Office of the Vice President (Engagement)

 Ben Roche - Pro Vice Chancellor Engagement - 767 b

Ben Roche is the Vice President (Engagement) at Southern Cross University.

In this executive position he has overarching responsibility for the suite of portfolios that focus on connecting the University's research and teaching strengths with the sustainable development needs of its communities. He provides leadership and advice to drive engagement strategies and cultivate key relationships and networks to realise the University’s strategic priorities whilst optimising community benefit, impact and exchange. 

As a human geographer, Ben is passionate about participatory approaches to sustainable development and the role that education and engagement can play in creating resilience, capacity and well-being in communities. He has taught, researched and practised in the areas of community-based learning, participatory planning, sustainable development and community engagement. Ben continues to provide advice to a range of organisations and governments on strategic approaches to education, engagement and development. 

Ben's contribution to community engagement in higher education, specifically service learning in built environment disciplines, was recognised through a Carrick Citation in 2008 and that same year he was the recipient of the Edith Cowan Authentic Learning Award from the Higher Education Research and Development Society of Australasia.

About the Office of the Vice President (Engagement)

The Vice President (Engagement) portfolio is focused on enabling strategic connectivity and partnering in support of the University’s vision, mission and goals. It is comprised of a series of related activity clusters: Partnerships and Engagement, Alumni and Giving, Strategic Projects and Campus Services.

As a key portfolio within Southern Cross, we strive to create a vibrant campus life, rich student experience, relevant research and teaching and a healthy and sustainable organisation through the central practices of engagement, collaboration and partnership.

Partnerships and Engagement

Connect, broker and facilitate joined-up partnering with organisations and individuals to deliver quality academic and development outcomes in the context of the University’s strategic priorities.

Key functions include:

  • Community Engaged Learning
  • Excellence in Engagement Awards and Showcase
  • Partnership facilitation and coordination
  • Strategic sponsorships and co-investment
  • Environmental management and sustainability.

Alumni and Giving

Nurture and develop a culture of giving through enhanced donor and industry relationships that expand the connection between the University’s alumni and the academic endeavours of staff and students.

Key functions include:

  • Alumni communications and engagement
  • Student scholarships and opportunities fund
  • Workplace giving and philanthropy
  • Donor identification and coordination.

Strategic Projects

Design and form industry-driven collaborations that yield an increase in externally funded research and education opportunities against identified strategic priorities.

Key functions include:

  • Farming Together national pilot program
  • Industry and Government stakeholder liaison
  • New strategic industry-driven initiatives.