Te Herenga Waka―Victoria University of Wellington announces senior appointments

Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington is proud to announce two senior appointments at Te Kauhanganui Tātai Ture—Faculty of Law, and Ōrauariki—Wellington School of Business and Government.

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A leading researcher in Australian environmental law and its intersections with Indigenous peoples’ rights to land and resources, Professor Lee Godden, has been appointed  Dean of Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington’s Te Kauhanganui Tātai Ture—Faculty of Law. Currently based at Melbourne Law School, the University of Melbourne, Professor Godden will become the first woman in Te Herenga Waka’s history to hold the position as Dean of the Law faculty.

Professor Godden has been an academic at the University of Melbourne for the last 20 years, and Director of Melbourne Law School’s Centre for Resources, Energy and Environmental Law since 2008. In that role she led a wide-ranging international research programme that included many dimensions of national and transnational environmental law, comparative scholarship on Indigenous peoples’ law―including in Aotearoa New Zealand, resource management law, and climate change law and energy transition policy. Most recently, she has worked collaboratively on a legal theory project on re-imagining property law.

As an Australian Law Reform Commissioner from 2013–2015, she led a review of the complex and politically sensitive Native Title Act 1993, which is focused on the native title claims process and establishing Indigenous peoples’ connection to land. In 2007–2008 as director of a multidisciplinary environmental programmme at the University of Melbourne, she held a key leadership role guiding a unique multidisciplinary teaching and community engagement programme at the university.

A graduate of the University of Melbourne, Professor Godden studied Law at Macquarie and Griffith Universities in Australia, gaining her Doctorate in 2001. At Griffith Law School, she was involved in curriculum development at a new law school, while completing her PhD on the intersections between environmental law, property, and native title. She became Deputy Dean of Griffith Law School in 2000.

Professor Godden is a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Law, and of the Academy of Social Sciences in Australia. She is widely published, has held a number of visiting positions internationally, and been a member of numerous expert panels and advisory groups.

Recently, the University also announced the appointment of Professor Jane Bryson as the Dean of Ōrauariki—Wellington School of Business and Government, which is co-located with the Faculty of Law on the University’s Pipitea campus.

Professor Bryson joined Te Herenga Waka in 1999, prior to which she had an extensive career as an HR manager in the public sector and as a management consultant in New Zealand, Australia, and Great Britain. During her time at Wellington’s University, Professor Bryson has held various roles, including those of Acting Pro Vice-Chancellor and Dean, Acting Dean, Deputy Dean and Associate Dean—Research of the Wellington School of Business and Government.

Over the past 12 years, Professor Bryson has researched a range of influences―both enablers and constraints―on human capability at work. Her work in the externally-funded Developing Human Capability project operationalised Nobel Prize winner Amartya Sen’s capability approach to identify the capabilities that people seek in the workplace, and institutional, organisational, and individual factors which influence access to capabilities.

Professor Bryson is an internationally recognised researcher belonging to several networks of highly respected overseas scholars in both the capability and the skills communities. Since 2006, she has been an invited Associate Fellow of the Centre for Skills, Knowledge and Organisational Performance at the University of Oxford.

Toi Tātāriki—Pro Vice-Chancellor of Government, Law and Business Mark Hickford is delighted with these new appointments.

“Having acted in the role of Pro Vice-Chancellor and Dean for over 18 months, Professor Bryson has an in-depth understanding of the University. I’m sure that with her experience and close relationships with staff, students, alumni, and industry partners, Jane will play an important role in furthering our collaborations and consolidating our pre-eminence as a capital-city School of Business and Government.

“With her strong understanding of key aspects of the legal system, her multi-disciplinary approaches to the law, and her international ties, Professor Godden will play a crucial role in strengthening our connections with our key stakeholders,” he says. “We’re fortunate to have academics of Professor Bryson’s and Professor Godden’s calibre and experience accepting senior roles with us.”

Professor Godden is the latest of a number of women appointed to crucial leadership roles at Te Herenga Waka, including Kaiwhakakapi Tumu Whakarae—Acting Vice-Chancellor Professor Jennifer Windsor and the new Dean of Science, Professor Louise Dixon.

Professor Bryson’s five-year term as the Dean of Ōrauariki—Wellington School of Business and Government commenced at the end of April, while Professor Godden’s five-year term as Dean of Te Kauhanganui Tātai Ture—the Faculty of Law will commence in November this year.