Charles Sturt University
Charles Sturt University

Professor Heather (Jeannie) Herbert (AM)

Professor Heather (Jeannie) Herbert (AM)

BEd, MEd, PhD, Hon. Doctorate Educational Studies

Born and raised in the Kimberley region of Western Australia, Professor Jeannie Herbert (AM) is currently the Foundation Chair of Indigenous Studies at Charles Sturt University in New South Wales. Prior to taking up this position at CSU, her long engagement in the sector included:

  • Vice-Chancellor of the Batchelor Institute of Indigenous Tertiary Education (BIITE) in the Northern Territory (2006-2009);
  • Chair of Indigenous Australian Studies at James Cook University (JCU) in north Queensland (2001-2006);
  • Head of the School of Indigenous Australian Studies at JCU (1998-2002);
  • Director Centre for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Participation, Research and Development at JCU (1997);
  • Director of the Oorala Aboriginal Centre at UNE in New South Wales (1996-97).

One of her most significant achievements in the university sector was providing the visionary leadership that led to the Centre for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island Participation, Research and Development (CATSIPRD) at James Cook University becoming the School of Indigenous Australian Studies (SIAS) in January 1998, thus positioning Indigenous education and people within the formal academic structure of that university.

Her work in the tertiary sector is the culmination of a long career in education that has included experience as a:

  • classroom teacher P-12, VET and university sectors - 20+ years;
  • educational administrator, schooling VET and HE sectors, including P-12 Guidance Officer - 10+ years;
  • private educational and training consultant undertaking range of educational and training projects and evaluations such as Department of Employment, Education and Training (DEET) national Gender and Violence Project - Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander issues, which was part of the federal government's Stop Violence Against Women community education program and the evaluation of the national ACCI Aboriginal Employment Strategy; and
  • researcher including her PhD study that focused on Indigenous success in education and provided valuable insights into Indigenous Australian notions of success within the context of Indigenous engagement within the Australian university.

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Prof. Herbert was awarded the prestigious Betty Watts Award by the Australian Association for Research in Education(AARE) in 2005. Her paper entitled "Owning the Discourse: Seizing the Power!" was presented at the AARE 2005 Conference, University of Western Sydney, Parramatta Campus, Sydney, NSW, Australia in November, 2005.

In recognition of her "research, teaching and leadership, and her significant contribution to the advancement of knowledge in Indigenous education and to the advancement of JCU as a provider of Indigenous Higher Education", Prof. Herbert (AM) was awarded an Honorary Doctor of Educational Studies from James Cook University in 2008.

2006-2015 member of research team on 2 ARC projects led by Prof. D.M. McInerney, Hong Kong Institute of Education. Studies undertaken at Batchelor Institute of Indigenous Tertiary Education (BIITE), run concurrently as companion (2005-2010). Research focused on  aspirations, motivations and learning strategies of Indigenous secondary students in the Northern Territory. Two refereed journal articles published to date.

Member of 2012 collaborative partnership (Charles Sturt University, Edith Cowan University and Monash University, various state and territory Indigenous Education consultative groups and other key stakeholders) who developed “A unit outline and content for professional learning units to support teachers in meeting Focus Areas 1.4 & 2.4, Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership (AITSL)”, February, 2013.

Chaired Assessment Committee for the re-accreditation of the Batchelor Institute of Indigenous Tertiary Education’ (BIITE) Research Masters and PhD programs in September, 2013.

Member of research team undertaking Office of Learning and Teaching funded project (2013-2015, extended to 2016), entitled ‘Curricular Approaches to increasing Cultural Competence and Indigenous Participation in Psychology Education and Training'. UWA is the lead university - other participants include the universities - UNSW, Macquarie, Notre Dame – NSW Health and APA.

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Prof Herbert (AM) is currently:
  • Member/Chair, Indigenous Sub Plan Working Group (since 2014);
  • Member, CSU Academic Senate (since 2014);
  • Member, CSU Senior Executive Committee (since 2014);
  • Member, CSU Vice-Chancellor’s Forum (since 2014);
  • Member, DVC (Academic) Strategy Group (CSU) (since 2014-15);
  • Member, CSU Equity & Diversity Committee (2014-15);
  • Chair, CSU Indigenous Employment Strategy Advisory Committee (IESAC, since 2014);
  • Member, CSU Research Institute for Professional Practice, Learning and Education (RIPPLE) – Key Research Area: Pedagogy, Education and Praxis (PEP) (2010-14);
  • Member, National Advisory Committee for UWA’s National Empowerment Project, funded by Department of Health and Aging (since 2012);
  • Member, Wiradjuri Language, Culture & Heritage Project Development Advisory Committee, Charles Sturt University (since March, 2010); and
  • Member, Djirruwang Program Course External Advisory Committee (since 2011-14).
Previous Board membership since coming to CSU, includes:
  • Chair of Dare to Lead National Steering Committee to Principals’ Australia Inc. (2008-2014);
  • Chair of Advisory Group for the Cooperative Research Centre for Remote Economic Participation's Remote Education Systems project (2012-2014);
  • Member of YALP Advisory Board, Australia (2008-2013).
  • Member of National ACER Standing Committee on Indigenous Education (2007-2013);
  • Indigenous representative on the PISA-TIMSS-PIRLS National Advisory Committee (2009-2013);
  • Member of Board of Management of Centre for Inland Health, Charles Sturt University (2010);
  • Member of Human Research Ethics Committee, Charles Sturt University (2010).
Other Activities (2009-present):
Prof. Herbert (AM):
  • invited keynote speaker at the 7th Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Education Symposium (Theme: "Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Teaching and Learning Perspectives" relating to AITSL standards 1.4 & 2.4.), University of the Sunshine Coast, 19 October, 2013.
  • delivered refereed paper at The Inaugural European Conference on Education 2013, Brighton, UK, 4-7 July 2013.
  • delivered refereed paper at the Mobilities and Transitions: Learning, Institutions, Global and Social Movements, SCUTREA-CRLL Conference, Glasgow Caledonian University, Glasgow, Scotland, UK, 25-27 June 2013;
  • invited keynote speaker at the inaugural Informa 10th Anniversary Higher Education Summit (Theme: “An in-depth analysis, debate and opinion on Australia’s HE sector”), held in Melbourne, 21-22 May 2012;
  • invited keynote speaker at the National Principals Australia Inc. Dare To Lead Annual Conference (Theme: "Building Strong Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Students for their Future") held in Canberra, May 11th,  2012;
  • invited keynote speaker at the inaugural Informa national Student Health and Welfare Conference (Theme: “Higher Education: A Critical Frontier for Indigenous Australian Students”), held in Melbourne, 27-28 March 2012;
  • invited opening keynote speaker at the national ACER Research Conference (Theme: “Indigenous Education: Pathways to success”), held in Darwin, 7-9 August 2011;
  • invited keynote speaker at the National Principals Australia Inc. Dare To Lead Annual Conference (Theme: "Leveling the Playing Field" Successful Practice in the Transition Points for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Students.) Canberra, 2011;
  • invited opening keynote speaker at the Indigenous Symposium held as part of Australian and New Zealand History of Education Society (ANZHES) Annual Conference (Theme: “Centre and Periphery in Histories of Education”), Wagga Wagga, NSW, December, 2010;
  • invited opening keynote address at the CSU Education 2010 Conference (“Educating for 2020 and beyond”), Bathurst campus of Charles Sturt University, November, 2010;
  • conducted university-wide review of CSU Indigenous Transitions (pathways and support) programs, 2010;
  • delivered professorial lecture at Wagga Wagga City Council Hall during Research and Graduate Studies Forum, Charles Sturt University, August 23rd 2010.;
  • chaired external panel set up to review outcomes of the 2006 review of the CSU’s Bachelor of Health Science (Mental Health), known as the Djirruwang Program;
  • invited opening keynote address at the Teacher Education Annual Conference (Theme: "Teacher Education: State Partnerships, National Priorities.") held on Bathurst campus of Charles Sturt University, June 7th  2010;
  • invited opening keynote address at the National Principals Australia Inc. Dare To Lead Annual Conference (Theme: "Successful Classrooms for Indigenous Students" Curriculum, Pedagogy, Ways of Learning, Relationships, Culture, Identity and Community - What is the right mix?") Brisbane, June 3rd 2010;
  • invited member of a keynote panel to inspire and lead discussion on the importance of implementing Indigenous Studies programs into Australian universities at the Indigenous Knowledges Conference, Fremantle, November/December 2009;
  • invited speaker at the LH Martin Institute’s Leadership program for University senior managers, in Brisbane, on 17 August, 2009;
  • invited international keynote speaker at the opening of the New Zealand Higher Education Summit in Wellington, August 12th 2009;

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