Professor Martina Möllering: A reflection of 30 years


Outgoing Executive Dean of the Faculty of Arts, Professor Martina Möllering, has built a stellar career at Macquarie University on one thing – ideas.

As one of Macquarie’s most instrumental leaders, Martina farewells her role as Executive Dean this week with an extensive list of ideas fulfilled.

“I’ve always found that if you have a good idea, and you find someone’s ear, there’s a very good chance you’ll be able to pursue that at Macquarie,” says Martina.

“I’ve always been given the opportunity to try new things and bring my ideas to life.”

Martina began at Macquarie in 1991 with a one-year teaching contract and a desire to complete a Masters degree. More than three decades later, she leaves Macquarie with an astounding legacy.

Arriving as an international student from Germany, Martina was attracted to Macquarie for its reputation in Applied Linguistics – a reputation she didn’t know she would solidify right across the Faculty 30 years later.

Once she decided to stay in Australia and pursue her academic career at Macquarie, she found herself across many different roles in the Faculty of Arts including Head of German Studies, Director of Higher Degree Research for the Division of Humanities, Head of the Department of European Languages, and Head of the Department of International Studies.

In 2014 Martina stepped into the role of Executive Dean of the Faculty of Arts where her many achievements have led to great advocacy of the importance of studying the arts and humanities at a university level.

For Martina, it’s difficult to pinpoint a single proudest achievement during her time at the helm of the Faculty of Arts, although one she is reminded of every day is the home of the Faculty – the Arts Precinct.

One of her fondest memories at Macquarie University was the official opening of the building alongside the Chancellor and Vice-Chancellor, two years following its completion. People might be surprised to know part of the old Arts building, W6A, still exists within the new precinct, bringing together the past identity and achievements of the Faculty with its ambitions for the future, expressed in a visually and intellectually stimulating space.

As Executive Dean, Martina has directly contributed to and increased the research profile of the Faculty, demonstrated through impressive national and international rankings. She recognises how privileged she has been to lead such a dedicated and passionate group of people to these successes, which recently included five subjects ranked in the top 100 in the world, and an additional 13 subjects ranked in the top 10 in Australia in the QS 2022 Subject Rankings.

“One of the things I’ve loved most about my time at Macquarie is meeting so many different colleagues in the corridor every day and hearing about their latest project, award, grant success or achievement. I feel very lucky to work alongside such an ambitious and passionate group of people,” says Martina.

Another highlight she reflects on is the redesigned Bachelor of Arts degree. During a period of limited funding and discourse around uncertainty of the relevance of a humanities degree, the Faculty responded with a completely reimagined degree that went on to win the ‘employability award’ in the Australian Financial Review’s Higher Education Awards in 2020.

“Arts and humanities students develop a critical, enquiring, and curious mind. They’re equipped to face societal challenges with an evaluative mindset and a well-developed ethical compass,” says Martina.

“We took the premise that studying arts and humanities subjects is intrinsically valuable, to showcasing how sought after our students are by employers because of the skills they bring. I’m very proud of how the Faculty of Arts team has shaped this new degree.”

As Martina looks towards the short-term future, she’s eager to get back on a plane and catch up with family and friends in Europe. Although she bids farewell to her role at Macquarie University, she is not bidding farewell to her relationship with the university and is excited about what the future will bring.

“I look forward to watching where the great minds and people from the Faculty of Arts, and indeed the broader university, take Macquarie, as they continue to think of and act on new ways of providing students with life-long learning and enabling them to make a difference in the world.”





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