learning) in April 2015, and leads strategy and initiatives for learning and teaching quality and innovation, including for digital learning and student retention and success. Current projects include curriculum re-design for graduate employability, development of Adelaide’s online portfolio, and establishment of a digital curriculum mapping system. Philippa previously was Deputy Chief Executive and Director of Academic Practice of the Higher Education Academy (now Advance HE), the UK’s national body for teaching enhancement, and Professor of Learning and Teaching Enhancement in Higher Education at The University of Sheffield. At Sheffield she served as Head of the Information School and as Director of a national Centre for Excellence in Teaching and Learning in higher education which focused on inquiry-based learning. Her areas of interest include pedagogy, curriculum, student experience; inquiry-based learning and undergraduate research; digital learning; design for learning; student partnership; information and digital literacies; educational role of information specialists; scholarship of learning and teaching; qualitative and action research methodologies. She has published widely in these areas.

Professor Philippa Levy

Professor Pauline Ross

Associate Dean (Education), School of Life and Environmental Sciences, University of Sydney

Stories from the Front: Science Academics in a Changing Higher Education Landscape

Professor Pauline Ross is a Professor of Biology, Associate Dean (Education), Teaching Principal for Life, Earth and Environmental Science (LEES) at the University of Sydney, and Principal Fellow of Advance HE UK. As Associate Dean, she is responsible for the implementation of the new University of Sydney Science curriculum. As LEES Teaching Principal she is leading the redesign of the Life and Medical Sciences curriculum. Previous to these positions, Pauline was Assistant Associate Dean (Health and Science) and Associate Head of School (Learning and Teaching) at Western Sydney University, and Science Teacher Education co-ordinator at Macquarie University. Pauline is known for excellence in education and leadership, being one of Australia’s most-awarded higher education educators with multiple Australian awards, including a University of Sydney Vice Chancellors Excellence Award for Outstanding Mentoring and Leadership, a Distinguished Teaching Fellowship from Western Sydney University, and an Australian Award for University Teaching in Biology and Health related fields. She also leads the internationally-recognised research group at the University of Sydney investigating the impact of climate change on molluscs. Her team, funded nationally by the Australian Research Council, is developing resilient oysters to sustain an industry that generates more than $1 billion per year in sales and employs thousands of Australians. Pauline’s OLT Fellowship report on The Changing Nature of the Academic Role in Science is available at:

Professor Pauline Ross

Professor Ian Hickie AM

Professor of Psychiatry, Central Clinical School, Sydney Medical School, Co-Director, Health and Policy, Brain and Mind Centre, University of Sydney

Mental Health and Well-Being of our Students: An Emerging Issue for University Education

Professor Ian Hickie is Co-Director, Health and Policy at The University of Sydney’s Brain and Mind Centre. He is an NHMRC Senior Principal Research Fellow (2013-2017 and 2018-22), having previously been one of the inaugural NHMRC Australian Fellows (2008-12). He was an inaugural Commissioner on Australia’s National Mental Health Commission (2012-18) overseeing enhanced accountability for mental health reform and suicide prevention. He is an internationally renowned researcher in clinical psychiatry, with particular reference to medical aspects of common mood disorders, depression and bipolar disorder in young people, early intervention, use of new and emerging technologies and suicide prevention. In his role with the National Mental Health Commission, and his independent research, health system and advocacy roles, Professor Hickie has been at the forefront of the move to have mental health and suicide prevention integrated with other aspects of health care (notably chronic disease and ambulatory care management).

Professor Ian Hickie

Professor Susan Howitt

Head of Biology Teaching & Learning Centre, Australian National University

Improving Learning Outcomes from Undergraduate Research

Professor Susan Howitt is currently Associate Director (Education) at the Research School of Biology, ANU, having previously served as Head of the Division of Biomedical Science and Biochemistry in the same School. She is the recipient of a number of teaching awards and OLT grants and is a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. Although originally a biochemist, her research interests are now in education with a focus on understanding how students learn about research.

Professor Susan Howitt

Dr Amanda C. Niehaus

University of Queensland, Biologist and award-winning author of The Breeding Season

Empathy in the Science Curriculum

Amanda Niehaus is a biologist and writer living in Brisbane, Australia. She is interested in the nexus between science and literature, and she uses scientific concepts as metaphors in her own creative work to explore what it is to be human. Amanda was born and raised in small-town Iowa and has lived or worked at remote field sites in Alaska, Canada, South America, Queensland and the Northern Territory. Her essays, stories, and poems have appeared in Creative Nonfiction, AGNI, NOON Annual, Griffith Review, and Overland, among others, and her story “Breeding Season” won the 2017 VU Short Story Prize. The Breeding Season (Allen & Unwin, 2019) is her first novel.

Dr Amanda C. Niehaus

Student stories, and others yet to be created

Scholar Address: Ms Clare Birch

Bachelor of Science student at the University of Sydney

Clare Birch is a Bachelor of Science student majoring in chemistry and mathematics at the University of Sydney and is about to embark on her Honours year in theoretical quantum chemistry. Her undergraduate research in the Talented Student Program (TSP) has drawn physics and chemistry together to make inroads into understanding the role of disorder in next-generation solar cells, as well as developing a field-based understanding of catalysis in DNA, quadruplexes. As a mentor to high school students of diverse backgrounds, a member of the Faculty of Science Board and Academic Board, and a contributor to the Faculty’s science communications and outreach activities, she endeavours to advocate for and empower young scientists from all walks of life.

Clare Birch

Scholar Address: Mr Fahad Khan

Bachelor of Science student at the University of New South Wales

Fahad is a Smith Family Scholar who comes from a single mother family of 5 that experienced severe disadvantage and homelessness. His experiences have compelled him to dedicate his life to assisting the disadvantaged overcome the unique challenges they face. Considering this, Fahad has chosen an undergraduate degree in neuroscience to gain knowledge of brain diseases that affect some of the most disadvantaged people in society. He has completed a Talented Students’ Program placement at Neuroscience Research Australia where he deepened his understanding of how neurodegenerative diseases affect indigenous communities. He also completes a yearly summer internship placement at Cochlear as part of the first ever Smith Family intern cohort where he acts as a cog in a big machine that transforms those who are deaf to those that can hear again. Fahad works to inspire disadvantaged students through various volunteer roles he fills and aims to saturate his future life experiences with transformative service to those who need it most. Fahad dreams of a future where those who are disadvantaged can achieve just as well as those who aren’t and intends to not rest until this dream materialises.

Fahad Khan