Professoriate Leadership Group

What is the PLG?

PLG stands for “Professoriate Leadership Group”. Western Sydney University established the Professoriate Leadership Group in 2019 after consultations with the Professoriate and a framework document  produced by a Professoriate working party. The PLG is a small, autonomous group of senior academics that is selected on the basis of EOIs from all Level D and E academic staff (“the Professoriate”) at Western. The term of office is normally two years with the possibility to renew membership. The PLG has a Chair and a Deputy Chair selected from the membership. The group receives administrative support from the Vice-Chancellor’s Office.

The purpose of the PLG is to serve the university and help advance its academic mission at local, national and international levels, protect academic integrity and autonomy, as well as build academic culture. The PLG will act as a conduit between the Senior Executive and wider Professoriate and academic community. In this way it can raise and tackle issues of high academic importance and enable two-way communication between the academic community and Senior Executive.

The University values its Professors and Associate Professors as a group of experts who, collectively, are able to advance the mission of the University, make significant contributions to governance and leadership within the Institution and the community, promote the interests and reputation of Western Sydney, and strengthen the international standing of the University. As a group of leading experts, The Professoriate draws on its collective expertise, to offer creative, transdisciplinary solutions and contribute to innovation with a long-term vision

There are four major focus areas for PLG activity:

  1. foster collaboration and connectedness within the university;
  2. build a vibrant and inclusive intellectual community within the university;
  3. advance the university mission;
  4. participate in decision-making and governance.

Contact: if you have feedback, comments, ideas or suggestions on PLG activities. We hope to hear from you and that we see you at one of our events.

What does the PLG do?

To achieve its purpose, the PLG has engaged in the following activities.

  • Monthly meetings, often with invited guests and members of the University Executive, to discuss topics of interest and plan activities.
  • Professoriate webinars and discussions, e.g. on the impact of COVID-19, the Vice-Chancellor’s Future Directions the Foreign Relations Bill.
  • Submissions to the University Executive on the Future Directions paper, various Change Proposals.
  • Authoring of position papers and policy documents.

Who is the Professoriate Leadership Group?

The following list contains all current members of the PLG as well as discipline, organisational unit and email.





Prof. Allan, Sonia


School of Law

Prof. Briskman, Linda

Social work

School of Social Sciences

Prof. Filipovic, Miroslav

Astronomy, Physics

School of Science

A/Prof. Ghannoum, Oula

Plant Physiology

Hawksbury Institute for the Environment

Prof. Gonsalvez, Craig


School of Psychology

Prof. Gray, Tonia


School of Education

A/Prof. Green, Simon

Sports & Exercise Science

School of Health Sciences

A/Prof. Liyanapathirana, Samanthika

Civil Geotechnical Engineering

School of Engineering, Design and Built Environment

Prof. Mailhammer, Rob (Chair)


Humanities and Communication Arts

Prof. Perera, Srinath


School of Engineering, Design and Built Environment

A/Prof. Pertierra, Anna Cristina

Cultural studies

Institute for Culture and Society/School of Humanities and Communication Arts

A/Prof. Power, Anne

Music education

School of Education

Prof. Smith, Sheree (Deputy Chair)


School of Nursing & Midwifery

A/Prof. Spooner-Hart, Robert


Hawksbury Institute for the Environment