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  • Book
  • Open Access
  • © 2020

Transforming Lives and Systems

Cultural Competence and the Higher Education Interface

  • Explores the position of cultural competence within the higher education sector

  • Illustrates how cultural competence can be embedded in professional lives and its impacts on transformational change

  • Examines the transformative nature of professional development programs

Part of the book series: SpringerBriefs in Education (BRIEFSEDUCAT)

Buying options

Softcover Book USD 24.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)

Table of contents (7 chapters)

  1. Front Matter

    Pages i-vii
  2. The National Centre for Cultural Competence: Transformative Journeys

    • Jack Frawley, Tran Nguyen, Emma Sarian
    Pages 1-8Open Access
  3. Creating Effective Cultural Competence Workshops for Australian Higher Education Staff

    • Amy McHugh-Cole, Rachael Simons, Gabrielle Russell
    Pages 9-19Open Access
  4. Methodology for Evaluating the University of Sydney’s Culturally Competent Leadership Program

    • Alessandra Pecci, Jack Frawley, Tran Nguyen
    Pages 21-37Open Access
  5. Navigating the Cultural Interface to Develop a Model for Dentistry Education: Cultural Competence Curricula in Dentistry Education

    • Cathryn Forsyth, Stephanie D. Short, Michelle Irving, Marc Tennant, John Gilroy
    Pages 51-62Open Access
  6. Fostering Diversity Competence in the Veterinary Curriculum

    • Jaime Gongora, Meg Vost, Sanaa Zaki, Stewart Sutherland, Rosanne Taylor
    Pages 63-73Open Access

About this book

This open access book explores the transformative experiences of participants in the University of Sydney’s National Centre for Cultural Competence (NCCC) programs. The establishment of the NCCC was viewed as a critical point of departure for developing an institution-wide agenda of cultural competence. The NCCC’s work since its inception reflects efforts to lay important foundations for cultural change at the University. 

With the ultimate aim of establishing cultural competence as an agent for transformational change and social justice education, the NCCC has steadily expanded its research and teaching work both within and beyond the University of Sydney. Further, it has developed foundational resources to support and encourage University staff to integrate cultural competence philosophy and pedagogy in their curricula, teaching and research. This includes the ability to engage meaningfully with the cultures, histories and contemporary issues in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities. The NCCC programs have been designed to encourage participants to learn about who they are and how they can positively impact the transformational change the University has begun.

The book presents participants’ reflections on their experiences at the organisational and personal level. Readers will gain insights into a range of topics including cultural competence, communities of practice, policy implementation, and transformative leadership at the interface between higher education and professional lives.


  • Cultural competence in the higher education sector
  • Transformative leadership in professional development programs
  • Intercultural capabilities for academic and professional staff
  • cultural competence for academic and professional staff
  • Cultural competence embedded in professional lives
  • transformative nature of professional development programs
  • building communities of practice
  • policy implementation in the higher education sector
  • critical reflection and transformative leadership
  • learning cultural competence
  • best practices for professional development programs
  • culturally competent organisational wide
  • Open Access

Editors and Affiliations

  • National Centre for Cultural Competence, The University of Sydney, Sydney, Australia

    Jack Frawley, Tran Nguyen, Emma Sarian

About the editors

Dr Jack Frawley is an Academic Leader at the University of Sydney's National Centre for Cultural Competence. Jack has held several senior academic positions at the Australian Catholic University, Charles Darwin University and the University of Sydney and is an Adjunct at the Batchelor Institute. His research and published work focus on social inclusion especially in the areas of leadership studies, program evaluation, teacher education, and minority education. He has worked extensively in Aboriginal Australia as well as the South Pacific and Southeast Asia.

Dr Emma Sarian is an early career researcher who was recently awarded her PhD by Macquarie University, where she also completed a Master of Research in 2014. Her doctoral thesis explored the historical rise of identity politics in Australia, bringing together archival research on the women’s and Aboriginal rights movements in the 20th century with contemporary political theories of identity. Emma currently works as an Associate Lecturer at the National Centre for Cultural Competence (NCCC), where her role spans both the research and delivery of cultural competence programs. Her research in this role focuses on theories of cultural competence pedagogy and evaluation, seeking to establish a strong theoretical foundation for determining best practices in cultural competence development.
Dr Tran Nguyen is an Associate Lecturer at the University of Sydney’s National Centre for Cultural Competence. Prior to coming to the University of Sydney, she was a Chevening/Cambridge scholar in Development Studies (MPhil degree) at the University of Cambridge, UK, and completed a PhD in Sociology at Macquarie University. Her research expertise and interests include inter-ethnic relations, cultural competence, migration, employability, internationalisation in higher education, employment services and welfare state policies. Tran has published in leading national and international journals in the areas of intercultural studies, social issues and sociology. Her previous experience includes working with UNESCO and in the Australian welfare sector. She has also served as a reviewer for prominent national journals, and for book chapters related to her working fields.

Bibliographic Information

  • Book Title: Transforming Lives and Systems

  • Book Subtitle: Cultural Competence and the Higher Education Interface

  • Editors: Jack Frawley, Tran Nguyen, Emma Sarian

  • Series Title: SpringerBriefs in Education

  • DOI:

  • Publisher: Springer Singapore

  • eBook Packages: Education, Education (R0)

  • Copyright Information: The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s) 2020

  • License: CC BY

  • Softcover ISBN: 978-981-15-5350-9Published: 03 June 2020

  • eBook ISBN: 978-981-15-5351-6Published: 02 June 2020

  • Series ISSN: 2211-1921

  • Series E-ISSN: 2211-193X

  • Edition Number: 1

  • Number of Pages: VII, 95

  • Number of Illustrations: 3 b/w illustrations, 6 illustrations in colour

  • Topics: Higher Education, Sociology of Education, Educational Policy and Politics, Education Policy

Buying options

Softcover Book USD 24.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)