Congratulations Machellee Kosiak

Ms Machellee Kosiak, Faculty of Health Sciences, has been awarded a 2021 Citation for Outstanding Contributions to Student Learning under the Neville Bonner Award for Indigenous Education category as part of the Australian Award for University Teaching (AAUT) program.

Machellee is a proud Wiradjuri/Ngunnawal Indigenous Australian, a registered nurse, a practicing midwife, educator, mentor and leader. Her citation is ‘For leadership that empowers Indigenous midwifery students by connecting communities and higher education: connecting two worlds.’

Machellee has been instrumental in the Away from Base (Indigenous) Bachelor of Midwifery Program (AFB BMid), which aims to address the shortage of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander midwives, since its inception at ACU in 2010. The positive impact of this program was recognised in 2016 with a Vice Chancellor's Staff Excellence Award for ‘Excellence in Student Experience’.

Machellee brings Indigenous Knowledges to the forefront of curriculum by educating staff about the changes needed to make ACU a safer place for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples to navigate. She is working to facilitate cultural understandings and Indigenous perspectives in the higher education space. Machellee is also the cultural lead for the Culturally Safe Teaching Practice Microcredential – Faculty of Health Sciences project, a deliverable from ACU’s Reconciliation Action Plan. The project team for this work were also recognised in the 2021 Vice Chancellor’s Staff Excellence Award for ‘Spirit of Reconciliation in Action' for their work, 'Cultural Safety in the Classroom’.

Machellee’s goal is to empower Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women with education that will increase their skill, self-esteem, community status and resilience, resulting in student connectedness to community and the Indigenous midwifery workforce.

This is an outstanding outcome for Machellee and wonderful recognition of her contribution to ACU in both the student and staff space.

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