The Victoria University Human Research Ethics Committee (VUHREC) oversees the conduct of all VU research involving humans. We review all high-risk applications and applications from other institutions.

The Low Risk Human Research Ethics Panel (LRHREP) reviews applications deemed to be low or negligible risk. All LRHREP approvals are submitted to the VUHREC for ratification.

Terms of Reference

Membership of Human Research Ethics Committee

The Victoria University Human Research Ethics Committee (VUHREC) is operated in accordance with the National Statement on Ethical Conduct in Human Research.

The role of the Committee is to protect the rights and welfare of research participants and to foster research that is of benefit to the community.

Membership of the Human Research Ethics Committee

  • Members may be staff of the university or community members and may be retired, semi-retired or working.
  • One third of the membership should be from outside Victoria University and there should be equal numbers of men and women.
  • All Committee discussions and documentation are to be kept strictly confidential.
  • Members receive training and induction into the Committee, and are assigned a mentor.
  • All members are volunteers and are appointed in their own right.
  • Committee members have knowledge and understanding of the ethical principles that are applied to research involving humans, government legislation and guidelines relating to human research and ethics.
  • Papers and agendas are circulated electronically prior to the meetings held monthly (except for January) at Footscray Park Campus.

Membership consists of the following experts and community members:

The Chair fulfills the following duties:

  • provides leadership in relation to human research ethics for the University
  • chairs meetings of the HREC
  • provides advice to the University on issues relating to human research ethics
  • represents the University publicly in relation to human research ethics
  • ensures that University policies and procedures relating to human research ethics are compliant with relevant legislation and guidelines.


The Committee includes at least two lay people, one man and one woman, who have no affiliation with VU and do not currently engage in medical, scientific, legal or academic work.

This role includes the following tasks:

  • to review Committee papers and attend each meeting  
  • provide advice and feedback to reflect a lay person’s point of view of proposals.

This role is fulfilled by a member with knowledge of and current experience in the areas of research that are regularly considered by the HREC.

These individuals should have substantial experience working with humans in research, have an excellent understanding of ethical issues related to the use of humans in research, and a broad appreciation of a range of research methodologies.

They provide expert advice and feedback in relation to legal and ethical principles applicable to research involving humans.

The individual should have a basic understanding of ethical principles as applied to research, and have knowledge of, and current experience in the professional care counselling and/or treatment of people, as, for example:

  • a nurse
  • an allied health professional.

The individual should have a basic understanding of ethical principles as applied to research, and have knowledge of, and current experience performing a pastoral care role in a community (for example an Aboriginal elder, a minister of religion).

Where possible, the Committee member is a lawyer who is not engaged to advise the institution.

They provide expert advice and feedback in relation to research.

This Committee member provides expert advice and feedback in relation to research including that involving Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

Where appropriate, they consult with and apply:


Meeting & submission dates

Committee dates are always on a Thursday. The agenda closure dates are 5pm on the Wednesday two weeks before the meeting.

  • 10 February 2022 - agenda closure date 26 January
  • 10 March 2022 - agenda closure date 23 February
  • 14 April 2022 - agenda closure date 30 March
  • 12 May 2022 - agenda closure date 27 April
  • 9 June 2022 - agenda closure date 25 May

Note: Starting with the July 2022 meeting VUHREC Agenda Closure dates will be one week earlier to allow for a pre-review process.

  • 14 July 2022 - agenda closure date 22 June
  • 11 August 2022 - agenda closure date 20 July
  • 8 September 2022 - agenda closure date 17 August
  • 13 October 2022 - agenda closure date 21 September
  • 10 November 2022 - agenda closure date 19 October
  • 8 December 2022 - agenda closure date 16 November


Download the committee dates.

Due to the tight timeline, documents received after 5pm on the agenda closure date will be held over until the following meeting.

The Low Risk Human Research Ethics Panel may review applications deemed 'Low Risk' (as defined in the National Statement) at any time. Each application is reviewed by two College reviewers and the Chair. Please allow three to five weeks' turnaround for these applications.

Further information on human research ethics.

Current committee


Membership Category




Associate Professor Deborah Zion (Chair)

Lay people

Genevieve Leach
Dr Mark Roberts
Colin Yates

Professional care/counselling


Pastoral/spiritual care

Tiff Hall


Mayada Dib
Deborah Macfarlane

Persons with Expertise in Research Commonly Considered by the Committee

Assoc Prof Kevin Ball
Dr Chitra DeSilva
Alessandro Garofolini
Prof Dianne Hall
Dr Maja Husaric
Assoc Prof Gina Kruger  (Deputy Chair)
Prof Itamar Levinger
Dr Fiona McDonald
Dr Keis Ohtsuka
Dr Aaron Petersen
Prof Debra Smith
Dr Karina Smith


Contact details

VUHREC Chair, Associate Professor Deborah Zion
+61 3 9919 4058 | [email protected]

Deputy Chair, Associate Professor Gina Kruger
+61 3 9919 4781 | [email protected] 

Manager, Research Ethics and Integrity, Elizabeth Hill
+61 3 9919 4781 | [email protected]

Senior Officer, Research Ethics and Integrity, Megan Garratt
+61 3 9919 4461 | [email protected]