Naomi Dempsey strategically leads the Students Portfolio at Victoria University (VU) that brings together Student Services, Student Administration, Employability & Success, Libraries and Technical Services under the Students Portfolio. This includes a strategic refocussing of effort and attention on all students in all cohorts to lead the reimagining of the student experience across the entire lifecycle. Naomi established VU’s Students as Partners program, with the commitment to creating a space where students and staff can work together.

In the role of PVC (Students), Naomi focuses on the future design of our student experience as defined by The VU Way to provide a high quality, contemporary student experience that goes beyond the formal learning experience. Naomi leads the enhancement of student learning and related outcomes for both higher education qualifications and those gained through VU Polytechnic across the Students Portfolio. Naomi’s philosophy that each student is an individual with personal goals underpins her work.

Naomi has over 20 years management and leadership experience in the sport/recreation industry and in higher and vocational education. She brings a wealth of experience in student retention and success strategies, customer experience and student-centred design, stakeholder relations, commercial services and business development to the role, gained from her success in both the public and private sectors.

Naomi is recognised as a sector leader (2019 LH Martin Institute Award for Excellence in Leadership (ATEM)) in the strategic transformation of the student experience across the entire student lifecycle. Naomi's experience and expertise is in both higher and vocational education.

As a proud member of the VU Alumni community and having worked at VU in both higher education and vocational education, Naomi leads VU in building our collaborations and our commitment to enhancing student engagement, designing and implementing a contemporary and engaging student experience and ensuring high quality student learning and success across VU.

Naomi is currently a student herself again at VU, undertaking PhD research studies on the “Impact of Victoria University’s First Year Model and Block Mode teaching on student academic success, satisfaction and retention”.


  • Student Services
  • Student Administration
  • Employability & Success
  • Libraries and Technical Services.

Contact details

Nancy Prodanov, Executive Assistant
+61 (3) 9919 4449

Keynotes & invited speeches

2019 Students as Partners: co-creating The VU Way. TEQSA Conference

2019 Strategic Leadership in Academia - A Day in the Life. Women Attaining Leadership (WATTLE), Geelong

2019 Exploring New Student Success Initiatives Developed at Victoria University That Enables Flexible Learning and Improved Student Retention and Success. 4th Annual Student Success and Retention 2019, Melbourne

2019 Optimise Engagement and Influence as a Leader. 13th Women in Tertiary Education Leadership Summit, Melbourne

2019 Digital Disruption to Improve the Student Experience. 5th Annual Enhancing Student Experience Conference, Melbourne

2018 Digital Disruption: consumer-first thinking as a catalyst for change. LH Martin Institute Conference: Service Improvement and Innovation in Tertiary Education Conference, Melbourne.

Research activity

Naomi is experienced in research and analysis associated with student success, satisfaction and retention as it relates to high quality student learning, participation and outcomes – for all students, from every background. Her philosophy is that each student is an individual with personal goals underpins her work.

Naomi's current research activity includes an Australian study researching deferral and leave taking by students with LSES backgrounds. She is currently undertaking her PhD studies to research what impact the Victoria University’s First Year Model and Block Mode delivery of teaching and learning has had on academic success, satisfaction and retention of first year undergraduate higher education students.

Research funding

Low SES Student Deferrals (Maximising Low-Socio Economic Status Students' Uptake of University Places Following Deferral) ($20,000)
From: National Priorities Pool 2018
Investigators: Professor Marcia Devlin
For period: 2019-2020.


Dempsey, Naomi (2015) Leadership Education Needs for Not-for-Profit Executives in Western Melbourne to Meet the Challenges of Effective Sector Development. Coursework Master thesis, Victoria University.