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Milestone appointment for Advance HE in Australasia

16 Jan 2024 | Advance HE Fiona Whittenbury is Advance HE’s first Head of Partnerships based in the Australasia region

Fiona Whittenbury, has been appointed Head of Partnerships working to support Advance HE’s 33 higher education members across Australasia.  

Based in Adelaide, Fiona is the first Head of Partnerships to be appointed in the region representing a key step in Advance HE’s development with its sector members and stakeholders. Fiona’s role is dedicated to working in partnership with members across Australasia. This new role will ensure that Advance HE’s services respond to regional context, working closely with members to help them get the most out of all that the organisation has to offer. Fiona is in post with immediate effect. 

Fiona has over 25 years of global experience in cross-sector partnerships. Most recently, she held a management role at James Cook University where she led a diverse portfolio of partnership programs in the Graduate Research School and as part of this role, co-chaired a national consortium of universities in higher degree research industry engagement. Fiona holds a Master’s degree in Diplomacy and Trade from Monash University and is a nationally accredited mediator in Australia. 

Nick Skeet, Director of Membership, Advance HE, said, “We’re delighted to welcome Fiona in taking up this key appointment, enhancing our support for our membership in the region and ensuring we can develop and deliver work that aligns with regional context. This important step in the evolution of our work with partners across Australasia will bring agility, responsiveness and that dedicated in-country focus so that we really are better placed to support our members in achieving their goals.” 

Professor Liz Johnson, Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Deakin University, Chair of Advance HE’s Australasian Strategic Advisory Board, said, “I really welcome this step by Advance HE. Our Board supports and guides Advance HE’s work with members across the region. Not only does Fiona’s appointment mean that we’ll be able to do this in real-time, but it’s also a real statement of intent and commitment to the Australasian membership and sector as a whole.” 

Growing Advance HE’s relationships with higher education institutions across Australia, New Zealand and Fiji, this role builds on the more than 10 years of work with sector partners to provide better outcomes for staff and students. Advance HE is an established regional partner, specialising in recognition of practice, impact and leadership in teaching and learning, gender equality accreditation through SAGE Athena Swan, and leadership development. 

Fiona Whittenbury, “I am thrilled to be joining Advance HE as the Head of Partnerships for the region. There is a huge amount that we can do to build upon the strong partnerships in place in Australasia and I look forward to working with members and stakeholders to create even greater connectivity and responsiveness that helps deliver what they need from Advance HE, when they need it.” 

Advance HE has an extensive global membership network of over 420 higher education providers in more than 20 countries.  

In December 2023, Advance HE announced that it is to pilot its flagship Aurora women’s leadership program in Australia in April 2024 to support tertiary institutions in achieving gender equity at all levels of their organisation. Advance HE has also funded a raft of award-winning projects with universities in the region, aimed at sharing and promoting innovation and good practice across our membership. 

Advance HE working with Australasia 2023-24 - find out more.


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