I was pleased to see that New England universities did well in this year's Carrick Citations.
The Australian Government's Carrick Institute for Learning and Teaching in Higher Education was established in 2004 to provide a national focus for the enhancement of learning and teaching in Australia. It receives $26 million annually from the Australian Government for its awards program, fellowship scheme, and grants programs.
Now in their second year, the Carrick Citations are designed to recognise people who have made a significant and sustained contribution to student learning. This year the Citations recognised the work of 253 academic and support staff from all parts of Australia.
The University of Newcastle received eight Citations covering four individuals and four staff teams, 18 staff in all.
The development of an innovative, hands-on program that places first-year law students in the court room was one of eight University of Newcastle programs honoured. Other Citations included leadership and creativity in developing an around-the-clock, flexible and innovative information and learning environment; and inspiring and motivating first-year science students through a nationally recognised, real-life approach to conservation education.
The University of New England also received eight Citations covering three individuals and five teams, 21 staff in all.
UNE's awards showed a strong focus on distance education.
A team lead by Adrian Adrian Kiernander received an award for sustained commitment and innovation over 15 years in devising and providing real world learning experiences for off-campus students in the practical study of theatre. I had a personal interest in this one since I was once a member of the Theatre Studies Department community consultative committee.
Other awards included for sustained excellence in scholarly activities and curriculum development which has enhanced the teaching and learning of first-year Ancient History both at UNE and internationally; overcoming the tyranny of distance in tertiary chemical education through innovative distance learning curricula and resources; and for going the extra mile: for sustained teamwork that brings geographically remote and disadvantaged students into our UNE learning community through personalised attention in access centres.
Southern Cross University received two Citations, one individual and one team, six people in all. SCU's library team received its Citation for the provision of innovative library and information services which are integrated with the changing teaching and learning needs of staff and students.
If my maths serves me correctly, 45 staff in all received recognition as compared to the national total of 253. Not a bad effort. My congratulations to all those involved.