Naomi is an accomplished senior executive with 25 years of experience in vocational education and higher education roles.

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. As her sector reputation demonstrates, she is passionate about the transformational impact of education, the student experience and widening participation.

As the Chief Student Officer, Naomi leads Victoria University’s Students Portfolio to achieve its strategic goals to ensure that all students thrive and succeed. Naomi leads VU’s strategic design of a contemporary student experience that goes beyond the formal learning experience, for over 40,000 students onshore and offshore. Her philosophy that each student is an individual with personal goals underpins her work.

Naomi is also a proud member of the VU Alumni community and has held leadership roles across our dual-sector tertiary institution. She is also an active researcher with a focus on higher education, transformational change, student success and student equity.

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”.


  • VU International
  • Future Students
  • Student Services
  • Student Administration
  • Employability and Success

Contact details

Marriam Shehzad, Executive Assistant
+61 (3) 9919 5631

Research Activity

Research projects

2022 Harvey, Andrew; Luckman, Michael; Gao, Yuan; Kubler, Matthias; Tomaszewski, Wojtek; Dempsey, Naomi; et al. (2022): Towards the point of return: Maximising students' uptake of university places following deferral and leave. La Trobe. Report.

2021 Two research projects funded within the Victorian Higher Education State Investment Fund ($8.85M) for VU’s Education Innovation Hub: 
- Chief Investigator for the research project titled New employability development programs to increase and sustain graduate employment outcomes.  
- Co-investigator for the research project titled Achieving successful graduate outcomes: models to enhance postgraduate student learning.

2020 Chief Investigator - Harvey, A., Luckman, M., Gao, Y., Kubler, M., Tomaszewski, W., Dempsey, N., Devlin, M., Cook, E., Hill, B., Hill, A., Shore, S., Reedy, A., & Holmes, K. (2020). Towards the point of return: Maximising students’ uptake of university places following deferral and leave. Report for the Department of Education, Skills and Employment. Melbourne: Centre for Higher Education Equity and Diversity Research, La Trobe University.


2021 McCluskey T., Samarawickrema G., Smallridge A., Dempsey N. (2021) Re-designing Curriculum to Enhance First-Year Student Success: A Case Study. In: Shah M., Kift S., Thomas L. (eds) Student Retention and Success in Higher Education. Palgrave Macmillan, Cham.

Invited Presentations (select)

2021  What do students need to succeed and thrive at university?, National Symposium on the Student Experience, Melbourne Centre for the Study of Higher Education (MCSHE), Melbourne.

2019  Strategic Leadership in Academia – The Context, Women Attaining Leadership program (WATTLE), Melbourne.

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

2019  Strategic Leadership in Academia - A Day in the Life, Women Attaining Leadership program (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 Summit, Melbourne.

2019  Optimise Engagement and Influence as a Leader, 13th Annual National Higher Education Women’s 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.