Outstanding contribution to student learning acknowledged

Document Type

Media Release

Publication Date

Winter 15-7-2009

Publisher Name

The University of Notre Dame, Fremantle Campus

Publication Place



The Australian Learning and Teaching Council (ALTC) has awarded academics from The University of Notre Dame Australia, three Citations for Outstanding Contributions to Student Learning.

Established in 2004 by the Australian Government, ALTC is an independent organisation dedicated to improving the student learning experience by supporting quality teaching and practice.

Citations are awarded to academic and professional staff who have made long-standing contributions to the quality of student learning and improving the overall student experience.

More than $2 million will be presented to 206 individuals and teams at ceremonies held in August as part of the Australian Government’s commitment to quality learning and teaching, with each citation worth $10,000.

The successful Notre Dame recipients were; Associate Professor Shane Lavery (School of Education, Fremantle), Mr John Rees (School of Arts and Sciences, Sydney) and members of the School of Arts and Sciences Aboriginal Youth and Community Wellbeing Team: Professor Neil Drew, Ms Kate Mugliston, Professor Peta Sanderson, Dr Dawn Darlaston-Jones, Dr Dylan Korczynskyj (Fremantle) and founder of the program, Mrs Maria Morgan.

The School of Arts and Sciences Aboriginal Youth and Community Wellbeing Team citation is ‘for authentic and compassionate approaches to cultural learning and engagement with regional and remote Aboriginal communities in Western Australia consistent with University values and mission’.

The team is a multidisciplinary group working in partnership with remote Aboriginal communities to stimulate the passions and commitment of students for social justice and reconciliation.

Dean of the School of Arts and Sciences, Fremantle, Professor Drew said that they were very proud to receive the award. "We are grateful for the public acknowledgement by the ALTC. It is a tremendous recognition of the wonderful things that can be achieved as a result of a genuine partnership between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people in pursuit of practical reconciliation through education.

“In this program we live and learn together - walking alongside one another for shared learning. I am very grateful that we have been invited so fully into the lives of some extraordinary people from the Aboriginal communities in the East Kimberley. This program has been life changing and even life defining for participants. My thanks also to the University for its unwavering support of this important work," said Professor Drew.

Mr John Rees lectures in Politics & International Relations and is the Internship Coordinator for the School of Arts & Sciences in Sydney. He has been acknowledged for his contribution to student learning by engaging and motivating students to move from opinion-based to knowledge-based learning of Australian and world politics.

Mr Rees’ citation was ‘for inspiring students through high-level teaching and communication practice and for motivating students to link knowledge-based learning to their vocational futures’.

Associate Professor Shane Lavery’s citation was ‘for sustained leadership and commitment to developing a service-learning culture as an embedded and integral part of the Secondary Teacher Education Formation Program’ .

Associate Professor Lavery is the Coordinator of Postgraduate Education on the Fremantle Campus. Since its inception six years ago, this service-learning program has been highly successful with both students and community partners.

Vice Chancellor, Professor Celia Hammond said the success of the staff in this year’s ALTC awards was a significant acknowledgement.

“On behalf of the University, I congratulate our three successful nominees for this national recognition of their outstanding achievements. All three citations reflect the commitment Notre Dame’s staff have to providing excellent teaching, and challenging and diverse educational experiences for our students.

Media contact: Rebecca Cassidy 08 9433 0611, 0408 959 138