Steering Committee

The ACU Engage Community is fundamentally led by our members, taking direction from feedback, surveys and general comments. On a more day-to-day basis, the Community is guided by advice from a steering committee of international experts drawn from the ACU’s constituency of member universities, and leading global engagement-focussed organisations.

Professor Andrew Church
Associate Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Research and Enterprise), University of Brighton, UK

Andrew Church

As well as being Associate Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Research and Enterprise) at the University of Brighton, Andrew is also a Professor of Human Geography focusing on human-nature relations and especially the environmental and geographical aspects of leisure and tourism.

Andrew has a long term involvement in community-university partnerships and extensive experience of linking research to policy and impact. He is strongly committed to supporting community-university engagement activities and has been the Co-Academic Director of the University of Brighton's award winning Community University Partnership Programme (CUPP).

Budd Hall
Joint UNESCO chair for in Community-Based Research and Social Responsibility in Higher Education; Professor of Community Development, University of Victoria, Canada

Budd Hall

Budd shares the UNESCO Chair in Community-Based Research and Social Responsibility in Higher Education with Dr. Rajesh Tandon.

His most recent books are: Knowledge, Democracy and Action: Community-University Research Partnerships in Global Perspectives (Manchester University Press), Learning and Teaching Community-Based Research (U of T Press), Higher Education and Community-Based Research (Palgrave-MacMillan) and Knowledge, Engagement and Higher Education’s Contribution to Social Change – with R Tandon and C Esgrigas (Palgrave-MacMillan).

Budd is also a Professor of Community Development at the University of Victoria, Canada.

Charles Flodin
Manager, Addressing Higher Education Access Disadvantage (AHEAD) programme, Curtin University, Australia

Charles Flodin

Charles leads the strategic development of the Curtin AHEAD programme and manages a team of educators, mentors and project officers. AHEAD is a multidisciplinary outreach programme focused on providing traditionally under-represented community and K-12 students with learning experiences that foster aspiration, awareness and capabilities for higher education.

The programme is a collaborative and innovative outreach hub, which contributes to the development of effective equity practice through research and publication. Charles currently leads on programme research that is investigating the impact of pre-tertiary outreach and aspiration programmes, academic mentoring and the integration of technology in the learning experience, with a personal research focus on big data learning analytics integration in higher education.

David Phipps
Executive Director, Research & Innovation Services, York University, Canada

David Phipps

In this capacity he leads York’s award winning Knowledge Mobilization Unit that provides services to researchers, community organizations and government agencies who wish to use maximise the economic, social and environmental impacts of university research.

In 2011 and 2012 Dr. Phipps was named the most influential knowledge mobiliser in Canada and in 2012 York’s Knowledge Mobilization Unit was awarded a best practice award from the European-based Knowledge Economy Network. In 2012 he was awarded a Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal in recognition of his work in knowledge mobilization. He is Network Director for ResearchImpact- RéseauImpactRecherche, Canada’s knowledge mobilization network including 11 universities from across Canada.

Eme Owoaje
Research Director, University of Ibadan, Nigeria

Paul Manners
Associate Professor in Public Engagement at the University of the West of England (UWE); Director, National Coordinating Centre for Public Engagement (NCCPE), UK


Paul Manners is Associate Professor in Public Engagement at the University of the West of England (UWE), UK, and Director of the National Coordinating Centre for Public Engagement.

The NCCPE was set up on 2008 as part of the Beacons for Public Engagement project, which involved six HE-based projects piloting innovative approaches to involving the public in their work.

The NCCPE’s role is to help to coordinate public engagement practice and to support innovation and strategic change in HEIs. Paul joined the NCCPE after working as an executive producer at BBC Learning.

Dr Rajesh Tandon
Joint UNESCO chair in Community-Based Research and Social Responsibility in Higher Education; Co-founder and President, Participatory Research In Asia (PRIA); Chairperson of GACER network

Rajesh Tandon

Rajesh Tandon is an internationally acclaimed leader and practitioner of participatory research and development. He founded the Society for Participatory Research in Asia (PRIA), a voluntary organisation providing support to grassroots initiatives in South Asia and continues to be its Chief Functionary since 1982.

He is Co-Chair of the prestigious UNESCO Chair on Community Based Research and Social Responsibility in Higher Education.

Rajesh has contributed to the emergence of several local, national and international groups and initiatives to promote authentic and participatory development of societies.

Professor Shaun Pather
Professor of Information Systems, University of the Western Cape, South Africa


Shaun is a Fulbright Scholar and is currently Professor of Information Systems in the Faculty of Economic and Management Sciences at the University of the Western Cape. He has over twenty-seven years of experience in the education and ICT sectors. Over this period, he has consistently endeavoured to apply his academic activity towards the development agenda.

He was a member of the Development Research Uptake in Sub-Saharan Africa (DRUSSA) programme, led by the ACU. In this role, he actively championed the development of research uptake management and practice as a means to bridge the gap between academe and communities. It is through this that he became an inaugural member of the ACU Engage Steering Committee. Shaun’s current research focuses on advancing the Information Society in developing countries.

He is passionate about the use of ICT for societal uplift, and the nexus thereof on public policy. He is involved in a number of Community Informatics themed research projects, which focus on the impact of ICTs on everyday life and its social appropriation for local community benefit.

Professor Dr Susie See Ching Mey
Professor, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Malaysia

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