New staff


New Director for Centre for the Study of Higher Education

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The Melbourne Centre for the Study of Higher Education has a new Director, Dr William Locke from University College London.

Dr Locke was the Reader in Higher Education Studies at the UCL Institute of Education, University College London, where he was the Centre for Higher Education Studies Director and Centre for Global Higher Education Deputy Director.



New Gerry Higgins Chair

Following an extensive world-wide search to fill this position, Professor Dianne Vella-Brodrick was been appointed as the new Gerry Higgins Chair In Positive Psychology. The Gerry Higgins Chair in Positive Psychology is funded by John Higgins in the name of his father Gerry.  This appointment will further advance the international research reputation of the Centre for Positive Psychology within the Melbourne Graduate School of Education.

Dianne was appointed due to her strong international reputation in Positive Psychology, combined with local applied research, particularly in Positive Education. This includes multiple ARC Linkage grants, development of the Wellbeing Profiler to assess student wellbeing in Australia and overseas, and close linkage with Victorian Department of Education and Training, Geelong Grammar School and Maroondah City Council to develop a place-based Positive Education Hub and most recently work with the Bio-Dash bio-feedback tool to work with young people to build wellbeing skills.

Appointment of Professor Early Childhood & Care

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After an extensive international recruitment process, Professor Nicola Yelland has been appointed to lead Early Childhood Education & Care at the Melbourne Graduate School of Education.  
Professor Yelland will be well known to many academics in the field of Early Childhood education and was Professor of Early Childhood Studies at Flinders University in Adelaide. Her key qualifications include a PhD from the University of Queensland, a Masters of Education from Flinders University and B.Ed. (Hons) from the University of Exeter.

Nicola commenced her employment as a teacher at Seymour College in South Australia, moving to Geelong College in Victoria and then into the higher education sector.  She has more recently held professorial roles with Victoria University, Hong Kong Institute of Education and RMIT University.

The depth of knowledge and experience that she brings includes an extremely strong research platform in the area of early childhood, ICT, eLearning and pedagogy.  Nicola has an extensive list of publications and appointments to advisory boards and community based leadership roles.  Since 1995 she has secured 14 ARC Grants including her most recent 2018 ARC Discovery grant focusing on Global childhoods in the Asian Century: Connecting policy, educational experiences and everyday life-worlds of children in Australia, Hong Kong and Singapore.