Ben Roche is the Director of Engagement at Southern Cross University. In this position he has responsibility for a suite of portfolios that focus on connecting SCU’s research and teaching strengths with the sustainable development needs of its communities. He provides leadership and advice to drive engagement strategies and cultivate key relationships and networks to realise the University’s strategic priorities whilst optimising community benefit, impact and exchange.
As a human geographer, Ben is passionate about participatory approaches to sustainable development and the role that education and engagement can play in creating resilience, capacity and well-being in communities. He has taught, researched and practised in the areas of community-based learning, participatory planning, sustainable development and community engagement. Ben continues to provide advice to a range of organisations and governments on strategic approaches to education, engagement and development.
Ben’s contribution to community engagement in higher education, specifically service learning in built environment disciplines, was recognised through a Carrick Citation in 2008 and that same year he was the recipient of the Edith Cowan Authentic Learning Award from the Higher Education Research and Development Society of Australasia. Ben is the Chair of Engagement Australia and Chair of the Regional University Network’s Engagement Group.