Sophie Sowerby, Acting Head of Organisation Development at Durham University, was recently selected by The Association of University Administrators to attend and speak at the Tertiary Education Management Conference in Perth, Western Australia, in September 2018. The theme of the conference was “The Future of the Higher Education sector” and Sophie was speaking about Durham University’s successful “Job Family” framework, their “Realising Your Potential” approach “Behaviours” framework and the “Career Pathway” concept for Professional Support Staff that has been developed at Durham University.
The conference was attended by over 800 Colleagues from the HE sector in Australasia, including several colleagues from UWA, but just two colleagues from the UK.
Sophie said of her experience: “Many of the issues being discussed by colleagues working within the sector were similar to those being addressed in the UK, e.g. significant structure changes, diversification of the leadership model, introduction of coaching and mentoring schemes and communities of practice. Areas that were eye-opening included the way in which Australian institutions are innovatively using space to enhance collaboration and the student experience, e.g. re-purposing a tiered lecture theatre to create an internal park, and creating collaborative hubs for colleagues from different teams to work together.”
Sophie also took the opportunity of her visit to meet with colleagues from Matariki partner UWA, to progress the idea of cross-network work shadowing opportunities for Professional Support Services staff.