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Passion for inclusion, innovation drives award-winning leadership

Published:02 December 2021

CQUniversity’s Director of Learning Design and Innovation Professor Kate Ames

CQUniversity’s award-winning Director of Learning Design and Innovation Professor Kate Ames.

CQUniversity innovator Professor Kate Ames has been recognised for her decades of leadership in higher education, receiving a top honour at the ATEM Best Practice Awards in Tertiary Education Management.

Prof Ames was awarded the LH Martin Institute Award for Excellence in Leadership, recognising her work as CQUniversity’s Director - Learning Design and Innovation since 2017.

She was one of two CQUniversity winners in the prestigious sector awards, with the Alumni Relations’ 30 Minutes a Month (30MM) micro-volunteering program receiving the Award for Excellence in Community Engagement.

Prof Ames combines her leadership role with active teaching as a member of the MBA (Leadership) academic team, and she is also a student in CQUni’s Masters of Educational Neuroscience.

The passionate leader also serves as a Lieutenant Colonel with the Australian Army, and she is currently one of its most senior female Public Affairs Officers.

Prof Ames said the recognition was an honour, and she thanked CQUniversity for creating an environment where innovation could thrive.

“I’m so proud of CQUniversity’s hyperflexible Be Different initiative, and how my team has grown and pushed boundaries of the possibilities of ‘traditional study’,” she said.

The platform started with one program, an online hyperflexible MBA in Leadership, and has grown to multiple affordable, accessible, and flexible programs supporting almost 2000 students in 2021.

Prof Ames described her mission as “rogue to routine”, as she led a diverse team of 30 people, from areas including social innovation, flexible innovation projects, professional development, and education design.

Vice-President (Academic) Professor Helen Huntly OAM said Prof Ames was an inspiration across CQUniversity.

“Informed by her practical experience as both an award-winning lecturer and as a student, and her long-term service in the Australian Defence Force, Kate has achieved rapid progress and significant impact,” Prof Huntly said.

“The Be Different model now accounts for 45 per cent of CQUniversity’s domestic postgraduate students, with strong growth forecast as 20 new and existing degrees transition to the platform.

“Kate has championed this model as she understands its importance to regional and remote students, known to be at significant disadvantage in accessing postgraduate education.”