The Australasian Council of Deans of Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities (DASSH) elects its board members at the AGM held at the DASSH Conference in September each year. The Board consists of a President and Chair, Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer and up to four other members elected from the membership across Australia and New Zealand.

Meet the team

Professor Nick Bisley

Nick Bisley is the Dean of Humanities and Social Sciences and Professor of International Relations at La Trobe University. His research focuses primarily on Asia's international relations, great power politics and Australian foreign and defence policy.

Between 2013 and 2018 Nick was the Editor-in-Chief of the Australian Journal of International Affairs and is a member of the advisory board of China Matters and a member of the Council for Security and Cooperation in the Asia-Pacific. He has been a Senior Research Associate of the International Institute of Strategic Studies and a Visiting Fellow at the East West-Center in Washington DC.

Nick is the author of many works on international relations, including Issues in 21st Century World Politics, 3rd Edition (Palgrave, 2017), Great Powers in the Changing International Order (Lynne Rienner, 2012), and Building Asia's Security (IISS/Routledge, 2009, Adelphi No. 408). He regularly contributes to and is quoted in national and international media including The Guardian, The Wall Street Journal, CNN and Time Magazine.

EmailSchool of Humanities and Social SciencesLa Trobe University
Professor Robert Greenberg
Vice President

Professor Robert Greenberg is the Dean of the Faculty of Arts at the University of Auckland. He received his PhD from Yale University in 1991, and held teaching positions at Yale, Georgetown University, and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He has served in academic leadership roles since 2000.  

A specialist in Slavic languages, he conducts research on the link between language, nationalism, and ethnic conflict in the former Yugoslavia. His publications include numerous books and articles on the Slavic peoples and their languages, with a special emphasis on language policies, language and society, and language and politics. His book, Language and Identity in the Balkans received an award in 2005 for the best book in Slavic Linguistics from the American Association of Teachers of Slavic and East European Languages. In 2010 he was the recipient of the William Clyde DeVane medal for excellence in teaching and scholarship at Yale University.

As Dean, Professor Greenberg has been a staunch advocate of the value of the Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences disciplines. He has worked to increase his Faculty’s endowments, grow its research capacity, and introduce new programmes that will respond to the changing higher education landscape.

EmailFaculty of ArtsThe University of Auckland
Professor Heather Zwicker

Heather Zwicker is Executive Dean of Humanities and Social Sciences at The University of Queensland. She moved to UQ in October 2018 from the University of Alberta, where she served as Vice-Provost and Dean of the Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research (2015-2018). She also co-founded BRiC, the Banff Research in Culture residency, in which advanced graduate students, postdocs, and junior professors in the humanities work alongside visual artists and curators at the world-renowned Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity.

A cultural studies researcher, Heather brings postcolonial and feminist theories to bear on problems such as stereotypes, universities, classrooms, and cities. Key areas of exploration have included nation (especially Northern Ireland), stereotype (in particular, pre-9/11 stereotypes of Irish terrorists), the local (with an emphasis on Edmonton writing), gender, and digital humanities. She holds a PhD from Stanford University (1993) and is the winner of several awards, including a 3M National Teaching Fellowship.

Heather holds a deep conviction that the arts, humanities and social sciences must play a lead role in exploring possibilities, understanding implications, generating partnerships and critiquing outcomes with respect to all of the big questions confronting our society, particularly in the face of seemingly inexorable climate catastrophe and COVID-19.

EmailFaculty of Humanities and Social SciencesThe University of Queensland
Professor Matt McGuire

Professor Matt McGuire is the Dean of School of Humanities and Communication Arts and Provost of Bankstown Campus, Milperra. He is a Professor of English Literature. Professor McGuire has 20 years' of work experience in the tertiary education sector in the UK and Australia. The first part of his career was spent at the University of Glasgow. The second part has been at Western Sydney University. In the past 10 years he has held a number of senior management roles. These include: Deputy Dean, Director of Higher Degrees by Research, Deputy and Acting Director of the Writing and Society Research Centre; and Head of Discipline. He has held a number of national leadership positions including Vice President and President of the peak body of his discipline (Australian Universities’ Heads of English). Currently, Professor McGuire is a Board Member of DAASH, the Australasian Council of Deans of Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities. Professor McGuire’s qualifications include Master of Arts, Honours and a Master of Science and a Doctor of Philosophy from the University of Edinburgh. Recently he has completed the Executive MBA at the Sydney Graduate School of Management.

EmailSchool of Humanities and Communication ArtsWestern Sydney University
Professor Cynthia White
New Zealand Officer

Professor Cynthia White has been Pro Vice-Chancellor of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences at Massey University since 2019, and before that she served as Research Director for the College (2012-1019) and Head of the Department of Linguistics and International Languages (2008-2012). Her applied linguistics research focuses on emotion, agency and identity in discourse including in online contexts for language use and language learning. Her most recent projects focus on agency and emotion in narrative accounts of conflict and in the settlement experiences of immigrants and refuges in New Zealand. She has been member (2014- ) then chair (2018-) of the Royal Society Marsden Fund Panel for the Humanities and appointed member of the PBRF Humanities & Law Evaluation Panel 2012, reappointed 2018. In terms of governance experience she has been an elected member of Massey University Council (2010-2016) and member of the International Applied Linguistics Association (AILA) Executive Board 2017-2019.

Cynthia brings a lifelong commitment to identifying how new technologies can extend access to learning opportunities within the humanities, arts and social sciences; demonstrating the value of those opportunities in terms of the aspirations, outcomes and quality of life of individuals and communities has been central to those endeavours.

EmailCollege of Humanities and Social SciencesMassey University
Professor Kate Darian-Smith
Board Member / Executive Dean

Professor Kate Darian-Smith is Executive Dean and Pro Vice-Chancellor, College of Arts, Law and Education at the University of Tasmania, a role she has held since 2018. She is responsible leading five Schools — Humanities; Social Sciences; Creative Arts and Media; Law; and Education — located across multiple campuses.

Kate previously held senior leadership positions at the University of Melbourne, most recently in joint appointments in the Faculty of Arts and the, Faculty of Architecture, Building and Planning. She is a cultural and social historian, with books and other publications on Australian history, memory studies, and cultural heritage. Her research has been supported by numerous ARC grants, including for two current projects.

Kate sits on the Executive of the Academy of Social Sciences in Australia; and former service includes the ARC College of Experts; as President, International Australian Studies Association; the Board, Australia-Japan Foundation (DFAT); the Council, Museum of Democracy at Old Parliament House. She has been an advocate for the Humanities, Social Sciences and Creative Arts across her career and is recognised for her long-term support of Australian Studies internationally, particularly in Japan and China.

EmailCollege of Arts, Law and EducationThe University of Tasmania
Professor Lori Lockyer
Board Member / Executive Dean

Professor Lori Lockyer is the Executive Dean of the Faculty of Creative Industries, Education and Social Justice and an expert in education. She is responsible for the strategic leadership, governance, and financial management of the faculty which teaches over 10,000 students and employs over 1,100 academic and professional staff.

Lori has been a leader in the Australian higher education for more than two decades. At the University of Wollongong, Lori held a number of roles including Associate Dean (Research and Graduate) in the Faculty of Education and helped establish the Graduate School of Medicine as its foundation Director of Educational Development. At Macquarie University, as Vincent Fairfax Family Foundation Chair in Teacher Education and Head of the School of Education, she provided leadership through a period of significant state-based initial teacher education reform. At the University of Technology Sydney, as Dean of the Graduate Research School, Lori led major policy and procedure transformation and industry engagement initiatives for research students across the UTS programs and within the Australian Technology Network of Universities. Lori has been appointed to several key committees including the Prime Minister's Science, Engineering and Innovation Council, Transforming Learning and the Transmission of Knowledge Expert Working Group, the Australian Research Council’s College of Experts and ERA Research Evaluation Committees.

Lori holds a PhD in Education from the University of Wollongong, a Master of Library and Information Science and a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) from the University of Western Ontario.  Lori's research explores how technology can be used to support learning by investigating how educators design learning experiences for their students, how students engage with technology for their learning, and how learning analytics and a range of measures can help to understand educational experiences and outcomes. Lori has attracted in excess of $18M in research funding and disseminated her work in more than 150 publications attracting over 5,000 citations.

EmailFaculty of Creative Industries, Education & Social JusticeThe Queensland University of Technology
Professor Deborah Gare
Board Member /Pro Vice-Chancellor

Professor Deborah Gare is PVC of the College of Law, Arts & Social Sciences at Murdoch University. She is an author and editor of several leading works, including Fremantle: Empire, faith and conflict since 1829 (2016), Tom Stannage: History from the other side (2015) and Making Australian History: The politics of the past since 1788 (2008). Her research interests are, broadly, Australian, Western Australian and Empire history.

Deborah has a strong interest in teaching and learning within the Humanities. She was the inaugural co-Chair of the Deans Council (DASSH) Associate Deans’ Network of Learning and Teaching in Australia and New Zealand; she represented DASSH in the ALTC project which developed graduate standards for the discipline of History; and she is a long-serving Associate Dean of Teaching and Learning at Notre Dame.

Deborah has received several teaching awards, including Notre Dame’s prestigious Vice-Chancellor’s Award for Leadership of Teaching and Learning (2013), and has been nominated for several Commonwealth OLT awards in teaching excellence.

Deborah completed a PhD in Australian History at the University of Western Australia under the supervision of one of Western Australia’s leading historians, Tom Stannage. She was later a Research Associate at Curtin University, a Visiting Fellow of the University of British Columbia and a Visiting Scholar at the University of Manchester. She has been teaching at Notre Dame since 1997

EmailCollege of Law, Arts & Social SciencesMurdoch University
Past DASSH Presidents
From 2007
  • Professor Catharine Coleborne - President September 2020 - September 2022
  • Professor Mandy Thomas — President: February 2018–September 2020
  • Professor Anthony McGrew — President: September 2017–February 2018
  • Professor Susan Dodds — President: September 2015–September 2017
  • Professor John Germov— President: September 2013–September 2015
  • Professor Krishna Sen— President: September 2011–September 2013
  • Professor Jennifer Radbourne — President: October 2010–September 2011
  • Professor Gerry Turcotte — President: May 2010–October 2010
  • Professor Anthony Cahalan — President: 2009–May 2010
  • Professor Faith Trent AM FACE— President: 2007–2009

Board Member Sign In

The DASSH Board meets quarterly and members are invited to send comments to

To access Board Meeting documents, please sign in below.

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