New Leadership for Engagement Australia

New Leadership for Engagement Australia

Engagement Australia, the leading advocate for university community engagement in Australia, is reshaping to position for growth in Australia and New Zealand.

After 6 years as Chair of Engagement Australia (EA), Professor Jim Nyland has chosen to step aside from the role of Chair. Jim has made an outstanding contribution to Engagement Australia and during his time as Chair, oversaw the establishment of EA as the authoritative national voice on community and industry engagement, doubling its membership base.  Engagement Australia is very fortunate that Jim has agreed to continue to work with EA in an executive capacity exploring new growth opportunities and providing increased support to our members.

Professor Verity Firth AM, who led the adoption of the Carnegie Framework for Community Engagement in Australia, and who has recently commenced as the inaugural Vice-President Societal Impact, Equity & Engagement at UNSW, has been elected as the new Chair of Engagement Australia.  Verity served as Deputy Chair of EA for the last 2 years and has been a member of the Engagement Australia Board since 2020.

We are also delighted to welcome Dr Matthew Pink, Associate Director, Engagement at Australian Catholic University to the role of Deputy Chair of EA.  Matthew is also the Editor of Transform, an open-access, peer-reviewed, multi-disciplinary online platform for engaged scholars and practitioners which is published bi-annually by EA.

Engagement Australia currently serves 19 Australian and New Zealand universities through its member-based activities and holds the annual Engagement Australia Awards and Conference, recongising and celebrating the outstanding work of Australia’s universities and their community and industry partners.

Incoming Chair of EA, Prof Firth, thanked Professor Nyland for his contribution, and confirmed the EA Board’s intent to continue the growth it has achieved over the last decade “Jim has been a wonderful leader of Engagement Australia over the last decade, helping to build a powerful and dynamic organisation.  He has led our organisation through a significant growth phase and has provided intellectual and strategic leadership through his editorship of EA’s Transform Journal.” Prof. Firth also outlined her vision: “EA has a vital role to play in the implementation of the Government’s Australian Universities Accord.  “Delivery of the Accord relies on cross-sector collaboration and partnership.  The vision of an integrated tertiary system driving skills growth through equity necessitates an engaged higher education sector committed to its public purpose role.  EA is well positioned to champion this engagement.”