ACEN HDR Internships and Industry Engagement Symposium 


9:00 am to 4:30 pm AEST


10 November 2022


9:00 am to 4:30 pm AEST


Griffith University, South Bank campus, Brisbane and Online


The requirements of PhD graduates in Australia are rapidly changing. Well-trained, experienced graduates are desired across the board, and this is no exception for those emerging with Higher Degrees by Research (HDR). Transferable skills and industry experience are increasingly important to PhD and HDR students. Research Centres in Australia have now turned to how best to equip doctoral graduates with the skills and experience that optimize employability while incorporating internship opportunities into their research programs.

Hosted by ACEN Queensland Chapter, the HDR Internships and Industry Engagement: parameters and protocols Symposium will take an in-depth 360 view of Graduate Internship Programs.

The symposium will feature a keynote presentation from the Research Funding and Students I Research Policy and Programs Branch Higher Education Division, Australian Government Department of Education.

Followed by panel discussions with Industry representatives, academic supervisors, and PhD students. There will be a business development session and a presentation by the HDR Internships Community of Practice. The day will conclude with identifying practical strategies addressing the different requirements for industry, Higher Education institutions, and students completing internships as part of their PhD and HDR programs.

Registration is required so please join us in person or via Zoom.


Presenters will be appearing in person and online for the event.

Associate Professor Denise Jackson (ECU)

Alexandra Procailo

Acting Assistant Secretary of the Research Policy and Programs Branch, Department of Education


Alex is currently Acting Assistant Secretary of the Research Policy and Programs Branch in the
Department of Education which includes responsibility for National Research Infrastructure and
university research funding. Alex is a career public servant and has worked in a number of
government agencies, with extended service in the Home Affairs/Immigration portfolio in policy
development and program delivery, both in Australia and overseas. Alex has also worked in Services
Australia in the areas of Aged Care and Medicare.

Associate Professor Denise Jackson (ECU)

Anastasia Magriplis

Director of Services and Advocacy Operations at the Asylum seeker resource centre


Anastasia joined ASRC as the Director Advocacy and Campaigns in May 2019 after a long career in the not-for-profit sector in Queensland and New South Wales, she now serves as the Director of Services and Advocacy Operations. Her career has centred around workforce management and community mobilisation, with more than 30 years working to change systems and build a better community for all people.

Anastasia oversees the ASRC Human Rights Law Program, the Community Food Program, Housing Support Program and Health Clinic. Her work is focussed on supporting our extraordinary teams to deliver the best possible service to people seeking asylum. Building the case for meaningful and lasting change through the evidence of the people supported every day underpins the services she manages. She is driven to build momentum and appetite for cultural and systemic change in Australia so that our policies truly reflect the amazing multicultural society Australia was built on.

Associate Professor Denise Jackson (ECU)

Michelle Sandford

Microsoft Australia


Tedx Speaker, Developer Engagement Lead at Microsoft and of MCV’s 30 Most Influential Women in Games. Michelle lives at the heart of the developer community and helps drive awareness and engagement as an AI influencer and chatbot builder. She advocate for STEM, the Games Industry and Developers. She present at around 50 Conferences and Events around the world on Technology, Learning to Code, Open Source and Building Bots. She judges hackathons and encourage the next generation into technology careers.

Associate Professor Denise Jackson (ECU)

Professor Sandra Gattenhof

Director of Research Training in the Faculty of Creative Industries, Education and Social Justice (CIESJ) at Queensland University of Technology


Sandra Gattenhof Director of Research Training in the Faculty of Creative Industries, Education and Social Justice (CIESJ) at Queensland University of Technology. Sandra’s is a leader in the in the field of arts and cultural evaluation as evidenced by commercial research contracts and the publication of The Social Impact of the Creative Arts in Australian Communities (Springer 2021) and Measuring Impact: Positioning Evaluation in the Australian Arts and Culture Landscape (2017 Palgrave). She is Lead Chief Investigator for Australian Research Council Linkage Project The Role of the Creative Arts in Regional Australia: a social impact model (2019-2022), Social Impact Research and Evaluation Strategy for the Puuya Foundation in Lockhart River (2021-2023), and Valuing the Arts Australia and New Zealand (2020). Sandra received the 2021 Drama Australia President’s Award for her Outstanding Contribution to the Drama Community.

Associate Professor Denise Jackson (ECU)

Professor Evonne Miller

Professor of Design Psychology at Queensland University of Technology and Director of the QUT Design Lab


Evonne Miller is Professor of Design Psychology at Queensland University of Technology and Director of the QUT Design Lab, where we reimagine and redesign the future. Evonne’s research centres on design for health, and she has coordinated or supervised over 10 HDR Interns, embedded into Queensland Health to integrate the positive creative energy and mindsets of ‘design thinking, design doing and design visioning’ into healthcare across the state. As part of a Facebook/Meta funded project, one HDR Intern (a playwright) created 3 monologue plays documenting what could happen when virtual reality is integrated into aged care, while other interns have prototyped PPE equipment and developed websites for consumers and telehealth processes.  See:

Associate Professor Denise Jackson (ECU)

Thomas Long

PhD Candidate of Design and Collaborative Robotics QUT


My background is in industrial and graphic design, particularly in the fields of product fabrication, UX, UI, innovation, and design thinking. I am extremely passionate about Sustainable Fabrication with a strong focus on Human Centered Design, Ergonomics and Ethical Design Practices.  I enjoy exploring innovative and creative solutions through hands-on ideation, product testing and prototyping using ethnographic research methods and audience analytics to create realistic and well-defined solutions. My ethos is to use design-based thinking to combine physical and digital solutions to develop engaging and meaningful experiences, allowing people to interact and connect with the world around them in new and exciting ways. Currently I am beginning my PhD of applying Human-Centered Design based practices to the design of Human-Robot Interactions for Industrial Collaborative Robotics. The purpose of which is to empower the wider creative community to be apart of the design process for there industrial systems and introduce advanced forms of manufacture to the local community.

Shakti Shrestha

PhD Scholar, School of Pharmacy The University of Queensland


Shakti has recently started to work as a Research Officer/Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the School of Pharmacy, The University of Queensland (UQ) in a MRFF grant project on Quality Use of Medicines for Residential Aged Care. He is a recipient of the 2018 Australian Research Training scholarship to pursue his PhD at UQ School of Pharmacy. He is also a recipient of 2022 UQ Career Development Scholarship to develop his transferable and professional skills that included a three-month placement at Queensland Health’s Office of Precision Medicine and Research (OPMR) within its Queensland Clinical Trial Coordination Unit (QCTCU). His PhD thesis on Geriatric Pharmacy and Aged Care is under examination since June 2022. He completed his postgraduate degree in Clinical Pharmacology from the United Kingdom in 2010 and undergraduate pharmacy degree from Nepal in 2007. Shakti has more than 10 years of experience working in research, academic and clinical roles nationally and internationally. This includes working in NHMRC and ARC funded research projects and several academic roles during his PhD in Australia. He has consistently conducted and published research since 2014; authored and co-authored almost 50 scientific publications.

Associate Professor Denise Jackson (ECU)

Abdul Bais Abbasi

Industry Engagement Coordinator –Adelaide Graduate Research School


The main focus is on research internships as well as mutually funded engaging PhD projects with partners across all schools and departments.

Associate Professor Denise Jackson (ECU)

Amanda Mayor

Program Enhancement, Graduate Research Academy, Deakin University


Amanda Mayor is the Program Enhancement Manager in the Graduate Research Academy at Deakin University. She has worked in the higher education sector for more than 20 years across various roles supporting higher degree by research candidates, supervisors, and staff in their research endeavours. Amanda has developed, implemented, and led several strategic projects focussing on improving operational processes, stakeholder engagement and user experience with the most notable being to deliver Deakin’s revamped research training program, PhD Xtra.

 Inspired by her passion to make a difference in the lives of students, Amanda conceptualised and introduced Deakin’s Career Pathway Placements program in 2017 designed to broaden candidates’ skills and experience through real world application whilst also expanding career opportunities via new professional networks and research partnerships.

The industry engagement program provides support and opportunity for research candidates to engage in industry internships and professional mentoring and is focussed on strengthening knowledge transfer between universities and industry. Amanda has achieved great success with the program resulting in both ongoing research partnerships for Deakin, and students gaining employment with host institutions or as a direct result of their industry engagement experience.

Associate Professor Denise Jackson (ECU)

Sandra Medic

Biomedical and Health Innovation program Manager, University of Western Australia


Sandra is the Biomedical and Health Innovation Program Manager, responsible for managing the iPREP Biodesign program.

Sandra is an experienced biomedical scientist and researcher, obtaining her PhD at Edith Cowan University in 2011. She has spent over 15 years in the Higher Education sector, working in an undergraduate and postgraduates research environment as a lecturer and academic program coordinator.

Sandra was the PhD Course Coordinator at Edith Cowan University, where she was providing strategic support and operational management of key education and training programs for Higher Degrees by Research (HDR) students. She led the development and delivery of cross-disciplinary research training to meet student, industry and sector needs, implementing education delivery advances and research training innovations to improve training quality and support learning and teaching goals and outcomes.

With an extensive experience in the Western Australian Higher Education, Sandra joined the Perth Biodesign team in a quest for bringing industry, academia and research together. Working closely with over 150 doctoral students across various disciplines, she is committed to fostering PhD researcher development and passionate about creating industry engagement opportunities for PhD researchers to forge their future career paths.

Associate Professor Denise Jackson (ECU)

Glen Sheldon

Deputy Program Manager for APR.Intern


Glen is the Deputy Program Manager for APR.Intern. Glen is responsible for the strategic direction and operational management of the APR.Intern program. His role provides high-level leadership, strategic development and implementation for the expansion of the APR.Intern program, whilst driving the number of placements across our member universities.

It is his responsibility to work with the Business Development Managers to drive new business partnerships, leverage funding opportunities and source strategic collaborative arrangements with both public and private enterprises and government.

Prior to his position at APR.Intern, Glen held a range of senior marketing and publishing roles working with government, industry and the higher education sector.

Associate Professor Denise Jackson (ECU)

Kate Swanson

Senior Manager HDR Development, The University of Queensland


Kate Swanson is a member of UQ’s Graduate School Executive Team. Her role provides leadership around the development and delivery of Higher Degree by Research candidate development. Kate is a strong advocate for Higher Degree by Researcher (HDR) development and the links to industry that can provide both for research outcomes, and candidate growth. Her passion centres around research management, specifically building an awareness of the role HDR candidates play in industry engaged research and understanding the new complexities that can bring in terms of navigating sanctions, foreign interference, and added regulatory frameworks. Kate’s approach focuses on navigating new legislation and policy to facilitate research partnerships
and collaborations.

Associate Professor Denise Jackson (ECU)

Duncan Byrne

Program Manager – Industry PhD CSIRO


Duncan Byrne is the Manager: Industry PhD program in the Science Impact and Policy team at CSIRO. During his 5 years in the role, he has nurtured the Program from a pilot with 3 candidates at UNSW to a National Government funded program. Prior to his current role, Duncan worked in CSIRO in University Engagement and as an Innovation System Advisor.

Prior to working at CSIRO, Duncan was a lead systems analyst at the Defence Science and Technology Group where he supported high level capability decision making and the development of joint systems. During his time at DSTG he was seconded as an advisor to the Canadian Department of Defence in Ottawa.

Duncan has a Bachelor of Engineering (Industrial) from the University of Newcastle and a Master of Management Studies from the University of New South Wales.

Associate Professor Denise Jackson (ECU)

Professor Clive Baldock

Dean of Graduate Studies and Researcher Development


Clive Baldock graduated with a BSc (hons) in Physics from the University of Sussex, an MSc in Radiation Physics from St Bartholomew’s Hospital Medical College, University of London, and a PhD in Medical Physics from King’s College London. He subsequently worked in a number of UK hospitals providing scientific support to clinical nuclear medicine, magnetic resonance imaging and biomedical engineering services. In 1997 he moved to Australia to Queensland University of Technology (QUT) as Lecturer in Medical Physics. He was subsequently founding director of the Institute of Medical Physics at the University of Sydney. His other roles have included Head of the School of Physics at the University of Sydney; Executive Dean of Science at Macquarie University; Executive Director for Physical Sciences, Engineering, Mathematics and Information Sciences at the Australian Research Council (ARC); Dean of Graduate Research and Pro Vice-Chancellor for Researcher Development at the University of Tasmania; and Dean of Graduate Research at the University of Wollongong. His research interests continue to be in the fields of gel dosimetry, radiation therapy, dosimetry, medical imaging and scientometrics. He has been awarded Fellowships of the Royal Society of New South Wales, the Australian Institute of Physics, the Australasian College of Physical Scientists and Engineers in Medicine, the Institute of Physics (UK) and the Institute of Physics and Engineering in Medicine (UK). His other professional activities include membership of the Executive Committee of the Australian Council for Graduate Research.

Associate Professor Denise Jackson (ECU)

Fiona Zammit

Executive Director, Australian Council of Graduate Research

 Fiona Zammit is the Executive Director of the Australian Council of Graduate Research and also provides expert advice on Graduate Research Strategy and Management as a private contractor. She has held key university wide graduate research leadership roles at a Melbourne, Monash and RMIT Universities and has extensive national and international connections as well as expertise in the development and management of research training policy and strategy.

Associate Professor Denise Jackson (ECU)

Susan Schlinker

HDR Partnerships Officer, QUT


As HDR Partnerships Officer at QUT, Susan co-manages industry engagement opportunities for HDR students with the aim of diversifying HDR career options post-graduation through internships, industry placements, and design sprints. Susan is a founding co-chair of the Australian HDR Internship Community of Practice which brought more than 30 Australian universities together to discuss HDR Internship best practice and the implementation of government policy.  In her former role as International Engagement Officer (Mobility) for the Creative Industries Faculty at QUT, Susan developed and implemented an innovative digital communication strategy that successfully increased student outbound international experiences by 30% between 2018–2019.  Susan’s most notable achievements include achieving the status of Associate Fellow of the Higher Education Academy in 2019, being shortlisted for Lead5050’s ‘Unsung Hero’ award at the 2019 Women in International Education Awards, and being nominated for the QUT Vice-Chancellor’s Excellence awards in 2020 for outstanding partner engagement.

Associate Professor Denise Jackson (ECU)

Charlotte Ferrier

Program Services Manager: Research, UniSA STEM, University of South Australia


Charlotte Ferrier has worked at UniSA for more than 15 years in a range of roles supporting research across the enterprise and working directly with researchers and research degree candidates. In her current role as Program Services Manager: Research Charlotte leads strategic research support services for UniSA STEM. This role builds on prior experience supporting strategic research grant and fellowship development programs in health and medical research disciplines.

Prior to joining UniSA STEM, Charlotte worked in the Graduate Research Development team in UniSA’s Research and Innovation Services unit, where she project managed the implementation of UniSA EDGE. As UniSA’s first institution-wide approach to HDR skills development, UniSA HDR graduates will attain the skills, knowledge and experience to achieve research excellence with career relevance.

Charlotte co-founded the HDR Internships Community of Practice with Susan Schlinker (QUT) in 2021 as a way to share best practice and harness the collective power of the university sector to respond to the Research Training Program industry internship weighting.

Associate Professor Denise Jackson (ECU)

Professor Andrew O’Neil

Professor of Political Science and Acting Dean of the Graduate Research School at Griffith University.


Andrew O’Neil is Professor of Political Science and Acting Dean of the Graduate Research School at Griffith University. He was previously Dean (Research) in the Griffith Business School (faculty), Head of the School of Government and International Relations (2014-2016), and Director of the Griffith Asia Institute (2010-2014). In 2020, Andrew was appointed as a member of the Australian Research Council’s College of Experts. Andrew has published widely in the fields of strategic studies and international relations including his most recent co-authored book Partners in Deterrence: US Nuclear Weapons and Alliances in Europe and Asia. Working in teams, he has been the recipient of grants/consultancies from a wide range of funding agencies including the Australian Research Council, the Japan Foundation, the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, and the Department of Defence.


November 1 2023

2023 ACEN Annual General Meeting

September 28 2023

ACEN WA Chapter Led Conversation

WA Chapter
September 26 2023

ACEN Research Conversations

Research Conversations