Get to know your College: Prof. Alison Jones


What is your role and what does your work focus on?

I am the Dean Education in the College of Medicine and Public Health. The role is about creating capacity for quality learning environments for our students, about driving excellence and innovation in our course development and delivery, and ensuring our staff are supported with their work in relation to education. This role covers academic, professional and technical staff and driving a culture that supports people to be student centred across our diverse range of courses and locations. I work with staff to support accreditation of our courses, internally and for the external accreditation bodies, and to undertake the broad range of quality assurance activities needed for university courses and TEQSA accreditation. Much of the work is about managing student wellbeing, professionalism and assessment, as well as ensuring staff are connected and networked in a way that ensures they can fulfill their roles effectively.

Where did you work before joining CMPH?

I was the Director of Medical Education and Research for SA Health, based in the Department of Health centrally, for eight and a half years. This involved working closely with the Chief Medical Officer / Chief Public Health Officer, to ensure the medical training pipeline was supported, to manage the postgraduate medical council (SA Medical Education and Training) and to develop and implement research policies, ethics and governance across the local health networks and centrally. The role involved a lot of national work on committees, ranging from clinical trials working groups to the National Medical Training Advisory Network, supporting the Australian Medical Council with accreditation matters and liaising with my counterparts in other jurisdictions.

What journey brought you to this point in your career?

I have had various leadership roles in universities relating to medical and health professions education, in the specialty medical college sector and in government – in the UK, New Zealand and Australia. This role at Flinders University came at the perfect time for me to return to the university sector and an educational leadership role, especially at a time when there was a clear agenda around student centredness and strong industry partnerships in the work of this College. Having worked with the health sector over many years, and focussed on evaluation and assessment in higher education in my research, it seemed like the perfect opportunity to combine my skills and areas of interest.

What is something you love most about your work?

Every day is different and you just don’t know what it will bring. The people in the college are so committed to what they do and we have a College Executive that is committed to education and research of high quality.

If you could tell your younger self one thing, what would it be?

Ensure you seize all opportunities to broaden your career and don’t be afraid to move around (I am very glad I did).

If you had a super power what would it be?

Bringing people together with a common purpose, disrupting the thinking and ensuring we drive innovation – in a safe way.

How do you like to relax or spend your spare time?

Pre pandemic it was travel – I am looking forward to getting back overseas this month and catching up with family and friends. When at home, I enjoy cooking and entertaining – a very big Ottolenghi fan.


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