Leading Deakin academics appointed to Personal Chairs

6 November 2009

Deakin University has announced the appointment of three of its leading academics to Personal Chairs: Associate Professor Leigh Ackland, Associate Professor Damien Kingsbury and Associate Professor Jo Salmon.

Deakin's Vice-Chancellor, Professor Sally Walker, warmly congratulated the trio.

"Associate Professors Ackland, Kingsbury and Salmon embody Deakin's commitment to developing and supporting world-class researchers and to undertaking research that makes a difference. This commitment will play a vital role in Deakin reaching its goal of being in the top third of research universities in Australia," Professor Walker said.

"Personal Chair appointments are very highly regarded as they recognise that the staff member is a distinguished scholar of international standing; the person must be recognised internationally as a leading authority in his or her discipline area. Deakin is very proud of Leigh, Damien and Jo. Their research is in different discipline areas, but they have in common a commitment to excellence and to solving real problems."

Associate Professor Leigh Ackland is in Deakin's School of Life and Environmental Sciences. She is Deputy Director of the Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology. Leigh and her team are interested in the function of trace metals in human health and disease. She also has a research program that is aimed at better understanding breast cancer.

"I am greatly honoured to be granted a Personal Chair at Deakin University," she said. "This leadership role brings with it the capacity for me to enhance research in biological and biomedical sciences within the School of Life and Environmental Sciences, the Faculty of Science and Technology and to promote partnerships with external organisations.

"This appointment also gives me an opportunity to provide academic support and mentorship in the University and to profile the role of women in science."

Associate Professor Damien Kingsbury is in Deakin's School of International and Political Studies. A prolific author, he is in demand as a commentator and contributor on regional political affairs for Australian and international media. In 2007, Dr Kingsbury led the Australian NGO observer group to the East Timor presidential and parliamentary elections, following a similar task regarding the ballot on self-determination in 1999. In 2005, Dr Kingsbury was invited by the Crisis Management Initiative to advise the Free Aceh Movement in the Aceh peace talks being held in Helsinki.

"Being an engaged scholar has been, and continues to be, a great intellectual and, at times, personal adventure. Having this work recognised and enhanced through this appointment is a rare and humbling privilege," he said.

"This appointment also assists in further exploring and developing strong research partnerships with my experienced and deeply knowledgeable colleagues at Deakin, with our very bright up and comers, with Australian and international scholars, and with government institutions and departments.

"It will significantly enhance the institutional base for my work on international political and security issues, in particular my research into understanding the causes of conflict in Australia's immediate strategic region."

Associate Professor Jo Salmon is a Senior Research Fellow in Deakin's School of Exercise and Nutrition Sciences and is a member of Deakin's Centre for Physical Activity and Nutrition Research (C-PAN). She holds a National Heart Foundation of Australia Career Development Fellowship Award. Her research aims to understand and influence physical activity in populations, in particular children and families.

"I am thrilled by this appointment," she said. "It is a wonderful endorsement of the research I have been doing into the importance of physical activity and nutrition for children.

"I am also very pleased for the Centre because it highlights the work we are doing to promote physical activity and good nutrition for both children and adults, hopefully encouraging further research into this field both here in Australia and internationally."

The appointments will come into effect on 1 January 2010.


Media contact

Rebecca Tucker
Media and Corporate Communications
03 5227 8568, 0418 979 134
Email Rebecca

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