New Appointment – Dean of Studies


I am delighted to announce that Mr Ashley Files LLB (Flinders) has been appointed to the newly created position of Dean of Studies.

Ashley demonstrates the qualities of an effective Dean of Studies.  He has the ability to establish strong networks both within the university and wider community, and has a clear understanding of tertiary students gained through his work at both Adelaide and Flinders Law Schools.  Moreover, as a St Mark’s Collegian (1987-89) he has a clear understanding of the challenges students face when adapting to university and college life and the benefits of having ready access to advice and guidance within a supportive environment.  Ashley brings a high level of professionalism, attention to detail and experience to the position of Dean of Studies.

Ashley’s background is predominantly in the legal sector, working across a broad range of matters in civil and commercial law.  After finishing first in his graduating class, Ashley completed his GDLP whilst working at Finlaysons in Adelaide and was then appointed to the position of Associate to the then Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of South Australia, Hon. John Doyle AC (also a former Dean of St Mark’s College).  After a few years with a local law firm in Hong Kong, Ashley returned to Adelaide as a Senior Associate at Clelands Lawyers before undertaking work as an independent barrister in 2013 where he was working primarily in commercial law, defamation and worker’s compensation.  Ashley will continue his work with the South Australian Civil and Administrative Tribunal.

Since 2003 he has been working after hours as a seminar leader at the University of Adelaide Law School teaching a range of subjects, especially civil and criminal procedure, litigation practice, evidence and advocacy.  He also presents guest lectures as part of the PLT program at Flinders University.

In addition to his practice and teaching in the law, Ashley has a passion for wildlife conservation and is a qualified Field Guide. He has spent time in Zambia volunteering on a lion conservation project and recently spent four months in Rwanda training safari guides at Akagera National Park.

Ashley will work collaboratively with the Dean of Students, Ms Raphaela Oest (B.Com, Grad Dip Cultural Tourism) to support the academic progress and general welfare of students.  Together they will work closely with the Dean Team, Residential Advisors, Academic Tutors and College Club Committee to continue the strong tradition of developing the whole individual and generating a vibrant, welcoming and positive student experience.

A Strategic Change

The role of Dean of Studies has been created to complement the role of Dean of Students and to ensure the College provides the best support and care of students’ physical, mental, emotional and academic wellbeing.

The appointment of this position will ensure that the College meets its strategic goals of strengthening academic support, facilitating outcomes for students in their transition from university to employment and building and improving strategic partnerships with the universities and wider community.  It will enable the Dean of Students to provide professional support and advice on student governance matters and enhance the program of pastoral care that incorporates the key issues facing young people today including mental and physical wellbeing, stress and study and sexual health.

R S Alwyn