UON Q+A was a panel discussion for University of Newcastle staff to query, challenge and contribute thoughts and ideas on the big issues facing UON and the higher education sector.

UON Q+A brought together a great staff and student panel to share different perspectives and opinions on questions asked by our staff, in front of a University audience.

The Moderator

Richard Aedy

Richard is the presenter on two ABC Radio National programs - the Media Report and Sunday Profile. Starting his career in 1988 in New Zealand, Richard has worked as a reporter, producer, executive producer and presenter in three countries, including four years at the BBC in London.

As a journalist, he has covered crime, aviation, industrial affairs, science, health, technology, education, economics, epidemiology, Indigenous issues, social change and the media. He has made award-winning documentaries in Colombia, East Timor, the United States and the UK.

Richard is a former Reuters Foundation Fellow at Oxford, former presenter of The Buzz and he presented Life Matters from 2006 to 2012. He is a self-described lifelong media junkie.

The panel

Professor Caroline McMillen

Caroline joined the University as Vice-Chancellor in 2011 from the University of South Australia where she was Deputy Vice-Chancellor Research and Innovation. As a biomedical researcher, she is internationally recognised for her work into the early origins of cardiovascular disease and obesity in adult life. Caroline has served on state government groups focused on: building innovation, climate change, manufacturing and the resources industry; and she was a member of the Prime Minister's Science, Engineering and Innovation Council Working Group on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders focusing on maternal and perinatal health.

Caroline has trained more than 50 Honours and PhD students who have made contributions across a range of careers, including research, industry, medicine, dentistry, veterinary science and education.

Laureate Professor John Aitken

John is the Acting Pro-Vice-Chancellor of the Faculty of Health and one of the University’s five Laureate Professors – an award that acknowledges UON’s most distinguished academics. John joined the University in 1998 as Chair of Biological Sciences and he was subsequently appointed Director of the Australian Research Council (ARC) Centre of Excellence in Biotechnology and Development.

A global authority on reproductive biology, John has published over 480 research articles and his work has been cited more than 16,000 times (h-index of 70), the highest citation index in his field.

Since arriving in Newcastle, he has generated $37 million in research income and has been continuously funded by both the ARC and the National Health and Medical Research Council.

Associate Professor Suzanne Ryan

Suzanne is the Assistant Dean Research Training in the Faculty of Business and Law and President of the University of Newcastle Branch of the NTEU. She started with the University in 1985 following a career working in research and policy across local, state and federal governments, as well as with private consultancies.

Working with the University, Suzanne has been involved in the administration of postgraduate business courses since 1993. Her teaching areas are organisation theory, management and research courses, and her research interests are in higher education policy, business schools and management education and academic labour.

Dr Michael Ondaatje

Michael is a Senior Lecturer in American History in UON’s Faculty of Education and Arts. In 2010 Michael’s first book, Black Conservative Intellectuals in Modern America, was published by the University of Pennsylvania Press and became a top 20 International Bestseller in American History.

In 2011, he was awarded a Senior Visiting Fellowship at Oxford University, and this year Michael was invited by the United States Ambassador in Australia to participate in the International Visitor Leadership Program, the premier exchange program of the US government.

Michael is also a recipient of the Australian Academy of the Humanities’ prestigious Max Crawford Medal (2012), and a regular commentator on American Politics in the Australian and international media.

Ms Tina Crawford

Tina is the Associate Director, Health and Safety. Tina commenced with the University managing the Health and Safety team, following a seven year career working for a multinational pharmaceutical and consumer goods company implementing health and safety management systems in Australia and Asia.

Tina has a background in health and safety in the medical, mining, manufacturing and education sectors, and she has taught in the tertiary education sector on workplace health and safety, with a focus on occupational health and safety systems. During 2012 and 2013, she was UON's Acting Director, People and Workforce Strategy. In this role, she led the University’s Human Resources portfolio to deliver services across: recruitment, health and safety, employee relations, payroll and superannuation, organisational development, and data and reporting.

Tina is currently completing a Masters degree in Tertiary Education Management at the University of Melbourne.

Mr Declan Clausen

Declan is a University of Newcastle student in his third year of a combined environmental engineering and science undergraduate degree. He is a UoN Industry Scholar with the Hunter Water Corporation and sits as the student representative on the University Committee on Environmental Sustainability.

Declan is involved in a number of the University’s student clubs and societies, and is a UON ALLY program member. He writes a weekly column in the Newcastle Post and is a regular contributor on 1233 ABC Newcastle.

Recognised for his ongoing commitment in furthering environmental sustainability, and promoting social justice and equality, Declan has been awarded the 2013 Newcastle Young Citizen of the Year.