Awards and recognition – August 2020


Main image: Dr Tayyaba Zafar is our latest NSW Young Tall Poppy winner.

Every month we celebrate impressive achievements and partnerships within the Macquarie community. Got something to share for next month? Tell us.

Macquarie’s star scientist

Congratulations to Dr Tayyaba Zafar, who has been named among the 2020 NSW Young Tall Poppies by the Australian Institute of Policy and Science.

Tayyaba is an astrophysicist and lecturer at Australian Astronomical Optics (AAO) at Macquarie University, with her work focused on what stardust can tell us about the universe.

A strong advocate for encouraging women into STEM, read about Tayabba’s work inspiring the next generation of female scientists.

One overall winner in each state will be announced at the national Tall Poppy Awards later this month.

Historian’s ‘master work’ wins Premier’s prize

Kate Fullagar, an Honorary Professor in the Department of Modern History, Politics and International Relations, has won the General History Prize at the 2020 NSW Premier’s History Awards for her book The Warrior, the Voyager, and the Artist.

By charting the unlikely story of the intersecting lives of three 18th-century­ figures – Cherokee warrior Ostenaco, Raiatean voyager Mai and the British artist who painted them both, Joshua Reynolds – the book challenges our understanding of Indigenous peoples’ interactions with the globalising force of the British Empire.

Yay for our BA

Macquarie’s reimagined Bachelor of Arts – launched this year – has been shortlisted in the Australian Financial Review’s Higher Education Awards in the Employability category.

Designed in consultation with industry partners, the Faculty of Arts created the new degree to equip students with the most in-demand transferable skills like communication, problem solving and critical thinking to prepare them for employment. Throughout the course, students build a digital portfolio to showcase their skills to future employers while learning how humanities subjects can be applied to tackle problems in the world of work.

The AFR Higher Education Award winners will be announced on 18 November.

New grant to support wellbeing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people

A team from the Department of Indigenous Studies, made up of Professor Bronwyn Carlson, Madi Day, Dr Tristan Kennedy and Dr Ryan Frazer, has been awarded a $950,000 grant by the Commonwealth Department of Health for a project in partnership with ReachOut Australia.

The project aims to address the social and emotional wellbeing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people through an innovative and culturally safe social media campaign and supporting online resources.

Centre for Emotional Health research project awarded $700,000

Bupa Health Foundation has committed approximately $700,000 to a research project aimed at developing a sustainable system to deliver early intervention for mental health through Australian schools.

Working with students, parents, educators and policy-makers, ARC Australian Laureate Fellow and Distinguished Professor Ron Rapee will lead the project with the aim to develop and test the best possible method to identify youth at risk and test effective pathways to appropriate care.

“Young people with mental health problems rarely reach out for the help that they need. With this support from the Bupa Foundation, we’ll be able to develop innovative methods to identify young people who are in distress and connect them with the most appropriate places to get help,” says Ron.

Macquarie’s course #1 in Australia

In April, Austrade partnered with the social learning platform FutureLearn and Universities across Australia to provide free online courses to help students around the world continue learning during COVID lockdowns and to promote Australia as a quality study destination.

Twenty Higher Education and English Language Training providers released a collection of 52 free short courses onto the FutureLearn site. With over 836,000 enrolments, the campaign has been well received globally.

MUIC-ELC’s ‘Improve your IELTS Speaking Score’ has rated the most popular among these offerings, with 75,000 enrolments, in excess of 35,000 active participants, 7,300 completions and a rating of 4.9 out of 5 for satisfaction.

Director of MUIC and ELC Dr Pamela Humphreys led development and content planning for the course. She says it’s immensely gratifying to see how the course has resonated with international students,.

“We’re so proud that it was number one in the Austrade campaign based on enrolments. The team did an exceptional job putting it together, and it really is a wonderful testament to the quality of teaching we provide at MUIC-ELC.”


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