Governance and Leadership | Academic Leaders | Casual Discussion | Large

Academic leaders

Professor Alwyn Louw

Academic Director

Professor Alwyn Louw was appointed Academic Director of Think Education in January 2020 following a distinguished 20-year career in senior academic leadership and management experience. This included serving as President of the University and Academic President at Monash South Africa, Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Academic and Research at Vaal University of Technology (South Africa) and Vice Principal at the University of South Africa.

A sociologist by training, Professor Louw has published extensively on a broad range of issues including societal development, gender equity, civil society and community, future of education, new generation universities, research and innovation. Professor Louw is also highly regarded for his work in building new approaches to higher education by ensuring access to high-quality education for all through a deliberate focus shift to inclusivity and affordability.

Professor Louw has extensive private, civic and charitable sector experience including serving as Chair and Director of South Africa Private Higher Education, Chair of Board of Directors for Africa, Operation Mobilisation, President of South African Chambers of Commerce and Industry, Chair Pro Christo Global Mission and Chair of Cancer Association in Kimberley (South Africa).

Professor Louw studied Sociology (BA Hons and Masters) at the University of the Free State (South Africa) and obtained his PhD in Sociology from Vista University (South Africa).

Professor Helmut Lueckenhausen

Deputy Academic Director, Global

Professor Emeritus Helmut Lueckenhausen is Deputy Academic Director, Global, Academic Think Education. He leads the academic team within the Office of the Vice Chancellor covering the Centre for Learning, Teaching & Scholarship, Learning Services and chairs the Retention Project, the Executive Learning and Teaching Committee and the Academic Policy and Appeals Committees of the Academic Board. Professor Lueckenhausen has many years’ experience in the academic aspects of design, from a lecturer in 3D Design to Dean, Faculty of Design at Swinburne University of Technology. Helmut led the Faculty (previously the National School of Design) into becoming a significant international force in the field of design, including increasing onshore international student numbers eightfold as well setting up programs in Hong Kong, Malaysia, and Singapore. Successful programs were similarly set up with Billy Blue in Sydney. Helmut led the establishment of the National Institute for Design Research, and the development of new policies and programs for design practice-led research and re-introduced the Swinburne School of Film and Television.

Professor Lueckenhausen was Pro Vice-Chancellor Internationalisation at Swinburne, providing senior academic leadership and advocacy including curriculum developments, staff capability, graduate attributes, and the research endeavour. Previous to this role, he was Pro Vice Chancellor and Chief Executive, Swinburne University of Technology Sarawak.

Professor Lueckenhausen is a leading exponent in the field of studio furniture and design for wood, having maintained a regular national and international lecture program, including forum, conference and workshop presentations. His work is in the collections of the Australian National Gallery and state collections throughout Australia. He was honoured with a survey exhibition of his life’s work 11 April – 11 June 2015 by the Art Gallery of Warrnambool.

Professor Cath Rogers

Dean of Health

Professor Cath Rogers is a registered nurse and a health education and research leader with a national reputation for balancing ‘heart and head’. Building from her nursing background plus her bachelor’s studies in psychology, Professor Rogers’ PhD focused on rural women’s resilience in the face of breast cancer. She has continued her focus on resilience as an emotional strength which has application for nurses and other health care professionals, as well as for those living with illness.

Her PhD students have extended this focus to include explorations of the health-related experiences of frail elderly people accessing health care, women with postnatal depression, university students and cancer survivors who have found strength through spirituality and connections to the land. Professor Rogers is excited to be part of Torrens University, an emerging, dynamic university which is disruptive in intent and focused on establishing a national reputation as a leader in health professional education and targeted research including positive ageing.

Before commencing at Torrens University, Professor Rogers led the USQ nursing and midwifery school for over a decade, and oversaw its significant expansion including new campuses, new programs and new pathways for nurses and midwives.

Professor Rogers has contributed strongly at the national and state level to a health professional clinical education strategy, including working with Health Workforce Australia and chairing the Southern Queensland Clinical Education Regional Training Network. She was instrumental in the establishment of one of Australia’s newest University Departments of Rural Health (Southern Queensland Rural Health). She held the Sr Elizabeth Kenny Chair in Nursing, including the role of Director of the Australian Centre for Rural and Remote Evidence Based Practice (ACRREBP) for five years.

Professor Rogers was honoured for her contribution to the University of Southern Queensland and to health education and research, with the honorary award of ‘Professor Emeritus’ in 2018.

Professor Edith Blass

Deputy Academic Director

Professor Blass has a long-standing associate of Think Education, including as a former Academic Director and Director of Futures prior to rejoining us as Deputy Academic Director.  She moved to Australia over 10 years ago following a successful academic career in the UK and has been instrumental in the development of the practice-based PhD, and supervised Torrens University’s very first PhD candidate to successful completion.  In her sabbatical from Think Education she set up the Inventorium, an alternative online high school provision for disengaged teens, following her passion for education design, disruption and inclusion.

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