New dean brings holistic approach to School of Education and the Arts

06 February 2023

Newly appointed CQUniversity Dean Professor Stephen Dobson hopes to infuse his School of Education and the Arts with a fresh focus on social justice with a vision of producing "well-rounded personalities" from his student cohort.

Professor Dobson not only brings a wealth of leadership experience to the role' but also an expertise in and passion for inclusive education – a key value for the regional university.

"I'm a strong believer in not just showing inclusivity but teaching the learning of inclusivity'" Professor Dobson explained.

He said gaining a university education should be much more than gaining targeted knowledge' but developing right values and maximizing opportunities to grow into well-rounded individuals.

He said it is about developing 'bildung'' a German term that refers to self-cultivation' where philosophy and education merge to create personal and cultural maturation.

Most recently Professor Dobson was employed as the Dean of the Faculty of Education at Victoria University of Wellington New Zealand' and prior to this was the Dean and Head of the School of Education at the University of South Australia.

Of particular note' Professor Dobson holds two PhDs' one in Assessment and Education and another in Cultural Studies and Refugees.

Prior to entering higher education' he also worked for thirteen years with refugees as a community worker' where he gained a passion for social justice.

Although born in Zambia' Africa' Professor Dobson spent several years living in Norway and is fluent in Scandinavian languages having published extensively in Norwegian and English.

He is also a guest professor at the Centre for Lifelong Learning' Inland Norway University of Applied Science.

With an impressive background in higher education leadership and collaboration' Professor Dobson in 2019 co-established the Centre of Excellence – Educating for the Future with Jakarta State University' Islamic University of Jakarta' University of South Australia. Late last year he helped to establish the joint Centre of Educational Excellence between the College of Education' Capital Normal University in Beijing and Victoria University' New Zealand.

He has previously been a member of the Teacher Education Expert Standing Committee for the Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership (AITSL) and Treasurer and Board Member of the Australian Council of Deans of Education.

Professor Dobson is based at CQUniversity's Rockhampton North campus.