Professor Tarquam McKenna is a Professor Emeritus at Victoria University.

He is a member of the Professoriate in the College. He has worked in arts education in higher education from 1987. Prior to that his work was in specialist education in Tasmania and the ACT.

During his time at Victoria University he has held several senior leadership positions including Deputy Dean of Faculty, Associate Dean Teaching and Learning and the Head of the School of Education.

He is past President of the Association for Qualitative Research (AQR); of The Australian and New Zealand Arts Therapies Association (ANZATA) and has led accreditation of programs in arts and health in this new field of allied professional health.

Professor McKenna is an active researcher, with more than 22 higher degree research students’ completions and HDR examinations in excess of 40 students globally. He is not available to supervise new research students.

He is a corporate HBDI and Playback Theatre facilitator, an author and consultant to numerous organisations.

Tarquam is a Registered Psychotherapist and an Honorary Life Member of ANZATA – the peak body in Australia for Registering of Arts Psychotherapists. He is also an accredited Tier IV Counsellor. He has also worked with NGOs and with Governments in a variety of countries including Australia, the USA, Malaysia, China, New Zealand and Vietnam. He is working mainly in Vietnam and with his current higher degree students on research and teaching projects attending to literacies, gender and arts based research.

Areas of expertise

  • Applied arts & health
  • Education
  • Gender and sexuality
  • Religious Education

Selected publications

McKenna T. (2013) Towards an Indigenous Australian knowing: A personalised perspective on art therapy - Carmen Lawson talks with Tarquam McKenna. ANZJAT Vol 8

McKenna, T. (2013) ‘ Arts Education. Let’s do the arts stuff on Friday afternoon - do the arts really matter?’ in McKenna T, Vicars, M & Cacciattolo, M (Eds.) (2013) Engaging the Disengaged Cambridge University Press.

McKenna, T. et al (2013) Discourse, Power and Resistance Down Under Vol. 2 (2013) Sense Publication.

McKenna, T. (2013) ‘Purposeful, optimistic learning engagements’ in McKenna T, Vicars, M & Cacciattolo, M (Eds.)(2013) Engaging the Disengaged Cambridge University Press.

McKenna, T. and Cacciattolo, (2012) The Role of CLT in Teaching and Learning Journal of Asian Critical Education JACE - Fall 2012 Volume 1 Issue ISSN 2201-0106

View more of Tarquam's publications.

Research grants

  • AsiaBound 2013 – BISTU – Beijing PRC – for delivery November 2013 $43,000 (Joint C1)
  • AsiaBound 2013 – Mahidol University – Thailand – for delivery August 2014 $63,000 (Joint C1)
  • Evaluation -SWIRL Project: Indigenous Community Literacy &Teacher Education $173,000 (CI and Writer)
  • Positive Education in Practice. $20,000 (Joint C1)
  • The Australian -Thai Institute “Strengthening the teaching of English language and literacy in Thai schools.”  $24,000 (Joint C1)
  • Indigenous Roundtable – Well-Being and Boarding Schools. Collaborative CRCAH and Local Agencies $10,000 (Joint C1)
  • Urban Indigenous Presence in The Western Region of Melbourne. $10,000 (Joint C1)
  • Creative Arts and Story for Well-Being – Danila Dilba, Darwin, Northern Territory. $31,000 (Joint C1)

Professional memberships

  • IETA
  • DramaVic
  • AARE
  • AERA
  • ACA
  • IPTN

Industry experience

  • Attorney General's Department
  • Australian Bureau of Statistics
  • ANZATA - Australian National Art Therapy Association
  • Australian Counsellors Association
  • Australian Higher Education Industrial Association 2012
  • Beyondblue – Depression and Anxiety
  • Catholic Education - Collaborative Leadership
  • College of General Practitioners
  • Curtin University - School of Occupational Therapy
  • Edith Cowan University
  • Headspace
  • Relationships Australia
  • The CG Jung Society
  • Western Edge Youth Arts – Past Deputy Chair – Board of Directors
  • WorkSafe 
  • Zhejiang Provincial Educational Commission