CRN leadership

Leadership committees 

Responsibility for the CRN Self-sustaining Regions Research and Innovation Initiative lies with the Engagements and Partnerships Officer, Professor Rob Wallis, and at the strategic level, the Executive Sponsor Professor Frank Stagnitti, Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) at FedUni. The CRN Self-sustaining Regions Research and Innovation Initiative is overseen by two committees, which provide governance at different levels.

The top level of governance in the CRN Self-sustaining Regions Research and Innovation Initiative is the Strategic Management Committee (SMC). The SMC consists of senior representatives from each partner institution and the Executive Sponsor (Professor Stagnitti), who acts as the Chair for this committee. The next level of governance is the Coordination and Budget Committee (CBC), which is a sub-committee of the SMC.

SMC members

  • Chair: Professor Frank Stagnitti (FedUni)
  • Members: Professor Joseph Graffam (Deakin), Joel Chibert (Monash), Professor Liz Sonenberg (University of Melbourne), Professor Rob Wallis (FedUni)

The role of the Strategic Management Committee includes approving minor changes to the Self-sustaining Regions Research and Innovation Initiative whilst ensuring that the initiative remains consistent with the Commonwealth Agreement, overseeing allocation of project resources, ensuring that risk management frameworks are in place, ensuring that communication channels between partners are maintained, receiving status reports and, in conjunction with the Executive Sponsor (Professor Frank Stagnitti), taking action to support the initiative to meet planned milestones and deliverables.

Professor Frank Stagnitti (FedUni) Professor Rob Wallis (FedUni)
Professor Liz Sonenberg (UoM) Professor Joseph Graffam (Deakin)
Joel Chibert (Monash)  

The Coordination and Budget Committee is an advisory committee to the Executive Sponsor, Professor Frank Stagnitti. This committee has the authority to approve any small changes to project plans and scope that are within the bounds of the CRN Initiative, oversee and approve the allocation of project resources, including human, physical and capital resources. It is also responsible for: ensuring that the project is consistent with university-wide priorities and objectives and the short and long term strategy of the University, ensuring appropriate risk management plans are in place for each project; making recommendations to the Executive Sponsor on all matters relating to the operation of projects; receiving project status reports and taking action to support the project meeting planned milestone dates and deliverables; ensuring that project activities are consistent with the University's decision and approval procedures; and ensuring that a Communications Strategy is developed and followed to keep University staff and stakeholders informed.

CBC members

Professor Rob Wallis, and Element Leaders/representatives; Dr Peter Vamplew (Element 1); Professor John Smyth and Professor Fadi Charchar (Element 2); and Professor Peter Gell (Element 3)

Engagement and partnerships

Professor Rob Wallis

CRN – Engagement and Partnerships

BSc (Hons), MSc, PhD, Dip Ed, Grad.Dip.Ed.Studs, Grad.Cert.Management, FAICD

Professor Robert Wallis is currently a part-time Professor of Research Development at FedUni. He has a background in natural resource management, sustainable development and environmental education. Prof Wallis has held senior academic positions including Pro Vice Chancellor (Rural and Regional) and Head of School (Ecology and Environment), at Deakin University. He has extensive board and committee experience, currently including Deputy Chair, Wannon Region Water Corporation; Director and Board member, Great South Coast Medicare Local; Director and Board Member, Parks Victoria; and Chair, Audit and Risk Committee, Warrnambool City Council. He is a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

Professor Wallis has worked in higher education for 38 years and has held positions of Pro Vice-Chancellor (Rural and Regional) at Deakin University and Pro Vice-Chancellor (Research) at Federation University Australia.

Professor Wallis has postgraduate qualifications in science, education and management and has long-standing research interests in vertebrate ecology, environmental education, sustainable development and community engagement in universities.