Secondary school support program earns Chancellor’s award
by Katrina Phelps
Chancellor Ian Gould, Olivia Brokate, Mandy Giles, Melanie Summers, Kolynda Maguire and Tahnee Blight.
Undertaken by a student liaison and marketing team within the University’s Communications and Marketing Unit, the Myschoolspace initiative has been running for five years, sponsoring more than seven state-wide events and a large number of secondary school-based events, enabling current UniSA staff and students to give back to the local community and share their experience and expertise.
The project was the category winner for 'best collaborations for increasing and widening participation outcomes', as well as the overall winner.
The annual Chancellor’s Awards for Community Engagement were introduced in 2001.
“The awards officially recognise and celebrate projects that capture the depth of UniSA’s ongoing role as a committed community citizen, as well as the remarkable breadth of work taking place across and beyond our campuses,” said UniSA Chancellor, Dr Ian Gould.
“We see community engagement as being much more than an institutional obligation – it is vital to our ability to undertake teaching, learning and research work that is both enlightened and relevant.
“The judging panel was both impressed and inspired by the diverse range of high-quality projects submitted to the awards.”
The category winner in ‘best collaborations for enhancing the training of graduates for the professions’ was a mental health project team – Joy Penman, Lee Martinez and Fran White from the Centre for Regional Engagement.
Their ‘Mental Health Comes Alive’ initiative is making a significant impact on capacity building in the mental health field by providing positive educational experiences in mental health treatment in a regional area that has been coping with well above average prevalence of mental health disorders for some time.
The winner in the ‘best collaborations for engaging with disengaged communities’ was Professor Fiona Arney and Professor Dorothy Scott from the Australian Centre for Child Protection for their ‘Protecting and Nurturing: Building Capacity, Building Bridges’ initiative.
Through the initiative, the Australian Centre for Child Protection is shaping new directions in national child protection policy to make a positive impact on the social and emotional wellbeing of children. It brings together adult-focused services, and child and family services to make a difference for vulnerable children and their families.
Receiving a commendation in the ‘best collaborations on improving the community engagement experience for students’ category was an 11 person team that partnered with History SA to recall 40 years of tertiary education for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
The project is undertaking a significant and important archival and oral historical research task that will provide a permanent historic record of the establishment and achievements of The Aboriginal Task Force since its beginnings in 1973 in the South Australian Institute of Technology. The Task Force was the first Indigenous tertiary educational institution in Australia.