Next Vice Chancellor of Southern Cross University announced

Published 10 June 2016

Southern Cross University’s next Vice Chancellor will be Professor Adam Shoemaker, one of Australia’s leading researchers in the area of Indigenous literature and culture.

The appointment was announced by Chancellor of Southern Cross University, Mr Nick Burton Taylor AM. Professor Shoemaker will become the University’s fifth Vice Chancellor upon the retirement of Professor Peter Lee FTSE on 24th September 2016.

Professor Shoemaker has held senior leadership roles at a number of Australian universities including his current position as Academic Provost at Griffith University which he joined in early 2014, and previous roles as Deputy Vice Chancellor (Education) at Monash University and as Dean of Arts at the Australian National University.

“Professor Shoemaker was chosen from an outstanding field of candidates, testament to the attraction of Southern Cross University as a young and vibrant university, ready for the next phase of its development,” Mr Burton Taylor said.

“Professor Shoemaker shows great appreciation of the University’s regional identity and has experience working in a multi-campus environment. His strong track record in community engagement, deep expertise in digital education, and in transformational curriculum development, makes for a perfect fit with Southern Cross University.”

A former Commonwealth Scholar, Professor Shoemaker is the author or editor of nine books in the field of Indigenous literature and culture, and is also widely published in the areas of international and digital education; race relations; and cultural studies.

His achievements in community engagement include founding the Oxfam Monash Partnership and co-founding the Monash-World Vision Alliance, both of which encompassed action research, in-country projects in Africa, Asia and the Pacific; student-focused internships and curriculum change.

“One of the greatest challenges for any university is to anticipate the future. Southern Cross University has been doing that for all of its 22 years. I am thrilled to be joining such a progressive and creative institution — and one which is so committed to the impact of public-purpose education and research,” Professor Shoemaker said.

Professor Peter Lee, who will have served as Vice Chancellor for seven years upon his retirement, wished his successor well.

“It has been an enormous privilege to lead a University with such a unique profile. Our role in supporting students who are the first in their families to obtain university qualifications, our ability to attract and support Indigenous students, and our growing research profile, are achievements in which all our staff can be proud,” Professor Lee said.

Canadian by birth, Professor Shoemaker has an Honours Bachelor of Arts from Queen’s University and a PhD from the Australian National University. He served as Chair of the Brisbane Writers Festival in the mid-1990s; chaired the Advisory Board of Monash University Publishing and, for many years, was on the Advisory Board of Campus Review. He is a former Director of Open Universities Australia, is a trustee of the Brisbane Girls Grammar School and is Deputy Chair of the Queensland Curriculum and Assessment Authority.


Media contact: Brigid Veale head of Communications and Publications, Southern Cross University, 02 6659 3006 or 0439 680 748.