ODLAA is managed by an Executive Committee. Each year half of the committee is elected for a two year period, from and by ODLAA members.

President – Dr Mutuota Kigotho

Mutuota has been involved in the area of distance education in Australia since 2009 when he took up a position as Lecturer at the University of New England (UNE). At UNE over eighty per cent of the students study online and by distance learning.

Mutuota’s expertise lies in digital literacy where his focus has been the intersection between broadband and analogue investigating the literacies that users need to make sense of their learning environment. He has published in the Journal of Distance Education and in Literacy Learning- the Middle Years. He has also presented papers at the International Council of Distance Education (ICDE) conferences in Sydney and in Bali – Indonesia.

Within ODLAA, Mutuota has served as a committee member, first as secretary, then as Vice-President & treasurer, and from 2017, as President of the association. He believes that access continues to be one of the biggest challenges of our time and is strongly persuaded in sharing content at minimal cost.

Vice President – Assoc. Prof. Jay Cohen

Jay Cohen

Associate professor Jay Cohen is the Director of Online Learning and Teaching works at Charles Sturt University.  

Jay is an innovative online learning professional with a highly regarded record in the delivery of high quality, scalable learning solutions across the higher education sector. Jay has over 20 years experience in tertiary and online education.

Research interests: online learning, learning analytics, learning innovation and higher education assessment. 

Treasurer – Natalie Downes

Canberra University

Secretary – Assoc. Prof. Julie Fleming

Associate Professor Julie Fleming is the Associate Dean Colleges within the School of Education and the Arts, at Central Queensland University. As an active educator, she plays a significant role in the provision of strategic leadership to CQUniversity’s educational activities, with a focus on teaching staff and the student experience. Julie has driven many continuous improvement activities, implemented successful teaching technologies, advocated for women in leadership, all successfully through her networks and engagement with staff across CQU’s multi-campus, dual-sector university and beyond.

Her scholarship and research are built on solid foundations, with experience in a number of internal and externally funded research projects around aspects of learning and teaching. She currently supervises seven Masters’ to PhD students in various topics from radiographer educator transitions in higher education to blended approaches to teaching paramedicine.

Her commitment and innovative approaches that have demonstrated her commitment to student success through learning and teaching at CQUniversity, have been recognised by national as well as several institutional awards, including most recently, 2018 an ‘Australasian Academic Development Good Practice Award Finalist’; a ‘National Citation for Outstanding Contribution to Student Learning’ in 2016; a ‘Deputy Vice-Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Learning and Teaching’ and a ‘Pro Vice-Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Learning and Teaching’ in 2011. As an outstanding educator, she has recently (2019) been recognised as a Senior Fellow through the Higher Education Academy.

Member Representative – Mark Brown

Mark Brown is Ireland’s first Professor of Digital Learning and Director of the National Institute for Digital Learning (NIDL) at Dublin City University (DCU). He is a Fellow and Executive Committee member of the European Distance and E-learning Network (EDEN)and serves on the Supervisory Board of the European Association of Distance Teaching Universities (EADTU). He was also Chair from 2014 to the end of 2018 of the Teaching and Learning Steering Committee for the European Consortium of Innovative Universities (ECIU). 

Mark previously worked in a senior role at Massey University where he was also President of the New Zealand Association for Open, Flexible and Distance Learning (DEANZ, now FLANZ) and served on the Executive Committee of the Australasian Society for Computers in Learning in Tertiary Education (ASCILITE). In 2017, the Commonwealth of Learning (CoL) recognised Mark as a world leader in Open and Distance Learning, and he is Chair of the ICDE World Conference on Online Learning which will be held in Dublin in November 2019. More information about Mark is available from the following website:https://www .dcu.ie/nidl/people/director.shtml


Member Representative – Sarah Stein

Sarah Stein

Academic staff development has been the focus of the academic positions Sarah Stein has held at each of three universities: University of Queensland, University of New England, and University of Otago. Sarah is currently the Director, Distance Learning at the University of Otago. 

Sarah is the Director, Distance Learning at the University of Otago. In this mainly strategic role, Sarah works in collaboration with the Deputy Vice Chancellor (Academic), Pro-Vice Chancellors, Heads of Departments, programme coordinators, teachers, administrators and others to facilitate change and development in distance education. 

Sarah undertakes research projects and supervises postgraduate students. Her research is in teaching, learning, curriculum and evaluation in higher education settings, with a specific focus on educational technologies, distance education, technology and science education, student evaluations and teacher professional development.​