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Governance

Learn more about our governance and management

The Sydney Southeast Asia Centre is managed by the Centre Director, who is supported by an Executive Committee, Country Coordinators and a Board of Management.

Strategic and operational management is vested in a Director who is supported by an Executive Committee composed of academic members associated with the Sydney Southeast Asia Centre, and the Country Coordinators, who are appointed by the Executive Committee.

The Director reports to the Provost, who chairs the Board of Management. The Director also engages with a Liaison Committee, composed of Deans/Heads of Schools or their representatives.

Director

The Director serves as the Sydney Southeast Asia Centre’s manager and academic head. She or he is a senior academic specialising in any area of Southeast Asia, and a Professor of the University of Sydney.

The Director is ultimately responsible to the Provost for the Sydney Southeast Asia Centre’s performance, including the delivery of its mission and goals, and the effective management of its resources to sustain and enhance its academic and outreach roles.

Liaison Committee

The Sydney Southeast Asia Centre is also supported in an advisory capacity by a Liaison Committee, representing the Faculties and Schools. The Liaison Committee provides a forum for information exchange between these academic units and the Sydney Southeast Asia Centre, as well as for encouraging collaboration between academic units on Southeast Asia-related initiatives. Deans and Heads of School are responsible for nominating a representative to the Liaison Committee, who will report on Southeast Asia-related activities in their academic units and identify opportunities where we can support efforts to meet their objectives in the region. The members of the Liaison Committee will elect a Chair, who will represent the Committee on the Board of Management.

Our people

Professor Michele Ford

Director

Professor Michele Ford is Director of the Sydney Southeast Asia Centre and an ARC Future Fellow. Her research interests are in Southeast Asian labour movements, labour migration and trade union aid. Michele’s research has been supported by several Australian Research Council Discovery Project grants related to these and other topics. She has also been involved in extensive consultancy work for the international labour movement and the Australian Government.

Dr Thushara Dibley

Deputy Director

Thushara Dibley conducts research into social movements in Southeast Asia, with a particular focus on Indonesia. Her recent research projects have focused on the role of NGOs in peace-building in Timor-Leste and Indonesia and on the disability movement in Indonesia. In her role as Deputy Director, Thushara is responsible for the following areas:

  • overseeing the research grant program
  • coordinating internal teaching programs such as the Honours Bootcamp and Postgraduate Retreat
  • managing key events including the ASEAN Forum and policy roundtables
  • teaching short courses.

Dr Elisabeth Kramer

Deputy Director

Elisabeth Kramer completed a PhD in Indonesian Studies that focused on Indonesian political parties and their use of anti-corruption discourse in political communication and campaigning. During her PhD, she was a recipient of the Prime Minister’s Australia-Asia Award for 2012, which allowed her to undertake a year of fieldwork in Indonesia hosted by the Catholic University of Atma Jaya in Jakarta. Elisabeth has taught a number of Southeast Asia related courses covering themes related to politics, social activism and development, as well as Indonesian language to non-native speakers. She holds a BSc/BA(Asian Studies)(Hons) from the University of Sydney and a Master of International and Community Development from Deakin University. Between studying and working in academia she has also worked as a public servant, a development consultant and taught English as a second language. Elisabeth has also lived and worked in Bangladesh and Afghanistan.

Overall responsibility for the Sydney Southeast Asia Centre is vested in the Board of Management, the membership of which includes the Provost, the Registrar, the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research), the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Education), the Pro-Vice Chancellor (Global Engagement) and a representative from the Liaison Committee.

The Board of Management meets twice a year to provide high-level strategic direction to the Director and monitor planning and performance. Its responsibilities include:

  • monitoring our activities and report on them to the University of Sydney
  • providing high-level advice to the Director and Executive Committee on our strategic direction and its goals.

Prof Stephen Garton (Chair)

Deputy Vice Chancellor (Provost)

Prof Philippa Pattison  

Deputy Vice Chancellor (Education)

Prof Tyrone Carlin

Deputy Vice Chancellor (Registrar)

Prof Duncan Ivison

Deputy Vice Chancellor (Research)

Prof Katherine Belov

Pro-Vice Chancellor (Global Engagement)

The Director chairs an Executive Committee consisting of five-to-seven academic staff drawn from the membership. 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. 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

Dr Sandra Seno-Alday

The University of Sydney Business School

Curriculum Adviser

Associate Professor Russell Bush

Sydney School of Veterinary Science

Regional and Policy Engagement Advisers

Professor David Guest

Sydney Institute of Agriculture

Professor Kirsty Foster

Sydney Medical School

Research Advisers

Professor Simon Butt

Sydney Law School

Research Training Adviser

Dr Damien Field

Sydney Institute of Agriculture

The Country Coordinators serve as focal points for activities related to each country in the region, as part of a committee chaired by the Director. They advise on strategic developments in different countries and bring together researchers across the University of Sydney who work in the eleven countries of the region.

Cambodia

Dr Daniel Penny

Faculty of Science

Indonesia

Dr Jeff Neilson

Faculty of Science

Laos

Professor Nick Enfield

Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences

Malaysia and Brunei

Professor Glen Davis

Faculty of Health Sciences

Myanmar

Associate Professor Bill Pritchard

Faculty of Science

The Philippines

Professor Stephanie Short

Faculty of Health Sciences

Singapore

Dr Yeow-Tong Chia

Sydney School of Education and Social Work

Thailand

Dr Aim Sinpeng

Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences

Timor-Leste

Associate Professor Robyn Alders

Sydney School of Veterinary Science

Vietnam

Dr Jane Gavan

Sydney College of the Arts