November 2015 Newsletter

Brian Smith Lecture; Staff Development; Staffing News; Dates for Diaries; Health and Safety

Research Newsletter

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

From the Director 

Sydney and Newcastle ELICOS

Sydney ELICOS has had its largest intake ever with 40 students arriving over the last few days. There are now 178 students in 12 classes and they are in 2 shifts with 7 classes on shift 1 and 5 classes in shift 2. This is the largest number of students Sydney has ever hosted since its establishment in 2009.

The Sydney Centre ran a Mental Health Day for students on Wednesday 21/10/15 with various stalls and activities on show. Activities included yoga, singing, suduko, salsa dancing, adult colouring as well as information booths about dealing with gambling, drug and alcohol problems and mental health services.

The Centre in Sydney also hosted the latest Level Co-ordinators meeting which provided staff from Callaghan with the opportunity to view the facilities in the new Sydney Premises.

The Centre at Callaghan welcomed over 140 students in their latest intake with still more students yet to arrive.  It looks like our last intake for the year will also be quite large and our total numbers will be our largest for more than 5 years.

I would like to take the opportunity to thank Helen and Janielle, Barbara and Keeley, and all teaching and professional staff who have managed these significant intakes in such a professional way.

GAPS Conference

 A number of staff from the University attended the Global Access to Post- Secondary Education (GAPS) Conference held at Sunway University in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.  This was the first time that the Conference was held in Asia and there were delegates from a variety of countries.  The Newcastle delegation's attendance was generously funded by the Centre for Excellence and Equity in Higher Education (CEEHE) and this provided the University with an ideal opportunity to position itself as a leader in equity.  All attendees from Newcastle made presentations at the Conference including Helen Cameron and Evonne Irwin from ELFS who presented a paper entitled Academic Survival Skills Online: A new Approach to Demystifying Academic Discourses for Non-Traditional Learners and the Director who gave a paper on Ripple or a Wave? The Impacts of Enabling Education.  The Journal International Studies in Widening Participation, jointly hosted by ELFS and CEEHE had its official international launch during the Conference.


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Brian Smith Lecture

Craig Ritchie will deliver the Brian Smith Widening Participation Public Lecture on 19 November, 2015 (3.30pm). "Margins to the Mainstream", Craig will reveal his personal and professional insight into the changing world of equity in higher education. 

Please click here for more information and to book your tickets.

Brian Smith Lecture Poster

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Staff Development - Professional Staff 

ELFSC Professional staff gathered for a staff development event on Thursday 8 October. With the theme "Helping Ourselves to Help Our Students" staff were welcomed by Jo May, Deputy Director and were treated to presentations from Michelle Campbell, Manager Student Equity and Support and Jenny Allen, Dean of Students.
There was much useful discussion with both Michelle and Jenny about support services for our ELICOS and enabling students, with future workshops foreshadowed.
Staff also participated in an interactive workshop "Posture, Breath and Movement". This workshop was made possible with the support of Diane Bunch, UON Health & Safety Advisor. The workshop was developed specifically for office workers, and provided staff with some useful advice and tips for getting the most out of every day. With the headline "Are you sitting yourself to death….." a range of strategies and solutions were actively explored.
In the afternoon session, staff took a Bush Tucker Tour at Yamuloong. Situated on 7 acres of land at Garden Suburb, Yamuloong means "Coming Together" in the local Awabakal language. Tour leader Rodney led the group through the gardens at the centre, enlightening the group about Aboriginal history and culture, while exploring (and tasting) the wonders of the bush tucker trails.

 Staff Development 1 Staff Development 2

Staff Development 3 Staff Development 4

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Staffing News

Catherine Chinnery-Doyle – Catherine Chinnery-Doyle has been appointed to the full-time permanent role of Learning Advisor, Enabling at the Ourimbah Campus.

Melanie Archer -The Centre also welcomes Melanie Archer. Melanie will be working part time in a Marketing Role at the Ourimbah campus. Melanie will work on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday (half day) and will be located in the Humanities Building (HO172).

Liz Goode - After 10 years working with ELFS Liz Goode has decided to embark on a new phase of her career. 

Liz's long association with ELFS started in February 2005 when she started working in our main Office while still a student at the University. Her excellent administrative skills were recognized and Liz worked for us in a part-time role until she graduated. A few years ago when we decided to move our Open Foundation Course from what was then a distance program to an online program, Liz along with Keryl Kavanagh and Jan Mayhuddin helped to make it happen.  Liz also led out on the development of an online orientation program, Week Zero, which has received institutional and national Citations for Outstanding Contributions to Student Learning and she was a key player in the creation of the Academic Survival Skills Online MOOC, the first of its kind in Australia. Liz has special skills in project management and has been involved with other colleagues in the creation of audio-visual and online resources for the Centre which have greatly enhanced the learning experience of our students. She was part of a team which inaugurated the NAEEA Community of Interest Group in online enabling education and she has led and published some groundbreaking research into online performance of enabling students.

Liz Goode has made a stellar contribution to ELFS over the last 10 years, she has left our online learning and teaching resources in a strong position and enhanced our reputation both across the institution and the sector. On behalf of the Centre we wish Liz well on her new journey and hope to see her soon as visitor to the Centre.


From Liz

Dear All,

Many thanks for your email Seamus. I have been very privileged to work at ELFS and to have had the opportunity to learn from and work with so many of you. I'm sorry that there was no opportunity to say goodbye in person, but I look forward to running into many of you down the track and hearing about all the Centre's continued and amazing successes.

Thanks again, and all the best,


Marina Penglase – Marina will be leaving her position in ELFSC at the end of 2015 to embrace a new life in northern New South Wales. Marina has been a fulltime member of the academic staff in ELFSC since January 2013, when she won the Associate Lectureship in Mathematics. Since then Marina has coordinated and taught into the Open Foundation Mathematics courses in both the Part Time and Intensive modes. Marina has encouraged her students to be confident mathematicians, often against their prior discouraging experience with Maths education. As part of her PhD research Marina is theorising a new way of teaching mathematics that has benefitted her Open Foundation students. Marina has been an enthusiastic and collegial member of the ELFSC staff and we wish Marina her every happiness and success in her new life.

Susan West – Dr Susan West has decided to retire from the University at the end of this year. Susan has coordinated and taught the Australian History courses in the Open Foundation since August 2004. Often with over 200 students in a session, Susan has offered the courses at Callaghan, Ourimbah and by Distance. When the Centre decided to turn the Open Foundation by Distance into a fully online program, Susan was part of the team that created a fully online version of Australian History and she has taught in it ever since. In her time in ELFSC, Susan has also been an active researcher publishing her fabulous book on bushranging in 2009 and having published research articles in some of Australia's premier history journals, as well as writing and presenting her research on enabling education. The Centre has been fortunate to have Susan perform the vital role of SACO over many years with sensitivity and great wisdom.
Susan West is known for her inspiring teaching, her unstinting student support and her warm collegiality. She has transformed many of her students' lives and enthused them for Australian history in lasting ways. During over ten years of service to ELFSC and its students, and as the first fulltime academic historian employed by the Centre specifically to teach Australian History, Susan has carved out an enduring place in the Centre's history. We wish her the very best for the next exciting chapter of her life.
Say farewell - A farewell for Susan and Marina will be held on Wednesday 2 December. An invitation will be sent to all staff closer to the date.

Staff and colleagues will also be invited to a function to say farewell to our retiring Deputy Director, Jo May. Jo's farewell will be held on campus on Friday 20 November (4pm).
Keep a look out for these invitations.

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Dates for Diaries

Friday 6 November – semester 2 concludes
Thursday 12 November – applications for Open Foundation and Yapug open
Friday 13 November- (direct) applications close for enabling students applying to UON undergraduate degrees in 2016
25 and 25 November – NAEEA Conference (Sydney)
Wednesday 2 December - Exam meetings – Callaghan –MCG61 (10-12 Open Foundation,1-3pm Newstep, 3-4pm Yapug)
Thursday 3 December – Exam meetings – Ourimbah – CS205 (10-12 Newstep, 12.30- 2pm Open Foundation)
Monday 7 December – direct applications for Newstep open
Wednesday 9 December- Fully Graded Date

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Health and Safety

As part of the University's Healthy UON program, a range of activities and services are available for staff that encourage positive physical, workplace, spiritual and mental health.
Check out the UON Wellness Calendar (PDF, 72KB) and make the most of the range of events and training opportunities offered to staff. This calendar is updated regularly.

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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 or queries to Jenny Williams, Leah Hill or Maureen Jones.

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