The network is based on a Collaborative Agreement among the member universities. Under this agreement, one university serves as lead partner and hosts a small secretariat. The secretariat is responsible for the overall coordination of the network and based in the office of the AAUN Chair, a senior academic in the lead university, currently the University of Sydney.

The network is led by a Steering Group, representing a set of nine Australian member Universities and eleven African member universities. The Steering Group has two co-chairs, currently Professor John Hearn on the Australian side, and Professor Aldo Stroebel, Deputy Vice -Chancellor of the University of Mpumalanga, on the African side. The Group meets by teleconference.

A Consultative Group, representing specific expertise in African engagement and not restricted to official university representatives, provides key input across the thematic areas of engagement. It meets during annual fora and general meetings and may also meet on an ad hoc basis at other times. Consultative Group membership is open to nomination by a member institution at any time.

Professor John Hearn, University of Sydney

Professor John Hearn, Co-Chair, University of Sydney

Professor John Hearn is a Professor of Reproductive Physiology in the School of Medical Sciences at the University of Sydney. He was awarded his PhD from the Australian National University (ANU) and served for 6-7 years each in leading research, teaching and administrative positions at the Universities of Edinburgh, London UCL, Wisconsin, ANU and Sydney. Most recently he was Vice President (Research) at ANU 2000-4, and Vice President (Academic and International) at Sydney 2004-13. He teaches first year and advanced students in science and biomedicine. He is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors. Professor Hearn has published 210 research papers and edited six books in reproduction and fertility, stem cell biology and biotechnology. A committed international citizen, he has worked globally in research capacity development, especially in China, India, Thailand, Kenya and Brazil. He is a senior adviser to the Australian Government, World Health Organisation and the OECD. He was (to 2013) a Board member of the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation and Chairman of the Board of the Sydney Confucius Institute.

Professor Aldo Stroebel, University of Mpumalanga

Prof Aldo Stroebel is the inaugural Deputy Vice-Chancellor Research, Innovation and Internationalisation at the University of Mpumalanga, and former Executive Director at the National Research Foundation (NRF). He serves as Board Member of South Africa’s Water Research Commission, and previously served on the Board of the Agricultural Research Council, and as South Africa’s National Contact Point for the European Research Council. He is an Honorary Scholar at the International Institute of Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA), Austria, Foreign Fellow of the Ugandan National Academy of Science, a Senior Fellow of the Pan-African Scientific Council, and a founding member of the SA Young Academy of Science (SAYAS). He is a recognised scholar in sustainable agriculture, and acknowledged as a leader in the internationalisation of Higher Education, and research and innovation management. He is the 2022 recipient of the SARIMA Research Management Excellence Award.

AAUN Steering Group:

Steering Group Members, Africa

  • Prof Aldo Stroebel, University of Mpumalanga, South Africa (Chair)
  • Prof Barnabas Nawangwe, Makerere University, Uganda (Deputy Chair)
  • Dr Sussy Munialo, Africa Secretariat
  • Dr Vathi Papu-Zamxaka, Tshwane University of Technology, South Africa
  • Prof Thokozile Mayekiso, University of Mpumalanga, South Africa
  • Prof David Norris, University of Botswana, Botswana
  • Prof Kayihura Didas, University of Rwanda, Rwanda
  • Prof Nana Amfo, University of Ghana, Ghana
  • Prof Jeff Murigan, University of Cape Town, South Africa
  • Prof Sanjeev Sobhee, University of Mauritius, Mauritius
  • Dr Priscilla Mensah, Nelson Mandela University, South Africa
  • Prof Stephen Kiama, University of Nairobi, Kenya
  • Prof Frans Swanepoel, University of Pretoria, South Africa, (ex-officio)

AAUN Board Members, Australia

  • Prof John Hearn, University of Sydney (Executive Chair)
  • Dr Grace Liu, General Manager, AAUN Australia Secretariat
  • A/Prof David Mickler, Curtin University (Deputy Chair, WA)
  • Prof Kadambot Siddique, University of Western Australia
  • Prof Deborah Sweeney, Western Sydney University
  • Prof Prem Ramburuth, University of New South Wales
  • Dr Andrew Dansie, University of New South Wales
  • Dr Janet Dzator, University of Newcastle
  • Prof Treena Burgess, Murdoch University
  • A/Prof Kathryn Sturman, University of Queensland
  • Prof Alex Frino, University of Wollongong

Research Theme Leaders

AAUN has appointed Research Theme Leaders within the Network’s key areas of research, namely food security, public health, education and mining & development.  The AAUN Research Theme Leaders aim to facilitate leadership and progress of the Partnership Research and Development Fund projects.

Research Theme Leaders, Africa
  • Prof Idowu Olayinka, Education
  • Prof Mavis Mulaudzi, Public Health
Research Theme Leaders, Australia
  • Dr George Odhiambo, Education
  • Prof Amin Mugera, Food Security
  • Mr David Doepel, Mining