Prof Jennelle Kyd

Senior Executive in Strategic Direction, Retired Provost at Swinburne University
Sydney, New South Wales
Science and Engineering,
Health and Medical
Research Intensive
Senior Leadership

Jennelle Kyd is a highly skilled senior executive with expertise in strategic direction, budgeting and planning, governance, and academic research and leadership. She understands what it’s like to be a mature learner; she was nearly 40 when she completed her PhD in in Mucosal Immunology and Vaccines. Her research has been commercialised, she has been on competitive grant panels, and has been successful herself having been awarded multiple millions of dollars of funding from industry and competitive grant schemes.

Jennelle grew up in Central Western New South Wales and attended boarding school in Sydney. She studied science and undertook Honours in Biochemistry at University Of New South Wales, after which she taught science in high schools. She relocated to Newcastle with her husband and began tutoring at Newcastle University, where she developed an interest in research.

While her children were in school, Jennelle commenced her PhD. The pressure of trying to establish a career and simultaneously raise young children is a struggle Jennelle is familiar with, and along with her husband, managed to do this without local family support. She studied full time and completed within just three years.

After completing her PhD, Jennelle was recruited to the University of Canberra to help establish a strong research presence within the biomedical sciences area. She progressed quickly through the ranks and within eight years had become a full professor - one of few females in such a role.

Jennelle was headhunted to lead research at Central Queensland University as Pro-Vice Chancellor, and within four years, the role was redefined and she became Deputy Vice Chancellor of Research with a broader portfolio of responsibilities. Jennelle worked at CQU for nearly seven years in various leadership capacities, including research, campus leadership and academic leadership. Her achievements include obtaining a $73.8 million Commonwealth Grant to establish dual sector institution through merger with CQ TAFE, as well as establishing Allied Health programs, facilities and clinics with $25 million in funding.

In 2012, Jennelle was approached to apply for a role at Swinburne as Provost. In that role, she achieved significant improvements that took Swinburne from being an underperformer to one of the best universities nationally. This included improving graduate employment outcomes, introducing law, education and allied health programs; and becoming the biggest online education provider in Australia. She also implemented a university wide academic workload that saw $11 million in savings in the first year, while bringing more transparency for an equitable allocation of work, particularly for early career and career interrupted academics.

In 2016, she retired from Swinburne to move back to NSW and care for her unwell mother. Jennelle has mentored many people at various stages of their career. She encourages her mentees to be brave and courageous, particularly women who can be reserved. She helps them articular their case, define their skills and negotiate their path.

Jennelle will help you focus on the horizon, looking five to ten years into the future and identifying what steps you need to put in place to achieve your goals.