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We’re proud to announce the appointment of Professor Dennis McDermott as La Trobe University’s Pro Vice-Chancellor, Indigenous – marking the culmination of an intensive search process led by Ampersand International Managing Director, Lloyd Lazaro.
The Pro-Vice Chancellor, Indigenous is an instrumental function tasked with integrating valuable Indigenous Australian knowledge into academic research, course curricula and governance processes. Professor McDermott will work across all areas of La Trobe University to guide and develop strategies to enhance the participation, support and success of Indigenous Australian students, the broader student population, the recruitment and retention of Indigenous Australian staff, and furthering the University’s Indigenous Education Strategy by continuing to partner with the community.
The role addresses the ongoing, urgent need for greater Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander representation within Australian tertiary institutions, along with the importance of raising awareness and education within the broader Australian community about the issues facing Indigenous Australia.
The key selection criteria called for a set of specific requirements, including an exemplary academic background, cultural and community connection and highly evolved stakeholder management skills. Working in closer partnership with La Trobe University, all shortlisted candidates went through a comprehensive, multi-stage assessment process.
Professor McDermott’s leadership as Associate Head of Faculty for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health at Flinders University was a key element in positioning him for this role, where he leaves a lasting legacy of greater Indigenous tertiary participation and increased numbers of students undertaking Indigenous Australian studies.
Professor McDermott brings with him strong stakeholder engagement skills across all levels, including community elders and university faculty. He deeply understands the myriad of issues facing the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders, both academically and socially, and is well positioned to influence genuine transformational change.
At Ampersand, we’re committed to delivering an enhanced service offering to our clients. So alongside a comprehensive, multi-stage assessment process, we offered tailored professional development plans for several top-performing candidates who were unsuccessful to ensure that La Trobe University is well positioned to build future pipelining people capability.