Health & community focus for new senior leadership role

Health & community focus for new senior leadership role

Prof. Alison Jones takes office as Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Health & Communities)

The newly appointed University of Wollongong (UOW) Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Health and Communities), Professor Alison Jones, is wasting no time in embracing her new portfolio responsibilities, refreshing key strategies, visiting regional campuses and engaging with community and industry stakeholders.

UOW Vice-Chancellor, Professor Paul Wellings, CBE, announced the new executive position’s establishment and Professor Jones’ appointment shortly after both were approved by the University Council at the end of October.

Professor Jones’ appointment adds to her existing responsibilities as Executive Dean of the Faculty of Science, Medicine and Health, a practicing clinician and toxicologist, and builds on the work she has done as Pro Vice-Chancellor (Health Strategy) since 2016.

The DVC (H&C) portfolio encompasses leadership of UOW’s cutting edge health strategy along with oversight of its regional and metropolitan campuses and its Inclusion and Outreach Portfolio, incorporating the Woolyungah Indigenous Centre.

“Professor Jones is uniquely qualified to take on the challenges that a role such as DVC (Health and Communities) presents and the University will benefit greatly from the skills, experience and leadership that she brings to the position”.

“Please join me in congratulating Professor Alison Jones on her new role,” Professor Wellings said.

In the short time since taking office Professor Jones has already begun refreshing the University’s South Western Sydney (SWS) Strategy as the Liverpool Campus reaches its first year anniversary; participated in the 6th Annual NHMRC Symposium on Research Translation on the health and wellbeing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people; and attended several stakeholder and community events including the SAX Institute research action awards and the annual public meeting of the South Western Sydney Local Health District.

Professor Jones has also scheduled several regional campus visits, beginning with a visit to UOW’s Bega Campus on the NSW Far South Coast where she will enact a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for closer collaboration with Bega Valley Shire Council, tour the recently opened nursing training facilities and meet with campus staff and students before travelling to the South Western Sydney Campus the following day.

“I am energised by the unique opportunity we have in South Western Sydney to offer innovative courses and a bespoke learning environment to support and inspire our multicultural student cohort while also meeting the workforce, employment and innovation needs of the local community.

“Although the contemporary urban campus in Liverpool may be different from our Wollongong Campus, we will uphold UOW’s commitment to providing a high quality, personalised student experience while embarking on an exciting new chapter.”

“I am deeply committed to Reconciliation and the advancement of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, and will support the team to build on our strong foundation to make UOW the destination of choice for both Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander staff and students.”
Professor Jones also said she intends to continue championing science and innovation in her new role.

“Our successful Health and Wellbeing Strategy has been founded on engaging with rural and regional communities to help meet unmet needs wherever we can.

“To this end, we are partnering with local communities to: establish a mental health facility for a region experiencing high youth suicide rates; expand nursing training where our ageing population needs them most; train much needed GPs and specialists in regional and remote communities; establish a unique, developmental, preventative and allied health and research facility; and equip ourselves to confront the world’s biggest health challenges with Molecular Horizons - UOW’s largest ever self-funded research infrastructure investment.

“As this work progresses, I will remain equally committed to proudly leading the ground breaking research and outstanding teaching occurring every day in the Faculty of Science, Medicine and Health.

“This role will be a big challenge but I am being supported by a dedicated and professional team,” Professor Jones said.

Professor Jones will be travelling to all regional and metropolitan campuses in the coming weeks and months.