National teaching leader joins Flinders

Professor Debra Bateman has been appointed Dean (Education) of the College of Education, Psychology and Social Work, Flinders University. She will take up the position this month on November 25, 2019.

Welcoming the appointment, Flinders Vice-President and Executive Dean Professor Mike Kyrios says Professor Bateman’s outstanding record at RMIT and Deakin University, and leading academic endeavours in the field of education, social work, human services and social sciences, ideally qualify her to join the College leadership team.

“In the College of Education, Psychology and Social Work we seek to connect students to individuals and communities in order to bring positive change and social transformation through teaching and research excellence.

“Professor Bateman’s amazing record of collaboration with industry, applied across our teaching programs and research sections, is certain to boost the positive impact we are making on the lives of individuals, families and communities,” Professor Kyrios says.

Professor Bateman brings a sustained track record of success and commitment in areas of Teacher Education, Curriculum Policy and Tertiary Education Leadership (Higher Education and TAFE). She has held leadership positions in Education, Social Work, Human Services and the Social Sciences. Her research interests and advocacy are focused on valuing young people and their image of the future, and the role of education in increasing participation and agency in their worlds.

Professor Bateman says: “Having access to the highest quality of education that caters for diverse individuals and groups is the single most transformative dimension in any person’s life. Education is also a central touchpoint for the construction of community and the examination of possible, probable and preferred futures”.

Professor Bateman has extensive community and philanthropic networks. She is on the Board of the Lifechanger Foundation and the Victoria Police Blue Ribbon Foundation. Professor Bateman actively participates in a broad range of community activities and consultations, throughout Australia and internationally. Over the past eight years, she has represented the Department of Premier and Cabinet (Victoria) in citizenship ceremonies and Australia Day activities and has worked with Taiwan on the development of its curriculum framework and policies.

“I know what it is to do it tough and the difference it makes to have community advocacy. In my spare time, I work with schools, families and groups to mediate and advocate in circumstances where things are not going as they should. I think we all have a role, to contribute to the shaping of better futures and societies, particularly for those without a voice,” Professor Bateman says.

Professor Bateman has a sustained and proven track record in leadership and a passion for innovation in creating the most immersive, engaging and academic sites of learning for staff and students. She has previously held leadership positions and board membership at RMIT University and prior to that Deakin University.

She has won national citations and awards for her outstanding contributions to student learning, including the Australian Teacher Educator of the Year and the Australian University Award for Excellence in Teaching. Her university partnerships span Vietnam, Malaysia, the UK and United States, and she has collaborated on work with global giants Apple and Google.

“I am very excited to join Flinders University. It is a stunning and vibrant campus and has undergone a significant transformation to continue its rapid growth as one of Australia’s young and leading universities,” she says.

“I am enthusiastic to continue to grow the partnerships and community engagement of the College of Education, Psychology and Social Work and in partnership with Flinders’ other colleges. We look forward to growing our offerings in a whole range of creative and innovative ways.”

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