Western Sydney University welcomes new ongoing staff as part of ground-breaking academic decasualisation program

Academi Decasualisation Group July 2023

Western Sydney University is pleased to announce the first cohort of ongoing academic staff appointed as part of the University’s sector-leading academic decasualisation program, developed in collaboration with the National Tertiary Education Union (NTEU).

The Program will increase the number of secure, early career academic positions available at the University, while simultaneously reducing its reliance on casual teaching engagements.

A total of 30 successful candidates were appointed as part of the program and were recently welcomed to the University at a special event with senior leaders, including Vice-Chancellor and President, Professor Barney Glover AO, and Senior Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Provost, Professor Clare Pollock.  The first cohort will be teaching across a range of disciplines, including social sciences, engineering, medicine, and business.

The appointments are the first tranche of an additional 150 FTE ongoing positions negotiated with the NTEU as part of the University’s new Academic Staff Agreement and its overall aim to reduce the University’s use of casual academic employment for non-clinical teaching by at least 25% over the nominal term of the Agreement.

Both the University and the NTEU welcomed this milestone as an important first step in a large-scale undertaking to address the long-term challenges of academic casualisation and insecure work.

“On behalf of the University community, we welcome and congratulate these academic staff on their appointments. These new ongoing positions are an important commitment by Western Sydney University and the NTEU to significantly address the issue of insecure work in the sector and to give our academic staff more certainty and job security,” said Vice-Chancellor, Professor Barney Glover AO.

“The NTEU is immensely proud that this academic decasualisation program is the first of its kind in the sector. We offer our warm congratulations to this first group of successful staff, and we look forward to working with the University to continue rolling out this important initiative,” said Dr David Burchell, Branch President, National Tertiary Education Union, Western Sydney University Branch.

Academic Decasualisation - Dr Adam DanielDr Adam Daniel, School of Humanities and Communication Arts

Dr Adam Daniel is one of those appointed, securing an ongoing role as an Associate Lecturer in Communications within the University’s School of Humanities and Communication Arts.

The Blue Mountains resident completed a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) and PhD in Film and Media Studies at Western Sydney University and has tutored and lectured at several leading institutions including the Australian Film Television and Radio School and the National Institute of Dramatic Art.

Dr Daniel said the University’s decasualisation program provides him with the opportunity to join the University as a full-time employee and commit to his academic career. He said he feels supported by the additional level of job security.

“I have worked sessionally for the last eight years and had unsuccessfully applied for several positions in what is a highly competitive job market for academics. The focus of this program on transitioning sessional employees into full-time employment was incredibly fortuitous,” said Dr Daniel.

Academic Decasualisation - Dr Marini SamaratungaDr Marini Samaratunga, School of Engineering, Design and Built Environment

Dr Marini Samaratunga has also secured an ongoing role as an Associate Lecturer in Construction Management within the School of Engineering, Design and Built Environment.

Dr Samaratunga has two decades of professional experience across academia, the building industry and public sector. Her expertise is in sustainable buildings, NetZero carbon, embodied carbon in construction materials and digitalisation of construction.

She said the academic decasualisation program is a great career opportunity.

“As part of my new role, I’m excited to be the subject coordinator of several subjects in the Construction Management and Building Design Management programs. I’m also looking forward to having additional opportunities to expand my teaching and learning skills and explore new research,” she said.

The University will shortly commence recruitment for its second cohort of 60 ongoing academic staff under the program, to take up positions before March 2024.


9 August 2023

Amanda Whibley, Manager, Media and Public Relations