BiographyDawn Bennett is John Curtin Distinguished Professor of Higher Education and Director of the Developing Employability and Creative Workforce Initiatives at Curtin University, Australia. Dawn has an extensive record of higher education leadership, teaching and research. With a discipline background in music education and performance, her research expertise is in the development of employability in higher education, higher education learning and teaching, and both precarious and graduate work.
Dawn is a Senior National Australian Learning and Teaching Fellow and a Principal Fellow with Advance Education (formerly the Higher Education Academy) in the UK. Both Fellowships recognise her national and international standing as an educator and a scholar. Dawn convenes the Australian Learning and Teaching Fellows national network and she is previous Vice-President Australia for the International Federation of Learning and Teaching Fellows. She holds Adjunct appointments with Monash University, a Visiting Professorship with the University of the Arts, Helsinki, and a Research Fellowship with the National Centre for Student Equity in Higher Education (NCSEHE).
In 2014, Dawn’s national and international research was recognised with the title of John Curtin Distinguished Professor. This is the highest honour Curtin University awards its academic staff, awarded to only 38 academics since 2005. In 2018, Dawn received one of five Teaching and Learning Excellence Awards from the Australian Technology Network group of universities for her sustained contribution to the employability development of students. This followed an Australian Award for University Teaching for teaching excellence in Humanities and the Arts (2016) and a National Citation in 2015 for her services to student learning. In 2015 her service-learning team was recognised for their intercultural work in the community with a commendation in the TRIBAL national community service awards. Previously, Dawn was awarded the LH Martin Award for Excellence in Higher Education Leadership (2014) and the Vice Chancellor’s Award for Inspirational Leadership (2013). She is also the recipient of two Teaching and Learning Awards (2003) and a Vice-Chancellor’s Award for community service (2000).
Dawn is a previous director with the UNESCO peak body Music Australia and a past executive board member with the International Society for Music Education; she was a Commissioner with the Society’s Commission on the Education of the Professional Musician from 2012-2018. Dawn was inaugural Chair of Music Australia’s Industry and Careers National Advisory Board (2014-16). She retains a small but active program of artistic research with commissions and recordings of new works from women composers.
Areas of Research / Professional Expertise
Dawn’s recent grants relate to the characteristics of work in music (ARC Linkage LP150100497), the development of graduates who are able to meet the needs of future work (OLT Senior National Fellowship FS16-0274), employability in a global context (Graduate Careers Australia funding), equitable pathways and outcomes for higher education students (NCSEHE funding), employability and the future of work in STEM (with the Future of Work Institute, Curtin University) and accessible career development for young people with autism (Autism CRC and the Telstra Foundation).
Dawn has authored 230 publications including nine monographs and edited collections. She is editor-in-chief for two Routledge book series in higher music education. She serves on several national and international editorial boards and reviews for journals in higher education, educational psychology, cultural policy, arts education and career development. Dawn regularly presents keynote addresses, seminars and lectures in Australia and overseas. Total career publications include nine books, 40 book chapters, three journal issues or conference proceedings, 83 journal articles (two in press), 41 refereed conference papers, 26 scholarly research reports, six scholarly creative works and 22 other publications. Research is published in high-impact, international and national journals and with major publishers including Routledge and Springer.