Welcome to the Australian Learning and Teaching Fellows website.

The ALTF is a network for the support of quality learning and teaching in Australian Higher Education. Established in 2011 and hosted at Curtin University, the ALTF represents 84 scholars from 29 institutions and diverse discipline communities. Each of the Fellows is a leading educator who has undertaken strategic, high-profile activities in areas of importance to the higher education sector, participating in a national Fellowships Program that aims to advance learning and teaching. The resource is available here: More

We welcome your ideas and feedback at any time.

*The guides were produced in 2013 and were current at the date of publication.


*The guides were produced in 2013 and were current at the date of publication.



Professor Dawn Bennett (ALTF Convenor): This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Marguerite Cullity (ALTF Project Administrator):  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


OLT Future of Tertiary Education Workshop

October 2, 2015

10:00 AM - 4:00 PM

Flinders University, City Campus

182 Victoria Square, Adelaide, South Australia

John Curtin Distinguished Professor - Dawn Bennett

Congratulations from all of us at the ALTF to our fabulous network leader Dawn Bennet who was recently awarded the title of John Curtin Distinguished Professor!  Dawn is a very valued and hardworking member of Curtin University’s Faculty of Humanities and we are thrilled she has been recognised with this prestigious title.

Distinguished Research Fellow and Director of the Creative Workforce Initiative at Curtin University in Perth, Professor Dawn Bennett has a distinguished record of higher education leadership, teaching and research. With a discipline background in music, her research interests include creative labour markets, the role of identity development in student learning, music education, and the impact of research policy frameworks on academic work.

In 2010 Professor Bennett became an Australian Learning and Teaching Council Fellow with a project that investigated the role of identity development in student engagement. This work now extends to 300 academics in 212 countries. She currently leads the Australian Learning and Teaching Fellows (ALTF) network. 

In 2013, Professor Bennett was awarded the LH Martin Award for Excellence in Higher Education Leadership. She also won the Curtin University Vice-Chancellor’s Award for Inspirational Leadership. She has authored over 120 publications including five monographs and edited collections. She serves on several national and international editorial boards and she reviews for journals in education, cultural policy and human geography. 

Professor Bennett also assesses grant applications for the Australian Research Council and the Office for Learning and Teaching. She is on the board of directors of the Music Council of Australia (MCA) and the International Society for Music Education, and is a Commissioner with the Society’s Commission on the Education of the Professional Musician. She is inaugural Chair of the MCA Industry and Careers national advisory board, and is regularly invited to present at conferences, to give seminars and lecture, and sit on assessment panels in Australia and overseas.

 ALTF National Forum, 5 December 2014

The end of 2014 saw us out with the December 2014 National Forum, Moving Forward with Impact. Photos, presentations and other material from the Forum will be made available here. A big thank you to our conference organisers, Heather Alexander and Keithia Wilson at Griffith University, and our Fellows for making this another great event.

Rachael Field recognised for outstanding contribution 

Fellow Associate Professor Field was presented a 2014 Australian Award for University Teaching for Law, Economics and Related Studies. Associate Professor Rachael Field has made a significant and positive difference to the learning experience of law students at the Queensland University of Technology (QUT) and to law student learning nationally. She has achieved national and international standing in the academy as a law teacher and scholar of legal education who is dedicated to promoting law students' success and psychological wellbeing. Associate Professor Field supports students to develop a positive professional legal identity, particularly through the teaching of dispute resolution knowledge, skills and attitudes. Her innovative use of a conversational approach models authentic legal practice; challenges and supports students through dynamic classroom discussion; and develops important legal communication skills and positive professional attitudes. Associate Professor Field’s teaching is informed by her significant portfolio of scholarly research and outputs. She has made important contributions to more than ten national learning and teaching projects, including the development of the Law Threshold Learning Outcomes. Through her Teaching Fellowship, Rachael developed strategies to promote the psychological wellbeing of law students, and established the national Wellness Network for Law. Her important and sustained contribution to legal education has been recognised at faculty, institutional, state and national levels, culminating in 2013 with the award of the title of Queensland Woman Lawyer of the Year. Congratulations Rachael and continued success from all of us!

Assuring Graduate Capabilities: New site - and an invitation

We are delighted to announce that Fellows Professor Beverley Oliver has submitted her final report for a National Teaching Fellowship (Assuring Graduate Capabilities). Many other Fellows have worked in this space, and done terrific work, and so Beverley is inviting you to send her anything you would like linked from this new, refreshed site at assuringgraduatecapabilities.com

The site provides access to tools, examples (including 270 examples of Course Learning Outcomes), resources, videos and further reading about how to:

  • Specify Course Learning Outcomes drawing on institutional goals, professional accreditation requirements and disciplinary threshold standards
  • Engage students in authentic experiences to progressively develop graduate employability
  • Assess authentic tasks, encouraging students to create artefacts that demonstrate employability
  • Evidence, curate and communicate artefacts to potential employers and clients
  • Credential warranted achievement of capabilities in ways that are trustworthy and meaningful 
  • Enhance courses - maintaining strengths and addressing gaps - focused on evidence of capability achievement.


Please pass this on to your networks and interested colleagues. Our congratulations Beverley!  

OLT Promoting Excellence Networks (PENs)

The Office for Learning and Teaching (OLT) state-based Promoting Excellence Networks (PENs) are charged with consolidating existing connections in the higher education sector and helping to foster new collegial and cross-institutional links to generate high-level collaborative approaches to teaching and learning issues.  November 2014 saw forty PEN members, representing all PENs across Australia, gather at the University of New England Parramatta FutureCampus to celebrate the success of the OLT’s networks initiative. During the day a discussion took place on ways to sustain and strengthen the PENs.  Professor Sally Kift, the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic) of James Cook University, gave a presentation in which she suggested that we look to building relationships with other networks, to learn from them and to ensure that they know about the work undertaken by the PENs.   In response to this suggestion the attached document has been drafted, The Power of the PEN.  It briefly describes the role of the PENs and some of the outcomes of the Symposium, and gives contact details for each of the state-based PENs.   For further details please see the attached flyer.

Instructions and Supporting Information released!

The following documents have been uploaded on the OLT website for the 2015 Australian Awards for University Teaching programme: 


Please note in 2015, some categories have been merged and selection criteria amended. More information on the Programme can be found on the OLT website. We encourage you to forward the updated information to the potential nominees in your institution.

Helen MacGillivray named ISI’s President

Fellow Professor MacGillivray is the first Australian woman elected to lead the International Statistical Institute (ISI) as the President-elect for 2015-2017, and President for 2017-2019. Established in 1885, ISI is a large international professional organisation, of high standing across the world and with significant influence with governments, business, academia and other professional organisations. Professor MacGillivray was the first female President and the first female Honorary Life Member of the Statistical Society of Australia and was one of the first Australian Senior Learning and Teaching Fellows. Professor MacGillivray has played key roles in mathematics and statistics school education on curriculum committees, assessment, as a statistical advisor in research and moderation, in professional development of teachers and in developing and delivering a variety of successful extension and enrichment programs in mathematics and statistics for high school students. A big congratulations to Helen from all of us!

The November and December 2014 editions, as well as the January 2015 edition of the BLASST Newsletter are available.

Celebrating Leadership Excellence in the Sector

Seen below, Professor Leo Goedegebuure is congratulating our ALTF Fellow Professor Dawn Bennett - winner of the LH Martin Institute Award for Excellence in Leadership. This Award recognises an individual tertiary leader whose inspirational and sustained leadership has designed and communicated activities and created a working environment leading to significant change in direction and outstanding results in terms of making lasting and positive improvements. The panel unanimously granted the 2014 Award to Dawn in recognition of “inspirational leadership” across all her interests and professional activities locally, nationally and internationally.


 Benchmarking Leadership and Advancement of Standards for Sessional Teaching (BLASST) Newsletter

The October 2014 edition of the BLASST newsletter is available here: http://us8.campaign-archive2.com/?u=9e8293544e0b3714c9de44d15&id=fd8a8b18c4&e=d9401ab630


 What can IBM Watson do for student learning?

Deakin University VC, Jane den Hollander, in New York has announced the University’s partnership with IBM to use artificial intelligence (Watson) to provide student advice and answers 24/7/365. Watch the video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PouxN8btS2A

More information is available at: http://ibmwatson.deakin.edu.au/?utm_source=du-homepage-slider&utm_medium=slider&utm_campaign=IBMWatson


Round 1 Office for Learning and Teaching Innovation and Development Grants now open

Deadlines for the submission of applications for the Office for Learning and Teaching’s Innovation and Development Grants Program have been released.

Round 1 Full proposals and Expressions of Interest - Applications should be received no later than 5pm (AEST/AEDT), Friday 28 November 2014.

Applicants must consult their Institutional Contact Officers before submitting applications.

Please visit the OLT website at the following link for further information: http://www.olt.gov.au/grants-and-projects/innovation-and-development


 Academy of the Social Sciences in Australia (ASSA) – Call for proposals

The Academy of the Social Sciences in Australia (ASSA) is calling for proposals for multi-disciplinary workshops. $9,000 is available to assist social sciences researchers to convene a two-day multidisciplinary research workshop on issues of national concern in the social sciences, or at the cutting edge of social sciences research. The workshop is to be held in 2015/16.

Deadline to apply is 17 October 2014 and details are here.


Call for submissions - Book chapters in "Communities of Practice - Facilitating Social Learning in Higher Education"

Submissions are being sought for the forthcoming book Communities of Practice - Facilitating Social Learning in Higher Education, edited by Fellow Associate Prof Jacquie McDonald and Prof Aileen Cater-Steel, University of Southern Queensland, Australia.  The target audience includes Higher Education staff, including leaders, management, academic and professional staff, researchers, Human Resources and policy makers.

Researchers and practitioners are invited to submit on or before October 15, 2014, a 1-2 page manuscript proposal clearly explaining the focus of the proposed chapter, chapter title and author/s’ contact information. Authors of accepted proposals will be notified by December 24, 2014 about the status of their proposals and sent chapter guidelines. Full chapters are expected to be submitted by March 1, 2015. All submitted chapters will be reviewed on a double-blind review basis. Final chapters are due by June 2015. The book is scheduled to be published in 2016 by Springer in the Higher Education Dynamics series.

For enquiries, further details and submissions please email Jacquie McDonald ( This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. ) or Aileen Cater-Steel ( This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. ).


 Newsletter Launch - Benchmarking Leadership and Advancement of Standards for Sessional Teaching (BLASST)

We are very excited to announce the launch of Macquarie University’s fellowship newsletter Benchmarking Leadership and Advancement of Standards for Sessional Teaching (BLASST). See the inaugural August and second September editions below.



HAVING THE HARD CONVERSATIONS: Using deconstruction to work successfully with resistant, uncritical and racist responses to Indigenous health curriculum

See the public lecture and on-line seminar by Dennis McDermott here.

This is the first activity undertaken under Dennis’ fellowship with his colleague, Dave Sjober



Dear Colleagues,


WA Teaching and Learning Forum 2015
Teaching and Learning Uncapped
29-30th  January 2015
University of Western Australia, University Club


The 2015 WA Teaching and Learning Forum continues a 23 year tradition of bringing together educators from universities around Perth and beyond to discuss, share, and develop their ideas on issues confronting teaching and learning in the Higher Education sector.
In 2015, our theme is “Teaching and Learning Uncapped”, which can be applied at the practitioner, university and national level.
The call for papers is now open, and more information is available on the Forum website
You may wish to read some papers from some of the previous forums to get a feel for the standard required.
The first deadline is 24th October 2014 for submission of full papers.  Abstracts and workshop proposals are due 14th November 2014.  Please note we received sufficient papers and workshop proposals for a full program very early for  the 2014 Forum, so forward your papers sooner rather than later as no extensions will necessarily be granted.
The theme encourages contributions at all levels. We are keen to establish a dialogue at the forum about how national policies and initiatives are impacting, or might impact, on teaching and learning and on support and services – for our students,  teachers and staff, universities and our communities.
We encourage presenters to embody modern pedagogies by building in interactive and discussion activities where possible.
The conference is being hosted at University of Western Australia (University Club) on the 29th -30th  of January 2015. It is organised by a multi-university committee.
We look forward to meeting you at UWA and continuing the conversation ...
For further information please contact Rebecca Stuart-Coombe, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.



Office of Learning and Teaching 2014 Strategic Priority Commissioned Projects

Applications are now open for the 2014 Strategic Priority Commissioned projects in the following areas:

  • Developing global perspectives
  • English language support
  • The twenty-first century student experience

These are larger strategic projects of national interest and we would anticipate proposals for funding of $220,000 and beyond. The OLT may award one or more grants to address a strategic topic and the project must be completed within eighteen months.

If you have any questions or intend on making a submission in 2014, then please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. as your name and project title will need to be included on an  ‘intention to submit’ form emailed to the OLT. This information is required to Dr Coral Pepper no later than COB Thursday 21 August 2014

Applications are required to the OLT by 5pm (AEST) Friday 29th August 2014.

More information and application instructions may be found on the OLT website at
If you have any further questions please email or telephone the OLT on (02) 6240 0625.   

Office for Learning and Teaching Conference 2014
Dockside Convention Centre, Darling Harbour, Sydney
10-11 June, 2014
We hope you enjoyed the Office for Learning and Teaching Conference 2014 and found the presentations inspiring and interesting.
Where the presenter has given permission, footage of the plenary presentations are now available for viewing via the OLT Conference YouTube channel.

Professor Pip Pattison’s (DVC – Education, University of Sydney) welcome presentation is available here.

Presentation slides for the entire program are available via links on the conference website. Please note slides are only available if the presenter has given permission.



Sponsored by QUT Business School and the DVC (Learning & Teaching)

With an exodus of baby boomer academics on the horizon, the lack of preparedness of many early career academics to teach suggests the possibility of a teaching quality time-bomb—our future faculty may have minimal skills and experience in teaching, with few teaching mentors from whom to learn, and serious implications for their teaching self-efficacy.

Not all doctoral students want to pursue academic careers, but those that do are facing unprecedented pressures to generate research outcomes, and even to minimise their teaching experiences. Despite this pressure, large numbers of PhD students do teach during their studies, often without any support or teaching development. Little wonder that doctoral candidates have been described as the ‘most disempowered constituents in the academy’ (Prasad, 2013).



Sponsored by QUT, the event will bring together researchers and teachers with an interest in exploring the personal and institutional benefits of doctoral students having opportunities to develop skills for an academic career. This highly interactive symposium will share relevant research and practice, and build an agenda for future focus. Participation is invited by academic developers, doctoral educators and supervisors, doctoral candidates, and academics with learning and teaching leadership roles.


    • Professor Suzi Vaughan, Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Learning & Teaching), QUT
    • Dr Beth Beckmann, Australian National University
    • Associate Professor Abby Cathcart, QUT
    • Dr Daniel Edwards, Australian Council for Educational Research
    • Dr Dominique Greer, QUT
    • Professor Jillian Hamilton, QUT
    • Associate Professor Larry Neale, QUT
    • Associate Professor Lee Partridge, University of Western Australia
    • Professor Belinda Probert, La Trobe University

Date: Monday, 20 October 2014  
Time: 9.45 am – 4.00 pm  
Venue: Gibson Room, Level 10, Z Block, Garden's Point Campus, Brisbane  

Register to attend

There is no fee for this symposium, however RSVP is essential as there are limited places.


Associate Professor Abby Cathcart, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Download Symposium Program (pdf, 111kb)





Thinking of nominating for an
Office for Learning and Teaching (OLT) Fellowship?


This WAND workshop will bring together West Australian OLT Fellows, senior academics and prospective Fellows to help nominees:

·         Distinguish between Fellowship (campaign) and Grant (project) proposals

·         Identify key criteria for a successful Fellowship proposal

·         Identify ideas worthy of shaping into a Fellowship proposal

·         Network with current OLT Fellows

Facilitated by Professor Dawn Bennett, OLT Fellow and ALTF Convenor

Wednesday, 3rd September 2014, 1.45 pm – 4.00 pm

Centre for Aboriginal Studies Building 211, Room 221, Curtin University


Registration:  1.45pm – 2.00 pm: Afternoon tea will be available


Session 1:  2.00 pm – 2.55 pm:
An information sessionoutlining criteria for a successful Fellowship proposal; explaining how a Fellowship proposal differs from a grant proposal (a campaign rather than a project) and how to develop a Fellowship idea into a robust proposal. Six current OLT Fellows will be present with us including representatives from Curtin University Murdoch University and UWA.


Session 2:  3.00 pm – 3.50 pm:
An interactive session
, where participants in small groups:
a) Pitch their ideas for Fellowships, other group members signal level of support for each idea using green, yellow and red display card, with time allowed to provide group feedback on each idea
b) Take five minutes for reflection and re-framing their ideas, using feedback provided by the group
c) Pitch re-framed Fellowship ideas to the group

d) Report back to everyone about one Fellowship idea that the group felt was promising.


Workshop wrap-up: 3.50 pm – 4.00 pm

 RSVP: Please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. by Wednesday 27th August 2014



June 2014 ALTF National Forum


Follow this link for photos and welcome address from the forum held on Thursday 12 June 2014. Professor Pip Pattison’s (DVC – Education, University of Sydney) welcome presentation is available here. Congratulations to our newly completed Fellow, Mitch Parsell!


2014 Grants and Fellowships announcement


It is our great pleasure to advise that the Minister for Education, the Hon Christopher Pyne MP, has today announced the successful 2014 fellowships and round 1 grant recipients.


You can view the media release here.


Details of the successful recipients are available at:


A big congratulations and welcome to our new Fellows who are now part of our growing network!


Featured Fellow


Ron Oliver

2006 Associate ALTC Fellow

Edith Cowan University

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