I am keen to explore the topics that I have been passionate about for over 40 years working in universities around the world. These topics are knowledge development and its application, equity in work places and in education, engagement of universities with business, government and communities, and journeys of personal development into empathetic leadership.

I share my thoughts on a number of these topics here through my blog Empaticus, through podcasts, video recordings and writings. The collection below are some of my recent contributions, which I will continuously update.  I hope you find them interesting and useful.  I welcome your reactions, feedback and engagement with any or all of them.

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HEDx Episode 1: An introduction to hosts Professor Martin Betts and Karl Treacher, along with a very interesting interview with one of Australia’s leading experts on CSR and responsible management, Macquarie Business School's Dr Debbie Haski-Leventhal.

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HEDx  Episode 4: This episode covers the needs and capability of the higher education sector to revise strategy and Professor Betts talks with VP of Strategy and Development at Latrobe University Natalie McDonald

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HEDx Episode 7:This episode explores how the early attempts by some universities to differentiate on the basis of digital and online delivery of programs has been a gap largely closed this year as all universities responded to COVID by going online. We are joined by Jane den Hollander who as VC of Deakin led their differentiated digital strategy for years and as VC at UWA for part of 2020 led a traditional GO8 to replicate that approach. This episode argues for all universities to explore how to differentiate and what it takes to stand out in the pack.

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HEDx Episode 2: On this episode Professor Betts and Karl Treacher explore leadership in higher education and interview one of Australia's longest serving leaders in the sector, former VC from QUT and former RMIT Chancellor Dennis Gibson.

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HEDx Episode 3: This episode steps into the world of the university student, and contrasts the shift in higher education experience from North America to Australia, and from 2019 - 2020.

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HEDx Episode 5: In this episode, Martin and Karl explore issues of alignment and realignment within universities. The need at this time for effective systems leadership is illustrated through an interview with Professor Aleks Subic STEM DVC and VP of Digital Innovation at RMIT who makes a call for innovation in partnerships.

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HEDx Episode 8: In this Episode Martin and Karl continue their chat with Jane den Hollander and face into the need for universities to create and curate healthy, effective, strategy-driving culture.

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HEDx Episode 6: The time has come for universities to become expert in an area of traditional weakness. Culture. In this episode we are joined by Professor Sally Kift and explore the mental health challenges students are facing and how university culture needs to respond.


HEDx Episode 9: In this episode, noted commentator and policy analyst Andrew Norton joins Karl and Martin in the first HEDx episode in association with the leading educational publication Campus Review. Now more certainty is emerging in the sector with regard to funding, policy and how universities can operate in the new year, this is the time for a strategic reset.


HEDx Episode 10: Pascale Quester of Swinburne University of Technology joins the HEDx podcast at the end of her first 100 days as Vice Chancellor. She reflects on how all universities have the chance to leave the peloton and make the run to their own finish line based on an assessment of how they are shaped for the competition they want to compete in. The HEDx Health Check is also launched to help each university in the sector measure how it is placed to compete.


HEDx Episode 11: Leading commentator on the changing perspectives of young Australians and the future of work Jan Owen AM joins Martin and Karl to reflect on the acceleration that has occurred in trends for young people and their work futures and the implications for our universities. The winners will be those that adapt quickest and develop their staff capabilities and connections with partners that allow them to be 21st Century fit.


HEDx Episode 12: In this episode, Professor Barney Glover VC at Western Sydney University outlines his assessment of where the sector is up to and how WSU is looking to sharpen its approach to respond to the needs of partners and its communities. He also pays tribute to the extraordinary efforts of WSU staff in the most challenging of years. 

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HEDx Episode 13: This week's podcast allows Karl and Martin of HEDx to discuss the importance of data analytics and finding ways of monitoring and forecasting market changes. John Griffiths, as CEO of one of our state Tertiary Admissions Centres, shares current market data of applications and offers for next year's intake. He confirms trends towards online study and micro credentials in future student demand, and innovative admissions practices by universities in response, which he believes are here to stay.

HEDx Episode 14: In the first episode of 2021 Karl and Martin are joined on HEDx by Professor John Germov, the Acting VC of Charles Sturt University in NSW. Together they reflect on how all universities are positioned to start a new year in our universities. They discuss how a new year strategic health check, that universities are starting to use around the country, can help leaders ask the right questions to set them, their staff, and their students for success in this year of opportunity. What will yours and your university's new year's resolution be?

HEDx Episode 15: The HEDx team talk with Professor Duncan Bentley after his first 90 days as Vice Chancellor at Federation University in regional Victoria. He shares his thoughts about how to get to know a new place, its culture and its staff, students and partners, in trying times. He also focusses on the need for care for all in a university community. Duncan speculates about the role of regional universities in 2021 and how a focus on their external communities can set them apart. He presents this as a differentiated strategy, at times when some think all universities look the same.


HEDx Episode 16: In this episode Karl and Martin are joined by Sarah, a second year student at Monash University.  She applauds the way they helped her through the challenges of 2020 and looks forward to some greater social interaction and some return to campus for 2021. The episode raises the prospect of the sleeping giant of disrupted value propositions in all of our universities for both international and domestic students and the need for 3rd horizon planning to focus on the new business models that will be required. The clearest picture yet of the challenge the sector is facing.


HEDx Episode 19: In this episode, Karl and Martin are joined by Lloyd Lazaro of The Executive Chair. They explore how search consultants are seeing how leaders are selected and what it means for graduate recruitment. They believe that most employers cannot distinguish between graduates from different universities, and that they have no preferred source of which graduates to hire.


HEDx Episode 22: Helen Bartlett VC of University of Sunshine Coast joins the HEDx podcast to outline her new University strategy. It has a strong focus on her people and the culture of the university and how that relates to the context in Southeast Queensland. Her language is of opportunity and partnerships and a strong focus on how her region is growing, with the added ingredients of an Olympics in her backyard on the horizon. In the same week that Mark Scott is announced as the next VC of Sydney, are we starting to see a divergence in leadership focus between our global players and those serving particular local needs?


HEDx Episode 17: 

This episode sees Karl and Martin joined by Chris Eigeland the Chief Revenue Officer of GO1 an Edtech start up.

The episode explores how new entrants are moving at warp speed to disrupt business models for lifelong learning as a route to democratising access to education and knowledge.

The implications to universities are profound with the clearest argument yet that the days of expensive 4-year degrees are numbered. The case is made for the need to be prepared to give up the short term gains of current offerings if long term benefits from a disrupting business model are to be secured before new entrants do.


HEDx Episode 20: DVC Education at Wollongong Theo Farrell joins Karl and Martin to describe AFR award winning staff engagement at his University that helped 99.9% of teaching to move online in a fortnight. A former war studies professor, he outlines the difference between strategy and planning, reflecting on his experience advising international forces in Kabul. 


HEDx Episode 18: Geraldine Mackenzie VC of USQ joins  HEDx to reflect on how her strategy, nearing completion when COVID hit, has been delayed, revised and is reorienting USQ to work even more closely with industry partners on translation, and even more closely with technology in transforming learning practices. She applauds how the sector is working together, at least in its respective parts, but acknowledges all in the sector are yet to have clarity on whether the short-term adjustments to regional living through tree and sea changes will have prominence over digital disruption in determining the nature of the seismic changes to come for the sector. A time when all in the sector need new thinking, new solutions and new places to get help from.


HEDx Episode 21: Jack Goodman, founder and executive chair of Studiosity, joins the HEDx podcast to discuss how his business, which began by partnering with public libraries to deliver online study help for high school students, has emerged as a dominant place for academic literacy support for students at close to 70 per cent of Australian universities.


HEDx Episode 23: This week on HEDx Karl and Martin speak with the leaders from one of Australia's leading technology companies REA Group. They explore the relationship between REA Group and the higher education sector and what progressive organisations need from universities as the world moves on from COVID-19. Going from $500M to $17B in 15 years only happens through brilliant strategy and cultural excellence. The mandate for culture to evolve in universities has never been greater.


HEDx Episode 24:  In this episode, first international guest Professor Giselle Byrnes joins as the Provost with responsibilities across research, commercialisation and teaching and learning at  Massey University in New Zealand.  She gives pointers to the differences in culture, tradition, priorities and practice in national jurisdictions and reflects on the implications  of these for the way disruption might be led. She calls for more compassionate leadership by Vice Chancellors. The episode gives insights into how culture change and leadership will need ideas from outside the sector to be aligned with the practices we have established within if we are to find new ways of serving increasingly diverse student needs.


HEDx Episode 25: Brigid Heywood outlines her journey into the role of VC and CEO at Australia's oldest regional university in New England plucked from a planned retirement in Easter Island. She outlines a new strategy for UNE built on a long tradition of distance education and on recent advances and radical ambitions for personalised learning journeys at the heart of differentiated student experiences. And she outlines how her unique approach to leadership, and the shaping she seeks to bring to the culture of teams within her university, in combination with external partners in diverse regional precincts, is at the heart of her vision for a world-class, future fit university.


HEDx Epsiode 26: Australia's Most Awarded Data Scientist on Higher Education. PwC’s Chief Data Scientist, Matt Kuperholz joins Karl and Martin to talkk about the evolution of the industry and the role of data in shaping the future of higher education


Thriving Minds Episode 52: Leadership under crisis starts with the leaders' Thriving Mind. In this episode, Professor Martin Betts, who has decades of experience in Leadership, joins me to discuss how effective leadership begins with ourselves, this allows others to mirror our behaviour.

Thriving Minds Episode 57. The gift of feedback in leadership. Using neuroscience to create thriving minds and thriving leaders. Encouraging a culture of feedback is vital to increasing performance and engagement in the workplace.   Feedback can become a gift that uncovers infinite opportunities for learning and growth. It starts with asking questions.


A webinar with my colleague Kerryn Fewster and Business Depot regarding readiness for business continuity with a focus on ambiguity, clarity and leadership based on trust and empathy.