Jordi Austin, President
Jordi Austin is currently the Director, Student Support Services at the University of Sydney, Australia. She has worked in tertiary education student support roles since 1998, commencing at UNSW in the Counselling Service.
Jordi has been a member of ANZSSA since 1999, when her Manager, Annie Andrews, was the President of ANZSSA and responsible for coordinating the then Bi-Annual conference in Sydney. Being a part of a dynamic team, heavily involved in the development of high calibre resources, professional development and conference activities sparked Jordi’s interest in remaining engaged with ANZSSA. She stepped into the role of NSW Counsellors group co-ordinator in 2001, Vice President in 2009, under the leadership of Dr Jim Elliott, and then President in 2013. The professional networks, collegial and supportive conferences, innovative PD activities and outstanding friendships through ANZSSA are a key highlight of participating. Additional benefits of being involved include being in a position to assist, shape and develop talent within ANZSSA, and seeing daily the benefits of this in improving the student experience across the sector.
Christie White, Vice-President (Australia)
Christie White is the Director of Student Services and Social Justice at the University of Southern Queensland (USQ). USQ is a regionally-headquartered university with campuses in Toowoomba, Springfield, and Ipswich in Queensland, Australia. USQ provides higher education to students globally, with 75% of its students studying online. A psychologist by trade, Christie’s role is focused on achieving strategic outcomes for the University, enabling students from diverse backgrounds to not only access and participate in higher education but succeed as well. In addition, she oversees a range of support services including counselling, health and health promotion, disability support, career development, welfare support, multi-faith, and scholarships. She is currently completing a Doctor of Education and her research has developed a theoretical framework to assist Student Services in higher education to support students from low socioeconomic backgrounds.
Christie is the Vice-President (Australia) for ANZSSA working in partnership with the Vice-President (New Zealand) to support ANZSSA’s objectives to support professional staff working in post-secondary student engagement, student participation, student wellbeing and student development. As a member of ANZSSA, she is deeply committed to sharing good practice and working across the sector to create collaborative learning opportunities for staff.
Karen Davis, Vice-President (New Zealand)
Karen Davis is Associate Director, Student Academic Services (Retention, Achievement and Equity) at Victoria University of Wellington (VUW) where she leads an outstanding team of staff who deliver a range of academic and equity focused student services. These include Careers and Employment, Disability Services, Student Learning and Te Pūtahi Atawhai (for Māori and Pasifika students). Karen’s background is in teaching and, prior to working in student services, she managed the University Preparation Programme at VUW and was a Programme Leader in Foundation Studies at Manukau Institute of Technology in Auckland.
Karen has been involved with ANZSSA since 2013 when she was convenor for the conference held in Wellington, New Zealand. Since then, the ANZSSA community in Aotearoa (New Zealand) has developed strong networks and there have been several successful professional development events held across the country. Karen values the team approach and collegiality of the ANZSSA Executive and her colleagues in Aotearoa. She sees ANZSSA having a key role in providing opportunities for talented practitioners to share their professional learnings and reflections with others. Karen thinks it is vital that students are partners in the ANZSSA community and that the organisation works to represent its staff and student members.
Dr Ashvin Parameswaran, Secretary
Dr Ashvin Parameswaran is currently the Head, Student Accommodation Services at the University of Sydney. He also manages the university portfolios for Financial Support Services and Childcare. He has worked in higher education since 2007 and maintains research interests in Asian and Australian universities, Asian Studies and organisational design.
Ashvin has been a member of ANZSSA since 2013, and the Secretary since late 2014. As an umbrella association for many specialist roles, ANZSSA is uniquely positioned to lead the national conversation on student support and shape its delivery. At the annual conferences, Ashvin has had the opportunity to present models for integration and knowledge management across multiple student service units. He is also part of a working group implementing professional development courses for new student services professionals.
Dorinda Harvey-Bravo, Treasurer
Dorinda Harvey-Bravo joined the ANZSSA Executive in early 2015. As Treasurer, she manages the membership and financial sides of the Association, and is supported by a bookkeeper. She has found the role provides a great professional development opportunity, and has allowed her to develop financial management skills as well as network with fabulous colleagues around Australia and New Zealand.
Dorinda has worked at Griffith University in Brisbane since 2007, primarily as a Welfare and Student Liaison Officer. She has a social work background and is passionate about supporting students with the non-academic side of their student experience. This includes managing their finances, understanding the university environment and systems, working through challenging situations such as academic failure, and accessing the broad range of supports available to them. It also means helping students engage with development opportunities and refine those all-important graduate attributes that will allow them to go on to fulfilling careers or further study.
Dorinda feels it is important that ANZSSA exists as a way for student support staff to connect with each other, discuss challenges in their work, and stay informed on sector issues. ANZSSA, as a peak body, also gives a collective voice on policy issues.
Jim Elliott, Immediate Past President
Dr Jim Elliott retired from Curtin University in 2014 from the position of Associate Director, Student Transition. In that role, he had responsibility for a portfolio of support service delivery including Orientation, Student Mentor Programs, a PASS Program and Student Wellbeing Advisory Services. Prior to that role, he had many years’ experience as a Counsellor. Jim has been an active contributor to ANZSSA since the early 1990s. Some significant contributions to ANZSSA include:
- WA Regional Convenor
- Initiator and Convenor of the WA Region Duty of Care Conference
- Editor of JANZSSA – including development of the journal into its current refereed state
- Active member of ANZSSA Conference management committees
- Chairing the development of ANZSSA Guidelines for Effective Practice
Sean Murray, Regional Convenor Coordinator
Sean is currently Head, Counselling and Disability Services at Curtin University. He has held this position for the past 10 years. Prior to working at Curtin he lectured in the Department of Psychiatry and Neuroscience, at UWA for 2 years. Before he migrated to Australia he held the position of Deputy Head of Department and co-coordinator of post-graduate courses in Psychology at the Medical University of Southern Africa; he was also a lecturer and Associate Director of the Centre for Psychology, at the University of Pretoria. As a psychologist he has worked for several psychiatric hospitals in government and military environments; student counselling services; substance abuse programs; and private practice. In 1988 he completed his MA and 1995 his PhD. He is the WA Convener for ANZSSA and served on the executive of the Association for Counselling Psychologists for 4 years. He served as the international representative board member for the International Association for Counselling Services for 6 years, which is the Accreditation Association for University & College Counselling