Faculty and Staff
Welcome to Nan Tien Institute (NTI), Australia’s first Higher Education Provider with courses grounded in Buddhist wisdom and values. NTI is the place for quality education and cultural exchange. Read more about our academic staff below:
Professor Rod Vickers
Dean of Studies
PhD (University of Canterbury), MSc (University of Canterbury), BSc Hons (University of Canterbury).
Rod has spent 35 years as a teacher and researcher. He has extensive experience in academic leadership, including time as Head of School and Associate Dean – Teaching and Learning. As Dean of Studies Rod sees his role as implementing the values of the Nan Tien Institute and assuring academic standards as required by the Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency.
Head of Program (Humanistic Buddhism)
Acting Head of Program (Applied Buddhist Studies)
Director (Humanistic Buddhism Centre)
PhD (Religious Studies) University of the West, USA, MA (Buddhist Studies) Tsung-Lin Buddhist College, Taiwan, MBA (Cranfield University) Bedford, UK, MS (Computer Science and Engineering) University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, USA, BS with highest distinction (Computer Science and Engineering), Honors in Computer Science, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, USA.
office phone: +61 (2) 4258 0724
Head of Program (Mental Health)
PhD (University of Wollongong), BN (Hons) (UOW), BN (Dist) (UOW). Dr Sumskis focuses on student well-being within learning through the use of contemplative pedagogy. Sue has extensive professional experience in a variety of mental health settings and within tertiary education. Sue’s PhD investigated resilience and mental health, with a finding that challenge and support are essential components of developing resilience, grit and growth.
office phone: +61 (2) 4258 0751
Head of Program (Health and Social Wellbeing)
PhD (University of Adelaide), BA (Hons) (University of Adelaide), LLB (Hons) (University of Adelaide). Dr Levy holds a PhD in sociology and Honours degrees in both law and gender studies. Her research investigates women’s lived experience across a range of social sites, including health, therapeutic landscapes and spiritual movements. Her PhD examined the themes of belonging, emotions and social connection in the context of Intentional Communities in late modern society.
office phone: +61 (2) 4258 0752
Lecturer and Researcher in Buddhism
PhD (Philosophy & Religious Studies), Monash University; MA (Hons), Western Sydney University
Iain Sinclair studies the art and culture of Hindu-Buddhist civilisation using primary sources in Sanskrit, Tibetan, Chinese and vernacular languages. Between 2018 and 2020 he was a Visiting Fellow at Nalanda-Sriwijaya Centre, ISEAS-Yusof Ishak Institute, Singapore, and a Käte Hamburger Kolleg Fellow at Ruhr-University Bochum, Germany.
Lecturer, Foundational Programs
Academic Support Services
Early career researcher Dr Camille Roulière is an Environmental Humanities scholar who was recently awarded a Dean’s Commendation and a University Doctoral Research Medal for her PhD thesis entitled “Visions of Water” (The University of Adelaide). She has held various administrative and research roles, most notably at Flinders University and at the J.M. Coetzee Centre for Creative Practice.
Emeritus Professor Lewis Lancaster is one of the most renown Buddhist Studies scholars in the world. His academic and professional qualifications are extensive and have largely revolved around theology and linguistics. He graduated with a B.A. from Roanoke College, Virginia, completed his M. Th. at the University of Southern California in 1958 and in 1968 he attained his Ph.D. at the University of Wisconsin.
PhD (Studies in Religion, University of Queensland), BA Hons (Linguistics, University of Ljubljana). Tamara Ditrich’s disciplinary background is in Buddhist Studies, Sanskrit language and Vedic philology. She has had over thirty years of teaching and research experiences at various universities in the EU and Australia. Her current research interests are primarily in Theraveda Buddhism and Vedic philology.
MBBS, MPM, FRANZCP
Dr Tan is a medical doctor, consultant psychiatrist and analytic psychotherapist. He is the Founder and Chairman of the Metta Clinic, an established group psychological practice in Pymble, Sydney. He was formerly the Chairman of Training of the Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy Association of Australia (PPAA), member of the Faculty of Training of the Australian New Zealand Association of Psychotherapy (ANZAP) and member of the Training Advisory Board of the NSW Institute of Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy (NSWIPP).
Suzanne Franzway is Emeritus Professor of Sociology and Gender Studies at the University of South Australia. Her work is motivated by the puzzles and passions of the politics of everyday life and social justice. She is currently writing a co-authored book Courage in Tough Times: Feminist Activism and Labour Movements.
Venerable Miao Guang is the Personal English Interpreter of Venerable Master Hsing Yun. She also serves as the English Secretary at Fo Guang Shan Founding Master’s Office. She graduated with a Bachelor degree from the Department of Asian Studies, University of New South Wales and went on to complete her Master in Buddhist Studies at Fo Guang University.
Meg Hart is a cross-cultural leadership coach and organisational consultant. She has an academic background in Organisational and Coaching Psychology, practical business knowhow running manufacturing and consultancy companies and wide experience in Australia and Asia delivering action learning programs on leadership, ethics and cultural intelligence.