- Change Agent
Professor Jane den Hollander was the first member of her family to go to university. She has been Vice-Chancellor of Deakin University Australia since 2010.
Jane is a strong believer in the power of education to change the lives of individuals and communities. She is determined to make university education an achievable, as well as desirable, goal. She actively supports new programs and pathways that remove barriers to higher education.
Her strategic vision for learning focuses on equipping Australia’s next generation with the skills to take advantage of new opportunities in a fast-changing economy. Under her leadership, employability of graduates has been a key focus for Deakin. It is the first Australian university to appoint a Pro Vice-Chancellor for Graduate Employment to strengthen links with industry and optimise graduate employment opportunities. Jane has also been instrumental in developing Deakin’s Geelong Future Economy Precinct alongside industry partners. This is attracting global leaders working in the areas of manufacturing, materials, energy, sustainability, technology, health and high-value agricultural initiatives.
At a challenging time for Geelong, Jane worked with government, industry and education partners to revitalise the region and position Geelong as a university town. She has been a strong advocate for raising education levels, with a particular focus on women, increasing local workforce participation through training and re-skilling and strengthening the region’s growing ‘knowledge economy’.
Jane’s drive for innovation in manufacturing and commitment to attainable education is building a more resilient Geelong and a stronger, fairer Australia. Her work has attracted national and international interest and, in 2017, Jane was made an Officer of the Order of Australia for distinguished service to tertiary education.