James Urquhart – June 2013

June 28th, 2013 by edavies4 No comments »

James Urquhart June 2013 How long have you been with UNE?
I have been with UNE for over 25 years so I guess I am part of the furniture.

Why did you choose your current career path?
Before starting at UNE I was a fulltime student and a casual position became available in Finance which was offered to me & I must admit earning money was very appealing, so I only lasted six months as a student.  I have worked in HR and Finance and always look forward to a challenge.

What do you like most about your role?
Looking after both Cards and Travel means I am constantly in contact with the University sector, whether it is face to face contact or simply answering emails or talking on the phone. Every day is different and I can assure you that there is plenty of variety.

Of your contributions to or achievements at UNE, what are you most proud of?
Being involved with the implementation of several systems and being able to teach and train the end user. At times it can be challenging but at the end of the day I can always walk away with a smile on my face.

What are you currently working on?
Just recently the University implemented a new expense management system called Promaster which replaced the existing expense management system called Flexipurchase.  At the moment I am the go to person when it comes to training or advice on how the system works. Also we are looking at Enhancements for our Travel System Smartbook which will make it a lot more user friendly.

What is your favourite place in the world and why?
I am still yet to travel overseas but my favorite place would be Exmouth in WA. My son received a wish from the make a wish foundation and he wanted to swim with the whale sharks. He was a bit apprehensive but I took on the challenge to have a swim and it was amazing. I would recommend it to anyone.

What is the best piece of advice you have received?
The best piece of advice I received is that everything happens for a reason.

What is something about yourself that most of your colleagues wouldn’t know?
When my son was receiving treatment for Cancer in Brisbane I decided to help the Royal Children’s Hospital Foundation by fundraising for a piece of equipment which was called a retinacam. In a period of about six months I raised over $250,000.00 to buy the piece of equipment. A retinacam is a camera which takes pictures behind your eyes and today there is still only two in Australia.

 ‘For former profiled staff check the archives, or scroll down for previous posts. If you know of someone whose accomplishments should be made known to the greater university community, let us know at od@une.edu.au and we’ll see what we can do.…”

April 2013 – Michael Partridge

April 24th, 2013 by edavies4 No comments »

Michael Partridge

Audio Technician, Learning Innovation Hub  

How long have you been with UNE?

About 4 years now

Why did you choose your current career path?

I have always been very interested in writing and playing music and from there I developed an interest in Audio Engineering. After I left school I undertook a couple of very enjoyable years of study in Audio Engineering and decided this was a good career path for me.

What do you like most about your role?

I like the mix of different types of work I get to do throughout each day. One minute I could be running a Broadcast with ABC National and the next I could be providing training and assistance for Camtasia Relay. Everything throughout each day, week, and month changes and it keeps my role at UNE exciting.  

Of your contributions to or achievements at UNE, what are you most proud of?

I am most proud of my contribution to the rollout of Camtasia Relay as a lecture capture solution at UNE. 

 What are you currently working on?

I am currently working on all sorts of jobs like broadcasting with ABC, Camtasia Relay System Administration, recording trimester 1 lecture’s, uploading teaching materials to the Media Server, improving my video editing and production skills and much more.

 

September – Kerry Towns

September 11th, 2012 by cseach No comments »

How long have you been with UNE?
I started in the School of Law in March 2009 casually as an Administrative Assistant, while one of their AA’s was on maternity leave.  I then moved to the School of Business, Economics and Public Policy (now UNE Business School) working as an AA until January this year when I moved into the Educational Development team.

Why did you choose your current career path?
I needed a sea change!  I moved from Gunnedah in January 2009 and was looking for a secretarial job.  I was lucky enough to know someone at UNE who steered me in the right direction and I am still here today.

What do you like most about your role?
I enjoy the variety of work I do.   I spend some time on updating web pages for the UNE Business School.

Of your contributions to or achievements at UNE, what are you most proud of?
I’m proud of the fact that I complete tasks in a timely manner.

What are you currently working on?
I am currently working on developing units for Trimester 3.

What is your favourite place in the world and why?
I don’t really have a favourite place.  Anywhere I can relax and unwind would suit me just fine.

What is the best piece of advice you have received?
The best advice I have ever received is that if I don’t have anything nice to say then don’t say anything.

What is something about yourself that most of your colleagues wouldn’t know?
They wouldn’t know that I have insecurities.

For former profiled staff check the archives, or scroll down for previous posts. If you know of someone whose accomplishments should be made known to the greater university community, let us know at od@une.edu.au and we’ll see what we can do.

July – Brian Landrigan

July 18th, 2012 by cseach No comments »

How long have you been with UNE? Brian Landrigan
I have been working at UNE for 4 years. I have been studying at UNE for much longer. A Bachelor of Arts by distance education part-time, a Diploma of Education and now a Masters of Education.

Why did you choose your current career path?
I had been a primary school teacher for many years and wanted another challenge. I like the idea of researching an idea that builds on existing knowledge to create something new. This position has given me the opportunity to use my education background in a different context and to explore the new possibilities of technology.

What do you like most about your role?
Working with academics and other staff members and helping them discover new ways to facilitate learning.

Of your contributions to or achievements at UNE, what are you most proud of?
Instigating a lecture capture solution (Camtasia Relay) for UNE with the help of IT client services.

What are you currently working on?
I have developed a number of quiz type modules that incorporate Open Educational Resources.  Click on this link to try one on Microbiology.  Once a week I run a webinar on a variety of topics pertaining to teaching online. Click on this link to find out more.
What is your favourite place in the world and why?
The beach. Any beach. I love the water, waves, sounds, everything about it.

What is the best piece of advice you have received?
Don’t pick your nose. I think it was my mum.

What is something about yourself that most of your colleagues wouldn’t know?
I sing and play guitar in a band called The Bights. We are still in the garage and may never come out but it is a lot of fun.

For former profiled staff check the archives, or scroll down for previous posts. If you know of someone whose accomplishments should be made known to the greater university community, let us know at od@une.edu.au and we’ll see what we can do.

May – Rob Waters

May 10th, 2012 by gsmith28 No comments »

How long have you been with UNE?
I have been here for 4 months; I started on the 23rd of January this year.

Why did you choose your current career path?
I was broke and needed the money, but seriously, I came here from my own Cross-Cultural Consultancy business which I loved but I felt I needed more of a challenge. I ultimately wanted to get into a position that was both challenging and rewarding and my role here at UNE has so far proved to be both.

What do you like most about your role?
I like that it is interesting and flexible and I have already had the opportunity to engage with people from across a broad range of disciplines within the University.

Of your contributions to or achievements at UNE, what are you most proud of?
I am most proud of organizing the recent UNE4ME day where I brought in to UNE around 120 Aboriginal primary school children and a small number of their parents The day was aimed at enhancing interaction between the University and the Aboriginal community and was also about giving the students an insight into what life would be like for them as a UNE employee or student. The students had the chance to hear from Aboriginal people who are working across the UNE, and as a special guest, Luke Carroll, who is an Australian actor was brought up to talk to the students about setting goals and the importance of education.
It was a really great opportunity for the young students to come in and see – first-hand – the wonderful work that Aboriginal people are doing here at UNE. It was a face-to-face role-modelling experience that I hope proves to them that anything is possible

What are you currently working on?
Too many things to list them all but I am re-establishing the Vice Chancellors Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Access and Participation Committee; I also facilitate the Aboriginal Staff Support Network and I am reviewing the Aboriginal Employment Strategy to name a few.
What is your favourite place in the world and why?
My Grandparents dining room; I suppose that is where home is for me. They say that home is where the heart is and I can’t think of anywhere more like home for me, so that would have to be my favourite place.
You see, around the dinner table is where we have had the great conversations, the big discussions and a whole heap of debate as a family about issues ranging from politics to culture and community. Nan and Pop’s dining room has seen a lot over the years, it has seen a heap of laughter and its fair share of heartache but most of all it has been the best classroom I have even had. And as for the food, don’t even get me started about the food. Nothing compares to my Grandmother’s Sunday roasts, bread and butter puddings and homemade custard.

What is the best piece of advice you have received?
Mum has always said to my 4 brothers and I, that in anything we do, we should “shoot for the moon, even if you miss, you will still land among the stars”.

What is something about yourself that most of your colleagues wouldn’t know?
Hmmm, I have to eat the blue M&M’S last….. Weird huh. I don’t know how it started, but I think it was when the blue ones first came out; I would save them till last to see if they tasted different (yes I know they taste the same), and so started my love hate relationship with the evil blue M&M’s
For former profiled staff check the archives, or scroll down for previous posts. If you know of someone whose accomplishments should be made known to the greater university community, let us know at od@une.edu.au and we’ll see what we can do.

December – Alicia

December 7th, 2011 by rp No comments »

nea_logoHow long have you been with UNE?
I started at UNE as a DE student. I came to UNE for a res. School in 2000, and bought a house and moved here with my family about 3 months later. I’d say I’ve been with UNE since then- first as a student, then as a member of UNE Council – but as a paid member of staff I’ve been here since February 2010.

Why did you choose your current career path?
My current career path actually chose me. Having moved from Kent Street in Sydney where I worked as a Senior Business Analyst and Consultant in the superannuation industry to my current position as New England Award Program Coordinator, and the Institutional Contact Officer for DEEWR’s Office for Learning and Teaching – couldn’t really be described as a path, or at least not a very straight one. Right place at the right time really.

What do you like most about your role?
I love that in this position I get to interact very closely with the very best staff at UNE as well as a large number of UNE students. There are more than 1,300 students participating in the New England Award program, which keeps me very busy and gives me a great insight into the multiple ‘lives’ that UNE students have. Also supporting UNE academic and professional staff in through the process of applying for learning and teaching grants, and awards offered through DEEWR’s Office for Learning and Teaching is very satisfying – in 2011 we were very successful with all 7 UNE nominations for Citations being awarded as well as a prestigious program award for the Early Alert Team.

Of your contributions to or achievements at UNE, what are you most proud of?
Increasing the number of students at UNE who become more engaged with the University and gain confidence through participation in the New England Award program. And making things as easy as possible for great staff to be recognised for the excellent work they do in supporting UNE students through the OLT’s awards and grants programs.

What are you currently working on?
I’m currently working on a) de-mystifying the documentation released this morning by DEEWR to make it accessible to all UNE staff, and setting up the process for staff to apply for the awards and grants on offer, and b) in my ‘spare’ time I’m planning for Orientation and 2012 for the New England Award. I aim to increase the registrations in 2012 to at least 500 new students – this year we had more than 400 new registrations for the program.

What is your favourite place in the world and why?
My home – it’s beautiful in the bush with no neighbours. Sounds quiet? Probably would be without the four kids as well. The king parrots who have made the front verandah home for a few months of the year and the sounds of the koalas calling ‘a girlfriend’ is a million miles away from a 20th floor apartment in the city.

What is the best piece of advice you have received?
You get further with honey than you will with jack boots – it costs nothing to be nice, and is a much easier way to achieve what you want

What is something about yourself that most of your colleagues wouldn’t know?
Hmmm – what to talk about here? Tattoos? Probably not the place for it. Well, until last week I would have said that I was a Cold Chisel fan, but since they all know I went to Sydney for the concert that’s no longer a secret. Maybe that as well as my BA I’m also studying a Diploma in Architecture – hopefully next year I’ll be a qualified draftsperson – just for interest as we’re busy renovating our house in 2012
If you wish to nominate an employee for their service and contribution to UNE, please let us know at od@une.edu.au

October – Libby

October 17th, 2011 by rp No comments »

l-magann

How long have you been with UNE?
I have been working at UNE in Research Services for almost two and a half years.

Why did you choose your current career path?
I moved to Armidale from the Central Coast to be with my fiancé. I was working in Research & Development for a large food manufacturer and saw a lot of similarities between the two roles. Both positions need a good eye for detail to ensure compliance with relevant guidelines and legislation.

What do you like most about your role?
I enjoy assisting researchers with grant applications which could potentially win them significant funding to pursue their research. I am able to take some of the administrative burden away from them so they can concentrate on what they do best.

Of your contributions to or achievements at UNE, what are you most proud of?
Being able to help researchers when submitting grant applications by doing little things like providing relevant grant information, advice and feedback to make the grant application and project management processes easier. There is a lot of job satisfaction in knowing that a researcher appreciated my help and even more when a grant application is successful.

What are you currently working on?
There are two major grant funding rounds open at the moment, ARC Linkage and Future Fellowships so we will be trying to encourage researchers to apply and assist them to submit an application as the process is a very technical and time consuming one. Government research funding is extremely hard to get so we put a lot of time into submitting the most competitive, professional applications that we possibly can.

What is your favourite place in the world and why?
Anywhere there is a beach and sunshine! If I had to pick a place it would be either Hawaii or the Gold Coast.

What is the best piece of advice you have received?
You only get out of something what you put into it, which has been true for me throughout my water polo career. I wouldn’t have achieved even half of what I have if I didn’t believe that hard work pays off.

What is something about yourself that most of your colleagues wouldn’t know?
I lived in Hungary for a year and played water polo professionally.

If you wish to nominate an employee for their service and contribution to UNE, please let us know at od@une.edu.au

 

 

September – Garry

August 31st, 2011 by rp No comments »

How long have you been with UNE?g-edmonds21
I started in 2002 at TLC as an Assignment and Dispatch assistant distributing assignments and learning material to distance students. An opportunity arose to work in the Learning Materials area arranging the duplication of print materials and CDs which I accepted, and finally to supervise both areas.

Why did you choose your current career path?
I previously worked for Australia Post. Initially I liked the service orientated work, but it was becoming increasingly sales oriented. I figure most people already have enough stuff and didn’t want to encourage people to buy more. I see education as a worthwhile goal and I am pleased to be a part of an organisation specialising in it.

What do you like most about your role?
I have found that all my supervisors at UNE have encouraged me to think about improvements in the area I have been working. Being able to have an input into how the area is run is important to me. Since I have started the assignments area has changed from hardcopy assignment submission to electronic submission and learning materials have changed from print and cassettes, to CDs and now most material is online. These changes have given me plenty of challenges and opportunities to try new ideas.
I get satisfaction from small improvements such as improving a form as well as the bigger things such as the Learning Online at UNE Moodle site for students that I have been working on recently.

Of your contributions to or achievements at UNE, what are you most proud of?
I am part of a team, so achievements are usually the result of efforts by the whole team. Getting learning materials to students on time is challenging. School staff are busy and time is always going against us. Before units started moving online we sent out packages for about 500 units per semester to around 14 000 students. It was often close, but we managed to get materials to students in time for the start of semester.

What are you currently working on?
I have been working with the Revitalizing Learning team with the implementation of Moodle, including assisting with writing instructions for students and staff. I believe the online systems provide us with an opportunity to simplify and enhance the way we provide learning resources. I arranged for the recent email and letter that has been sent to students about Moodle and trimesters.
I’ve got some ideas that I think may save staff time and improve our Moodle sites. One is to simplify the way we provide standard information in each Moodle site. I will be working with the schools on this soon.
What is your favourite place in the world and why?
I don’t really have a favourite place, but I like comfortable climates. In particular I like most places where you can go for a walk after sunset and not get cold and can sleep with a window open at night.

What is the best piece of advice you have received?
When I first started in my first job after leaving school I would sometimes make a mistake and worry a lot about it. A colleague would often say “put it down to experience” or “a person who never made a mistake never made anything.” I’ve continued to make mistakes but I try to learn from each and move on.

What is something about yourself that most of your colleagues wouldn’t know?
I was once a postie in Armidale. It had good points, but the Armidale weather made it very challenging at times.

August – Colleen

July 27th, 2011 by rp No comments »

colleen-clutterham41How long have you been with UNE?
I started at Yarm Gwanga in February 1996 after doing casual work at the Centre during 1995.

Why did you choose your current career path?
I really enjoy cooking and love children so the position provided the opportunity to combine these loves with a career.

What do you like most about your role?
Providing children with a nutritious and varied menu, while also having information available for staff and families on good eating habits, introduction of solids, food intolerances & allergies, cultural & religious food requirements.
On a regular basis I participate in professional development opportunities related to my role at Yarm Gwanga and I benefit from my own investigations into alternate food options to meet the different foods related to cultural and religious groups.   I work closely with food suppliers to ensure quality and requirements are met when meeting the dietary needs of individual children.
I also enjoy the diversity and challenges of the role and working with a caring and supportive group of people. Everyday brings something new and challenging. I make myself available to all staff and families to ensure a genuine caring partnership exists between Yarm Gwanga and families.

Of your contributions to or achievements at UNE, what are you most proud of?
Adapting meals and investigating alternatives to meet the extremely varied dietary requirements for the children attending Yarm Gwanga.
Successfully encouraging healthy eating habits amongst children, especially those reluctant to try new foods.  Also working in conjunction with the staff  and children to develop our vegetable gardens, kitchen waste recycling in our compost bins and our worm farms.  I have enjoyed encouraging the children to care for the plants, pick the produce and then I have been able to use these in the meals at Yarm Gwanga.  It has been a delight to watch the children eat their own produce.  
Taking a genuine interest in all children at the centre by knowing their food likes, dislikes and general dietary requirements by talking with the children their parents and teachers. I also enjoy spending time with the children during lunch to encourage healthy eating habits.
 
What are you currently working on?
Learning more about multicultural dishes and the dietary requirements for children from a variety of ethnic backgrounds.  Also educating staff, families and children on healthy eating habits whilst meeting the varied dietary requirements of individual children.
This includes following the recommendations from Hunter New England Area Health Service ‘good for kids good for life’ program.

What is your favourite place in the world and why?
Being with my kids and grandkids – being a Gran!

What is the best piece of advice you have received?
Always look on the bright side of life.

What is something about yourself that most of your colleagues wouldn’t know?
I am planning a trip to visit Greece next year.
I have always been interested in travelling to Greece to enjoy their cuisine.

June – Carolyn

June 20th, 2011 by rp No comments »

c-newson2How long have you been with UNE?
So much has happened since I started that it only seems like a year but it’s already been over 3 years – 3.25 to be exact. I moved from the Sunshine Coast in March 2008 after a few years working in various IT roles – the last being with the Australian Genome Research Facility as an analyst web programmer.
Having decided that the New England Region was the place we wanted to raise our family, I waited patiently for a suitable opportunity to arise when a year later; my present role was advertised at UNE.

Why did you choose your current career path?
I spent 13 years working with the Commonwealth government doing something that I hated and was totally demoralised when I left to start a family. So I figured if I have to work for someone else I may as well do something that I enjoy. It took a while but I went from being a mother, to running my own nutrition business, to working in various temp jobs before finally breaking into IT. I started studying programming part-time in 2000 and turned a long-time hobby in computers into what I do now.
The systems team has undergone radical changes since the time I started and has shrunk considerably in size and my role has grown to accommodate this.

What do you like most about your role?
As Systems/Business Analyst I assist the Systems Project Manager with maintaining the Human Resources Management Information System, Alesco which incorporates the Web Kiosk. A large part of my job involves extracting data and producing reports for use by managers and other HR staff. This job has a huge amount of variety and autonomy and there have been lots of challenges especially with urgent requests for information but this is balanced by the potential to make improvements and I doubt I will ever get bored. I am able to fit in some web development, oracle programming, create and maintain existing reports, as well as look after the system security, troubleshoot bugs, add new functionality to the system (including Web Kiosk) and lots more.
What I like is I can combine my skills in IT with my experience in administration to give me a better understanding of the needs of the end user and their frustrations encountered in using the system. I enjoy looking for better ways to use the system to make life easier for the user as well as improve processes. And best of all I get to work with my mates. Here at UNE I work with some incredibly talented and dedicated people and enjoy a camaraderie that I haven’t experienced for many years. The morning teas aren’t bad either!

Of your contributions to or achievements at UNE, what are you most proud of?
I’m still working on that one! I don’t think I’ve been here long enough to have accomplished anything worth mentioning but I have gained the respect of my peers and can go home to my family each night knowing I’ve done a pretty good job so I guess that’s enough for now.

What are you currently working on?
A number of ongoing projects which will soon be released and will increase the functionality of Alesco and Web Kiosk. This includes eRecruitment (an online recruitment tool) a major Clevel Restructure, the Budgets and Statistics modules with the assistance of ITD and an OH&S module which is currently in the testing phase.
For some time now I’ve been anxiously trying to attack a growing list of reports, many of which I aim to automate and turn into more accessible information – some of these will make their way into Web Kiosk so keep an eye out for them. My main goal is to produce nice looking, web-based interactive reports that will allow management to quickly and easily find the information they need. Other users will also find these useful in assisting their managers as office administrators.

What is your favourite place in the world and why?
Honestly, I can’t think of any one place that stands out as my favourite. I love the country life so Armidale and the surrounds fit nicely into that. I would love to visit Virginia City in Nevada, USA just because my favourite show Bonanza was based in that town.
But if I was hard pressed to pick one place, I would have to say that one of my cherished memories is that of one late balmy afternoon in summer, 3000 ft up in a small aircraft with a backdrop of the sun setting slowly over the ocean. I was free from all the worries of the world far below me and it was an incredibly peaceful place to be.

What is the best piece of advice you have received?
A dear friend passed on a gem that she found in a fortune cookie and I carried it with me for years. The simple message was something like “no matter how tough things get, never give up”. I’ve found that no matter how long it takes (and believe me it sometimes takes years) that if you really, truly, want something bad enough, it will happen as long as you don’t give up. I’m still waiting for the lotto thing to kick in – that might just need a bit more time, maybe.

What is something about yourself that most of your colleagues wouldn’t know?
In my youth, I used to compete in aerobatics and won my second national competition flying a 150hp Decathlon. It was only the Intermediate level but it was a sweet victory since I competed against a bunch of old hands who had been entering for years (they were all bragging before the comp) and flew a more powerful Pitts S1. I scooped the pool and came home with all 3 medals so was very pleased with that.