ELFS Link May 2015

Your Voice; ELFS Centre Board Meeting; ELFS Forum and Lunch; Long Service Awards; ELICOS Intakes in Newcastle & Sydney; UECA PD Fest;  Quality Assurance Visit in China; Impact of Storms on Language Centre during ELICOS Programs exam Week; Newstep Festival Ourimbah; Newstep BBQ Callaghan; ELFS Student Support Meeting Update; Work Health & Safety; ROAC Photos. 

ELFSC Research Newsletter

For all the latest news on research in the centre go to the Research Newsletter.


The Centre's Recognition of Attainment Ceremony (ROAC) for students completing enabling programs in 2014 at Callaghan was held recently. As part of the University's 50th celebration the ceremony was held at the Civic Theatre on 16 April.A gallery of photographs from the event are accessible here.The ROAC for Ourimbah students will be held in early July. Date to be advised.

A gallery of photographs from the event are accessible here.

The ROAC for Ourimbah students will be held in early July. Date to be advised.

Your Voice

As previously advised, the Director will present the outcomes of the 2014 Your Voice Survey to ELFSC staff.

The presentation includes the overall performance of the University vis a vis other universities who participated in the Survey, as well as outcomes for the Academic Division and the ELFS Centre.  There is also an opportunity to make further comments on the survey and the Centre.  Thank you to those staff who attend.

The Callaghan presentation was held on 5 May (from 12 -1 in MCLG59).  The Ourimbah presentation will be on 20 May (from 12 -1 in HO1.73), Sydney presentation is yet to be arranged.

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ELFS Centre Board Meeting 

The ELFSC Board met on 15 April.  Professor Andrew Parfitt (DVC-A) is Chair of the Board.

The Board welcomed new members Associate Professor Kathy Butler as the Program Convenor of the Yapug Program, Ms Barbara Mansfield as the Program Convenor of the ELICOS (Sydney) Program and Mr Dean Turner-Mann, the student representative from the Newstep program.  

The Board also:

  • Noted reports from each Program Convenor.
  • Endorsed the ELFSC 2014 Annual Program report Summary (this will be forwarded to the Program and Course Approval Committee for approval).
  • Approved a proposal to revise the Newstep program, amending the program completion requirement such that students must pass the full 80 units of courses undertaken in the Newstep program.  This recommendation will be forwarded to the Program and Course Approval Committee for approval and implementation from semester 1, 2016. Transition arrangements for students currently completing Newstep over 2 years will be put in place.
  • Ratified minor course revisions to EPMATH124, EPMATH125, EPMATH126, and EPMATH127.
  • Approved revisions to EPHUMA123 for implementation from Semester 2, 2015.

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ELFSC Forum and Lunch

The ELFSC staff forum and lunch was held in the Treehouse on 15 April. Chair of the Board, Professor Andrew Parfitt (DVC-A), and the Centre's Director, Associate Professor Seamus Fagan reported on the following matters:

  • In 2015 the Centre celebrates 25 years of the Newstep program.
  • 2015 student numbers in all programs.
  • Major achievements for the Centre.
  • The lack of clarity around the next steps with higher education reforms.
  • The University's ongoing commitment to equity and access.

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Long Service Awards

During the ELFSC Forum on 15 April, three staff members were recognised for their dedicated service to the University. Professor Parfitt presented awards to: Helen Fitzgerald (25 years) and Maureen Jones (15 years). Barry Hodges (15 Years) was unable to be present. The Director will present Barry with his award at a future event.

Staff Awards

Left to Right:  Assoc Prof Seamus Fagan, Helen Fitzgerald, Maureen Jones and Prof Andrew Parfitt

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ELICOS Intakes in Newcastle and Sydney

In the week beginning 2 April, 57 students commenced their ELICOS studies at the Language Centre at Callaghan and 32 at our Centre in Sydney.

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On 2 May the University English Centres of Australia (UECA) held a Professional Development Day at Macquarie University.  Six staff from Callaghan and 4 from our Sydney campus attended the event. Sue Hodgson from our Newcastle Centre presented on "enhancing student learning using online tasks" which was well received.

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Quality Assurance Visit in China

Janielle Wilson, the Deputy Convenor ELICOS and Co-ordinator of our International Programs, recently visited Jilin University of Finance and Economics (JUFE) in Changchun, China to conduct a Quality Assurance visit of the Language Centre at JUFE which offers our Upper Intermediate and English for Academic Purposes courses.

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Impact of Storms on Language Centre during ELICOS Programs exam Week

The recent stormy weather in NSW occurred at an inopportune times for ELICOS students in Newcastle and Sydney, with it coinciding with their end of course exams. With the Newcastle Centre closed for two days and Sydney for one, all staff rallied to ensure all exams were offered to students and marked in a timely manner so students obtained their results without much delay. A big thank you to all concerned.

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Newstep Festival Ourimbah

The very first Newstep Festival was held on the Ourimbah Campus on Wednesday 29 April.

The Festival commenced with a welcome and a short session on networking presented by Ourimbah's Careers Adviser, Monique Kassi. Students were then treated to some music and a free pizza lunch as they perused the colourful stalls outside. Representatives from Counselling, Careers, Learning Development (Academic and Maths), NUSPORT, Health Services, and Library Services were available to answer any enquiries from students. 

Newstep Festival

Also, a special-interest stall gave students the opportunity to help foster an elephant orphan in Kenya.

At the conclusion of the Festival, three door prizes were drawn: $5, $15, and $30 vouchers to the Ourimbah Campus Bar.

Due to the power outages and campus closure caused by the storms in the previous week, some activities originally planned for the Festival were unfortunately unable to go ahead. However, a good time was had by all who attended.

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Our stormed out week 7 attempt at a BBQ became a glorious sunny week 8 BBQ at the Callaghan Campus.  Well over 100 Newstep students enjoyed the weather, food and drinks on the lawn and in the courtyard of the McMullin Building.  Newstep Bingo made its inaugural appearance with students playing for the chance to win one of four $25 Coles/Myer gift cards.Winners In this game, students were given the task of identifying 9 students whose first name started with each of 9 different letters provided.  They then had to record the students' full name and submit their entry into a draw.  This activity proved to be a great success, with students approaching other students to find out their name and many new friendships were formed.  This activity also launched the Newstep Career Journey as an activity encouraging interaction with others.  The winners of Newstep Bingo as drawn by our barrel attendant Ashley Hunter were Penelope Papageorgiou, Tanaya De Giorgio, Courtney Birch and Mandira Sharma.  Thanks so much to our staff for making this an enjoyable and successful event!


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ELFSC Student Support Staff Meeting update

The ELFSC Student Support Group convened for their regular meeting in April 2015. The group consists of various support areas for ELFS students including Academic Advisors, BOOST, Careers, Counselling, English Language Support, Indigenous Engagement Officer, Learning Development, Library, Maths Advisers, Mentors, PASS, Program Convenors, and Student Retention Officers.

Highlights and actions from the meeting included:

  • Discussion to look at the utilisation of SMS to contact students not engaged in programs.
  • Environmental scan of what other universities are doing to support enabling students.
  • Developing a more appropriate name for the ELFSC Student Support Group that students can identify with
  • Newstep Career Journey – Sessions held at both Callaghan and Ourimbah campuses in April 2015.
  • Student Liaison Officer – Welcome to Sharon Boyd to role of Student Liaison Officer at Callaghan to commence on 4 May. Clarification of the role was provided that included ELFS student retention, and advice of UAC applications and undergraduate programs.
  • Teaching and Learning committee – report from ELFSC Student Support Staff meetings to be provided to committee.
  • Future meetings to look at new innovative ways to support students through embedded and online programs.
  • Current development of a pamphlet to promote Student Support at Orientation Programs.

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Work Health and Safety (WHS)

All centre staff can forward any health & safety issues they find to our two 4 WHS Officers.  The officers are Lynette Dennis, lynette.dennis@newcastle.edu.au, for McMullin Building and An-Chi Baxter, anchi.baxter@newcastle.edu.au, for The Language Centre.  In Sydney contact Barbara Mansfield barbara.mansfield@newcastle.edu.au and for Ourimbah campus it is Chris Dowman, chris.dowman@newcastle.edu.au.

These staff report any incidents or events to the University's Health & Safety Committee meetings.

If you have any WHS issues you would like to report please refer them onto your appropriate WHS Officer for your building.You can also find further information on the website at Work Health & Safety or Raising Health & Safety Concerns.

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ROAC Photo Gallery

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