Inspiring, passionate, innovative: National teaching awards for three Macquarie staff


Best of the best (L-R): Associate Professor Tiffany Jones, Associate Professor Matt Bower and Alexandra Bhatti.

A passion for teaching and the ability to motivate students to succeed are two elements that are integral to the University’s Students First vision.

Macquarie’s commitment to teaching innovation has just been recognised at a national level, with three of our teachers announced on 24 February as winners of Australian Awards for University Teaching (AAUT).

Our warmest congratulations to these outstanding educators.

Associate Professor Matt Bower, School of Education, Faculty of Arts

Award for Teaching Excellence (one of four national winners)

Matt is recognised for Teaching Excellence in the Social and Behavioural Sciences category, for advancing the technology-enhanced learning design capabilities, confidence and self-identity of pre-service teachers. This national award recognises the most outstanding university teachers who demonstrate leadership, excellence, and sustained excellence in higher education.

Matt is a passionate and innovative educator who inspires his pre-service teachers about the immense potential of educational technologies through a range of cutting-edge and carefully sequenced design experiences. His authentic tasks and evidence-based pedagogies equip pre-service teachers to have an immediate impact on their field, for instance enabling them to help practising teachers use technology effectively in response to COVID-19.

“Preparing pre-service teachers to be innovative and discerning integrators of technology in their classes is a tremendous responsibility, because it in turn influences the educational experience of tens of thousands of school students,” says Matt.

Pre-service teachers identify how his guidance not only develops their knowledge and skills, but also their confidence and self-identity.

Both Associate Professor Tiffany Jones and Alexandra Bhatti  were among 65 Australian educators who were awarded a Citation for Outstanding Contribution to Student Learning. This national award recognises the diversity of contributions made to the quality of student learning.

Associate Professor Tiffany Jones, School of Education, Faculty of Arts

Citation for Outstanding Contribution to Student Learning 

For inspiring students and staff to challenge ideological perspectives on social approaches in education, motivating research-based transformations.

Tiffany’s passion to teach and challenge students views in sociology of education continues to motivate and impact students.

“Many students reported developing new views based on these experiences – mainly because they could explore the views independently and in practice; [students] were provided with experiences and research, and the freedom to trial different perspectives and data-based practices independently of the lecturer,” says Tiffany.

Alexandra Bhatti, Department of Health Systems and Populations, Faculty of Medicine, Health and Human Sciences

Citation for Outstanding Contribution to Student Learning 

For excellence in integrating contemporary practice with innovative and engaging learning approaches that support and motivate diverse public health students with real-world learning.

Alexandra uses her extensive and varied public health practices to design and deliver unique and authentic tasks that provide students with a realistic understanding of public health practice. She is passionate about creating a direct link between material taught and public health career options.

“An ongoing issue in public health teaching is the provision of real-world examples that showcase the diversity of existing roles,” says Alexandra. “Providing authentic examples facilitates curiosity, in addition to motivating and inspiring students as they consider their own future public health careers”

All three of our AAUT winners were also successful at the 2019 Vice-Chancellor’s Learning and Teaching Awards, which recognise outstanding contributions to student success and support our teachers to be their best.

Watch as all the 2020 Australian Awards for University Teaching winners are announced >>





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  1. Congratulations Matt. This is very well-deserved and….. the Philippines is benefitting from your research and application on TPACK.

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