Our award-winning teachers

UQ values the hard work our teachers put in to improving the teaching and learning experience. We’re proud to celebrate their success through our internal award program, which qualifies them for national recognition.

Each year our best and brightest are recognised with the UQ Excellence in Teaching and Learning Awards. Academic and general staff can win in one of three categories. As a winner of the UQ awards, you'll be invited to submit an application to be considered for the Australian Awards for University Teaching.

UQ also recognises excellence in Higher Degree by Research supervision. Visit the Graduate School website to find out more about these awards.

We have a long tradition of winners both at UQ and nationally. This year's winners of each award are listed below.

Apply for UQ awards

Visit the Institute for Teaching and Learning Innovation website for more information about applying for the UQ Awards for Excellence in Teaching and Learning and the Australian Awards for University Teaching.

ITaLI holds information sessions to provide an overview of the award schemes available at UQ, and to assist you with writing your application.


UQ Teaching and Learning Awards

UQ Teaching and Learning Awards recognise learning and teaching support programs and services that make an outstanding contribution to the quality of student learning and the student experience at UQ. They also recognise and reward individuals or teams who make a significant contribution to student learning in a specific area of responsibility and who are acknowledged for their achievements within a faculty or the wider university community.

View UQ award winners for each category, or scroll down below.

Awards for Teaching Excellence

2019 Winners

Associate Professor Rowland Cobbold

School of Veterinary Science

Associate Professor Cobbold’s journey from new T&R academic within the UQ School of Veterinary Science (UQSVS) to a leader in Veterinary Public Health (VPH) pedagogy has developed as a continuum, with cycles of review and progressive development. Rowland accrued large amounts of quality classroom time, learning the ropes as a lecturer, and developing a style of teaching based on Dialogue Education. He quickly became interested in T&L leadership, realising that optimal learning outcomes could only be achieved through better curriculum design. This was applied initially to the VPH discipline area, greatly improving teaching outcomes and student engagement. But he soon progressed to course design and applying innovative approaches to teaching more broadly within UQSVS and beyond, and developing a substantive SoTL portfolio. Undertaking the GCHEd particularly expanded Rowland’s skills and deeper understanding of higher education practice, and how to undertake effective scholarship of teaching. Becoming UQSVS T&L Chair amplified these opportunities, through T&L design and management practice at the program level. Over the last five years, Dr Cobbold’s T&L career now sees him working in the national and international veterinary education space, with leadership roles in regional and global curricular design and standards setting.


Associate Professor Jodie Copley

School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences

Associate Professor Jodie Copley has led the work-integrated learning (WIL) and interprofessional (IP) curriculum in Occupational Therapy at UQ for the past 22 years. To build and maintain the professional standard and competitive edge of UQ occupational therapy graduates, she has constantly redesigned and redeveloped clinical education across the program. Her clinical education initiatives have been widely adopted by other health services and universities. Pioneering IP clinics in the late 1990s, she has recently led SHRS by embedding IP simulation in pre-placement courses that engage students from other professions across the HABS faculty. Jodie has developed long-term partnerships with community partners to cater for increasing numbers of student placements, now totalling over 150 per year. She has embedded meaningful WIL in pre-placement courses to assist student’s cultural responsiveness and readiness for placement, and in post-placement capstone courses to foster evidence-based practice and optimise students’ employability. Jodie has a national and international reputation as a leader in clinical education and has widely disseminated her teaching and learning research through textbooks, journal articles and invited presentations worldwide. She has been awarded for her excellence in teaching for both entry-level (2016) and HDR students (2018) through the HABS Faculty scheme.


Dr Allyson Mutch

School of Public Health

Engaging students through public health and equipping them with the skills needed to actively address health inequalities are central to Dr Allyson Mutch’s teaching. With over 20 years’ experience in public health education, Allyson acknowledges the challenges associated with establishing a social understanding of health; but is committed to empowering students as future agents of change.

Allyson’s approach involves collaborative relationships with her students as they progress from first to third year. Through this journey, she engages students as active, co-constructors of learning. In doing so, she provides opportunities for authentic practice, and establishes the critical thinking, reflective and self-evaluative skills they need as students and graduates. In facilitating these longer-term relationships, Allyson motivates and inspires her students as future health practitioners.

Allyson’s teaching profile demonstrates excellence in teaching and a national and international track record in SOTL, ensuring her teaching is current and responsive. Working with student partners, she is deeply committed to research that informs her teaching and continues to identify and implement innovative strategies to enhance learning. Outside the classroom, she is a leader and mentor through her local and international connections and drives quality education as a reviewer for the Agency of Public Health Education Accreditation.


Dr Lynda Shevellar

School of Social Science

Lynda Shevellar’s students are change agents, concerned with the creation of a better and fairer world through collective action. Fifty per cent of her students are international, from over 58 different countries. Her students have diverse cultural, linguistic, educational, and vocational backgrounds, but all tend to hold very high hopes for themselves and their educational experience. However, culture shock, grade disappointment, isolation, anxiety, and depression, often mar their initial experiences of postgraduate study in Australia, undermining these hopes.

As a community development (CD) academic responding to this context, Lynda focuses her teaching on the creation of community in the classroom. CD is an interdisciplinary approach to supporting people of a community to organise themselves, to collectively define, analyse and respond to local needs. Lynda uses her classroom as a living laboratory for students to develop and practice the skills of CD, and in doing so moves from teacher- and student-centred learning, to community-centred learning, so that “we educate one another in communion in the context of living in this world” (Freire, 1970. p. 80). In this way what Lynda teaches – participatory community development practice – is how she teaches, both in the immediate classroom and across her broader community of educators.


Dr Jack Wang

School of Chemistry and Molecular Biosciences

Jack Wang challenges his students to become citizen scientists in the digital age, who can analyse and communicate complex scientific findings to the masses. Jack develops novel disease outbreak scenarios, which are brought to life through student discussion, expert interviews, and audio-visual stimulus. The creation of multimedia is central to Jack’s teaching, and his blended learning activities are accompanied by original videos, interactive animations, hundreds of student-authored podcasts explaining experimental discoveries to the general public, as well as tailor-made feedback videos for all his students. Using learning analytics for video-viewing behaviours, he identified consistent gaps in students’ technological and digital literacy that ultimately affects their performance. Accordingly, he is an active member of an interdisciplinary team promoting sector-wide uptake of supporting resources for digital literacy. To further facilitate his students’ professional development, in 2015 Jack launched the Communication Ambassador Program – a nationwide initiative providing science communication and multimedia training for early-career scientists. Jack’s work has been funded by faculty, institutional, and external grants, the outcomes of which have been disseminated through scholarly publications, invited presentations, and peer-mentoring of academics through Advance HE. Jack Wang is a recognised leader in Science Education, and has transformed learning experiences for thousands of graduates.

2019 Commendations

Associate Professor Saiied Aminossadati

School of Mechanical and Mining Engineering

Associate Professor Saiied Aminossadati (Amin) is an educational leader in the areas of engineering fluid mechanics and mine ventilation. He has made significant contributions to the development of the mechanical and mining engineering curricula within the university and nationally. His vision is to oversee the education of bright engineers, who are positioned to make an impact in industry and academia. His extensive industry experience and engineering education have given him a unique perspective on the need for balance between theoretical knowledge and practical skills in engineering education. This aligns with the UQ Student Strategy of training game-changing graduates and enhancing their employability. Amin has provided engineering students with a transformative learning experience and enhanced their active engagement. He has achieved this by implementing blended learning, introducing pedagogy with an emphasis on authentic learning, and making use of technology in his large undergraduate courses. He has held the role of national leader for the “Mine Ventilation” course and mentored new academics across Australian universities (UNSW, Curtin, UoA and UQ) since 2011. He has received 10 School, Faculty, University and National teaching awards since 2009, and was awarded a Senior Fellowship from the Higher Education Academy in 2017.


Associate Professor Jane Johnson

School of Communication and Arts

Public relations (PR) is an industry experiencing extensive disruption and change. In UQ’s School of Communication & Arts, PR is one of the most popular undergraduate majors and the most popular pathway in the Master of Communication. Jane Johnston was appointed to the School in 2015 to lead and grow this academic field due to her expertise as a PR educator, her proven leadership in curricula and resource development, and her capacity for successfully adapting teaching methods to reflect the changing directions of industry and society.  Her teaching innovates at the interface between PR and media, responding to the urgent need to rethink how this field is taught in the digital era. In developing pioneering resources and innovative industry-facing courses, she focusses on balancing digital media skill development with discipline-specific attention to purpose, strategy and stakeholder relationships. Johnston’s new media courses and, more broadly, her sustained PR curricula development, are informed by her international scholarship in the field, her national and global networks in SoTL, and from decades of listening to students and working as PR consultant to government agencies and departments.

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Awards for Programs that Enhance Learning

2019 Winners

EAIT Student Employability Team

Faculty of Engineering, Architecture and Information Technology

Laura Jeffress, Tara Cronin, Lynda Murphy, Kathryn Reid, Abbey Davidson, Lauren Barker, Jo Macdonald, Carrie Beddis, Marlin Othman

The EAIT Student Employability Team (EAIT SET) has an unwavering focus on student employability. Through the provision of the EAIT Student Employability Program, EAIT SET directly contributes to three of the four pillars of the UQ Student Strategy in creating game-changing graduates, offering student-centred flexibility and enhancing dynamic people and partnerships.

Through the delivery of the EAIT Student Employability Program across curriculum, co-curricular and extra-curricular, EAIT SET differentiate themselves from other employability teams across UQ. The team manage and support engineering professional practice, an accreditation requirement and a key milestone for the 4600+ students enrolled in undergraduate and postgraduate engineering programs.

EAIT SET is the Faculty’s gateway for industry engagement. Students benefit from these industry linkages through exclusive professional practice, employment, programs and events that the team facilitates.
Across student, faculty and industry communities, EAIT SET is acknowledged as an essential service that is considered best practice at UQ. This is evidenced through regular positive feedback from the teams’ key internal and external stakeholders, most importantly our students of which 92.75% rate their satisfaction with EAIT SET to be high and very high. EAIT SET is also the benchmark employability team amongst engineering faculties amongst the Group of Eight Universities.


UQ ePortfolio project

Faculty of Health and Behavioural Sciences and Institute for Teaching and Learning Innovation

Professor Sarah Roberts-Thomson, Sam Harris, Jessica Tsai, Elizabeth Wardrop, Ailsa Dickie, Nathan La Burniy, Victor Ho, Dr Sam McKenzie

The UQ ePortfolio is a longitudinal learning tool that is now in use across the University. The project was initiated in 2014 and, following a successful pilot in 2016, formal use of the UQ ePortfolio commenced in Semester 1 2017. Students have access to an ePortfolio either through their curriculum in the 33 courses/programs using the ePortfolio, or via a personal ePortfolio available to all ~ 52,000 students at the University. The UQ ePortfolio enables educators to view and assess students’ learning progression over time, and assists students to capture, create and present an array of exemplary work, from both within and external to their University program. 

The scoping, selection and implementation of the UQ ePortfolio was led by HaBS in collaboration with the Faculties of HaSS and Medicine, eLearning Systems and Support team (eLSS), ITS and ITaLI. While the initial focus of the project was primarily on facilitating work-integrated learning assessment, the successful deployment of the UQ ePortfolio system has had a much broader pedagogical impact.


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Citations for Outstanding Contributions to Student Learning

2019 Winners

CHEE2001 Teaching Team

School of Chemical Engineering

Beverly Coulter, Associate Professor Steven Pratt, Professor Paul Lant, Dr Paul Jensen

For promoting authentic, work-integrated learning opportunities to develop early professional identity and social bonding in compulsory chemical engineering gateway course CHEE2001 Process Principles.

MECH2305 Teaching Team

School of Mechanical and Mining Engineering

Dr Michael Bermingham, Professor Matthew Dargusch                                 

For transforming a large mechanical engineering course with a focus on active, hands-on learning using real-world engineering contexts.

Associate Professor Marco Faravelli

School of Economics

For developing and implementing a serious economics game which enhanced student learning and outcomes in the economics discipline.

Dr Sarel Gronum

UQ Business School

For motivating and inspiring postgraduate and undergraduate business students to engage with industry, develop an entrepreneurial mindset and turn innovative ideas into impact.

Dr Anna Hatton

School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences

For bringing new life to ‘old age’: inspiring learning, positive attitudes and career aspirations within gerontology through early clinical experiences and innovative resources for physiotherapy students.        

Associate Professor Lisa Ruhanen

UQ Business School

For inspiring postgraduate students to make meaningful connections between tourism and developing countries by creating innovative and authentic learning experiences with international partners.

2019 Commendations

Tim Barlott

School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences

For developing professional identity in first year occupational therapy students with innovative approaches that link theory and practice in the classroom.

Dr Ian MacKenzie

School of Economics

For linking economic theory to real world applications using unconventional contextualisation and multiple layers of engagement resulting in deep and transferable learning for students.

Dr Rebecca Olson

School of Social Science

For leading innovation in teaching teamwork skills through video-based learning: from conceptual to dispositional, student-centred learning.


Dr Jie Wang

UQ Business School

For creatively designing authentic, work-integrated learning experiences that enhance employability skills while motivating and equipping Postgraduate Tourism students to tackle industry-based problems.

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Australian Awards for University Teaching (AAUT)

The Australian Awards for University Teaching (AAUT) have been recognising outstanding teachers in higher education for more than 20 years.

National AAUT Awards for Teaching Excellence

2019/20 Winners

The Psychology of Criminal Justice Team

Professor Blake McKimmie, Professor Barbara Masser, Professor Mark Horswill

 Award for Australian University Teacher of the Year

Category: Social and Behavioural Sciences

The Psychology of Criminal Justice team transforms student learning by using a novel dramatic narrative (Waraich, 2004) to engage and motivate students to engage in evidence-based learning practices throughout the semester, and to challenge them to use their newly acquired knowledge by applying it in immersive class activities working collaboratively with their peers. Using the flexibility provided by a massive open online course, this prototype model for the classroom is based on the science of effective learning. It makes use of spaced learning, repeated testing before and after exposure to content (Roediger & Butler, 2011), and regular meaningful assessment tasks in class because being in class while learning aids learning (Bjerregaard, Haslam, & Morton, 2016) and further enables peer learning (Boud, Cohen, & Sampson, 2006). To maximise student engagement and to sustain motivation both online and in class, the course is based around a crime drama that starts with a murder, and then follows the investigation before ending with the trial. This drama provides an engaging narrative context for the assessment activities as students attempt to find out Who killed Janine Jenker?



Dr Kay Colthorpe

Category: Biological Sciences, Health and Related Studies

To thrive in a rapidly transforming world, graduates must continue learning well beyond university. Accordingly, educators must go beyond simply aiding students’ learning of course content, to supporting development of self-regulated learning capabilities that enable learning beyond graduation. Students learn better when they develop a deep understanding of their knowledge and learning processes; their metacognition of learning. Kay’s excellence as a teacher and leader of science education originates in her facilitation, scholarship and leadership of metacognitive learning. Kay pioneered novel ‘meta-learning’ assessment tasks, which prompt students to critically reflect on their knowledge and learning behaviours, and develop into highly self-reflective and independent learners. Kay enhances educators’ understanding of learning through wide advocacy of metacognition and scholarly teaching, enabling educators’ to better support their students’ learning. Meta-learning tasks have been embedded across science, engineering, education and psychology at UQ, and uptake has occurred at multiple universities within Australia and internationally. Kay is an outstanding scholar of teaching and learning, a prolific writer and speaker, disseminating her findings nationally and internationally. She also creates a supportive environment to enhance teaching and pedagogic research, thereby making significant contributions to teaching and learning, and providing leadership to advance practice across the higher education sector.


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National AAUT Awards for Programs that Enhance Learning

2019/20 Winners

Indigenous Health Education and Workforce Development

Dr Leanne Coombe, Adjunct A/Prof Alison Nelson, Adjunct Assoc Lecturer Renee Brown, A/Prof Jodie Copley, Dr Anne Hill, Dr Emma Crawford, Mr Condy Canuto, A/Prof Jon Willis, Dr Lisa Fitzgerald, Prof Murray Phillips

Category: Educational partnerships and collaborations with other organisations

Health professionals working with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples demonstrate varying capacity to provide culturally-safe care for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. Universities need to provide training that equips graduates with the necessary knowledge, attitudes and skills to authentically respond to the strengths and needs of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. In 2010, The University of Queensland (UQ) and the Institute for Urban Indigenous Health (IUIH)—a regional Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Service—developed a strategic initiative and formed a partnership to address the need for an Indigenous health education and workforce development program that would appropriately educate future healthcare workers to provide culturally-safe services for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. The Faculties of Health and Behavioural Sciences and Medicine at UQ partnered with academic staff from the UQ Poche Centre for Indigenous Health, the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies Unit and IUIH, to develop and deliver culturally-safe and strengths-based curricula in medicine, nursing, allied health and public health university education programs. Teaching practices foster experiential, situated and transformative learning environments and provide opportunities for students to actively interact and partner with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, in the classroom and through inter-professional work-integrated learning opportunities.




BEL Student Employability Team

Rhea Jain, Ken Lai, Ashil Ranpara, Carlene Kirvan, John Walsh, Jacqueline Niblett, Ryan Webb, Linda McConnell, Jo Williams, Debbie Hathaway

Category: Student experiences and learning support services

The Faculty of Business, Economics and Law’s Student Employability Team (BELSET) at the University of Queensland (UQ) offers a service specialising in the delivery of employability programs to Business, Economics and Law (BEL) students. To create game-changing graduates through employability development, industry partnerships, experiences, stakeholder engagement and excellence, BELSET is distinctive from general careers units and Work Integrated Learning models because of its coherent Employability Framework which purposefully engages students from pre-enrolment to post-graduation. In supporting students’ diverse needs, BELSET’s nationally recognised and multiple award-winning suite of programs, activities and initiatives foster experiential, collaborative, applied and perpetual learning experiences which are delivered by internal and external experts strategically focused on narrowing the gap between academia, student expectations and industry needs. BELSET combines a dedicated employability centre with a team of professionals that have over 100 years of combined industry experience in Human Resource (HR) management, commercial recruitment and hiring who can offer real insights into what prospective employers are looking for in their graduates, now and in the future.



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National AAUT Citations for Outstanding Contributions to Student Learning

2019/20 Citations

Associate Professor Rowland Cobbold
School of Veterinary Science

For engaging students in the classroom through Dialogue Education and learning large-scale curriculum change in Veterinary Public Health for over 15 years.

Dr Christopher Leonardi
School of Mechanical and Mining Engineering

For promoting promoting "experience-based" learning of mining engineering, without digging up the classroom floor, through the use of virtual reality technology and industry best-practice.

Associate Professor Paul Harpur
TC Beirne School of Law

For outstanding leadership in translating disability strategy into a vision of ability equality and core university business.                            

Dr Lynda Shevellar
School of Social Science

For developing community in the Community Development classroom: Supporting diverse, non-traditional, and international students through community-centred learning approaches.

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Other awards

Besides the Australian Awards for University Teaching (AAUT), other national awards have been recognising and rewarding the work of our excellent teachers:

Australian Financial Review (AFR) Higher Education Awards

2019 Winner – Learning Experience

The UQ Physiotherapy Standardised Patients Program

School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences

Team: Dr Allison Mandrusiak (lead), Katrina Williams, Dr Roma Forbes

Read more



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Reimagine Education Awards

2018 Best University – Employer Partnership Gold Award Winner

UQ BEL Student Employability Team: Getting Students SET for their future

Faculty of Business, Economics and Law

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Business Higher Education Round Table (BHERT) Awards

2018 Award for Outstanding Collaboration in Higher Education and Training

Indigenous Health Education and Workforce Development

The University of Queensland - The Institute for Urban Indigenous Health

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edX Prizes

2019 Finalist, Exceptional Contributions in Online Teaching and Learning

Leading high performing teams / Business leadership MicroMasters Program

UQ Business School

Team: Dr Terrance Fitzsimmons, Associate Professor Bernard McKenna, Associate Professor Tyler G. Okimoto, Richard O’Quinn

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2018 Winner, Exceptional Contributions in Online Teaching and Learning

The Psychology of Criminal Justice MOOC

School of Psychology

Team: Associate Professor Blake McKimmie, Professor Barbara Masser, Professor Mark Horswill

Read more

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