February 2018

From the Director; From the Language Centre; For your Diary; Foundation Studies PD Event; Ourimbah Dinner; Staff News; Enabling Counsellor; Sydney ELICOS News; Linguistics Lecturer on SBS RadioResearch News; ROAC Callaghan; Work Health & Safety

From the Director

We are now in the second month of 2018 and already our ELICOS courses have commenced and our UONPrep courses are just beginning.  We sincerely hope that 2018 is better than 2017, when we had threats to the future of our enabling programs and a decline in our ELICOS numbers. In 2018, things are looking a little better; the Government has advised the University that we will have the same enabling load as 2017 and it looks like our ELICOS numbers are showing a slight increase on 2017 numbers. It was pleasing in the midst of the bad news of the MYFEO was the news that HEPP was not to be cut as was expected.  Thank you in advance for your great commitment to our students and I hope you all have a rewarding year.

From the Language Centre

Teacher Excellence Award

Last year, the ELFSC Excellence in Teaching and Learning Award for International Programs was presented to Jacqueline Westwood from the Language Centre at Callaghan. Jacqueline used her unique approach to multimodal pedagogy to develop a variety of dynamic resources to enhance student learning.  The panel was impressed that her approach was strongly grounded in theory, and utilised technology to assist the pedagogy. In addition, equally impressive was the fact that Jacqueline took a proactive approach to sharing resources with her colleagues. The panel for the 2017 award included Michelle Picard, Barbara Mansfield, Christo Moskovsky, Vivien McComb and Seamus Fagan.

The Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic) presented Jackie with her award at the staff Christmas event in December.

Lynne Wilson Award

In December 2017, the Lynne Wilson Award was presented to Language Centre student KU Yeashil from South Korea.  Yeashil was nominated for Academic Excellence, Active Learning and Leadership with several of her teachers both past and present noting her outstanding achievements. The student was presented with a prize of $500 to recognize her outstanding achievements.

Student Experience Program

The following Student Experience Programs (SEP) have taken place over the first month of 2018:

On Wednesday 17th of January, new students attended a range of Orientation seminars presented by representatives of the Police, UON Security, Surf Life Saving Australia, Student Living, Chaplaincy and student advisors. Such sessions are part of the New Student Orientation program offered at the Language Centre.

In addition, student participation in a range of SEP activities aimed at improving speaking skills and facilitating connections with the broader UON community has been ongoing, with offerings including HUB chats and Library chats.

SEP coordinator Anne Burnett has worked diligently to promote Newcastle events to Language Centre students to encourage them to make deeper connections with the community. These have included opportunities to volunteer for the upcoming Surf Fest as well as distributing information on Australia Day activities taking place in Newcastle and surrounding areas.

Finally, the 2018 SEP World Sports calendar has commenced with students offered a rotating calendar of sporting activities each Thursday at the Forum, starting with basketball on Thursday February 1st.

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For Your Diary

Orientation dates

Open Foundation and Newstep events will be based at the Great Hall.

Yapug Orientation will be held in the Birabahn Building and Ourimbah events will be in Lecture Theatre 2.




Open Foundation

Wed 14 February (2pm and 5.30pm)

Thurs 15 February 5.30pm


Wed 14 February 10am



Friday 16 February 10am

Thurs 15 February 10am

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Foundation Studies PD Event

The Foundation Studies PD Day at Ourimbah on Friday 2 February focussed on Inclusive Assessment. In the initial workshop, we explored our assessment horror stories and saw how inclusive assessment is key to our enabling philosophy as well as good teaching practice in general. We looked at examples of confusing language in questions and also discussed how assessment should be structured to ensure sufficient scaffolding and preparation for all students.

After the assessment workshop, we received input from various staff on resources that we could embed into our teaching to assist students in preparing for their assessments. Our new Callaghan Foundation Studies Counsellor, Helen Scobie, spoke of all the resources available to assist our students with their mental well-being needs, especially around key events such as assessment. She explained that she can assist students herself and refer to other services and also reminded staff of the importance of embedding well-being into our curriculum. Anthony O’Brien our Learning and Teaching Librarian spoke about embedding research support into our teaching and unveiled the new Library Guide resources for Foundation Studies programs. Using gorgeous slides of furry folk, Annette Morante highlighted how the skills and resources of the Learning Advisors can be embedded into our learning, teaching and assessment, including the new Library Guides in the Foundation Studies portal. Hannah Pipe our Indigenous Learning Advisor also spoke of the needs of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students and the importance of embedding and normalising support so overcome students’ feelings of shame and anxiety in accessing help. Four of our online teaching staff (Tony Morrison, Jaime Hunt, Jennifer Irwin and Scott Sciffer) showed how they embedded support into their online courses and assessment by providing short skills modules, general feedback on assessment items and timed online quizzes to ensure students were prepared for exam conditions. Dave Powter introduced our 2018 Student Academic Conduct Officer (SACO), Carol Carter, and described the important role of the SACO in ensuring an equitable and educative approach for all students and that we prepare them adequately for undergraduate study. Finally, Sharon Cooper introduced the mini-academic integrity modules which staff will be able to embed in their teaching to ensure that students are prepared for the academic integrity demands of each assessment item.

We then completed an ELFSCish quiz based on the Foundation Studies Manual to see how much we as staff knew about what is expected of us in our teaching and learning. There was intense debate about the ‘correct answers’.

After tea time, we broke up into smaller disciplinary groups to assess our assessment items according to criteria related to clarity and equity and then we met for lunch and the sad event of bidding Dave Powter farewell. The entire Centre is grateful for the huge contribution Dave has made to all our activities. Fortunately, Dave will be continuing as a sessional staff member after a brief hiatus, so we look forward to still seeing him around sometimes.

We were also delighted to award Heath Bonnefin the Foundation Studies Teaching and Learning Prize for 2017.

After lunch, Elizabeth Bridges (QATL) provided advice on how to go about making changes and updating assessment and other course outline details and our Director Seamus Fagan answered questions from the floor.

We would like to thank everyone who participated in the Teaching and Learning PD day and especially Christine Dowman and Elizabeth Bridges for all their work in preparing the rooms and refreshments for the day. Also, thank you Holly Batten for moving desks! Welcome to all our new and returning staff. I know that we will have an exciting teaching and learning year!

Associate Professor Michelle Picard

Deputy Director English Language and Foundation Studies Centre

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Ourimbah Dinner

On Tuesday 12 December 2017, staff at the Ourimbah campus celebrated their first end-of-year dinner, with over 30 staff and their families in attendance.  It was a fantastic night and a wonderful opportunity to help our working relationships grow, as well as our waist lines.

While this was the first dinner of its kind, it sure won’t be the last, so stay tuned for more events in 2018!

Joyleen and I would like to thank everyone across both campuses, who work so hard to support our Central Coast cohort, and thanks also to Chris Dowman for organising this first event.

Happy 2018 everyone!

Kristen Allen

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Staff News


Dave Powter and Neil Morpeth

In February the Centre bids farewell to 2 retiring staff: Dr Dave Powter and Associate Professor Neil Morpeth.

Current and former colleagues wished Dave Powter all the best at a farewell lunch of Friday 2 February at Ourimbah.  Dave was Convenor of Foundation Studies at Ourimbah and provided excellent leadership over many years.  He has been strongly committed to our enabling philosophy, has always been highly regarded by Foundation studies staff at Ourimbah as well as the general university community at Ourimbah. Dave was and is a strong advocate for Ourimbah and our enabling programs at Ourimbah, and he was never shy of telling “us Callaghan People” that we had inadvertently forgotten about Ourimbah. Dave was not only a contributor to our programs in Ourimbah but to the Centre in general. On a number of occasions over the last 10 years, Dave was asked to serve for extensive periods as Acting Deputy Director.  As with all roles Dave undertook this role with his usual commitment and good grace. His work ethic, his sage advice and abiding commitment to our programs was greatly valued. Dave served 2 terms as elected member from ELFS on the University’s Academic Senate, where he was well regarded, and was asked to be involved in a number of committees of Senate.

Dave will be greatly missed by all his colleagues in ELFS but he will continue an involvement with our Centre.

Neil Morpeth’s farewell will be held on Thursday 22 February 10:30am at the Callaghan campus MCLG49. All are welcome. Neil will also continue his association with the University through the Alumni Advisory Committee and as a Conjoint Associate Professor in the Faculty of Education and Arts.

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Enabling Counsellor – Callaghan

In January we welcomed Helen Scobie to the Callaghan Counselling role, following Gemma Edgar’s move to a new role in Student Living.

Helen is an alumnus of Newcastle, completing her B Psychology (Hons) in 2003, and is registered as a provisional psychologist. She also has a Master of Teaching (Primary) from CSU and has worked as a sessional staff member in the School of Education and Arts for the last two years, teaching in Sociology of Education and Educational Psychology. Helen has worked at UON for nearly 8 years, primarily in roles focused on the support and wellbeing of students. Most recently she was employed as a Counsellor in the online space, as well as working with the case management of students in AccessAbility. Prior to these roles her focus was in the support of international students at UON and she is passionate about advocating for the needs of equity groups and engaging all students in education. In her free time she wrangles her four kids (and husband), an assortment of pets and enjoys collecting vintage fabric for projects that sometimes take form.

“I am looking forward to working with you this year and excited about creating a positive space for our 2018 students.”

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Sydney ELICOS News

Block 5801

Block 5801 began quietly with a lower than expected new student intake. Two transfers to Sydney were approved while the nationality mix for the new intake has changed with Indian students the dominate cohort.

Some developments for 2018 are the change to the Sydney ELICOS timetable. At the request of NBS, ELICOS classes will now run from 9am-2pm. There will no longer be 2 shifts and all classes must be finished by 2pm so that NBS can use the classrooms. Staff and students are pleased with this arrangement as 2 shifts are difficult to manage.  Other news is that Trish Kisiel our wonderful ELICOS Administrative Assistant has resigned. Trish has been with us over 4 years and will be greatly missed. Samarth Ullul will be taking over for 6 months while the process of finding a replacement takes place.

SEP news:  Two ex ELICOS students were invited to give a talk to EAP students in week 8 about their experiences in EAP and in the PG program. Also Doris Ayala our SEP coordinator has introduced a new program to students called Project Based Leadership Workshops. Student volunteers participate in a 6 week program focusing on 6 leadership skills. The aim of the program is to train students in leadership roles so that they can be involved in leading other students in community engagement programs.

Barbara Mansfield (Program Convenor)

UON Sydney Language Centre

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Open Foundation Linguistics Lecturer on SBS German Radio

Recently, Dr Jaime W. Hunt and Dr Sacha E. Davis (Historian, School of Humanities and Social Science) spoke to SBS German Radio reporter, Wolfgang Müller, about their project German as a heritage language in Newcastle and the Hunter Valley.

The interview was broadcast nationally on the SBS German radio program on Friday 19th January, and can be accessed online here.

Jaime and Sacha’s project, funded by the Australian Linguistics Society, aims to establish the status of German as a heritage language in the local area among second and third-generation German-speaking migrants, and placing it within a cultural-historical context. For more information, particularly if you are interested in participating in the project, please contact Jaime via email.

Journalist Wolfgang Müller, Dr Jaime W. Hunt, and Dr Sacha E. Davis at the SBS studio on Thursday 18th January.

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Research News

ELFSC Research(er) Development Activities 2018

ELFSC Research(er) Development for 2018 commenced with a brief and enjoyable session on Thursday 1 February. Twenty staff attended and some great insights and ideas were shared across the room. Participants heard from Sharlene Leroy-Dyer on the topic of Culturally Appropriate Terminology and Practice when Researching and Writing with and about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples and Anna Bennett discussed the importance of ‘reading’ when commencing and conducting research projects and grant applications. Staff were also given the opportunity to outline their research projects and goals, and to identify ways in which they would like to be supported in their research endeavours.

Anna and Jo are looking forward to catching up with colleagues at the monthly workshops listed below; these are intended to support and develop ELFSC researchers, research projects and research culture. All ongoing and sessional staff welcome!

For tailored, one-on-one support please make an appointment with Anna and Jo via email.

Proposed Calendar of Research(er) Activities and Events- Dates TBA

MarchWorkshop 1 - Concepts and Theories
AprilWorkshop 2 - Methodology
MayWorkshop 3 - Data Collection
JuneWorkshop 4 -Analysis
JulyWorkshop 5 - Writing
AugustWorkshop 6 -Dissemination and Publication
SeptemberNAEEA Symposium
OctoberFABENZ Pre-Conference Presentations
December2018 Reflections and Conference Learnings

Please make contact with ELFSC Research Manager Jo Hanley if you have any research news or project updates for future newsletters.

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ROAC Callaghan

The Recognition of Attainment Ceremony (ROAC) for our students who completed their enabling program at Callaghan in 2017 will be held on Friday 13 April at 2pm in the University Great Hall. All staff are welcome to attend and, if possible join the academic procession as we celebrate the success of our students. Further information about the event will be forthcoming.

Work Health & Safety

In case you hadn’t noticed, summer is here!! At Callaghan the mosquitoes are voracious, so please take care to protect yourself from them. Please take a moment to read the Safety Alert.

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 WilliamsMaureen Jones or Leah Hill.

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