Denise Meredyth is the Pro Vice Chancellor for the Division of Arts and Social Sciences. She comes to UNISA from a background in applied and problem-focused research in cultural, educational and social policy. She has led team-based projects, with multiple industry, government and communist partners. These projects have investigated questions as diverse as the social and cultural role of the humanities, the relationship between civic education and core values in multiethnic societies, the role of schools, libraries and museums in information literacy, the cultural complexities of community policing and the prospects of social partnership as a solution to long-standing problems of liberal government. Her current projects include a study of new ways to share public resources such as school buildings, libraries and digital platforms, through community and public-private partnerships. She is also working with an international team exploring co-operative investments in public wifi.
Denise has considerable experience as a university leader, especially in research. She was the Deputy Director at the Swinburne a Institute for several years, leading a series of ARC-funded projects, many of the ARC Linkages with multiple partners. She was the Deputy Pro Vice Chancellor Research and Innovation at RMIT University, lifting research quality, building new centres and leading new interdisciplinary initiatives across several schools. She was seconded from that position to be the Executive Director in Humanities and Creative Arts at the Australian Research Council between late 2013 and 2015.
In the longer term, Denise is a teacher by training, with experience in secondary school teaching, curriculum design and teacher education. She has a literature and history degree from ANU and a graduate diploma of education from the University of Canberra and taught at Dickson College in the ACT. During and after her doctoral work at Griffith University, she taught in cultural studies, media, cultural history and social-political theory. She also taught in Education at QUT, guiding teaching placements and working with both beginning and experienced teachers. Her work on curriculum policy has included national studies of civics and citizenship education, a national benchmark study of the information technology skills of school students and teachers and historical research on the teaching disciplines of English, history and social studies. She has published widely in these areas.
Denise’s affiliations include a role as one of the Chief Investigators in the ARC centre of Excellence in Creative Industries and Innovation. She is on the Advisory Board of Swinburne Institute, of the Public-Private Platform at the Copenhagen Business School, and of the journal Communications, Politics and Culture. She has been an international assessor for the Canadian a Foundation for Innovation and for the ARC. Industry partnerships include relationships with the Salvation Army, Victorian Police, Youth Development Australia and the Victorian education department, as well as multiple Commonwealth, state and local government agencies.