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Professional Development Programs » Leadership Programs » Leading and Managing in Universities: Critical Insights for Academic and Corporate Leaders

Leading and Managing in Universities: Critical Insights for Academic and Corporate Leaders

31 May - 2 June, Sydney
2-4 August, Canberra
25-27 October, Melbourne
Register now to receive a 10% early bird discount

The LH Martin Institute offers an interactive and engaging program for leaders and managers in higher education.

This program explores the different elements of what a leader needs to know when implementing their institution's public mission and corporate strategy. It provides participants with the opportunity to interrogate the key challenges to organisational leadership, such as working in environments of constant change, human and fiscal resources and fostering leadership teams.

Feedback from our 2016 participants

"Program was very thought provoking, learning environment stimulating with wonderful and supportive facilitators. It was a rich experience, and was a refreshing and inspiring process, albeit difficult at times."

“The content has been thought provoking. The working with wicked problems exercise was a powerful and interesting process.”

“I actually believe the mix of elements is fundamental to the success of the program — theoretical constructs, practical advice, practising skills, views from guests, the time working with others and the time reflecting all contribute to a varied and reinforced learning experience.”

“Great ideas which are easy to put into play. I am more comfortable raising perhaps difficult topics with my staff, encouraging them to explore their worlds in more detail and not just end up here for the job.”

“Loved it. Lots of conversation instigated and encouraged. Great conditions for learning, sharing and networking.”

“Format of academic and professional staff leaders combining was extraordinarily useful. I would recommend continuing this integrated approach, including mixing professional and academic staff for the small-group activities rather than dividing into separated groups.”

What will you learn and benefit from?

More choices about how you approach leading and managing in terms of:

  • Systems, processes, and contexts that characterize and strongly influence the higher education sector;
  • Yours and others’ values, modes of conduct, methods of practice, and ways of engaging with each other;
  • The cultures that we create in the sector and that affect how we operate individually and collectively; and
  • The benefits to be gained from self-reflection and practices of self-care.

A unique integrative approach which will enable you to:

  • Engage with, and learn from, guest speakers who occupy senior policy and/or leadership roles in the Australian Government and in higher education;
  • Examine topical issues in higher education that require different approaches to leading and managing;
  • Enhance your comprehension of trends and policy issues affecting higher education and more confidently deliberate on how these impact upon your roles within their institutions;
  • Gain an advanced understanding of different values, motivations, perspectives, knowledge, and skills that people bring to leading and managing in higher education — and an appreciation of the effects of those tendencies and capacities; and
  • Explore with others your own experiences of leading and managing, and enhance your individual and collective capacities to lead and manage.

Opportunity to use what you've learned in the program towards a formal postgradaute program

If you complete all three modules/workshops in this program, you can extend your learning by completing a capstone assignment, which will earn credit points and can be used towards any of our Graduate Certificate or Masters courses. Please contact us if you'd like more information on this articulation process.

How is the program run?

The program is made up of three standalone workshops balancing different approaches to learning. Focus moves from the scale of the higher education sector, to the organisational level, to the individual and personal-professional.This is based on a commitment to two precepts: 'seek first to understand and then be understood' and 'know thyself'.

The structure of each workshop enables participants to interact over morning and afternoon tea breaks. Lunch breaks provide sufficient time to stretch your legs. Dinners allow for more informal discussions in convivial settings. A schedule and guest speakers for each workshop will be available on this website closer to the dates.


Workshop 1:  Know the organisation in which you are leading and managing’


Workshop 2: ‘Know the sector in which you are leading and managing'

Workshop 3: ‘Know the person you are and can be in leading and managing'
Wednesday 31 May – Friday 2 June 2017 Wednesday 2– Friday 4 August 2017 Wednesday 25 – Friday 27 October 2017

Sydney, Venue TBC


Canberra, Venue TBC


Melbourne, Venue TBC

In this first workshop, we will focus on questions about leadership and our organisations. Emphasis is placed upon considering 
the skills that we require and deploy in the day-to-day balance between ‘steering and rowing’ that is typical of middle management. In this regard, we will interrogate three key challenges: working in environments of constant change; human and fiscal resources; and fostering leadership teams.

In this workshop, based in the national capital, our perspective is the context, the 
collective consideration of the wider policy setting that influences our individual and organisational lives as leaders and managers. We will hear from colleagues in very senior policy roles in both the Australian Government and the sector. Benefitting from these presentations, we will develop a sense of the national setting in which work in our own organisations plays out. In our third workshop, the focus is upon our own leadership. Guest speakers will share reflections on their personal leadership, in particular, their dilemmas and how they have grown through their experiences. Time will be given to deliberate on those presentations as they relate to our own understandings of leading. Participants will have the opportunity to work together on leadership challenges, generating learning from peer dialogue, our readings and the expertise and experience of our guest speakers, senior leaders in tertiary education. Participants will clarify their personal values, and consolidate their skills of engagement with others from a base of self understanding.


Who should attend?

This program is especially suitable for those who now serve, or who aspire to serve, as deans or associate deans, heads of departments or schools (or like organisational units) and those who act mid to senior-level leaders and managers. Suggested position titles for each strand are listed below.

Academic leaders

  • Head of School or Deputy
  • Head of Department or Deputy
  • Associate or Assistant Dean.

Corporate leaders (which may also include academic leaders in some institutions)

  • School/Faculty/Department General Manager or Director
  • School/Faculty/Department portfolio (Business, Marketing, Finance, HR, IT, etc.) Manager or Director
  • Associate or Assistant Dean.

Program fee

A$2000 (A$2200 incl. GST) per workshop.

10% discount applies when registering for all three workshops.

Fee includes materials but does not include travel or accommodation

Program facilitators

Elaine Stratford is Professor of Human Geography and has been a member of the University of Tasmania since December 1996. Prior to that time, she taught at University of New South Wales (Canberra) and before then was engaged in doctoral research and teaching at the University of Adelaide. She began her academic career at 22 as a tutor in geography at Flinders University, where she completed a first class honours degree, having majored in geography and visual art history and theory. Elaine has served as a ‘line academic’ and in several other capacities. In the then-School of Geography and Environmental Studies, Elaine was at various times honours coordinator and Graduate Research Coordinator, Deputy Head of School and Head of School—the last for over eight years. She served as the University’s Community, Place and Change Theme Area Coordinator for four years, and is presently Director of the Peter Underwood Centre for Educational Attainment and a deputy director of the University's Institute for the Study of Social Change. Elaine is a also member of the Australian Research Council College of Experts, Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, Fellow of the Institute of Australian Geographers, and a member of various professional organisations related to geography and island studies. She is currently Editor-in-Chief of Geographical Research journal and lead editor of the Rowman and Littlefield International series Rethinking the Island, serving on a number of other editorial boards, and engaging in varied research projects. An elected member of the University of Tasmania Academic Senate and the academic staff representative on the University Council, Elaine has a keen interest in university governance, leadership and management. She completed her Masters of Tertiary Education Management in 2010 at the University of Melbourne, and is a Senior Honorary Fellow of the LH Martin Institute.

As a leading higher education consultant, Jill Currey works to create and facilitate programs to support and develop academic and professional leaders and managers in universities. While working at the University of Tasmania between 2003 and 2013, Jill had extensive experience successfully working with Heads of School and senior leaders to facilitate leadership conversations, strategic planning, stakeholder engagement, and systems engagement. In 2005, the University received a commendation by the-then Australian Universities Quality Agency (AUQA) “for the implementation of the well received and effective Orienting Heads and Talking Heads leadership and management development programs for HoS”. Jill delivered innovative leadership programs for over 200 academics in varied leadership roles including those recognised as highly talented researchers; and also for professional and academic women—with over 250 women attending the highly regarded yearlong programs, many of them experiencing higher levels of promotion and recognition. In 2007, Jill was awarded the prestigious Vice-Chancellor’s award for Exceptional Performance by Professional Staff. Jill also spearheaded the University of Tasmania Statement of Values, a significant consultative process that achieved the participation of many hundreds of university staff at all levels, working with dialogue, facilitation and innovative co-creation. That process led to a successful consultation process for the University of Tasmania’s five-year strategy, Open to Talent. In 2011, the Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency (TEQSA) commended the consultative processes underpinning both the Statement of Values and Open to Talent. Since establishing her private consultancy, Jill has continued her focus in higher education, providing strategic facilitation, executive coaching, and design and delivery of bespoke leadership programs. Jill is passionate about creating learning environments that support people to see the world in new and empowering ways, and seeks to create those spaces with approaches that provide clear and inviting rationales, expert frameworks, reflective experiences, and insightful conversations.


Please direct enquiries to Melissa Hendicott or call +61 3 8344 4605.


Early bird registration is now open, please contact the Program Officer above to enquire about discounted early bird rates.

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