This year, Global Challenges Leader Senior Professor Sharon Robinson and two Global Challenges teams were awarded with UOW Vice-Chancellor’s Awards. These prestigious awards aim to encourage and recognise exceptional performance from University staff members who demonstrate outstanding achievement in activities that are aligned to the University's vision and strategic goals.
Sustaining Coastal and Marine Zones Challenge Leader, Senior Professor Sharon Robinson was a joint recipient of the Vice-Chancellor’s Research Excellence Award for Researcher of the Year.
This award acknowledges Senior Professor Robinson's outstanding contribution to international research and significant contribution to the advancement of knowledge.
Senior Professor Sharon Robinson’s research is at the forefront of international research into the impacts of climate change on Antarctic ecosystems. As a plant ecophysiologist she has pioneered novel techniques to investigate plant metabolic processes and we are honoured to have Professor Robinson on our Global Challenges leadership team.
Project DARE (Dementia knowledge, Art, Research and Education) received a 2019 Vice-Chancellor’s Award for Interdisciplinary Research Excellence.
The team utilises art as a medium by which children can express their understandings of dementia. The interdisciplinary project supported by Global Challenges brings together educators, artists, dementia experts, psychologists and health professionals, providing opportunities to younger children to visually express concepts that they may not have the vocabulary to convey. Trialled in Thirroul, this program has now been replicated in Aberdeen, Scotland and has gained international interest from others who want to be involved in Project DARE.
Congratulations to the Project DARE team, Dr Pippa Burns, Dr Michelle Eady, Dr Penny Harris, Prof Victoria Traynor, Corinne Green, Carinya Barkley, Dr Jess Baker and Jennine Primmer.
The Stronger Cultures Koori Kids team received a Vice-Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Community Engagement.
The interdisciplinary project enables Aboriginal people to build a strong connection to Country through cultural practices, knowledge and expression. In partnership with Cullunghutti Aboriginal Child and Family Centre, Ulladulla Land Council and the local Culburra community, this afterschool program has enabled children to learn about healthy lifestyles through activities that represent their culture.
This is the first program of its kind that uses a connection to culture as the focal point for improving children’s healthy lifestyle behaviours and building confidence in who they are. So far, the program has been delivered to 120 children living in Ulladulla, Culburra and Nowra.
Victor Channell, Deputy Chair, Ulladulla Aboriginal Land Council and has also been a program Mentor as part of the After School Care project.
“During the program we realised how much kids didn’t know about their own culture. Now there has been a big change in the community. Kids behaviours have changed, kids who were once very shy have come out of their shells and they have made better connections with their peers and their family. It has been life changing for them.
“A lot of parents have asked when we will be doing a program again, it gave the parents comfort in knowing that their children were learning about Aboriginal history and culture and gave them a sense of pride.”
Congratulations to Dr Rebecca Stanley, Dr Anthony McKnight, Dr Yasmine Probst, Sarah Ryan and Professor Tony Okely and to all teams and individuals who received 2019 Vice-Chancellor’s Awards. More photos to come.