Leadership team

Professor Sharon Pickering | Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Education) and Senior Vice-President

Professor Sharon Pickering is the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Education) and Senior Vice President of Monash University. She previously served as Dean of Arts at Monash University and prior to that as the Head of the School of Social Sciences. She is a leading international scholar in the field of criminology with global expertise on border crossings, migration and trafficking. Her work across criminology and higher education has attracted numerous awards including an Australian Human Rights Commission Award, the Leon Radzinowicz Prize, the CM Alder Prize, the International Education Association of Australia Best Practice Award and the Australian Financial Review International Education Award. In 2018 she was made a Fellow of the Australian Academy of the Social Sciences.

Professor Pickering has published 15 books and over 80 articles and book chapters and has led major research programs across Europe, South East Asia and the Pacific. She has extensive international experience developing multifaceted research and education relationships with institutions across Indonesia, India, China, Malaysia, the Pacific and Europe and longstanding industry relationships across law enforcement, government and the NGO sector serving in various advisory capacities.

Professor Pickering holds a Graduate Certificate in Higher Education, Monash University (2005), Doctor of Philosophy, University of Melbourne (2000), Master of Arts (Criminal Justice), University of Southampton, United Kingdom (1995), and a Bachelor of Arts, University of Melbourne (1994).

Professor Kris Ryan | Pro Vice-Chancellor (Academic)

Professor Kris Ryan was appointed Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Academic) in 2019, and leads a portfolio which includes student experience, diversity and inclusion, education innovation, education policy and HEPPP (Higher Education Participation and Partnerships Program) funding.

Prior to his appointment as Pro Vice-Chancellor (Academic), Kris was the Academic Director of Monash Education Innovation. During this time, he led a multi-disciplinary team to establish and implement the university-wide education technology roadmap and contributed to the design of innovative learning and teaching spaces across Monash. The technology roadmap has resulted in the implementation of novel opportunities to be creative and to connect education theory to practice, such as MoVE (Monash Virtual Environment), micro-sized recording studios and live audience response systems.

Kris continues to be involved in the reinvention of the on-campus experience at Monash, and recently, contributed to the design of the Woodside Building, which houses an interactive tiered collaborative space that accommodates 360 people, and is one of the most efficient and innovative teaching buildings of its type in the world. Prior to this, Kris worked on the design of the award-winning Learning and Teaching Building, a product of years of research and design thinking, which harnesses innovative technology to enable a truly collaborative learning experience.

In addition, Kris has led the university’s transition to authentic online assessment, including the delivery of 90,000 eAssessment sittings. He and his team are now working to move 100% of exams and assessments online, making the most of specialised software computing in the cloud.

During his time at Monash, Kris has been awarded the Vice-Chancellor’s Award for Education Excellence and an Office of Learning and Teaching citation for his contributions to student learning.


Professor Jacinta Elston | Pro Vice-Chancellor (Indigenous)

Professor Jacinta Elston, an Aboriginal woman from Townsville in North Queensland is the inaugural Pro Vice-Chancellor (Indigenous) at Monash University. She is the current Chair of Cancer Australia’s Leadership Group on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Cancer Control. Her career has focused on Indigenous health and Indigenous higher education, and she has contributed many years of service on state and federal ministerial appointments, and the boards of Aboriginal Community Controlled Organisations.

Professor Elston joined Monash University in February 2018 from James Cook University Townsville.  Professor Elston is leading implementation of the University’s 12-year framework for Indigenous education. Professor Elston is spearheading a plan to grow the number of Indigenous academic, researchers and leaders.


Dr Gregory Cusack | Chief Coursework Officer, Monash University | Chief of Staff, Portfolio of the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Education) | Associate Dean (Education), Southeast University-Monash University Joint Graduate School

Dr Gregory Cusack was appointed Chief Coursework Officer in 2020, overseeing the growth and strategic direction of the University’s undergraduate and postgraduate coursework portfolios, including online programs.

In addition, Dr Cusack is the Education Portfolio’s Chief of Staff. In this role, Dr Cusack leads the portfolio’s strategic planning and operational activities, and is responsible for the overall management of the Education Portfolio.

In 2019, Dr Cusack was appointed Associate Dean (Education) at the Southeast University-Monash University Joint Graduate School in Suzhou, China.

Prior to his current appointment Dr Cusack was Director, Academic Programs, which included responsibility for course approvals and reviews, entry standards, and a suite of online delivery partnerships. Dr Cusack led the development of the first ever Graduate Coursework Strategy at Monash (2014-2018). This contributed to Monash doubling its graduate coursework load four years before Monash’s original target.

Dr Cusack’s long association with Monash commenced in 2000 when he commenced his PhD studies. Since then he has held a range of diverse roles in Monash College and the Provost’s Office, and was Associate Dean Education Development in the Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences.


Professor Allie Clemans | Academic Director, Teaching and Learning

Professor Allie Clemans is the Director of Learning and Teaching at Monash. Her research and teaching profile focuses on building educational capabilities through professional learning across community, industry and higher education. She has a reputation for being a transformative educator and facilitator, and has received the Vice Chancellor’s Award for Teaching Excellence and for Programs that Enhance Student Learning.

Her research focuses on the enabling dimensions of professional learning and analysis of lifelong learning policies in Australia. With extensive experience in bridging industry and professional learning contexts, she has designed numerous professional learning programs for leaders in industry and education settings. Most recently, she has worked on a project with Women’s Health Victoria in response to the Royal Commission into Family Violence which has informed the development and evaluation of the first ever vocational training course on gender equity.

She brings a record of educational leadership and research profile in education. As previous Associate Dean of Education in the Faculty of Education at Monash University, she led the Faculty in its online and face to face delivery of undergraduate, postgraduate and professional development programs. In her current role, she leads the Monash Education Academy to respond to the learning needs of educational staff across campuses at Monash University. Her role includes oversight of teaching quality and support for education recognition and performance. Under the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Education), she has recently initiated Student Academic Success and leads the team to consolidate learning and language advising functions in support of all students.


Professor Margaret Hay | Head, Monash Centre for Professional Development and Monash Online Education

Professor Hay is a Member of the Australian Psychological Society, and an AHPRA registered psychologist with specialist endorsement in Health Psychology. She has won a number of teaching prizes, including a Dean's Award for Teaching Innovation for her work in MBBS Assessment. Professor Hay is an internationally renowned educator in Professional and Continuing Education in the health professions across a range of disciplines.

Professor Hay is Leader of External Programs, course advisor, and member of faculty for the Harvard Macy Institute. She is a member of the course advisory committee for the Harvard Medical School Master's in Medical Education degree, and a member of the Association of Medical Educators Europe (AMEE) Research Committee, where she is Network Lead for the Research Paper Program.