Professor James Arvanitakis is the Pro Vice-Chancellor (Research and Graduate Studies) at Western Sydney University. A lecturer in the Humanities and a member of the University’s Institute for Cultural and Society, he founded The Academy at Western Sydney University that received an Australian Financial Review Higher Education Excellence Award (2016).
James is internationally recognised for his innovative teaching style and was the recipient of the Prime Minister’s University Teacher of the Year Award in 2012 and an Eminent Researcher Award from the Australia India Education Council in 2015.
A former economist and free market advocate, James changed his position after witnessing child and indentured labour. After 9 years of working in finance, he has since worked with a cross section of organisations across Australia, Asia, Pacific and Europe including Oxfam Hong Kong, Aid/Watch and Friends of the Earth (France).
His research areas include citizenship, resilience, trust and the future of universities. James has authored over 100 articles in 2016 released three books including From Despair to Hope commissioned by the Sydney Writer’s Festival and Penguin. In 2017, James launched a co-edited book on Property, Place and Piracy.
He continues his high level of community engagement as a regular media commentator, researcher (having published having over 100 academic and non-academic publications) and work with artists. A founding member of the University’s Ally program, he is the Chair of Diversity Arts Australia, a board member of the Public Education Foundation, a research fellow with the Centre for Policy Development and an academic fellow of the Australian India Institute.