Meet our CEEHE team members.

Professor Penny Jane Burke

Director, Centre of Excellence for Equity in Higher Education and Global Innovation Chair of Equity

Professor Penny Jane Burke has pushed the boundaries of the field of equity, arguing for praxis-based approaches that work towards transforming educational spaces and imaginaries and bringing research, theory and practice together. Her personal experience of returning to study via an Access to Higher Education program has fuelled her deep commitment to generating research with impact, firmly located in social justice methodologies.

As the CEEHE Director, Professor Burke has created praxis-based equity programs, including the Australian National Writing Program for Equity and Diversity Practitioners and the Excellence in Teaching for Equity in Higher Education (ETEHE) academic professional development grant program. Professor Burke is editor of  the Taylor & Francis international peer-reviewed journal Teaching in Higher Education and acts as a senior advisor to the CEEHE hosted journal International Studies in Widening Participation. She has published extensively in the equity field, including her authored books: ‘Changing Pedagogical Spaces in Higher Education: Diversities, Inequalities and Misrecognition’ (with Professor Gill Crozier and A/Professor Lauren Misiaszek), ‘Reconceptualising Lifelong Learning: Feminist Interventions’ and 'The Right to Higher Education: Beyond widening participation.

Most recently, Professor Burke has published an edited book with Annette Hayton and Jacqueline Stevenson titled ‘Evaluating Equity and Widening Participation in Higher Education’.

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Dr Matt Lumb

Associate Director

Dr Lumb’s commitment to the field of access to education has developed through his experience as a community development professional and classroom teacher. He has an interest in the ways sophisticated participatory methodologies can make evaluative research processes more productive, and deliver contextualised understandings of the underlying dynamics that produce program impact. His PhD investigated the concealed impacts of outreach connections.

Dr Lumb has worked on a number of projects and publications both individually and in collaboration with CEEHE researchers and practitioners, including a recently published chapter, with Professor Burke, on ‘Researching and evaluating equity and widening participation: praxis-based frameworks’.

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Dr Matthew Bunn

Research Fellow

Dr Bunn is a sociologist examining issues of time and class inequality in Higher Education. As Research Fellow in CEEHE, Dr Bunn has worked on a number of empirical research projects including 'Struggle and Strategies: Higher Education and Labour Market resources’ and ‘It’s About Time: Working towards more equitable understandings of the impact of time for students in higher education’. Dr Bunn has recently co-authored a paper on the 'Lived experiences of environmental change: Solastalgia, power and place' in Emotion, Space and Society'.

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Dr Rhyall Gordon

Praxis Officer

Rhyall has over 20 years’ experience of working in community development research and practice. He has carried out community based research and evaluation projects in the area of homelessness and affordable housing, domestic and family violence, culturally and linguistically diverse communities and the youth sector. His PhD research focused on community economic development. His role in CEEHE involves developing initiatives to support the exchange between theory and practice in the context of equity projects in higher education both with the University of Newcastle and the wider community.

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Professor Andrew Brown

Professor Brown is a sociologist of education with research interests in the process of research capacity and capability building, doctoral and research education, digital technology and the relationship between everyday, professional and academic discourse and practice.  Professor Brown provides strategic support to CEEHE research and practice. In addition to his honorary role at UON, Professor Brown is a senior advisor to the Singapore National Institute of Education and Governor at Barking and Dagenham College.

Professor Claire Cameron

Claire Cameron is Professor of Social Pedagogy at UCL Institute of Education, where she has been researching issues of care, social pedagogy, gender, the childrens workforce, as well as early childhood education and care for over two decades. Professor Cameron is the co-director of the Centre for Understanding Social Pedagogy and has conducted several large cross-national studies, funded by government, the European Union and NGOs.

Professor Cameron is increasingly recognised for her work in providing pathways into higher education for young people in out of home care. And as an Honorary Professor with the Centre, she is providing support and expertise to the Live, Learn, Grow program - exploring ways of developing research informed practice and policy influence.

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Emeritus Professor Sue Clegg

Sue Clegg is Emeritus Professor of Higher Education Research at Leeds Beckett University. Her research draws on critical realism and feminist theory; drawing on close-to-practice investigations, often in collaboration with practitioners, as well as more theoretical work. In recent work, Professor Clegg has been involved in theorising the nature of curriculum and the formation of social and cultural capital. She is currently working on the significance of theorising powerful knowledge in higher education and the implications for theorising diversity. As Honorary Professor will contribute to CEEHEs emerging body of work around critical approaches to evaluation of equity initiatives.

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Mrs Alison Carter

Administrative Assistant
Centre of Excellence for Equity in Higher Ed

Mrs Ellen Monaghan

Children's University Administrative and Online Content Officer
Learning and Teaching

Ms Evonne Irwin

Associate Lecturer

'Identities, power relations and mis/recognitions of 'Third Space' professionals in higher education work contexts.'

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Ms Kate Mellor

Research Assistant

'Decolonising the ‘mind’ through (re)conceptualisations of knowledge: student engagement with Australian Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander knowledges in higher education'.

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Mrs Kristen Allen

Program Convenor

'The stories behind the figures: successes occurring for enabling students that the data isn’t showing. Is it time to revisit the definition of ‘success’ in higher education to be more inclusive?'.

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Ms Sharon Smith

Newstep Teacher

'Differences that matter: Intra-actions of religion, gender and higher education'.

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Mrs Catherine Burgess

Associate Lecturer

'Rediscovering science: Transitions and success in STEM studies for students entering university via alternative pathways.'

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The University of Newcastle acknowledges the traditional custodians of the lands within our footprint areas: Awabakal, Darkinjung, Biripai, Worimi, Wonnarua, and Eora Nations. We also pay respect to the wisdom of our Elders past and present.