Congratulations to our 2020 award winners

Congratulations to the winners of the 2020 Vice-Chancellor’s Staff Excellence Awards.

Each year, ACU recognises the achievements and contributions of our colleagues and celebrates excellent work through these awards. 

We received many impressive nominations in 2020 – a challenging year due to the need to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. I feel especially proud of the way staff across ACU have responded to, and persevered through, many difficulties to deliver excellent initiatives that so strongly support our mission and our students. I thank all our nominees for their efforts.

An additional award category introduced this year, Spirit of Reconciliation, highlights excellent contributions that support culturally-appropriate initiatives for students and staff, and progress ACU’s Indigenous strategy.

From these award winners, one team or individual will also receive the Vice-Chancellor’s Medal for Excellence. I will announce this year’s medal winner on 29 October.

Please join me in congratulating our 2020 winners:

Mission Excellence

ACU Student Urgent Relief Fund Team for establishing a relief fund to provide financial help to students impacted by COVID-19. The fund achieved record donations – many from staff – and $249,646 was raised to support 832 students experiencing financial difficulties.
Team: Rachelle Bramley, Tara Loty, Kathy Sweeney, Jing Tong and Adrienne Conway.

Campus Ministry Staff Ministry Team for its dedicated and inclusive work enabling ACU to provide a world-class, distinctive and mission-orientated ministry to our staff – a world-first initiative among universities.
Team: Colleen Tracey, Tanya Kehoe, Greg Jeffery, Hannah Hladik, Ann O’Connor, Jeremy Ambrose, Cristina Gomez and Brother Michael Callinan FMS.

Service Excellence

Digital Workspace Program and Team for providing collaboration, file sharing, and video conferencing tools to bring to life the vision of ‘any device, anywhere, any time’, so sustaining ACU’s operational capability during COVID-19. 
Team: Wil Daniels, Keng Ong, Dustin Marcus, Gordon Howell, YingFang Lee, Trung Nguyen, Brendan Hunt, Matthew Remington, Natasha Zissis, Paul Wagner, Govinda Subedi, Glen Fisher, Douglas Simpson and David Prentis.

Examination Team Plus for responding rapidly to provide students with a regular exam timetable, regardless of assessment type, following the move to a virtual campus in Semester 1 – so preventing undue stress for students and academic staff.
Team: Helen Murnane, Katie Cooper, Catherine Thompson, Amanda Wang, Patricia Yamasaki, Ashleigh Brown, Annette Rigby and Kym Fizzell.

Excellence in Community Engagement

Syed Muhammad Fazal-e-Hasan for his community engagement work with asylum seekers and migrants, designing a 10-day workshop to bridge the gaps that can prevent people from living a happy and contented life within a new culture.

Dr Laura Miller for her work championing community engagement with the Brisbane Paralympic Football Program (BPFP) and the innovative professional practice placement PREP-4-BPFP, which empowers children sidelined by COVID-19 with the skills and confidence to partake in the BPFP.

Excellence in Student Experience

Director Learning and Teaching Centre and Associate Deans Learning and Teaching – Response to COVID-19 Team for its excellent leadership during the pandemic in moving teaching to online delivery mode for Semester 1, 2020, assuring both consistency of the student experience and business continuity during a challenging time.
Team: Professor William Ashraf, Dr Richard Colledge, Dr Bhavani Sridharan, Professor Meg Stuart and Associate Professor Anthony Whitty.

Living and Learning Communities Team for their excellent and continuous efforts to improve the services provided to residents at Miguel Cordero Residence (Sydney), Camillus and Managed Residences (Ballarat), and Managed Residences (Canberra), and for creating the Rental Advisory Service to support ACU students renting privately during COVID-19.
Team: Monica Bordignon, Rebecca Riley, Howard Costello, Karen Grech, Anne-Marie Yates and Benjamin Todd.

Excellence in Research and Research Partnership

Professor Kathy Mills for forging innovative international and national partnerships with government, industry, and Indigenous communities to empower students who encounter economic adversity with sustainable research impact and empathy.

Playgroups for Learning Team for building the evidence base required to facilitate the playgroup participation that leads to enhanced learning outcomes in early childhood.
Dr Karen McLean, Professor Susan Edwards, Dr Timothy Katiba, Jacinta Bartlett, Sam Carroll, Melanie Thomas and Celine (Poh Yoke) Chu.

Spirit of Reconciliation Excellence

Occupational Therapy Curriculum Team for its excellent work embedding First Peoples ‘knowing, being, doing’ within the occupational therapy curriculum, therefore progressing towards decolonising the curriculum for a better future. 
Team: Associate Professor Elspeth Froude, Associate Professor Kerrie Thomsen, Associate Professor Loretta Sheppard, Associate Professor Laura Miller, Dr Susan Darzins, Dr Elisa Yule, Dr Margaret Wallen, Dr Ros Harrington, Hugh Stewart and Jennifer O’Brien.

Supporting Culturally Responsive Practice During Fieldwork Placements Team for collaborating to develop fieldwork-based resources for social work, occupational therapy and speech pathology to build the capabilities of non-Indigenous fieldwork supervisors to create culturally safe learning environments for Indigenous students, communities and agencies when hosting student placements.
Team: Associate Professor Loretta Sheppard, Associate Professor Joanna Zubrzycki, Associate Professor Wendy Pearce and Richard Jameson.

Congratulations to these winners.

Due to the many excellent nominations submitted this year, the outstanding efforts of three individuals are also highly commended for their work:

Rhys King for providing service excellence through IT support to staff and students on the Banyo Campus, ensuring they in turn can efficiently deliver services to students and staff.

Dr Joe Perry for excellence in community engagement through his outstanding leadership of the ACU Murray to Moyne Cycle Team for nearly 20 years.

Chrissy Monteleone for demonstrating an exemplary spirit of reconciliation through her work in the Away from Base program for the Bachelor of Education (Primary) to build a culturally safe learning space for all.

Yours sincerely,

Professor Greg Craven AO, GCSG
Vice-Chancellor and President

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