Monday 20 November

  1. NCSEHE Fellows Forum
  2. Science in Australia Gender Equity (SAGE)

Tuesday 21 November

  1. EO Online Users Reference Group
  2. Student equity policy, practice and research: where to next?
  3. Respect. Now. Always
  4. Beyond Visibility… Achieving Substantive Gender & Sexuality Diversity Inclusion

More to come

The NCSEHE and Equity Practitioners in Higher Education Australasia (EPHEA) will showcase the outcomes of the 2017 Equity Fellows at the Fellows Forum, presented at the 2017 EPHEA Conference in November 2017.

Presentations from Associate Professor James Smith from Charles Darwin University, Ms Louise Pollard from The University of Western Australia and Mr Matt Brett from La Trobe University will outline their strategic, high-impact, high‐profile leadership projects conducted through the NCSEHE Fellows Programme.

The NCSEHE’s Equity Fellows, who are funded via a grant provided by the Australian Government Department of Education and Training, have direct influence and impact on equity in the higher education sector. The Fellows identify equity issues that affect the Australian higher education system, provide leadership in promoting, enhancing and developing good practice in improving access, participation and success in higher education, and participate in a collaborative arrangement for the ongoing exchange of knowledge between the sector and government.

The 2017 Fellows have spent time working in Canberra within  the Australian Government Department of Education and Training as part of their Fellowship, as well as collaborating both nationally and internationally to further explore their particular areas. Each individual project has been undertaken to better understand, and provide an evidence-base to assist in, improving outcomes for disadvantaged groups.

Associate Professor James Smith’s Fellowship aimed to investigate ways of strengthening the evaluation of Indigenous higher education programs and policies in Australia that have been designed to enhance Indigenous pathways and transitions into higher education. Prior to his Fellowship position, Associate Professor Smith was Program Manager of the HEPPP-funded, Whole of Community Engagement initiative, which won an Australian Rural Education Award.

Ms Louise Pollard‘s Fellowship has explored the ways through which students from remote locations are supported by policy and practice, to overcome barriers impeding their success at university. Since 2009, Ms Pollard has worked closely with schools and students in regional and remote areas to widen higher education participation in her role as Manager of the multi award-winning Aspire UWA program.

Mr Matt Brett’s Fellowship has focused on generating an Equity Performance and Accountability Framework based on research into the prominence of equity within performance and accountability systems in higher education. The Framework will enable policy makers and higher education leaders to better integrate equity within higher education performance and accountability systems. Prior to his Fellowship, Mr Brett was the Senior Manager of Higher Education Policy at La Trobe University. The position provided him with a comprehensive knowledge of higher education policy, strategy and management, and a wide professional network that has helped him achieve his Fellowship’s objectives.


Dr Sue Trinidad, Director, NCSEHE

Associate Professor James Smith, CDU

Louise Pollard, UWA

Matt Brett, La Trobe

This workshop aims to provide an overview of the SAGE pilot and discussion progress to date. The workshop will be led by Dr Saraid Billiards, Head, Strategy and Engagement. The SAGE initiative is a partnership with the Australian Academic of Science and the Australian Academy of Technology and Engineering.

This session will allow participants to discuss current challenges and to share lessons and outcomes to date. The opportunity to apply SAGE initiatives to the broader issue of gender equity in higher education will also be discussed.

Dr Saraid Billiards, Head, Strategy and Engagement
Science in Australia Gender Equity (SAGE)

EO Online is a self-paced online equal opportunity training program for higher education employees. It is used by over 20 universities and is the main mechanism they use to educate staff (and in some cases students) in equity and diversity principles and practices.

The aim of the session is to allow EO Online Users the opportunity to learn about new developments and raise any issues or recommendations. Practitioners who are interested in adopting EO Online into their institution are also welcome.


Lorraine Denny, The University of Wollongong

This workshop will provide a forum to discuss key higher education policy changes and how they might impact institutional student equity strategy and practice. Participants will explore the strengths and limitations of the emerging policy framework and its reliance on evaluation to ensure the effectiveness and integrity of the Higher Education Participation and Partnership Program (HEPPP). The SIG will aim to identify potential gaps in current practice and capacity of institutions to successfully implement the new policy approach and propose solutions for addressing these gaps.

Dr Nadine Zacharias is Senior Research Fellow at the NCSEHE and was an inaugural Equity Fellow in 2016 through which she produced The Australian Student Equity Program and Institutional Change: Paradigm Shift or Business as Usual? Nadine’s research interests and expertise are at the intersection of equity research, practice and policy at institutional and national levels. She has led applied research projects in the fields of equity policy and program management, inclusive teaching and learning and gender equity in employment. Nadine was Director, Equity and Diversity at Deakin University from 2011 to 2016 where she led one of the most integrated and effective Equity teams in Australian higher education.


Dr Nadine Zacharias, National Centre for Student Equity in Higher Education

In February 2016, Australia’s universities launched a ground-breaking initiative to prevent and address sexual assault and harassment across the sector. Respect. Now. Always. highlights the determination of Australia’s universities to ensure that our universities are places of safety and respect. It builds on work done by individual universities in Australia over many years to develop policies, reporting procedures and support services.

The leaders of all 39 Australian universities asked the Australian Human Rights Commission to investigate the nature and scale of sexual assault and harassment in the sector. The survey was supported by the National Union of Students and the National Tertiary Education Union and findings will be published by the Commission in a national report to be released on 1 August 2017.

Universities Australia will provide an update of the initiative after the release of the survey and facilitate a discussion with equity practitioners about the next phase of the strategy.

Facilitators: Universities Australia

This workshop will explore how can equity practitioners best support the access, inclusion and success of LGBTIQ students in the higher education sector and will that improve the experience of working in the sector for LGBTIQ staff?

Facilitators: Rob Cumings and Katrina Alexander, Equity & Diversity Office, Southern Cross University