Inspirational teachers in Sport, Exercise and Nutrition Sciences

Meet our inspirational teachers and find out how they are preparing health professionals for the workforce

Susan McLeod

Susan McLeod, Senior Lecturer in Nutrition and Dietetics (pictured above), inspires her students to think differently about food.

Building blocks. In the first year we start by asking students to identify 100 foods. We present them with lentils and quinoa, fruits and vegetables, along with some more exotic foods. We see if they can differentiate between corn flour and plain flour. The goal is to build their food knowledge one step at a time.

Thinking differently. In later years we focus on gastronomy and food modification. Students puree foods to understand the delicate balance between texture modification and nutritional value. Pureed foods are served in our hospitals and aged care facilities so we ask our students to puree fish and liquid. You can imagine how disgusting that is, but it gets them thinking about what doesn’t work, and it challenges them to explore alternatives that offer nourishment and enjoyment.

Finding your path. It’s a privilege to share my passion for food with students and to be able to tell them that being a nutritionist is an amazing career, because I speak from experience. It’s exciting to have been on my nutrition journey and to have found my own success. There are so many nutrition pathways out there for graduates and I encourage my students to experience as much as possible.

Kate Perry

Kate Perry, Associate Lecturer in Sport and Exercise Science, says that students are at the heart of everything she does.

Supporting students. University can be quite daunting for students, especially during the pandemic. It is important to me that students look forward to coming to class and that they feel a sense of connectedness with their degree. In addition to teaching, I am also the First Year Coordinator. I am fortunate to get to know many of our students. I hope to make their experience in our degrees rewarding and foster opportunities for them to grow.

Going the extra mile. I take the time to get to know my students by name and address them individually where possible. I also take great pride in my classes. I put a lot of effort into planning lessons, delivering content and bringing a positive energy to my teaching. It’s so rewarding when I get feedback from students saying they’ve been inspired, motivated, and impassioned.

Walk the talk. I live and breathe what I teach. Outside of teaching, I am a competitive cyclist and endurance coach. It helps students relate to me because they can see that I am closely aligned with the content. My approach to teaching is to empower students to take charge of their own learning. It’s more meaningful and effective when they can put the pieces of the puzzle together themselves.

Making a difference. I love teaching, especially when I can make a difference to student learning. I also love the connections you develop with students and seeing them grow. I am always searching for new ways to teach and deliver content to ensure the best learning experience possible.

Find out more about the Department of Sport, Exercise and Nutrition Sciences on the website and LinkedIn.