Professor David Copolov AO - Pro Vice-Chancellor (Major Campuses and Student Engagement)

As Pro Vice-Chancellor (Major Campuses and Student Engagement), Professor Copolov is responsible for providing Senior Management oversight of:

  • Key issues at the interface between the University and the main student associations representing all the students studying or researching at Monash’s Australian campuses.
  • Caulfield, Clayton and Peninsula campuses in relation to student experience activities
  • central leadership programs, including the Vice-Chancellor’s Ancora Imparo Student Leadership Program and Monash Minds
  • the University’s mental health strategy and policy

He also facilitates the activities of the Vice Chancellor’s Professorial Fellows and provides strategic, policy and operational input in relation to a variety of cross-portfolio issues that arise within the Office of the Chief Operating Officer.

Professional background

Before joining the University full-time in 2004, he was the Executive Director of the Mental Health Research Institute of Victoria - a position he held for 19 years

He is a Professor of Psychiatry and Honorary Professor of Physiology at Monash and Professorial Fellow in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Melbourne. He is a Director on the Board of Cabrini Australia and was a Director on the Board of the Royal Women’s Hospital from 2014-2020, Director of the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO) from 2008-2016, and a Director of the Peter MacCallum Cancer Institute from 2004-2013 - the last six as Deputy Chairman.

He is a passionate advocate for a reversal of the dehospitalisation which has taken place in the public mental health sector and has coordinated major submissions on behalf of psychiatric colleagues on this matter and a wide range of other mental health policy issues to the Royal Commission into Victoria’s Mental Health System (2019-2021) and the Productivity Commission’s Inquiry into Mental Health (2018-2020).

He has held several advisory appointments to federal and state governments, including 12 years as a member of the Victorian Ministerial Advisory Committee on Mental Health and eight years as the psychiatric expert on the Australian Drug Evaluation Committee.

Academic interests

Professor Copolov trained in psychiatry and internal medicine and received his PhD in the neurobiology of psychiatric disorders.

His research interests lie in schizophrenia, particularly in understanding why people suffering from the condition hear distressing voices and how they can be better helped to cope with this symptom. He also has had extensive involvement in recent years in investigating and commenting on mental health policy in relation to people with severe and persistent psychiatric illnesses.

He has published more than 250 papers. In 2011 he was awarded a Medal of the Order of Australia. In 2016 he was made an Officer of the Order of Australia for distinguished service to tertiary education administration, to medicine in the field of psychiatry, to mental health research, and to the community.


Catherine Vogele
Personal Assistant to Professor David Copolov
Office of the Vice-Chancellor and President
Monash University, Clayton campus
Wellington Road
Clayton, Victoria, 3800
Telephone: +61 3 9905 2063
Fax: +61 3 9905 9221