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Centres and institutes_

Our people

Embedding cultural competence nationwide

Meet our team of academic leaders changing the cultural competence agenda at the University and beyond.

Acting Director

Gabrielle Russell has diverse experience working in non-government organisations, politics, business, church and higher education.

Gabrielle is particularly interested in how to develop cultural competence from a non-Indigenous perspective and how to facilitate a deeper understanding of transformative ways to learn and work together.


Academic staff

Jack Frawley has a national profile as a researcher and writer in the areas of leadership and intercultural studies, evidenced by his involvement in significant research and professional projects, book chapters, refereed articles and other publications. He has presented at several national and international conferences and continues to publish on, and participate in, intercultural-related research projects, professional programs and consultancies. Jack holds adjunct appointments at the University of Canberra and the Batchelor Institute.

Amy Cole is a lecturer and researcher who is working towards her PhD in Communication Studies through the University of Antwerp in Belgium. She teaches online for SUNY Oswego (located in New York State), and is part of the academic team at the NCCC, creating and facilitating workshops that are delivered to the University of Sydney campus community and other external groups. 

Her research experience has been in the area of collaborative online international learning (COIL) and its effects on cultural competence. She is also interested in how technology (and technostress specifically) plays a role in our ongoing journey towards cultural competence.

Tran Nguyen is an Associate Lecturer in the National Centre for Cultural Competence. She obtained a Master of Philosophy in Development Studies from the University of Cambridge in 2004. Before joining the University of Sydney she completed her PhD in Sociology at Macquarie University (in 2016). She also has previous experience working in both Australian welfare and education sectors. Her research interests include cultural diversity, inter-ethnic relations, cultural competence, welfare state policies and organisational studies.

Honorary staff

Tawara Goode is the Director of the National Center for Cultural Competence at Georgetown University. She is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Pediatrics, Georgetown University Medical Center in Washington DC. Tawara is a distinguished thought leader in the area of cultural and linguistic competency and has built the Georgetown National Center for Cultural Competence into an internationally recognised and award-winning program. She has had a leading role in developing curricula, assessment instruments, professional development series and other resources that support cultural and linguistic competence across the United States and the world.

Yolanda T. Moses is the Associate Vice-Chancellor for Diversity, Equity and Excellence at the University of California – Riverside. Her research has looked at diversity and change in universities in the United States, India, Europe, South Africa and now Australia. Professor Moses started her research residence with the NCCC in February 2017 and is exploring and assessing the cultural competence model used at the University of Sydney, comparing it to those used in the United States.

Jean Lau Chin, EdD, ABPP is a professor at Adelphi University in New York. Dr Chin is distinguished as an educator, administrator, clinician and scholar. She has held senior management positions as: Dean, Derner Institute for Advanced Psychological Studies, Adelphi University; Systemwide Dean, California School of Professional Psychology, Alliant International University; President, CEO Services; Regional Director, Massachusetts Behavioral Health Partnership; Executive Director, South Cove Community Health Center; and Co-Director, Thom Child Guidance Clinic.

Academically, she has trained psychologists and health care professionals in diagnosis and treatment and has helped to develop culturally competent training curricula for working with diverse populations. She received a Fulbright Scholar Award as Distinguished Chair in Cultural Competence to the University of Sydney in Australia for 2018.

Vanessa Lee, from the Yupungathiand Meriam people, resides on the land of the Gadigal people. She has a PhD, Master of Public Health and BTEC degree. She is a social epidemiologist, educator and public health/ health sciences researcher within the discipline of Behavioural and Social Sciences, in the Faculty of Health Sciences at the University of Sydney. Vanessa was previously acknowledged for her role as an Indigenous professional working towards Closing the Gap 2017 –with other professionals – by the Prime Minister at a ceremony in Canberra.

All of the research, engagement and curriculum development that Vanessa is involved in are directed towards the overarching goal of improving the determinants of health, efficacy and linkages of services for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people’s suicide prevention and preventative health.