The awards presented by La Trobe University Vice-Chancellor, Professor John Dewar, recognised the strength of work in community engagement by staff in supporting one of Australia’s premier regional artistic festivals.
Presenting the award for their work, Professor Dewar said the award recognised people who had gone ‘above and beyond’ in their roles at the university.
‘This is an important step towards realising La Trobe University’s vision of making Bendigo a university city,’ said Professor Dewar.
The University sponsored the Bendigo Writers Festival in several ways.
Its inaugural keynote address with prominent author and political commentator David Marr, was in conversation with La Trobe University Senior Lecturer in Strategic Communication, Dr Sue Gillett.
Dr Gillett, who accepted the award, was also on the foundational Festival management committee with Bendigo Campus director Robert Stephenson and Senior Manager of Regional Operations, Veronica Hall, and on the programming committee with Lecturer in Education, Sarah Mayor Cox.
‘It’s really all about rolling up your sleeves and letting your words and deeds speak for themselves. The festival offered an opportunity for the University to link with the community, provide valuable educational opportunities for students and rewarding real work experience. It is also a huge vote of confidence in the quality of our students who worked hard to make the event a success,’ she said.
Sarah Mayor Cox agrees. ‘It has been a fantastic challenge to work with the Bendigo community and our talented colleagues on this campus, and it is tremendous to see this work now recognised by the University.’
Bendigo-based Strategic Communication students had project based work integrated into the festival through blogs and tweeting.
‘The success of the actions has helped develop a new course at Bendigo. We will build on those strengths,’ said Dr Gillett.
Titled ‘Writers in Action,’ the new course will be coordinated by Dr Gillett and may roll out to other regional campuses.
La Trobe University is seeking to engage more heavily with the festival to provide additional opportunities for student involvement including events management, digital marketing, and strategic communication.
Tom O’Callaghan, Media Assistant
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