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Outstanding achievements of UC staff celebrated at 2023 University-wide awards

15 November 2023: University of Canberra staff gathered on campus yesterday to recognise the outstanding achievements of colleagues at the annual combined UC Awards.

The combined ceremony included awards across professional, research and teaching excellence – awarding staff who have gone above and beyond throughout 2023.

A number of new awards were announced this year, including the Connected Award, which celebrates outstanding contributions towards the progression of the University’s Decadal Strategy Connected.

It was evident that winners across all categories embodied the University’s values, with a strong commitment to staff and students, the institution’s place in Canberra and the region, and to the Ngunnawal people.

All category winners will go through to the nominations for the Vice-Chancellor’s Excellence Awards, which will be held in early December.

The December awards ceremony will see this year’s Educator of the Year, Researcher of the Year and Professional of the Year revealed.

Congratulations to all the nominees and winners.

2023 Award Winners

Professional Awards

These awards were presented by Jonathan Pheasant, Chief Operating Officer and Vice-President Operations.

The Professional Awards recognise outstanding achievements of professional staff at the University. They celebrate contributions to culture, strategic direction, business operations or community and recognise those who are playing an important role in supporting the University’s purpose, Galambany: Together we work to empower, connect and share knowledge with our people, cultures and places.

Mana-Mangi Djara ‘Industrious Star’ Award

Winner: Sally Quattro, Faculty of Health Clinics Manager, for her unyielding focus and commitment towards improvements for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander staff, students and community.

Belonging Award

Winner: Tess Canty, Widening Participation Program Coordinator, for cultivating positive ongoing relationships with staff, students, faculties, community organisations and primary and high schools in the ACT and NSW, through UC’s flagship outreach program, Aspire UC.

Values Award

Winner: Jesse Wells, Food Pantry and Clubs Officer in UCX, for demonstrating his commitment to inclusion, equity and diversity by striving to make the UCX Food Pantry a safe place for neurodivergent individuals.

Connected Award

Winner: Faculty of Arts and Design Student Experience Team, for their work looking after the student journey from recruitment through to graduation, and fostering a supportive home for the University’s creatives.

Highly Commended: Student Wellbeing and Support Team in Student Life, for serving as a key and consistent source of student support and connection.

Professional Excellence Award

Winner: Kathleen Cobcroft, Copyright and Open Access Coordinator in the Library and Study Skills team, for regularly demonstrating an outstanding and sustained ability in delivering innovative solutions through online systems and platforms utilised by Library and Study Skills to benefit students, staff and the broader University community.

Highly Commended: Dr E-Jen Teh, Associate Director Partnership and Enterprise in Research and Innovation Services for her impact in successfully negotiating the University’s first IP sale and securing its Intellectual Property licensing deal with a significant international partner. Her award was accepted on behalf by Ian Drayton, Deputy Director, Innovation and Business Development.

Emerging Leader Award

Winner: Mark Anthony, Senior Education Advisor at the Faculty of Education, for making a significant positive impact and frequently demonstrating qualities associated with an emerging or future leader. He has supported team members to thrive in their roles, promotes wellbeing using good humour, and demonstrates undeniable leadership potential.

Highly Commended: Jenni Rush, Project Manager, Digital Information and Technology Management Team for consistently showing a commitment to delivering quality results in all the work she does, with a focus on the best outcomes for the University and all cohorts.

Teaching Awards and Citations

These awards were presented by Professor Tania Broadley, Pro Vice-Chancellor Education.

The UC Teaching Awards and Citations recognises quality teaching practice and outstanding contributions to student learning, to embed a sense of belonging for students, staff and alumni. The awards encourage knowledge sharing and dissemination across the institution and beyond.

Citations for Outstanding Contributions to Student Learning

Winner: Associate Professor Dr Deborah Pino Pasternak, Faculty of Education for enhancing the research capability of teachers and educational leaders in Canberra and the region.

Highly commended: Dr Adrian Dusting, Lecturer in the Faculty of Science and Technology, for innovation in the delivery and assessment of the numeracy-based units underpinning science education at the University, resulting in enhanced learning outcomes and student experience.

Programs that Enhance Learning (Team Award)

Highly commended: The School of Information Technology and Systems (ITS) Capstone Program Team, Faculty of Science and Technology for the design and delivery of industry-orientated education through collaborative partnerships, aligned with the University’s mission of producing industry-ready graduates.

Teaching Excellence Awards

Although there were a number of applications demonstrating great teaching practices, the panel determined that none met the specific criteria for this award in 2023

Research Excellence Awards

These awards were presented by Professor Lucy Johnston, Deputy Vice-Chancellor Research and Enterprise.

The Research Excellence Awards recognise outstanding achievements in areas of research, Higher Degree by Research supervision, engagement, and impact. They are a celebration of the important roles contributing to the excellence of the University’s research activities and outputs.

Excellence in Engagement and Impact

Winner: The VIDEA Lab team, Faculty of Health, as Australia’s first lab to combine expertise from two related areas of knowledge – visual analytics and expert decision-making – therefore providing new opportunities to better plan public health care.

Outstanding Team Achievement in Research or Enterprise

Winner: Re.Pete Design Team, Faculty of Arts and Design, for demonstrating a circular, zero-waste approach to a low-volume chair designed and manufacture-enabled by robotic fabrication, a first in Australia.

Excellence in Higher Degree by Research Supervision

Winner: Professor Moosung Lee, Faculty of Education for managing the position of supervisor as professionally and successfully as he does all his Faculty responsibilities and leadership roles. He is a model of excellence, persistence, and determination – qualities that he instils in each of his PhD candidates. Professor Pino Pasternak accepted on behalf of Professor Lee.

Highly Commended: Emeritus Professor Dr Paul Hetherington, Faculty of Arts and Design, for his expert comments on creative work and his unfailing guidance throughout his student’s PhD journey, which helped them to grow and publish academically as well as creatively. Professor Dr Tracy Ireland accepted on Professor Hetherington’s behalf.

Early Career Researcher Excellence

Winner: Associate Professor Dr Bradley Moggridge, Faculty of Science and Technology for his internationally-recognised work with government on operationalising Indigenous engagement around water management,  His work has led to over 40 invited keynote presentations, including at the United Nations.

Winner: Assistant Professor Dr Nathan D’Cunha, Faculty of Health for his demonstrated leadership across various research activities, productive publication record, commitment to being an active HDR supervisor and for his work sitting on the Dementia Australia Working Group, developing resources for researchers and consumers. Associate Professor Dr Jane Kellett accepted the award on behalf.

Research Excellence

Winner: Luis Salvador-Carulla, Professor of Mental Health and Deputy Director of the Health Research Institute for his publishing excellence, his advances in the classification of neurodevelopmental disorders, and his contribution to strengthening research links between Australia and Europe. Professor Rachel Davey accepted the award on behalf of Professor Salvador-Carulla.