Executive Committee


The Director chairs an Executive Committee consisting of five to seven academic staff drawn from the membership. Executive Committee members are selected following an open nomination process. To maintain breadth across disciplines, not more than two members of the Executive Committee are drawn from a single Faculty and not more than one from a single School/Discipline. Membership also provides coverage of the sub-regions of Southeast Asia. The Executive Committee is appointed by the Provost on the recommendation of the Director, and will serve a three-year term unless otherwise indicated by the Provost. Incidental vacancies will be filled by direct appointment for the remainder of the Executive Committee’s current term.

The Executive Committee meets on average five times per year to provide advice and make recommendations to the Director on the Sydney Southeast Asia Centre's:

  • Strategic directions, outcomes and priorities;
  • Annual operating and action plans;
  • Allocation of internal grants;
  • Performance against strategic and operating KPIs and outcomes.

In addition, each member of the Executive Committee takes special responsibility for one of five areas of operation (community outreach; curriculum; policy and regional outreach; research; research training). In this capacity, they advise on, but also contribute to, Southeast Asia-related activities in their designated area.

Community Outreach Adviser

Professor Adrian Vickers
Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences

Over the last 30 years Professor Adrian Vickers has published extensively on the cultural history of Indonesia and its connections between other parts of Southeast Asia. He currently teaches a number of units of study on Southeast Asian history, and is the Director of the Asian Studies program.

Curriculum Adviser

Associate Professor Simon Butt
Sydney Law School

Simon Butt is currently an ARC Australian Postdoctoral Research Fellow and Associate Director of the Centre for Asian and Pacific Law at the University of Sydney. His research focuses on Indonesian law, including constitutional, criminal, civil, human rights, commercial, Islamic, customary, as well as comparative law – particularly transplanting legal norms between jurisdictions.

Policy and Regional Outreach Advisers

Professor David Guest
Faculty of Agriculture and Environment

David Guest is Professor of Plant Pathology and President of the Asian Association of Societies of Plant Pathology. His research focuses on the biology and management of diseases of cocoa, durian, jackfruit, rubber, oil palm and coconut. During his work he collaborates with researchers, extension agents and farmers in Asia, the Pacific and South America. He believes that horticulture has an important role in poverty alleviation in the tropics.

Professor Patrick Brennan
Faculty of Health Sciences

Professor Patrick Brennan has held the position of Associate Dean International in the Faculty of Health Sciences since 2010. Professor Brennan's research explores novel technologies and techniques that enhance the detection of clinical indicators of disease, whilst minimising risk to the patient. The Faculty’s international activity within Southeast Asia is focused on Vietnam and the Philippines, as well as to establish the Faculty as a Regional Centre of Excellence for the health and well-being of people in the Asia-Pacific region in the core areas of health, functioning, disability and rehabilitation.

Research Advisers

Professor Peter McMinn
Sydney Medical School

Professor Peter McMinn is Bosch Professor of Infectious Diseases. He has had personal and high-level interactions with individual researchers, research institutes and public health laboratories in Vietnam, Malaysia, Indonesia and Timor-Leste. His work in the region focuses on research and capacity building for communicable disease surveillance. He is currently working with the Timor Leste Ministry of Health on a large-scale project to eliminate lymphatic filariasis and control soil-transmitted helminth infections within the country.

Associate Professor Jenny-Ann Toribio
Faculty of Veterinary Science

Jenny-Ann Toribio is Associate Professor in Epidemiology in the Faculty of Veterinary Science. This Faculty contributes to research on diseases of livestock and aquatic animals in various parts of Southeast Asia and is partnering with veterinary schools in Indonesia to enhance training of veterinarians. For her own research, Jenny-Ann has a particular interest in smallholder livestock systems and the contributions that improved animal management and health can make to human health and poverty alleviation in rural communities.

Research Training Adviser

Dr Damien Field
Faculty of Agriculture and Environment

Dr Damien Field is a Senior Lecturer of Global Soil Security and Soil Science Education, as well as the current IUSS Commission 4.4 Chair for Soil Science Education and Public Awareness. He has been a member and chair of several Faculty and University committees, developing policy and guidelines supporting postgraduate research and research training. In addition to his regular field teaching schools he leads in Laos, Damien’s research in the SE Asia region focuses on improving soil function affecting food, water and energy security and building capacity to support improved farming systems.