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Executive Leadership Team

Prof Steve Larkin
B.Soc.Wk, M.Soc. Sc, PhD
Chief Executive Officer

Professor Steven Larkin is a Kungarakan man. He holds a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) from the Queensland University of Technology, a Master’s degree in Social Science from Charles Sturt University and a Bachelor of Social Work degree from the University of Queensland.

Professor Larkin has served on numerous national advisory committees in Indigenous affairs. He chaired the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Higher Education Advisory Council (ATSIHEAC) for three years (2009-2012); and continues to provide invaluable input as a member of professional affiliations such as the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Higher Education Consortium (NATSIHEC), the National Indigenous Research and Knowledges Network (NIRAKN), Beyond Blue, Member of the New Colombo Plan Reference Group and Chair of the Healing Foundation.


Dr Wendy Ludwig
Deputy Chief Executive Officer - VET

Dr Wendy Ludwig is a Kungarakan and Gurindji woman from Darwin, Northern Territory. Wendy has extensive knowledge, understanding and experience working effectively within the VET system engaging with and through the mechanics of government including corporate governance and management systems to maintain currency and compliance to ensure desired outcomes.

In 2017 Wendy was awarded an Honorary Doctorate by the World Indigenous Nations University in recognition of her contributions to cultural and professional leadership in education, training and employment.

Wendy has a strong interest in and commitment to policy, practice and services provision that is designed and driven by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. This has been the central focus of her work in education, training and community development throughout the last 40 years.


Dr Peter Stephenson
BAppSc(EnvHealth), MEnvStud, EdD
Deputy Chief Executive Officer, Higher Education and Research


The Institute appointed Dr Peter Stephenson in 2007 to lead the development of its research strategy and operations. In 2011 the role was expanded in 2013 to incorporate Teaching and Learning and again in late 2013 the Institute’s higher education and research portfolios came together under a single operational unit.

Peter initially moved to the Northern Territory in 2004 to steer the implementation of a newly accredited Environmental Health degree at Batchelor Institute. He is an experienced teacher, consultant, researcher and project manager with professional interests at the intersection of environment and health policy and practice; Indigenous communities’ capacity building; and professional education and curriculum development. He has been a consultant to the United Nations in Fiji and Cambodia and a manager of national research and development programs for Indigenous Australian environmental health practitioners.

Peter has a record of representation on national grant review panels, course advisory and professional accreditation committees, journal and press editorial boards and non-government organisation/not-for-profit boards.

In his current role at Batchelor Institute, Peter has strategic leadership and operational responsibility for development and implementation of the Institute’s Research Plan and for ensuring the Institute’s strong contribution into its higher education teaching partnership with Charles Darwin University.


Dr Sue Stanton
BA (History), MA (American Indian Studies), PhD
Elder Executive Advisor: Academic and Cultural Leadership (Elder Academic)

Academic Elder, Dr Sue Stanton - has the dual roles of academic and cultural elder to overview the academic direction at BI, ensuring the embedding of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander perspectives and knowledges within the curriculum and throughout the Institute's broader practices.

Also as Kungarakan Traditional Owner-Custodian to provide appropriate cultural and ceremonial representation to visitors and guests of BI at Batchelor campus.


Ms Leah Atkinson
BBus(Accounting), CPA, GAICD, DipPM
Chief Operating Officer

Leah Atkinson was born and bred in Darwin, attending Nakara Primary School and Dripstone High School before going onto complete a Batchelor of Business from Charles Darwin University and becoming a Certified Practicing Accountant in 2009. Leah has 20 years’ experience in Public Sector accounting and previously held the role of Chief Financial Officer with the Department of Infrastructure and the Director of Financial Services with the Department of Infrastructure, Planning and Logistics prior to her appointment with Batchelor as the Chief Financial Officer in June 2017.

In October 2018, Leah was appointed as Chief Operating Officer and is responsible for Finance, Human Resources, Information Technology, Audit and Risk, Infrastructure, Kitchen, Work Health and Safety, Shared Services, and Marketing.