Economics teacher Prashan Karunaratne with his Macquarie Theatre plaque.
Jackie Gent, Officer of Development (Annual Giving), shares the story of a very special seat in the Macquarie Theatre.
Prashan Karunaratne teaches the ECON111 unit to approximately 1600 students each semester. As a compulsory subject in many different degrees, Prashan has developed ways to make the subject more interesting and relevant to a variety of different disciplines.
“I want to show students in real terms how economics is relevant in the world we live in, but have some fun at the same time. A bit of sarcasm also helps,” said Prashan.
Prashan’s fun and contemporary teaching tools, like tagging real life examples on social media with #mqecon and using the catchphrase “Everyone say WOW!”, are embraced by his students, and have helped build interest and enthusiasm about the concepts they are studying.
Last year Prashan taught for three consecutive semesters in the Macquarie Theatre, and so the theatre became a big part of his life. He decided to commemorate this time – and the students who have participated in his subject – with a plaque in the theatre, purchased through the University’s Buy a Seat initiative.
Maura Brookes, Annual Giving Manager in Advancement and Corporate Engagement, said ‘Buy a Seat’ is a great way for staff, alumni and students to celebrate their time and contributions to Macquarie.
“It has been heartening to see staff members like Prashan getting involved in the campaign,” she said. “His unique inscription will forever immortalise his classes in Macquarie history.”
Prashan is a firm believer in giving back to the next generation and helping to set them up to do well in life. He said some students are so young when they start university, some only 17 or 18 years old, and that alumni and staff have a duty of care to the younger generation. “Students expect a lot from Macquarie,” he said. “Giving back by donating is one of the ways we can help.”
Seats are still available to buy in the Macquarie Theatre. Learn more.
We invite staff to contribute stories – in their own voice – to help celebrate the diversity, passion and collaborative spirit of Macquarie staff.