Dean's Report

Professor Emeritus appointment

I’m delighted to announce that former MGSE Dean and colleague Lesley Farrell has been appointed Professor Emeritus, an honour bestowed on her by the University in recognition of her meritorious and distinguished academic career. Fortunately, before we all moved off campus, we had the opportunity to celebrate Lesley’s career at a retirement event where her colleagues affirmed her strong and compassionate leadership during her time as Dean at MGSE and her stellar academic career and mentoring of staff. Congratulations to Lesley, a well deserved honour.

Dr Jane Bird paying tribute to Dr Christine Sinclair. The rug featured in this image was made by MGSE colleagues.

Vale Dr Christine Sinclair

It was with great sadness that we recently learnt of the death of our esteemed colleague Dr Christine Sinclair, who had been Head of Drama at MGSE. Given the restrictions resulting from the COVID-19 situation, Christine’s funeral was held via a webinar last Thursday. Family, friends, colleagues from MGSE, past students as well international and Australian leaders in arts and drama education joined the funeral online. Despite the unusual format, it was still an intimate experience that celebrated Chris as a person of great integrity, compassion and loyalty with a fabulous sense of humour. Her coffin was draped in the colourful rug made for her by many MGSE colleagues when she first became unwell. Dr Jane Bird, who was one of the 10 mourners at the funeral, gave a moving tribute that spoke of Chris’ collaborative, artistic and scholarly work - as a teacher, writer, director, leader and researcher. She will be deeply missed by many.


It is encouraging to see that the public health measures we are all undertaking in response to COVID-19 are having positive results. I thank you all again for your patience, creativity and dedication through this time. The University continues to carefully monitor the situation and all the latest updates are available on the University dedicated COVID-19 website. In light of the constantly evolving situation of COVID-19 the MGSE Executive, which meets fortnightly, will now include the Research Centre Directors and Cognate leaders for the first half hour for a Q & A to ensure that our whole leadership team is kept abreast of the latest developments relating to COVID-19.

We have also all been keenly aware of the adjustments our students have had to make as we moved to a virtual campus. We reached out to two of our MGSE student ambassadors to see how they were faring with remote learning. Two international students in their second year, Komala Murugiah, from Singapore, who is studying a Master of Education and Jessica Lee, from Indonesia, who is studying for her Master of Teaching (Early Childhood and Primary), kindly took the time to tell us a little about their experiences.

Talking Teaching 2020

At the end of last year our Talking Teaching host Honorary Professor Maxine McKew decided it was time to pass on the baton as she decided to pursue other projects both at MGSE and outside the University. I would like to acknowledge and thank Maxine for the vision, passion, professionalism and sheer hard work she brought to the production of two years of Talking Teaching. The amazing success of the podcast is a credit to her. We are continuing to produce Talking Teaching in 2020 and our latest episode has just gone live. This episode looks at resilience and recovery in the face of the January bushfires and a pandemic. It features an interview with Professor Lindsay Oades, who discusses how to remain positive and build our resilience in challenging times, and it also includes an interview with the principal, and one of the students, of an East Gippsland school that burnt down during the recent bushfires.

As I sign off, I want to remind everyone in our MGSE team that if there are any issues or concerns that you cannot resolve in relation to facets of your work then please don’t hesitate to make contact with me personally to ensure that I can assist.