April 2015

ELFSC Forum and Lunch; ROAC; Diversity Champion; 2014 Enabling Students to Undergraduate degrees at the University of Newcastle; Health & Safety; Steel Magnolia Awards and High Tea; Attendance at CamTESOL; Language Centre Statistics for 2014; Staffing at the Language Centre; ELICOS Success at Beach Soccer; Recent ELICOS Intake; Student Liaison Officer;


Research Newsletter

For the latest on Research in the Centre follow this link - Research Newsletter.


Staff NewsSally Baker

Sally Baker

Congratulations to Sally Baker for recently gaining her PhD in Literacies and Education from The Open University, Milton Keynes, UK.

Sally's thesis is titled 'Students' writing 'in transition': An exploration of student reading & writing practices as they move between A-Level and University Study in the UK' and is a longitudinal, ethnographic inquiry into students' writing as they move from A-levels (HSC equivalent) to university study.

Congratulations Dr Sally Baker!


Leah Hill will be returning from leave on the 4 May in her role as Administration Officer (Program Support) part-time, 3 days/wk, Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday until the end of 2015.  Sharon Boyd will be job-sharing the role with Leah and will be working 2 days/wk, Thursday and Friday until the end of 2015 also.

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ELFSC Forum and Lunch – 15 April


Staff and ELFSC Board members will have received an invitation to the Staff Forum and luncheon to be held on Wednesday 15 April (12noon to 1pm) in the Treehouse (Shortland Building, Callaghan Campus).  At the Forum, the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic) and the Director will provide an overview of current and upcoming issues of relevance to the Centre.

Apologies to colleagues who are unable to attend the luncheon due to other commitments.  Details of the topics covered at the forum will be included in the May ELFS Link Newsletter.  Service Recognition awards will be presented to Helen Fitzgerald (25yrs), Maureen Jones (15yrs) and Barry Hodges (15yrs).

If you wish to attend you must RSVP to enabling@newcastle.edu.au by Thursday 9 April. Please indicate if you have any special dietary requirements.

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Recognition of Attainment Ceremony (ROAC) – 16 April

The Attainment Ceremony for our enabling students will be held at 10am on Thursday 16 April at the Civic Theatre, 375 Hunter Street, Newcastle as part of the University's 50th year Celebrations.  Attainment Certificates will be presented to our students completing the Open Foundation, Yapug and Newstep programs.

We are looking forward to hearing from our 3 student speakers who will outline how enabling education transformed their lives.  We are pleased to have as our Occasional Speaker, Professor Penny Jane Burke who is the newly appointed Global Innovation Chair of Equity & Co-Director Centre of Excellence for Equity in Higher Education at our University.  Professor Burke began her academic journey through an enabling program in the UK.

If you would like to be part of the academic procession, please email staffgraduation@newcastle.edu.au as soon as possible.

Please consider your parking and transport options for this city ceremony.  We will offer a bus shuttle service for ELFSC staff from the Callaghan campus to the city.  If you wish to use the bus service please RSVP to enabling@newcastle.edu.au by Monday 13 April.  (Details about departure times will be sent to those who have replied.)

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Diversity Champion

Associate Professor Kathy Butler was recently named the Diversity Champion at the Hunter Diversity Awards, launched at the International Women's Day breakfast on 6 March in Newcastle.

The awards were created by the Equal Futures Project, a local group of business leaders seeking to raise awareness and funds to facilitate gender equity in the region.

To read the full article in The Newcastle Herald on Kathy and her 'trailblazing efforts' follow the link.

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2014 Enabling Students to Undergraduate degrees at the University of Newcastle


952 students who completed our enabling programs in 2014 started undergraduate degrees in 2015 at the University of Newcastle. The Faculty of Health and Medicine received 296 prior enabling students, 180 of these students are undertaking a Bachelor of Nursing degree. The Faculty of Education and Arts received 276 prior enabling students, with 166 of these students moving into Bachelor of Teaching degrees.

Enabling to UG

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Health and Safety

Online Health and Safety Induction

All staff are required to complete the Online Health and Safety Induction, this includes Casual Staff. This training provides you with essential health and safety information, tips on how to access further useful documents, processes and systems.  At present The Centre has a 75% completion rate, which is below the overall University completion rate of 78%.

We would like to see 100% complete.  If you are a Casual Staff Member and have not completed this yet we would encourage you to do so as soon as possible by following the link above.  It will only take about 15 mins of your time to complete.

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Steel Magnolia Awards and High Tea

Ibtihal Samarayi

The Central Coast 2015 Steel Magnolia and Young Achievers Awards presentation was held on 6 March at the Mingara Recreation Club. These awards recognise women, who in overcoming personal adversity and making a positive change in society, inspire others.

ELFSC Staff member Dr Ibtihal Samarayi, a previous Steel Magnolia nominee was the guest speaker at this event.

Front: Left to Right Dr Ibtihal Samarayi, Assoc Prof Jo May, Ms Rosalie Bunn

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Attendance at CamTesol

Two staff from the Centre, Teresa Balfour Brown and Helen Askie attended CamTESOL in Phnom Penh, Cambodia in February.  They presented a workshop entitled 'Vocabulary: Use it or Lose it!' which was very well attended.  Over 1700 people attended the Conference and they came  from all over Cambodia and many countries in Asia.

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Language Centre Statistics for 2014

The following statistics are from the ELICOS Annual Report. Table 1 outlines the countries our students came from in 2014 and in previous years.  Table 2 outlines for those who went onto further study and which programs they gained entry to.

Table 1 and Table 2

Table 1Table 2

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Staffing at the Language Centre

At the end of last year Anne Marie Close retired from the Language Centre after 14 years of service to the Language Centre.  Anne Marie will be remembered for her great commitment to teaching especially for the excellent pastoral support she provided to our Saudi cohort.  We wish Anne Marie well on her retirement.

On the 10th of April our Student Experience Co-ordinator Robyn Gentemann leaves the Centre to live in Northern New South Wales.  Robyn started teaching with the Language Centre in 2007 but for the last few years has been the Co-ordinator of the successful Student Experience Program. This program is recognised nationally as an exemplar of best practice in meaningful student engagement and culminated in Robyn and the Centre winning the 2014 English Australia Award for Innovation.  We wish Robyn well in her new adventures up north.

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ELICOS Success at Beach Soccer

TSoccer Teamo coincide with Harmony Week, for the second year running the UON International Students & the NSW Police Beach Soccer Tournament was played at Nobby's Beach on the 21st of March. The UON International Students competed against NSW Police to achieve an engaged community event. Around 80 students, representing more than 20 countries played   in a round-robin competition on the sand. University staff, international & ELICOS students, Community members & volunteers from the local surf lifesaving association, all joined in the fun with ELICOS students taking out the Runner Up trophy. Congratulations to Robyn Gentemann our Student Experience Co-ordinator, Ann Burnett and the brave ELICOS students for their great efforts (they were defeated 8-7 in a penalty shoot-out in the final) and their sense of fair play.

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Recent ELICOS Intake

81 students joined the Language Centre on the 16th of March.  They came from China, Saudi Arabia, Cambodia, India, Pakistan, Iran, Mongolia, Vietnam, Thailand, Burundi, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Nigeria, Korea, and Japan.  We have 25 students from Kumamoto University on a 2 week visit and 2 from the same University who will be undertaking 15 weeks of study.

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Student Liaison Officer

Holly Dillon

Holly is the Student Liaison Officer (SLO) for Newstep and OpHollyen Foundation students studying on the Central Coast Campus as well as for students studying in the Open Foundation Online program. Based on the Central Coast campus, Holly offers consults to students regarding their individual program in person or over the phone and is also contactable by e-mail.

A large part of the SLO role is to engage students. This may be in the form of contacting 'at risk' students for retention purposes, organising events to inform and engage students or developing resources and providing information to support students throughout their program. Holly is able to offer advice regarding course selection, timetabling issues, Undergraduate Degrees and University Applications, IT Support or any other support needs.  All student related enquiries are welcome: (02) 4348 4029 or Holly.Dillon@newcastle.edu.au

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Andrew Taylor

I have worked in and around tertiary education for about 17 years.  I completed Open Foundation in 1994 and then an undergraduate degree beforeAndrew Tayloirworking at UAC (University Admissions Centre) and started at The University of Newcastle in International Admissions.  Since then I have worked in Enrolments, Admissions and as a Student Adviser before coming back to the Foundation Studies office to work as the Student Liaison Officer for Callaghan.

I know how tertiary education works and I give our students all the information I wish I had known before I started. Students can see me if they have any questions about the degree they want to study, admission procedures and qualification assessment, Educational Access Schemes (EAS), university jargon (including UAC speak), applying to universities other than Newcastle, interpreting information on the university's website.  I try to fill that cultural capital gap that exists for many foundation students whose families never expected them to attempt university study.  If students have fallen off the radar, I am happy to call them and see how they are and whether they are still with us.  I have never spoken to a student who did not appreciate the call.  Also, if any staff have questions, send them my way, 02 4921 5194 or email andrew.taylor@newcastle.edu.au.

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