Professor Derbyshire has 24 years experience of teaching and leadership in higher education both in the United Kingdom and Australia. Originally from the United Kingdom, she completed her fashion training at Central St Martins School of Art in London, then migrated to Australia in 2002 to become the inaugural Head of Fashion within the Creative Industries Faculty at Queensland University of Technology (QUT). She remained in that role through to 2007 when she became Portfolio Director for Fashion, Journalism, Media. In 2011 Professor Derbyshire was appointed as Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Learning and Teaching) at QUT.