Psychology and Public Health Dean appointed

A world-renowned academic, psychologist and leader, whose research focus is on improving educational outcomes for disadvantaged young people, Professor Monica Thielking FAPS GAICD, has been appointed Dean of La Trobe University’s School of Psychology and Public Health, following an extensive search.

Professor Thielking joins La Trobe from Swinburne University of Technology where she is currently Department Chair, Psychological Sciences.

La Trobe Provost, Professor Robert Pike, congratulated Professor Thielking on her achievement.

“I warmly congratulate Professor Thielking on her well-deserved appointment to the role of Dean in our School of Psychology and Public Health – one of La Trobe’s largest and most successful schools,” Professor Pike said.

“Professor Thielking brings a wealth of outstanding academic and leadership experience to this critical role and her focus on equity and access for disadvantaged young people strongly aligns with the values of both the School of Psychology and Public Health and La Trobe more broadly.”

Professor Thielking said she was delighted to have been appointed as Dean of La Trobe’s School of Psychology and Public Health.

“I’m excited at the prospect of leading a team of exceptionally talented researchers and teachers across such a significant and successful school and its diverse departments and centres which include the Department of Psychology, Counselling and Therapy and the Department of Public Health,” Professor Thielking said.

“As a leader who has always prioritised educator wellbeing and student equity, I am particularly motivated by joining a university like La Trobe whose philosophy of inclusiveness, diversity, equity and social justice resonates with my own.”

Professor Thielking will commence in the role in January 2024.

About Professor Monica Thielking

  • Professor Thielking is a registered psychologist who transitioned into higher education after working at the Australian Psychological Society as the Psychologists in Schools, and Public Sector and Non-Government Organisations’ Advisor. She commenced her career as a youth worker in disadvantaged schools.
  • Professor Thielking started her academic career at Swinburne University in 2010 and, in recognition of her strong leadership potential, the university included her in an elite academic leadership training program which accelerated her progression through several leadership roles until she was promoted to the position of Department Chair, Psychological Sciences, in 2020.
  • Professor Thielking’s research findings have influenced major policy and service-level changes both in Australia and globally, including informing submissions to Commonwealth Royal Commissions and State or Territory Inquiries – especially on issues related to youth and adult homelessness, mental health, student equity in higher education, and other social policy issues.
  • Professor Thielking’s learning and teaching philosophy is premised by her value of the critical role that higher education plays in transforming individuals and society. As such, Professor Thielking has had longstanding involvement in national working parties that aim to improve educational outcomes for Indigenous students.
  • Professor Thielking holds distinguished roles outside academia. These include:
    • Non-Executive Director of the Board of the Australian Psychological Society (APS)
    • National Chair of the Division of Psychological Research, Education, and Training (DPRET)
    • Member of the APS Finance, Investment and Audit Committee (FIAC)

La Trobe University’s School of Psychology and Public Health comprises:

  • Department of Psychology, Counselling and Therapy
  • Department of Public Health
  • Centre for Health Communication and Participation (CHCP)
  • Palliative Care Unit
  • Centre for Ergonomics and Human Factors (CEHF)
  • Australian Research Centre in Sex, Health and Society (ARCSHS)
  • The Bouverie Centre
  • Centre for Alcohol Policy Research (CAPR)
  • Olga Tennison Autism Research Centre (OTARC)

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