Mitchell Institute announces new education policy lead in 2019 shake up
The Sector > Workforce > Leadership > Mitchell Institute announces new education policy lead in 2019 shake up

Mitchell Institute announces new education policy lead in 2019 shake up

by Freya Lucas

December 18, 2018

Victoria University yesterday announced the new faces who will head up the revamped Mitchell Institute in 2019, as the policy focus shifts to include health as well as education policy, as previously reported by The Sector.


Two key appointments as policy leads were announced, with Dr Jen Jackson to lead education policy, and Mr Ben Harris to take on responsibility for health policy.


Founded in 2013, the Mitchell Institute has been a strong voice in the early childhood policy development, with the influential reports Preschool – Two years are better than one  and The Capable Country being influential documents in the early childhood education and care (ECEC) discussion space.

Victoria University Vice Chancellor Professor Peter Dawkins said “Victoria University is very proud of what our Mitchell Institute has achieved. We are indebted to our patron, Harold Mitchell, for providing the foundation grant that has made all this possible, along with matching funding from Victoria University. We are also proud of what Victoria University’s Australian Health Policy Collaboration has achieved.”


He added that the University and Institute were “keen to build on those achievements in an expanded Mitchell Institute, believing there will be a great synergy between the work in both education and health”


Citing the “strong connections” between education and health outcomes, and the impact of socioeconomic disadvantage on both, Professor Dawkins said “Good policy, supported by sound translational research, should address both together.”


Dr Jen Jackson, currently Research Fellow, Educational Monitoring and Research at the Australian Council for Education Research (ACER) has accepted the Education Policy Lead position and will be influential in the ECEC space for the Mitchell Institute moving forward.


Dr Jackson has “wide-ranging experience in education policy and research, with a particular interest in education systems, and the research–policy interface. At the Victorian Department of Education and Training, she worked in early childhood policy and regulation, as well as in system-wide strategic policy management roles.” the Institute said.


As a Research Fellow at the University of Melbourne and Victoria University, Dr Jackson’s work focused on measuring how well education systems meet the needs of all learners, including contributing to several reports for government on measurement of school performance; reporting on system-wide indicators, from early childhood to tertiary education; and co-ordinating international data collection for the International Study of City Youth.


Dr Jackson undertook a Ph.D. at Victoria University which was conferred at a graduation ceremony this week. Her doctoral research used large-scale survey data to map diversity in the Australian early childhood workforce, and examined its implications for improving equity in early childhood policy and practice.


Other appointments announced by the Institute, which will commence in 2019, included:


  • Ben Harris


  • Professor Peter Noonan


  • Professor Stephen Lamb


  • Rosemary Calder


Further information about the Mitchell Institute is available on their website

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