Margaret Heffernan

Margaret Heffernan

Senior Lecturer

College of Business and Law
RMIT University

Topic Areas

Change Management, Communications, Gender and Diversity, Cultural Intelligences, Health Care, Leadership, Management Education, Organizational Behavior

Trending Topics

Aging Workforce; COVID; Crisis Management; Race, Equality, and Ethics

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Margaret Heffernan is an experienced, innovative, and high-energy leader whose ability to engender trust delivers results particularly for communities with socio-cultural marginalization. She brings a sustained analytical, intellectual understanding of the transitioning needs of diverse first year higher education cohort, and management issues through a women’s health lens in vulnerable communities.

Margaret's demonstrated success is in:

  • Through exemplary Teaching, transitioning the integration of first year under /postgraduate students through strength’s-based pedagogy, engagement, and adaptive authentic leadership.
  • Leadership and Management: RMIT School of Management: transnational educator across multiple international campuses; various leadership positions across Victorian primary and secondary education sector.
  • Through Engagement, teaching and research, proven record of initiative and success in leadership and relationship management of large teams and major project management.
  • Sustained Engagement roles in contributing to the University community through representation on a range of committees at RMIT University, College and School levels.
  • Through Engagement and Research with multi-disciplinary and interdisciplinary CALD and Indigenous agencies, resulting in my contributing to the improvement of health and well-being; information resources , infrastructure, policy approaches  in the public health sector (immunization delivery) [refer NT Gov letter May -18  (Indigenous communities in NT & Vic; Horn of African migrant –Melbourne; Chinese population -Australia ) that has led to invitations as expert commentator and reviewer and attracted industry grants.
  • Through Research contributed to evidence-based policy making and enhancing the work of practitioners in non-academic domains by contributing to the 2018 implementation of the 9- valent HPV immunization in CALD communities through advice to public sector (governmental) at national and state levels as appropriate.0
  • Through Engagement and Research, partnerships with Indigenous peoples globally resulting in empowerment and strategic resources to overcome inequity and isolation, particularly in relation to HPV cancers.
  • Through Engagement, extensive Government liaison resulting in policy and resource changes   Research Engagement: 2008 CRCAH Aboriginal Research Showcase, Parliament House, Canberra, 13 March This PhD research was selected for the Showcase as an exemplar of Indigenous and non-Indigenous collaborative research outcomes.
  • Strategic Initiatives: To facilitate a coordinated national gynaecological cancer sector I initiated a petition which led to a Senate inquiry, and $1million seed funding for the establishment of the National Centre for Gynaecological Cancers: 2006
  • Leadership and Revenue Generation: Established critical partnerships in the gynaecological cancer and health sectors, helped raise its public image and recognition of women’s cancers, initiated and spear-headed several large-scale NFP /cancer projects including the $3million redevelopment of the Royal Women’s Hospital (RWH) cancer ward (1990s) which impacted >18,000 women including Indigenous women in regional and remote Australia; raised (pro-bono) >$7million from Government, corporate, public and philanthropic sectors to fund cancer and intensive care projects.
  • Leadership through Cultural Intelligences: Partnerships with Indigenous peoples globally resulting in empowerment and strategic culturally targeted resources to overcome inequity and isolation, particularly in relation to women’s health and business development. This has impacted government policy, social justice, and equitable treatment. 

Margaret's noteworthy outcomes include:

  • Inclusion by Indigenous research leaders in Parliament House Canberra, 2008, of exemplary cross-cultural Indigenous research partnerships
  • Northern Territory (NT) Government funding for the development of HPV vaccine resources in 5 Aboriginal languages in Central Australia 
  • Securing Australian Federal and NT government funding for a mobile Women’s Health on Wheels bus which delivers health services to women in remote Central Australia
  • Contributor to Indigenous research manuals
  • Consultant (2018-2019) to the Connected Beginnings Evaluation project exploring Australian Indigenous children’s school attendance.
  • 2008 Co-operative Research Centre for Aboriginal Health Research Showcase, Parliament House, Canberra, 13 March My PhD research was selected for the Showcase as an exemplar of Indigenous and non-Indigenous collaborative research outcomes. 

Margaret's accomplishments and awards include:

  • 2021: Women in Time – Inspiring Alumni, Loreto College Ballarat - Inaugural  recipient
  • 2018: Distinguished Alumna of Federation University for Outstanding Service to the Community
  • 2017-2016: Women’s Researcher Network (WRN-RMIT) Committee member
  • 2016: RMIT University Teaching Award in Category D3: Awards for a Transformative Student Experience - The First Year Experience
  • 2016: GSK PHAA Immunisation Award $20,000:  ‘INFORMING COMMUNITY’ Project with Horn of Africa migrants which resulted in the development of a health educator toolkit for education of HPV disease and adolescent HPV  vaccinations
  • 2014-current National Gynecological Cancer Foundation: Scientific Committee member
  • 2013: Ian Permezel Memorial Award, $5,000
  • 2008: CRCAH Aboriginal Research Showcase for research excellence, Parliament House, Canberra
  • 2006 Order of Australia Medal for distinguished services to women's health and the cultural Community
  • 2005: Women of Achievement winner (Brain Foundation) for services to gynaecological cancer
  • 2003: Heffernan M and Quinn MA. The Gynaecological Cancer Guide: Sex, Sanity and Survival. Michelle Anderson Publishing, Melbourne
  • 1997: British Medical Association Award: Certificate for Educational Merit (Co-Producer ‘Living with Cancer Educational Program’ video: Eve Ash   for the Cancer Council Victoria)
  • 1994: Advance Australia Foundation Award for Community Service

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