From the Interim Director
As this and other previous editions of the ELFS Link newsletters show, the successes of our staff and students are many and varied. ELFS is a dynamic and diverse Centre that has had a long and important impact on our regions and international communities. The following news items reflect this engagement: from senior Indonesian delegates from UIN visiting the Language Centre at Callaghan (pictured below with colleagues from FAC and FHEAM), to staff members giving keynote addresses at international conferences, to a recent celebratory event held at Wollotuka to present a profound and evocative artwork commemorating twenty years of the Yapug program for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students.
We are very fortunate to have dedicated staff with a rich diversity of expertise and knowledge at our Ourimbah, Sydney and Callaghan campuses who make the learning experiences of our students rewarding and enjoyable. So, please read on to learn more about our wonderful programs, recent achievements and events.
Yapug 20th Anniversary
On 25th July in the Birabahn Building selected staff were present for the unveiling of the artwork to be used to commemorate the 20th Anniversary of the Yapug Program. Contemporary Aboriginal Local Artist and Designer Saretta Fielding designed the artwork to capture the meaning of Yapug –path or pathway. Saretta explains the story behind the artwork:
"This sand engraved artwork celebrates the 20th anniversary of Yapug. The storyline highlights the invaluable opportunities the program has provided to countless Indigenous students towards a brighter educational future.
Central to the work is a gathering circle bordered by Elder and people symbols, reflective of learning through Yapug opening entry into further education through undergraduate degrees. Flowing upward into this central image 20 people symbols depict 20 years. These increase in size as their pathway flows upward and through the Yapug program, representing the growth and achievement gained by those participating.
The artwork backdrop of flowing pathways depicts individuals’ educational pathways, while acknowledging country and tribal groups of both the lands upon which the program footprint operates, as well as the many diverse and widespread tribal groups across the participants of Yapug."
Saretta’s works ‘aim to capture evoke emotion, enhance connection to spirit, each other and country and invite the viewer to ponder and experience something new' and this is truly evident in this piece.
Thank you Saretta and John for this truly amazing piece. Click here to see more of Saretta’s art.
Sharlene Leroy Dyer (Yapug Program Convenor) together with the local artist Saretta Fielding are shown in the picture above.
Language Centre News
The main news this month are the changes to the leadership group at the Sydney Language Centre. After 10 years in the role, Barbara Mansfield is stepping down from the Program Convenor role. Barbara says she has thoroughly enjoyed the satisfaction and challenges of running the Sydney centre but feels now is a good time to commence her transition to retirement plan. This means Barbara will be taking up a part time teaching role 2 days a week commencing in August. Her first class will be Intermediate! Keely McCauley has accepted the offer to become Program Convenor –congratulations to Keely as she brings a wealth of experience and knowledge to the role. A big thank you to Mario Rodrigues and Doris Ayala who have been co sharing the Deputy Program Convenor while Barbara was away on leave. The team work and co-operation demonstrated by the staff at the Sydney Language Centre is to be commended and shows the centre is in good hands as it moves forward. An afternoon tea for all staff at the UoN Sydney campus to celebrate the leadership changes will be held on Thursday 8/8/19.
Professional Development. Staff Peer Observations sessions begin this block. Staff work in pairs to observe and to be observed. The PO is a 4 step process which includes a briefing session to set the focus, the observation, the feedback and finally the reflection and implementation of what was observed. The process is deliberately kept informal with no management involvement at any stage. Staff report the Peer Observation has in the past been beneficial to their teaching practice and well worth doing. Peer Observations take place at the Sydney centre at least once a year.
July Intake for Callaghan
The Callaghan campus of the Language Centre recently welcomed our sixth intake of new students for 2019. The 126 new arrivals brought our total numbers to 241 at present, with 543 students accessing Language Centre programs to date in 2019.
Students arriving in July included a number of short-term ELICOS only students from Korea and Japan. Students include a large group from Korea’s Chungnam University (25 students), and Cheju Halla (15 students) alongside smaller students from Japanese partners Kyorin University. In addition, 8 students from China’s Ningbo UePath will also arrive for 14 weeks with the Language Centre which includes a tailored Research & Communication Skills program in addition to their ELICOS.
The July 15th – 19th non-teaching week saw the Language Centre conduct a range of Professional Development and Project Work activities. Highlights included a presentation from Helen Askie and Liza Pezzano on their experience living and working in Mongolia, Deputy Convenor Stuart Macdonald on Process Listening, Noel Guecco conducting Accidental Counsellor training for our staff, Janielle Wilson, Lee Richards and Teresa Balfour Brown reporting on learnings from the Sydney UECA conference and a road-trip to take part in a workshop with Lisa Soviero and Sydney based colleagues on the topic of Contemporising the Curriculum.
The Language Centre was very privileged to host three guests from Indonesia’s UIN in July. Dr. Sembodo, Dr. Waryono, and Jarot Wahyudi spent two days with the Language Centre to learn more about our history, programs and capabilities. In 2020, a cohort of Indonesian students including candidates from UIN will study a Graduate Certificate in Family Studies (International Specialisation) with UON. The Language Centre will be contributing a English for Research Purposes component into this program, a new development which we are all very excited about.
Congratulations to staff member Annmarie Murland, who is participating in an art exhibition at the University Gallery, in association with the Newcastle Music Festival. Details about the exhibition 'Erasure', and associated events are shown below.
At Callaghan Orientation for Intensive Open Foundation was held on Wednesday 17July. We had approximately 280 students attend the session. We had a fabulous group of Mentors/Volunteer students helping us on the day from registering, handing out merchandise bags to guiding the lost souls to their venues. Course information sessions were held and were well attended as usual. Orientation was by and large a success for the Intensive cohort and the weather was spectacular (although cold) on the day. The tea and coffee station was a resounding success again.
A huge thank you and shout out needs to go to the whole Team in Foundation Studies for all their efforts in ensuring it ran as smoothly as possible on the day and providing a positive student experience. A special mention should go to Leah Hill, Peter Corke and Jenny Williams for all their hard work helping on the day. Our students are certainly very lucky to have such wonderful support!
Orientation for the Ourimbah Open Foundation students commencing in Semester 2 was held on Thursday 18th July. A total of 109 students were scanned in, made up of mostly on campus students with a sprinkle of online students. Everyone filed into the Lecture Theatre looking nervous yet excited to hear about what their program will involve this Semester.
The Welcome to Country was delivered by Bronwyn Chambers before she offered some valuable advice to the commencing students. Dr Joyleen Christensen ran the students through the overview of the program as a whole and we also heard from some passionate previous Open Foundation students who shared some of their experiences. The students then branched off into their Course Information Sessions to hear from their Course Coordinators and enrolment sessions were held to help out anyone in need. The Ourimbah students are oriented and ready to go for this Semester!
Ten Unit Taster for Open Foundation students
Our high achieving students from Open Foundation in semester 1 were invited to participate in our new pilot 'Ten Unit Taster'. There were 189 eligible students in total, and they were all invited to enrol in a 10 unit undergraduate course (from a selected list of courses) while they complete Open Foundation in semester 2. Successful completion of the 10 unit course will give the students credit in their subsequent undergraduate degree.
We will watch the uptake closely, and look forward to seeing our students shine.
ELFSC Researchers making an Impact
Dr Carol carter-Keynote Speaker, 11th Drama for Life International Conference & Festival in South Africa
Carol Carter, Lecturer at Callaghan, has been invited back to her homeland as a keynote speaker at the Drama for Life International Conference & Festival being held at the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa, 8-17 August. This year’s theme Transforming Arts | Transforming Lives explores the role of the arts in creating a child-centred society.
In other good news, Carol’s recent book with Dr Estelle Irving The Child in Focus: Learning and Teaching in Early Childhood Education (Oxford University Press, 2018) has made the shortlist for the 2019 Education Publishers Awards Australia (EPAA).
Joel McGregor Tackles Youth Justice
In recent weeks, Joel McGregor, an Associate Lecturer based at Ourimbah, has been busy providing his expertise on the complex subject of juvenile detention, with radio interviews and an article in The Conversation on 29 July. To read his article click here.
Joel teaches Social Enquiry and recently completed his doctoral thesis, Case Management in Youth Desistance: A Governmentality Approach.
Please make contact with Jo if you have any research news or project updates for future newsletters.
Workplace Health and Safety
Free Counselling Service for Staff
Staff are reminded that they have access to the Employee Assistance program (EAP). This includes six free confidential counselling sessions a year for staff and their families to discuss personal and work related issues. Either face to face sessions during work hours or the 24 hour telephone counselling service can be selected. Family members must be a spouse or partner or dependent children under the age of 21 still living at home.
Managers and supervisors can also take advantage of a special manager information and advice service.
New Safety Alerts
The University has recently issued two new safety alerts; Pedestrians and Traffic, and Disposal of Broken Glass.
Driver Awareness Training
Driver Awareness Training is scheduled for Tuesday, 13th August, to be held in Raymond Terrace. The course can be booked in Discover.
Items for the ELFSC Link Newsletter are always welcome. The newsletter is published early each month, with items due 2 weeks prior to publication. Please forward any items to Jenny Williams, Maureen Jones or Leah Hill. Thank you for reading this edition of ELFS Link.