top of page


Our inaugural EPHEA Lifetime Members were announced at the 2017 biennial EPHEA Conference, held in Brisbane, Australia.

2017 Lifetime Members
Brisbane's Story Bridge with Brisbane City behind it

Kay Gardner
Dr Chris Jenkin
Mary Kelly
Tui Sullivan
Judy Skene
Prue Toft
Ruth Tregale
Sue Trinidad
Barbara Webb

Our 2017 EPHEA
Lifetime Members

Kay Gardner
Image of Kay Gardner who has short hair and wears glasses

Kay Gardner

Kay Gardner started at Port of Melbourne Authority as the EEO Officer in the early 1990s, a challenging position with those former merchant seamen and engineers!


In 1996 she was engaged in several positions including Equal Opportunity Officer and Manager, Equal Opportunity. Kay moved to Monash in May 2000 as Manager, Student Equity and Access Branch. At the time she moved to Monash she was Convenor of EOPHE Vic which was the founding organisation of EOPHEA and EPHEA and continued on in that role for a number of years working as a for quite some time. EOPHE Vic did submissions to two Senate enquiries during her time as Convenor around 2003 and 2004. She still in that role at the time of the National Equity Conference held in Melbourne in 2007.


At Monash Kay became Director of the Equity and Diversity Centre, later the Social Justice Unit. She retired from Monash in the middle of 2015. In her time at Monash Kay’s remit was across a very broad range of areas at various times including: disability support for students and staff; equal opportunity/discrimination and harassment; gender equity; LGBTIQ students and staff; the University’s Work/Life agenda; Indigenous employment and anti-racism initiatives.


Kay has always been very strategic in obtaining senior management buy-in and was instrumental in the development of various D&I strategies at Monash including the University’s Social Inclusion Strategy – 2010-2015 as well as its associated action plans. She also was a strong advocate of changing the framework from a deficit model (e.g. disability support) to an inclusivity model - i.e. one that celebrates and acknowledges the benefits of diversity

Kay established a broad network of committees supporting the equity agenda - ensuring the engagement of a wide range of staff across Monash working towards creating a better working and studying environment. Specific initiatives she spearheaded at Monash included: establishment of an annual Diversity and Inclusion Week and Vice-Chancellor’s Diversity and Inclusion Awards; a Women’s Mentoring Program; establishment of Queer Leaders Scholarship; pilot of Lads and Dads in 2008 - the first workplace flexibility program focused on men in Australian universities; Employer of choice for Women/Gender Equality; and establishment of Ally Network. 

During her 15 years at Monash Kay was instrumental in embedding equity and inclusion into the fabric of the university with a passion and a sophisticated understanding of equity issues, social justice and human rights. Kay has previously been a Chapter Convenor for the Victorian EPHEA Chapter and a long-term member of EPHEA.

Image of Dr Chris Jenkin who has short dark hair and wears glasses

Dr Chris Jenkin

Dr Chris Jenkin is currently Equity Coordinator, and Senior Lecturer, Lecturer & Management Allied Staff within the Faculty of Culture and Society at the Auckland University of Technology. She has been an equity practitioner for 17 years. Chris has published more than 60 academic articles and presentations on Equity matters.


Between 2000- 2002 Chris was a School leader with ITMOSS (Integrated Model of Student Success for Māori and Pacific students). This program continues today. She continues to be active in establishing culturally appropriate initiatives to empower peer-based pedagogies to improve Māori and Pasifika student success. Since 2002, Chris has been an Equity Co-ordinator for the Faculty of Culture and Society and between 2006 and 2008, she oversaw the early childhood centre at the Refugee Resettlement Programme


Chris was the Chair Organising committee, for the EOPHEA 2011 conference, editing an online book of articles from the EPHEA Conference held in Auckland in 2011. She was on the EPHEA Executive Committee for two years and was instrumental in successfully vying for and co-hosting AUT and the University of Auckland EPHEA Conference in NZ in 2011. Chris has been a strong proponent in EPHEA pushing for stronger presence and active participation from other NZ institutions. She maintains strong links with the University of Auckland Pro Vice Chancellor within the Equity Office to apprise her of EPHEA matters and has driven NZ chapter activities.

Chris Jenkin
Image of Mary Kelly who has shoulder-length brown hair and wears long earrings

Mary Kelly

Mary Kelly has demonstrated great energy, intelligence and passion in pursuing her strong belief in access to education for all, and in education as a pathway to personal and social advancement.


She is a leading voice in Australia on staff and student equity in education, thanks to a career that includes roles as a secondary school teacher, president of the Queensland Teachers’ Union, chair of the Australian Teaching Council and Equity Director at QUT since 1997. Mary Kelly’s intellectual and practical leadership at institutional, state and national levels has made an undeniable impact on the lives of many students and staff.


Mary Kelly’s efforts and advocacy have resulted in recognition of QUT as a leader in student and staff equity nationally through programs including the QUT Equity Scholarship Scheme which offers financial assistance to low-income students and QUT’s 12 year continuous awardee as a WGEA Employer of Choice for Women.


Beyond QUT, Ms Kelly has influenced the higher education equity agenda by coordinating the QUT-led Widening Tertiary Participation initiative in Queensland.  This initiative brought together the State’s public universities with the common goal of supporting equity students since 2009. In 2012 she was named one of the 50 most influential people in Australian higher education by The Australian. Ms Kelly was a visiting fellow at the NCSEHE in 2014 and has collaborated with them on a range of activities including seminars and research projects around social justice, poverty and scholarships.


In 2017 she received a Member (AM) in the General Division of the Order of Australia for significant service to education, to policy development and advocacy in schools, and to student and staff equity in the university sector.

Mary Kelly
Image of Tui O'Sullivan who has short dark hair, wears framed glasses and a scarf

Tui O'Sullivan

Tui, is our Kuia (Queen) and an active tangata whenua (people of the land) in all forms of equity work in revaluing, reviving and reclaiming indigenous knowledge, values and belief within AUT and our community. Her equity work existed long before she officially took up the equity space within the Faculty of Design and Creative Technologies. Tui maintains to ensure that the principles of partnership, protection and participation aspects of the Treaty of Waitangi are integrated within the governance, academic, allied and operational structures of the Auckland University of Technology (AUT). These principles remain as the covenant structure between AUT and its stakeholders and are currently implemented in all sectors of AUT to establish cultural competency measures for both staff and students.


Tui initiated cultural spaces. The Mārae, where the EOPHEA Conference 2011 was officially opened, is one of the many spaces she advocated for. Others include, the whānau and fono establishments so that Māori and Pasifika students can 'be themselves’ to foster a sense of belonging within a tertiary environment.


As one of the founding members of Women on Campus, Tui is instrumental in empowering Māori and Pasifika to establish initiatives to improve success - many are still actively implemented, such as the emerging academic leadership initiative. This initiative has improved Māori and Pasifika academic staff numbers within the faculties.


Tui and other members lobbied for Equity conferences to be held in NZ. Her contribution to EPHEA has been far reaching in curriculum and pedagogy to decolonise research methods and processes to advocate for Māori and Pasifika.

Even over 70 years of age, she is still active in ensuring Māori and Pasifika are not only 'seen' but also 'heard' and their 'voice' is valued. 

Tui O'Sullivan
Image of Dr Judy Skene who has short dark hair, wears frameless glasses and drop earrings

Dr Judy Skene

Dr Judy Skene is well recognised throughout the sector for her leadership and expertise in student equity. After completing a PhD, Judy worked in a number of roles across The University of Western Australia before being appointed as the Associate Director, Student Support Services.

In her capacity as Associate Director, Student Support Services she managed the university’s student equity strategy and developed nationally recognised programs and initiatives for 11 years. Judy also managed numerous programs and teams that supported a vibrant and inclusive student experience at UWA.

Judy’s individual accolades include the 2016 STARS Conference Inaugural Local STAR award for contribution to the community of practice in student learning and support fostered by STARS, and a 2007 Carrick Citation for fostering successful student transition, learning and engagement, and for her commitment to equity and diversity.

In addition to her work at UWA, Judy has significantly contributed to the broader Equity sector. She helped facilitate the 2013 EPHEA conference held in Perth; supported the development of various EPHEA papers and submissions; and is well regarded by Equity practitioners across the sector for her collegial approach and dedication to supporting a high quality education for all.


Additional awards Judy's work has received include:

2016: Contribution to Student Learning Award – Fairway UWA.

2015: Office of Learning and Teaching National Program Award in the category of Widening Participation for Aspire UWA

2015: Australian Financial Review Higher Education Inaugural Program Award for Equity Outreach

2014: Society for the Promotion of Education in Rural Australia (SPERA): Most outstanding Australian National Rural Education Program - Aspire UWA

2014: Excellence in Teaching Award -  Aspire UWA

2008: Australian Award for University Teaching Award Winner for the First Year Experience – UniSkills program

Judy Skene
Image of Dr Ann Stewart who has short spikey hair and is wearing a striped collared shirt

Dr Ann Stewart

Ann has significant expertise in the broad field of education, having spent 20 years in the Northern Territory in various senior roles including education of the deaf and the field of Aboriginal Education. Ann has worked in early intervention programs, primary, secondary and tertiary education settings.


She has held senior positions related to staff and student equity in the three metropolitan Queensland universities and ran her own diversity consultancy for four years. She has recently retired from the position of Head of Student Access, Equity and Diversity at the University of the Sunshine Coast.


She continues to enjoy staying in touch with the equity community through undertaking short-term equity and diversity-related projects as well a serving on relevant boards and committees. Ann is currently an Adjunct Fellow with the National Centre for Student Equity in Higher Education


Ann was an active member of EPHEA from 2005 including previous as a national co-convenor in its previous iteration as EOPHEA. Ann has had leadership roles in a number of universities including:

Head, Student Access, Equity and Diversity at University of the Sunshine Coast (2014 – 2016)

Director, The Equity Office, University of Queensland (2001 – 2013) where she established a world-first International Equity Benchmarking Project with selected partner universities from Australia, New Zealand, Canada and the UK, which is still running after 7 years. Ann also initiated UQ Diversity Week, the first event of its kind at any Australian university. Prior to this she held positions with the Queensland Branch of the NTEU (2000 – 2004), and was Manager of Student Equity Services at Griffith University

Ann has a PhD from Griffith University (2007) which explored effective diversity leadership within a higher education setting; a Masters of Educational Administration from Deakin University (1994) and a Bachelor of Education from UNE (1986).

Ann has served on a range of boards and committees focussed on education, equity and inclusiveness. These included:

Inclusive Brisbane Board, Brisbane City Council (2012 – 2014)

President, Graduate Women Qld, (2010 – November 2013)

Board member, The Pinnacle Foundation (2014 – 2016)

Member Human Research Ethics Committee, Griffith University (January 2016 – Present)

Ann Stewart
Image of Prue Toft who has a long dark bob with fringe, she wears a bead necklace and white collared shirt

Prue Toft

Prue has been THE staff equity person at the University of Auckland for 20 years.  She has fantastic knowledge of the issues, is overwhelmingly respected and has complete commitment to the principle and practice of equitable staffing practices at the university.


Prue has had strategic oversight of equity for professional and academic staff at the University of Auckland and advises Senior Leadership, including the Vice-Chancellor on equity policy and practice. She was a key collaborator in the instigation, development and delivery for the University of Auckland Women in Leadership programme which has now been running for 17 years. Prue has also made significant contributions to gender equity particularly regarding promotions of women at the University of Auckland and has developed numerous University equity policies, guidelines and resources.


In 2011 Prue was a co-convenor for the EPHEA conference held in Auckland in 2013 and long-term member of EPHEA.

Image of Ruth Tregale who has a white bob and is wearing a black blazer

Ruth Tregale

Ms Ruth Tregale was the Director of the Widening Participation Unit at Macquarie University from 2012 until 2017. Prior to this Ruth worked in a range of non-governmental organisations including overseas posts in UK and Germany.


Ruth’s work at Macquarie in widening participation has been diverse and impactful. Key achievements include:

In the past 5 years as the Director, Widening Participation, Ruth led the development of school engagement programs and transition and support programs at Macquarie University. She was instrumental in setting up the LEAP program. LEAP (Learning, Education Aspiration, Participation) comprises a variety of school and community engagement initiatives that raise aspirations, create possibilities and actively support students from disadvantaged backgrounds to successfully participate in higher education. Through her direction, the LEAP-Refugee Mentoring program has become a pivotal program supporting students from refugee backgrounds to navigate pathways to higher education. This program won the NSW Premier Award in Education in 2016.

Ruth developed strong partnerships with Country Education Foundation of Australia, the Smith Family and Refugee Council of Australia. She was one of the founding members of the Refugee Special Interest Group in Education with the Refugee Council of Australia. 

Ruth spearheaded strong and clear path forward to realise the university’s commitment to widening participation and ensuring equity of access, as stated in Our University: A Framing of Futures.  Ruth recently led a team to develop ‘Towards an inclusive University, Widening Participation (Access, Participation and Success)’, a six year strategic framework, which will implement these goals.


Ruth has a postgraduate diploma in Community and Youth Work and a Masters Degree in Sustainable Development. Ruth is currently Treasurer for Equity Practitioners in Higher Education Australasia (EPHEA), the professional incorporated organisation for university and TAFE equity practitioners who work in Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific region. Ruth was also EPHEA’s representative on the National Centre for Student Equity in Higher Education’s Advisory Committee. Ruth has supported EPHEA through this function for a number of years and has also been a long-term member of EPHEA.

Prue Toft
Ruth Tregale
Image of Sue Trinidad who has a bob with a fringe and wears a scarf

Professor Sue Trinidad

Professor Sue Trinidad is the Director of the National Centre for Student Equity in Higher Education (NCSEHE) at Curtin University and for the past three decades has been an active participant in the education sector as a primary educator, teacher, academic and equity leader.


Born in Kalgoorlie, Sue began her teaching career in the early 1980s as a teacher of Aboriginal children in a remote Western Australian community, which led to a lifelong passion in the belief of education to transform lives.


Working in the university sector, Sue was promoted to Deputy Pro Vice-Chancellor and Dean of Teaching and Learning in the Faculty of Humanities at Curtin University between 2007 and 2012. In these roles she provided academic leadership for five schools and led the Higher Education Equity Participation Program for a large faculty which had many low SES, Indigenous and regional students, as well as undertaking many research projects.


Since being appointed Director of the NCSEHE in 2012, Sue has steered the National Centre to great success – positioning the NCSEHE at the centre of public policy dialogue about equity in higher education and directing the Centre’s numerous activities that aim to close the gap between equity policy, research and practice.

Success has been characterised by improved outcomes in equity through research and evaluation; increased collaboration between institutions; building leadership in the equity sector; and building stronger relations with government.

Under Sue’s leadership, the National Centre has made a significant contribution to promoting equity in higher education in Australia.

Sue Trinidad
Image of Barbara Webb who has short curly hair

Barbara Webb

Barbara Webb has led staff and student equity change across 25 years of service. Her most recent roles was as Manager, Equity and Equal Opportunity at Federation University (formerly University of Ballarat) for 16 years. In this role Barbara led major change in moving the University into a more proactive space including:


  • Work family flexibility – taking the University from a place where staff did not know their entitlements – to a place where all entitlements are in lay-terms and online; where toolkits guide conversations between managers and staff; where HR now takes the lead in ensuring managers take flexible requests seriously (rather than Equity needing to champion).

  • Overall responsibility for the University’s Equal Oppotunity policy and how it translates into nearly all aspects of university endeavour

  • Active contributor to the Vic-EPHEA chapter and on the organising committee of two EPHEA conferences

  • Initiated and led FedUni’s school outreach program since 2007, now operating in 80 schools across Victoria (funded at one stage through a $2M competitive HEPPP grant) and being active in internal HEPPP allocation and input into HEPPP changes externally.

  • Instigator for FedUni’s Social Inclusion Committee and Social Inclusion Plan, and the University’s first university-wide Disability Action Plan.


This was preceded by similar work in the EO offices of The University of Adelaide and Queensland University of Technology (QUT). At NTU Barbara worked in the Centre for Aboriginal Studies, initially in preparatory education programs with Indigenous adults, and then managing the Indigenous student support function. During that time, Barbara worked as the union rep, instigating the University’s first affirmative action program and first policies and processes around sexual harassment.

Barbara Webb
bottom of page