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Heaven at ACU

Research DeanProfessor Patrick Heaven


Professor Patrick Heaven, prominent psychology academic and expert, has been appointed Dean of Research at ACU.

Professor Heaven comes to ACU from the University of Wollongong (UOW), where he was Associate Dean of Research for the Faculty of Health and Behavioural Sciences. Prior to that, he was Head of the School of Psychology at UOW from 2001 to 2010.

Patrick holds several qualifications including a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) from the University of Orange Free State; a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Stellenbosch; a Master of Arts (Research) from the University of the Orange Free State; and a Doctorate of Literature and Philosophy from the University of South Africa. His publication record includes more than 150 research articles, six books, and major research funding of approximately $1 million.

Patrick was instrumental in establishing the Wollongong Youth Study, a significant longitudinal study of the social and emotional development of youth. He is similarly involved in the Australian Character Study, another longitudinal study which documents changes over time.  Both projects have received funding from the Australian Research Council.

Professor Heaven is a former Editor of the Australian Journal of Psychology and serves on the Editorial Board of the Journal of Adolescence.

“I am very excited about working at ACU,” he said. “The University’s national presence and predominantly metropolitan location gives it the opportunity to develop a significant research reputation across a diverse range of disciplines.”

“My aim is to assist in raising the overall research profile of the University nationally, internationally and among the community, to promote research excellence, help build strong research teams, and to foster a vibrant research environment for all of its Higher Degree Research students.”

Professor Thomas Martin, Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research), said he looked forward to welcoming Professor Heaven to ACU.

“Research is the single area of the University which is likely to be the biggest growth area over the next few years,” he said. 

“In late 2009, the University appointed its first Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research), and completely reconstituted Research Services. Since 2009 the research budget has more than doubled, and research income has more than doubled and will continue to rise. I look forward to working with Professor Heaven and witnessing the contributions he will make to research at ACU.”