Academic Board

Professor Chris Davies, Chair, Monash College Academic Board

Chris DaviesDeputy Dean External Engagement, Faculty of Engineering and Head of Department, Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Monash University.


  • PhD, Metallurgy, Imperial College London
  • Graduate Certificate in Higher Education, Monash University
  • BSc(Eng), Metallurgy and Materials Science, First-class honours, Imperial College London
  • CEng, Chartered Engineer (UK).

    Professor Davies has over 25 years’ experience as an academic at Monash University. He has been a Head of Department since 2012 and Deputy Dean, External Engagement in the Faculty of Engineering since 2020. His Deputy Dean portfolio encompasses student experience, international relations, industry partnerships, development and philanthropy.

    Professor Davies has significant experience in academic governance, having served as the President of Monash University’s Academic Board from 2016 to 2019, demonstrating a commitment to shared governance and ensuring and encouraging debate across the broadest cross-section of colleagues within the university.
  • Read Chris’s Monash University profile | Visit Chris’s LinkedIn profile

Ex Officio Members

Professor Susan Elliot, AM

Susan ElliotProvost and Senior Vice-President, Monash University

    As Provost and Senior Vice-President, Professor Susan Elliott provides leadership of the ten Monash Faculties, as well as the University’s international campuses, Monash University Malaysia, Monash University Indonesia, and centres in India, Italy and the People’s Republic of China. Professor Elliott oversees the development, implementation and continuous improvement of the University’s academic vision and institutional excellence within the globally competitive and dynamic landscape of higher education.

    Professor Elliott has a distinguished reputation as a deeply experienced senior leader with a broad record of engagement in universities, nationally and internationally, and a celebrated international profile of collaboration. Education and engagement have been a core focus throughout Professor Elliott’s career, and she demonstrates an ability to successfully lead major programs of innovation and change in large-scale, complex and demanding environments.

    Professor Elliott is also a member of the Monash College Board of Directors.

    Read Sue's extended profile | Read Sue's Monash University profile

Professor Robert Brooks

Professor, Department of Econometrics and Business Statistics, and Deputy Dean (Education), Faculty of Business and Economics, Monash University

    Professor Brooks obtained his honours and PhD degrees from Monash University and has previously worked at RMIT University. As well as research in financial econometrics, Rob also works in areas of educational research relating to pedagogy of teaching business statistics and in particular applications of problem-based learning in that setting.

    Professor Brooks is the current Chair of the Monash University Academic Board. In 2020 his outstanding service was recognised when he became the first member of the Faculty of Business and Economics to be added to the Monash Honour Roll.

    Professor Brooks is also Chair of Monash College’s Diplomas Board of Studies.

    Read Rob’s Monash University profile

Professor Allie Clemans

Academic Director, Teaching and Learning

    Professor Allie Clemans is the Director of Learning and Teaching at Monash. Her research and teaching profile focuses on building educational capabilities through professional learning across community, industry and higher education. She has a reputation for being a transformative educator and facilitator, and has received the Vice Chancellor’s Award for Teaching Excellence and for Programs that Enhance Student Learning.

    She brings a record of educational leadership and research profile in education. As previous Associate Dean of Education in the Faculty of Education at Monash University, she led the Faculty in its online and face to face delivery of undergraduate, postgraduate and professional development programs. In her current role, she leads the Monash Education Academy to respond to the learning needs of educational staff across campuses at Monash University. Her role includes oversight of teaching quality and support for education recognition and performance. Under the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Education), she has recently initiated Student Academic Success and leads the team to consolidate learning and language advising functions in support of all students.

    Professor Clemans is also the Chair of Monash College’s English Board of Studies.

    Read Allie’s Monash University profile | Visit Allie’s LinkedIn profile

Professor Kris Ryan

Pro Vice-Chancellor (Academic), Portfolio of the Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Vice-President (Education)

    Professor Kris Ryan was appointed Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Academic) at Monash University in 2019, and leads a portfolio which includes student experience, diversity and inclusion, education innovation, education policy and HEPPP (Higher Education Participation and Partnerships Program) funding.

    Prior to his appointment as Pro Vice-Chancellor (Academic), Kris was the Academic Director of Monash Education Innovation. During this time, he led a multi-disciplinary team to establish and implement the university-wide education technology roadmap and contributed to the design of innovative learning and teaching spaces across Monash.

    In addition, Kris has led the university’s transition to authentic online assessment, including the delivery of 90,000 eAssessment sittings. He and his team are now working to move 100% of exams and assessments online, making the most of specialised software computing in the cloud.

    During his time at Monash, Kris has been awarded the Vice-Chancellor’s Award for Education Excellence and an Office of Learning and Teaching citation for his contributions to student learning.

    Professor Ryan is also Chair of Monash College’s Foundation Year Board of Studies.

    Read Kris’s Monash University profile | Visit Kris’s LinkedIn profile

Representative Members

Dr Patricia Di Risio

Dr Patricia Di Risio completed her thesis in Screen Studies at the University of Melbourne. Her research interests focus on the representations of unconventional women and femininity in commercial, narrative cinema. Patricia has taught film, media, drama and English (ESL) in a variety of educational and geographical contexts including Australia, the UK and Italy at tertiary and secondary level.

Patricia has contributed to conferences and publications related to her research interests. Patricia has taught at the University of Melbourne and Monash University as a sessional lecturer, subject coordinator and research assistant. Patricia has been employed at the College since 2014 and is currently employed as a full-time teacher and Unit Leader in film, media and journalism in the Diplomas program.

Ms Kylie Duggan

I have been teaching for over 20 years, including interstate and internationally. I have been with Monash College for almost seven years and held the role of Unit Leader for the past five years within the English department.

As both a teacher and a Unit Leader I experience firsthand relevant issues that may need to be considered by the Academic Board. After working with the Foundation Year QA team last year I have a good understanding of academic quality and importance of standards across the board and  am able to further promote this in Foundation Year and across the College.

Most of my work is within teams and I believe that it is important to collaborate, share ideas and be open to new ideas for future improvement.

Ms Ednah Ikama

My name is Ednah Ikama. I come from Nairobi, Kenya where I live with my parents and two brothers. My education journey started off in Mozambique, and continued in Uganda, where I have spent most of my life. I was raised in international communities where I immersed myself in new cultures, ideas, and traditions. In this environment I developed my interest for Model United Nations (MUN), and became a part of a community eager to bring about change and provide a better future.

For several years, I participated in international MUN conferences as well as our own regional student-built conferences. As part of my leadership experience, I took over as the secretary general of Uganda MUN in my senior year of high school. My team and I successfully expanded the conference to include hundreds of students from local schools, providing them with a unique opportunity to be part of a bigger community.

My desire to empower people laid the foundation for my passion for global governance. This combined with my interest in technology and its increasing influence in our ever developing world, leading me to my destination degree in Global Studies and Information Technology. This double degree is unique to Monash and is precisely what I was looking for in a course.

Monash College has a supportive community, with plenty of people who are open and willing to help, which has made for a pleasant experience so far. Through joining the Academic Board, I hope to challenge and open myself to new learning experiences and be a part of a body that aims to improve the academic welfare of all students. Being an international student, I believe I can bring new insight that will help further bridge the communication between administration and students to ensure a cohesive community working towards the same goal.

Ms Gabriella Lawson

Gaby Lawson has taught for 20 years as a secondary teacher, curriculum writer, director of studies, IELTS examiner, acting assessment writer, academic skills coordinator and teacher developer. She has taught English in Australia, Canada, the U.K. and Italy. In 2019 she won the Outstanding Contribution for Innovation Award and in 2020 the Victorian Pearson Bright Ideas Award. She is currently teaching ELICOS. In 2020, she presented online webinars for Cambridge and presented at ALTAANZ. In 2021, she worked with ABC TV Education also presented live online at UTAS Salalah in Oman.

I am currently teaching ELICOS. In my previous role as Teacher Developer I contributed to promoting continuous improvement and I have a proven track record from my time in this role of being able to suggest relevant issues and contribute constructively in meetings: with my own team; people from other divisions and senior managers. However, as a currently practising teacher I am able to provide a staff perspective.

I have been an employee at Monash College for 12 years. I love my job and I am committed to staying at the college. My interest in being a board member is that I am committed to Monash College and making as big a positive contribution as I can with what I know towards its best interests.

Ms Cherry Maniyar

My name is Cherry Maniyar and I'm from India. Some of my few interests are dancing and reading. I've been practicing Kathak, one of the classical dance forms, for thirteen years now and have completed my Visharad in Kathak.

As a student, I always wanted to be a part of an education system which focuses on practical application of the learning which helps me develop practical skills along with a theoretical base. Hence, leading me to Monash as a perfect choice.

I joined Monash in October 2020 as an engineering student. Despite the pandemic, Monash has kept the standard of education very close to an on-campus experience. It helped me expand my spectrum of opportunities, including being a part of the Academic Board. Being able to understand how the Governance of the College works and put forward suggestions was what interested me in nominating for the role of Academic Board student representative.

I believe working alongside people with extensive experience in their respective fields will help me grow as a person. Now, as the entire university is operating online, students are facing contrasting problems and I believe my experience as a student and attention to detail will be useful to the Academic Board.