Academic excellence celebrated by The University of Notre Dame Australia

Document Type

Media Release

Publication Date

Fall 18-4-2012

Publisher Name

The University of Notre Dame Australia

Publication Place



The outstanding achievements of staff and students on Notre Dame’s Fremantle and Sydney campuses in 2011 were celebrated at the University’s recent annual Academic Prize Giving ceremonies.

In 2011, Vice Chancellor, Professor Celia Hammond, initiated a new Vice Chancellor’s Award which sought to actively promote, recognise and reward excellence in teaching practices and learning outcomes in their different forms across all the University’s campuses.

“Excellence in teaching is integral to the Objects of The University of Notre Dame Australia,” said Professor Hammond.

“The application process is rigorous, requiring the staff nominated by Executive Deans to be appraised by an advisory panel. The panel then makes their recommendations to the Vice Chancellor.”

The Sydney awards ceremony marked a significant milestone year for its School of Medicine with graduate Dr Megan Downing being awarded the University Medal for achieving the highest academic results in the University in 2011. The School celebrated the graduation of its first cohort in December 2011.

The Vice Chancellor’s Award for Teaching was presented to Associate Professor Michael Wan, Head of Assessment at the School of Medicine, Sydney and an integral member of the School since it began in 2008.

Associate Professor Wan was presented with the Teaching Award for his role in the design, delivery and assessment of the Medicine curriculum and his involvement in institutional benchmarking and accreditation standards.

At Notre Dame’s Fremantle Campus, Vice Chancellor’s Awards were bestowed upon the following staff members for demonstrating an outstanding commitment to University teaching –

Assistant Dean of Health Sciences Ms Fiona Farringdon and Senior Lecturer Mr Duncan Picknoll were recognised for their dedication and excellence in undergraduate and early career teaching respectively.

Mr Paul Rycroft, also from the School of Health Sciences in Fremantle, was presented with a Vice Chancellor’s Award for Initiatives that Enhance Student Learning. He was recognised for the implementation and development of the reflective process in undergraduate Health and Physical Education students at the Fremantle Campus.

Ms Jane Mangano was acknowledged for her work in developing and implementing a pilot intervention to support at risk students and students re-entering the University within the distinguished Academic Enabling and Support Centre in Fremantle.

Dr Melissa Langdon, Dr Justine Maldon and Dr Sandra Nasr from the School of Arts and Sciences were also presented with a Vice Chancellor’s Award for the development of a new curriculum for AL100 - Academic Writing, Communication and Research to address first year learning needs.

Professor Hammond reflected that while recipients had been blessed with many talents, their awards celebrated the application of those talents which had brought each great success.

“Evenings such as this are beautiful ones at the University because we can celebrate, acknowledge and welcome the academic achievements of students, and formally recognise our excellent teachers,” Professor Hammond said.

“Every person here has special gifts and talents; it’s what you do with them and how you use them that are really important. Tonight we are not celebrating the talents that have been granted to you, we are celebrating what you have done with them.”

MEDIA CONTACT: Shelley Robinson, Fremantle Campus: Tel (08) 9433 0610; Mob 0408 959 138 Elizabeth Fenech, Sydney Campus: Tel (02) 8204 4407