Dr Holly Doel-Mackaway | Faculty of Arts  

Dr Holly Doel-Mackaway’s commitment to supporting future generations of lawyers to be critical thinkers, and her pursuit to challenge discrimination and transform established legal norms has been brought to life with her new unit Child Law.  

Along with her In Conversation video and podcast series featuring leading child law experts, and authentic ‘real-life’ assessments, her teaching not only increases Indigenous cultural competency among staff and students, but also cultivates deep engagement and new ways of understanding how law operates.  

“Working for many years as a human rights lawyer and social worker taught me about the impact of legal inequity in relation to women, young people and Indigenous peoples. Since becoming an academic I have successfully synthesised my professional learning into my teaching practice and students recognise this as one of my greatest teaching assets.” 

In fostering a sense of global citizenship, Holly employs a human rights-based approach to her teaching – amplifying her students’ voices and ensuring they feel safe and respected.  

“Holly inspires students to see themselves in not only someone else’s shoes, but in someone else’s world to understand legal issues in a unique, cross-cultural, all-encompassing, and modern way.” – Student Testimonial.  

The panel felt that the application of theory to practice was highly successful in creating ideal learning conditions for a broad range of students.   

Dr Petra Graham | Faculty of Science and Engineering 

Associate Professor Petra Graham uses a reflective, student-focused constructivist approach to foster student learning.  

“Students fear statistics, especially when coming from non-quantitative backgrounds. I use a reflective, student-focused constructivist approach to foster student learning, to make statistics fun!” 

Petra acknowledged that many students struggle with the relevance of statistics to their degree, and she actively addressed this using a knowledge discovery process, creating interactive content that scaffolds their understanding, avoids cognitive overload and enables students to become the researcher using relevant real-world data.  

“Petra has made statistics so accessible and fun. Her lectures are not only clear, but her witty sense of humour has made me remember content.” – Student Testimonial  

The panel commended Petra’s commitment to student learning and acknowledged the decreasing fail rates over time; evidence from peer and student testimonials, which shows a truly students first approach. 

Professor Debbie Haski-Leventhal | Macquarie Business School 

In elevating her students to higher levels of consciousness, Professor Debbie Haski-Leventhal is working to create a movement towards responsible management education and purpose-driven universities – that are a force for good.  

“I aim to inspire positive change among future business leaders, lead to increased social impact, and contribute to Macquarie’s excellence and purpose. I strive to evoke possibilities within my students, elevating them to higher levels of consciousness so that they can impact their organisation, the business sector, and society to address social issues and increase sustainability.” 

Debbie brought inspirational speakers to MQ, turning her Big Friday of Social Entrepreneurship and Women Who Change the World into ‘mega events’ for the entire university. And among her innovative teaching techniques are guided meditation to discuss the future of sustainability; the Failure Circle to build resilience; and shared lunches to generate connectivity.  

For her students, the change is palpable, as one of them writes: “I succeeded in pivoting my career towards responsible investment; I’ve just completed a project at AMP to divest their portfolios from tobacco and controversial weapons and joined Colonial First State to lead their responsible investment efforts. Thank you for arming me with the tools to make this happen!” 

The panel commended Debbie’s ability to foster student engagement through a variety of transformative learning experiences. They also acknowledged that Debbie is making a real difference not only in the lives of her students, but to the university and the sector, more broadly. 

Dr Prashan Karunaratne | Macquarie Business School   

Dr Prashan Karunaratne knows how to speak the language of students. This coupled with his ability to engage them in “the how” and “the why” of learning, and draw on their own experiences, encourages many of his students seek to repeat their experience with him in other units throughout their degree. By devoting time in each lesson for students to teach and learn from each other, Prashan says they “become partners and co-creators in their learning”. As he builds their confidence, they can self-teach themselves new concepts.   

“I have had the pleasure of having you for two of my subjects… you always put in a great level of effort and made your units extremely interesting. It is no wonder Macquarie students have such love for you.” – Student Testimonial  

As well as launching, BCom Course Compass Live! an initiative for academic and industry speakers to advise students on employability, Prashan has had success with Enactus, an international experiential learning platform that empowers students to use business principles and entrepreneurial skills to advance a United Nations Sustainable Development Goal. Following Macquarie’s national champion status in 2020 and top-four finish this year, Prashan was named Most Outstanding Faculty Adviser at the national championship in 2021.  

The panel commended the evidenced transformative learning experiences and acknowledged Prashan’s ability to facilitate motivation in the classroom, in co-curricular activities and industry events.  

Dr John Turchini  | Faculty of Medicine, Health and Human Sciences  

Dr John Turchini has more than 10 years’ experience teaching different medical programs in the disciplines of anatomy, histology and pathology. He currently teaches these disciplines into the Macquarie MD program across all 4 years, as well as applying a clinical medicine flavour to the subjects. He is also a practicing histopathologist.

“My teaching philosophy is founded on the principle that learning should be enjoyable. I achieve this through gamification of class and creating clinically relevant scenarios thereby producing safe environments, breaking down complex problems into simple concepts and by always pushing students to get to the answer themselves.”

Through gamification and clinically relevant scenarios, he fulfils his philosophy of making learning enjoyable. Particularly popular is his game show strategy. “I have never been this excited and engaged in a prac… you will be amazed how much you learn because of its engaging delivery.” – Student Testimonial

The panel commended John’s ability to motivate and guide students though transformative learning experiences.

Are you interested in applying for an award? 

Applications for the 2022 Vice Chancellor’s Learning & Teaching Awards are now open: 

Award writing workshops

All Award information including guidelines and FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) can be found on the Awards in teaching website.

If you have any questions related to this years’ Awards, please contact the Operations Team

Posted by Office of the PVC Education

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