From 2016 to 2021, Professor Allen was the Head of The Academy at Western Sydney University (WSU), an award-winning inter-disciplinary program for high-achieving students which grew under his leadership to supporting nearly 5,000 students. He is currently an Adjunct Professor at WSU.
Professor Allen was previously the Provost, or head, of WSU’s Penrith campus, and has been an academic in the field of industrial design in universities in the UK (Loughborough), New Zealand (Massey), and at Monash University in Melbourne, as well as at WSU. He is a widely-published researcher, with a particular interest in design’s role in addressing social and environmental concerns.
Jonathon Allen’s First Class Honours degree in Design and Technology, and his PhD (on using design to empower people with severe communications disabilities), were both undertaken at Loughborough University in England.
Amongst a great deal else, he has served on the WSU Vice-Chancellor’s Gender Equality Committee and Environmental Sustainability Advisory Group, is an accredited Mental Health First Aider, and has trained as an accidental counsellor.
Jonathon has said: “I started my university experience living in halls of residence at Loughborough University, UK, and as a student was elected to the Hall’s Committee, where we collaboratively organised Hall events such as formal balls, social events, charity fundraisers, and welcomes for new students.
“That supportive and nurturing experience has remained with me, and in my university career my teaching, leadership and governance roles have also included pastoral care, student experience, extra-curricular academic support, tutorials and events, as well as University community development.
“My proudest achievements are those of my students, not in a vicarious fashion, but a genuine interest and pride in making a difference to their lives and those that they go on to impact.”
Jonathon Allen’s student-centred approach as a university teacher and academic leader has been reflected in his strong commitment to student wellbeing, experience, and development. Amongst much else, he expanded opportunities for WSU students to have residential experience overseas, including in South Africa and various countries in Asia, including through the New Colombo Plan.
He is looking forward with enthusiasm to embracing all aspects of College life, and to working with students at St Mark’s, including our excellent student leaders, to help offer all students the best all-round educational experience possible.