Projects promote positive change at Macquarie

A story for thisweek newsletter on the make your mark initiative

Make your Mark organisers, participants and mentors with Vice-Chancellor Professor S Bruce Dowton.

The results are in for the ‘Make your Mark on Macquarie University’ initiative, which saw staff run six-month projects designed to have a lasting positive impact on the University.

Run by the Research Enrichment Program and led by Mariella Herberstein, Chair, Academic Senate, and Mauricio Marrone, Senior Lecturer in the Department of Accounting and Corporate Governance, the initiative has proven that with a little support, staff are motivated to enact positive change at the University.

“To us, one of the key learnings has been that there are a number of highly motivated individuals who want to carry out great projects to improve our university,” explains Mauricio. “In many cases, these individuals only required some peer support, and an opportunity to refine their ideas with input from the entire group. We paired participants with mentors and we found that the mentors were engaged and supported the participants to carry out their projects.”

The project findings were presented at a recent event, with some impressive results generated over the six months, and some to be further developed in 2019.

One such project is Holly Doel-Mackaway’s, which aims to develop an Indigenous Engagement Strategy for the Law School.

“Empowered by Macquarie University’s Indigenous Strategy and in close collaboration with Dr Leanne Holt (PVE Indigenous Strategy) and several other staff members from Walanga Muru and the Law School, this year I have led a project for change to develop an Indigenous Engagement Strategy for the Law School,” explains Holly.

The strategy has three main aims:

  1. To embed Indigenous knowledges into the Law School curriculum.
  2. To recruit, retain and ensure the success of Indigenous law students.
  3. To engage in Indigenous-related research and outreach activities.

“2018 has brought many successes in this regard and whilst we have much more to do, the Law School is actively working towards achieving these aims,” Holly says.

Vice-Chancellor Professor S Bruce Dowton attended the event and was impressed by the calibre of the projects presented.

“The work you’ve all done is terrific and I really support and thank Mauricio, Mariella and the Make your Mark participants and mentors for their hard work. This is about community building, this is about building a sustainable enterprise as an organisation where we can realise that dispersed widely across our organisation there are folks with wonderful ideas, energy and intellectual enterprise to change things,” says Professor Dowton. “I urge you all to reflect on the incredible work that’s been done. Congratulations.”

After a successful six months, Mauricio and Mariella are now negotiating with the Faculties and the University to raise sufficient funds to run the research enrichment program in 2019.

“The feedback was overwhelmingly positive and encouraging, many participants felt empowered and supported in their project,” says Mauricio. “We enjoyed that the Macquarie University community came together to progress these ideas.”

The 2018 Make your Mark projects include:

Participants Project aim
Annabelle Lukin Titled ‘Academic freedom and the ethics of research’, the project asks the following question: are individual academics at Macquarie University free to conduct research on any topic or in any research domain, for any interested third-party?
Tracy Rushmer This program supports Tracy in progressing a significant leadership piece in the area of HDR culture.
Agnes Bosanquet  Starting as a reading and discussion group, ‘Higher Thinkers’ aims to be a University-wide think tank with a broad interest in the HE sector, learning and teaching, scholarship, governance and university work.
Hossai Gul Develop a research development program titled ‘Future STEMM Leaders’ that is aimed at selected PhD candidates who want to not only succeed at their PhD projects but prepare for a leadership career in STEMM.
Sung-Ae Lee Address the lack of a coherent approach to Asian Studies at Macquarie in order to develop a cohesive program, which would guide students through to postgraduate research of an interdisciplinary nature.
Kerrie Tomkins ‘Skills Mastery’ aims to ensure that all students develop essential employability skills through new, targeted master classes and skill development opportunities, which will be embedded within programs.
Trisha Nowland It has already been demonstrated that breakthrough innovations occur when barriers between disciplines collapse. This project builds insight into what it is that makes up good quality interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary practice, in the context of university research.
Emilie Ens I will work with Walanga Muru and the remote Aboriginal community of Ngukurr, NT, to develop an ‘on-country’ tertiary enabling program for remote living Aboriginal people.
Yvonne Breyer Extend Macquarie’s reach with global offerings and investigate the impact of our programs.
Holly Doel-Mackaway This project focuses on developing an Indigenous Engagement Strategy for the Law School. The Strategy seeks to increase Indigenous content in the curriculum, attract and retain Indigenous students and foster Indigenous related research collaborations.
Kirsten Davies  The project titled ‘Ground Sparks’, aims to develop a grounded learning, teaching and research model for Macquarie University, involving students, academics and communities as partners. The model will prioritise learning, teaching and research activities focused on investigations, led by students, into ‘real world problems’ for local communities and places. Ground Sparks will be a model with the capacity to be applied across all disciplines.





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