Pro Vice-Chancellor (Academic Innovation)
Professor Thomas Roche, BA (The University of Queensland), BEd (UQ), PhD (Technische Universität Dresden: top 150 universities, Times Higher Education) is a Member of the Australian Government’s TEQSA Register of Experts and a University English Centres Australia (UECA) Committee member.
Thomas is probably the only University staff member who grew up in Yarraman in regional Queensland. Since then he has had over 20 years teaching and leadership experience in universities in Australia, the Sultanate of Oman, and Germany. He is a recognised specialist in the design, delivery and management of university programs, with a particular focus on empowering students from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds to gain access to and succeed in university study.
Thomas lectured at the Dresden University of Technology for seven years before moving on the Sultanate of Oman where he worked with the University of Queensland in the development of a new regional university. As Assistant Dean and while lecturing into education and linguistics courses, he provided strong leadership in research, leading competitive, nationally-funded research grants. His research was predominately in cognitive and educational linguistics, but he also undertook work in cultural studies on the morphology of Islamic headwear in the Sultanate. Thomas’ research has always been collaborative and involved leading student researchers and academic teams from across Europe, the Middle East, Asia and the US.
Since joining Southern Cross, he has gone on to lead SCU College. He has a passion for ensuring that university offerings deliver an inspired experience supporting novice students to reach their potential. Thomas’ impact can be seen in the College’s teaching feedback. Despite dealing with the least academically prepared students at the University, the Colleges’ average student feedback on teaching and unit satisfaction is consistently amongst the University’s highest for any academic unit.
Thomas was invited to join the national University English Centre Australia (UECA) committee in 2018. He has since co-lead their national benchmarking initiatives, leading teams of academics across 20 Australian universities. In recognition of his research and leadership in his discipline, he became a member of the Australian Government’s TEQSA Register of Experts in 2019.