Our people

The Workforce Development Program underpins activities and training to align with competencies required for the future.

Digital-first propositions, drawn from the Future-Ready Library Strategy, were fundamental in developing a people profile. The people profile helped provide a framework for the continued development of Library culture, guided by the principles of trust, transparency and accountability.

Key achievements included the commencement of a phased portfolio realignment, and scaffolded digital dexterity strategies, building on previous digital literacies programs.

Self-directed learning and professional development initiatives shifted to in-house learning forums, events and activities extending beyond the traditional approach of attending courses and conferences.

The approach was outlined and presented as a case study at the THETA Conference 2019: Journey to the new frontier: staff experience in a professional development program for digital dexterity

Examples from the development program included Friday Features as a time to share, learn, observe and experience digital dexterity within an informal peer-to-peer based environment. A commitment to the Find 15 principles (Wedgwood) was also implemented, encouraging staff to find 15 minutes of development time in their daily work; and networked Communities of Practice (CoP).  

The Digital Humanities CoP was established to explore the application of computational tools and methods within traditional humanities disciplines. This CoP has enjoyed the opportunity to connect with other digital humanities professionals, both within and outside the UOW community, including Associate Professor Tim Sherratt from the University of Canberra, the Digital Humanities Unit at Victoria University of Wellington, GLAM Labs, and TINKER.

Staff engaged in the exploration of tools to support and improve digital dexterity, Library processes and research support. These tools also proved invaluable in providing software support for research needs such as the web scraping tool.

"The Digital Humanities CoP has provided me with a supported and friendly space in which to explore and experiment with a range of digital tools and have discussions about how they would benefit our clients. I’ve dipped my toes into areas I normally would feel a bit intimated by, such as coding. The CoP has also given me an opportunity to develop my leadership capabilities and helped build my professional reputation outside UOW."
Renée Grant, Liaison Services Librarian and Digital Humanities CoP founding member

We strive for a culture of active engagement, commitment and performance by providing contextual training and development. Donna Dee Manager, Workforce Planning and Development

THETA Conference May 2019 - 'The Tipping Point', Wollongong NSW

Hosted in Wollongong, the conference provided an opportunity for 23 Library staff to experience a large-scale premier event.

Participants heard from visionary speakers, addressing thought-provoking topics on emerging trends and the future landscape in the intelligent use of information technology in higher education and research.

Our people contributed in various ways, by presenting papers, as delegates, committee members, or volunteers.

Staff feedback: "It was more than expected...", "New networks formed, and existing networks reignited!" and "An outstanding opportunity to cement our thinking for the future."

Renee speaking to an audience at the VALA conference
Margie Jantti, Director Library Services, receiving a gift from the THETA Conference Committee
Kristy speaking at the VALA conference


1. Renée Grant, Liaison Librarian | 2. Margie Jantti, Director Library Services, receiving a gift from the THETA Conference Committee
3. Kristy Newton, Digital Literacies Coordinator 


Leadership development

ACODE Learning Technologies Leadership Institute residential program: The institute is a highly engaging and practical professional leadership development program designed to develop a deep understanding of effective leadership in relation to technology enhanced learning in tertiary education.

"The ACODE LTLI was both intense and rewarding. I gained a lot of insight into strategic level thinking from higher education and technology leaders across our profession and needed to put that quickly into practice to apply to the group task that was the focus of the three-day program. I have stayed in touch with some of the people I met during the program and have found opportunities to collaborate with them via mediums such as the CAUL Digital Dexterity Champions network."
Kristy Newton, Digital Literacies Coordinator


Leading Change Institute (LCI): This USA based program brings together senior information sector leaders, including deans, librarians, and information technologists who seek to inspire, advocate for, and advance change in in today’s increasingly ambiguous and rapidly changing higher education environment.

"I was privileged to spend a week exploring leadership with colleagues from senior Library & IT roles at higher education institutions from North America and Ireland. Attending the LCI allowed me to broaden my learning community, see the world through the lens of others for a time and also to appreciate the things we are doing well both at UOW and here in Australia."
Clare McKenzie, Associate Director Learning and Engagement


The CAVAL NSW Cross Institutional Mentoring Program was offered to six staff (3 mentors and 3 mentees). The core of the program involves mentoring partnerships that provide an invaluable opportunity for mentees to receive support and insights around specific learning goals, as well as increasing opportunities for building networks across organisations.

"The CAVAL Mentee/Mentor Program has been instrumental in developing perspective and clarity in terms of my capabilities and career goals. The program has broadened my professional network forging long lasting cross-institutional connections, further exposing me to new and innovative ways of working within a digital academic landscape."
Christina Salopek, UOW Library Resource Sharing Officer and 2019 CAVAL mentee

Vice-Chancellor's Awards

The following Library staff members were recognised for 25 years of service at UOW: Afrodita Brbevski, Lara Duggan, Helen Fletcher, Toni Lanyon and Karen Lunt.

Staff recognition

Library Achievement and Success awards

The Library Achievement and Success awards are presented to staff or teams who have made an outstanding contribution to a service or process during the year. Nominated by team members and recognised at regular events through the year, the overall award is chosen by a panel of peers.

Highly commended: Michael Swire, Resource Collections Officer, for his significant contribution to the Collection Modernisation Project.

Individual: Christine Wales, Liaison Services Librarian, for redesigning and updating the Journal Impact, Scholarly Output, and CiteSnap reports.

Team: Client Services Team for the proactive Live Chat pilot.


Library Executive Team (LET) Award

The LET Award is chosen by the Executive Team and recognises teams for outstanding effort.

Photo of Library staff members receiving the LET Award

LET Award Recipients 2019

Collection Modernisation Project group

This group included staff from Collection Development, eCollections, Resource Sharing and Executive Services.

Pictured L-R:
Kira Shen, Margie Jantti (Director Library Services), Lisa Cornford, Brian Cox, Melanie Sarten, Michael Swire, Cathy Messer, Sandi Wooton, Afrodita Brbevski, Sonya Ollerenshaw.

Not pictured:
Jo-anne Lombardi, Kirsten Souter


Presentations and publications

Conroy, J & Hardy, A 2019, 'Library digital strategy and informal learning spaces', presented at the WATTLE Technology Enhanced Learning (TEL) Hot Topic Group Showcase, University of Wollongong, 4 July

Corradini, A & Hutchinson, S 2019, 'Engagement and impact: a voyage of discovery', Research Bazaar, Sydney, 10-13 September

Grant, RC & Shalavin, CA 2019, 'Journey to the new frontier: staff experience in a professional development program for digital dexterity', THETA Conference, Wollongong, 19-22 May

Hutchinson, S & Newton, K 2019, 'Leveraging established relationships to embed digital literacies in the curriculum', presented at the Technology Enhanced Learning (TEL) Lab Showcase, University of Wollongong, 17 July

Jantti, MH 2019, 'CAUL Libraries transforming lives – Mapping the UN Sustainable Development Goals', 40th IATUL Conference, Perth, 23-27 June

Jantti, MH 2019, 'Research data integrity and management: capability development', ACGR Conference, Wollongong, 14 November

McKenzie, C, 2019, 'Digital dexterity – A sustainable model for developing skills to meet the new digital reality', THETA Conference, Wollongong, 19-22 May 

Newton, K, Porter, DP, Downie, SR & Rigter, D 2019, 'Institutional technology adoption and integration: a holistic grass roots approach to inform institutional transformation', THETA Conference, Wollongong, 19-22 May

Nolan, D & Sie, R 2019, 'Beyond time and space: using AI to solve client service challenges now and into the future', ALIA Information Online Conference, Sydney, 11-15 February

O’Sullivan, C, Slocombe, A, McKenzie, C & Salisbury, F 2019, 'Digital dexterity: a sustainable model for building essential skills for the workforce future', 40th IATUL Conference, Perth, 23-27 June

Stephens, B & Zografos, N 2019, 'Seamless integration of Library resources into Moodle using LTI integration tool', presented at the Faculty of Social Sciences, Technology Enhanced Learning (TEL) Lab Sharing Session, 11 July