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2023 Fellows

Vocational Education & Training Fellowship

Paul Gouldie

Paul Gouldie

Cybersecurity rapidly evolves and requires graduates, professionals and industry to stay current on the latest threats and technologies.

Paul’s Fellowship is to research and analyse how training providers can partner with industry and government to co-design an approach that combines the best technical, academic and human skills to achieve Australia's vision of being the world's most cyber-secure country by 2030. Paul aims to develop a comprehensive framework that helps training providers tailor curricula to meet the emerging technical skills employers and industries require to fast-track students' cybersecurity careers.

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Tammy Casselson

The aim of Tammy’s Fellowship is to share, learn and build connections to discover possibilities to implement mindfulness into the Australian Vocational and Dual-education sectors for wellbeing and success. She will engage with experts from over 50 countries, about Mindfulness and Flourishing, at the IPPA (International Positive Psychology Association) Congress in Vancouver. Mindfulness is recognised as both a competency and a state of being. It is the deliberate act of paying attention, while remaining non-critical and open minded. It allows the user to stay on task, focused and motivated. Research shows mindfulness improves mental health, performance, and attrition rates. Tammy’s Fellowship will investigate how these results could be gained in the Australian Vocational and Dual-education sectors.

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Rahman Abarin

Rahman’s Fellowship intends to investigate best practice pedagogies and technologies employed by some of the world’s leading digital education and EdTech solution providers in Europe, in implementing synchronous hybrid teaching known as “Hybrid Concurrent”. The aim is to acquire as much knowledge as possible about hybrid teaching models, hybrid interactions, communication and collaboration spaces, technologies, and hybrid classroom set-up to come up with a VET contextualised hybrid concurrent model to deliver EAL courses to CALD learners. Eventually, to help facilitate the implementation of the proposed model for VET training providers to meet their cohorts’ needs, EAL courses, and the industry.

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Tyler Payne

Tyler’s Fellowship research utilises creative practice research (CPR) to support and embed digital literacy for disadvantaged VET learners in Victoria. My research has been inspired by my years teaching mature-aged students, predominantly women, digital art practices and technologies at RMIT University (as part of the College of Vocational Education.) The focus of my CPR relates to improving the equity, access, and potential workplace outcomes for disadvantaged mature-aged students.

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Warren Guest

Warren Guest

Warren’s Fellowship will make a contribution towards solving the problem of apprenticeship non-completion. The research will examine European models of apprenticeship curriculum and their ability to build a sense of identity and belonging. Warren hopes to use the findings to influence VET curriculum design at a national and institutional level.


To be a VET Practitioner Fellow. The International Specialised Skills Institute has 10 extra Fellowships to award in 2023.

George Alexander Foundation Fellowship

Drew Bennett

Consumers are demanding sustainability in products and business practices, however Australia has been slow to adopt these and has a way to go on its push towards net zero. This Fellowship proposal seeks to investigate best-practice methodologies to reduce the environmental impact of telecommunications and data centre equipment, which has a disproportionate impact on Australia’s overall carbon emissions. The research will explore innovative ways to reduce overall power needed to run a data centre, and methodologies to ensure equipment is sustainably sourced, focusing on practices in the United States, as world leaders in the design of electronic products.

Drew Bennett

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Jessie French

This Fellowship will focus on the developing sustainable materials industry, specialised in biopolymers that are made from renewable ingredients and can be recycled as part of a closed-loop system. As governments and organisations increase actions to reduce waste and use resources wisely, there is still a large gap in availability of viable materials that can eliminate waste and environmental impact. Australia’s strength in this area is growing, but the industry is immature, dispersed and highly-specialised in non-translatable areas of innovation. Jessie French, proposes a Fellowship that will see her visit and forge connections with a global community of leaders in and around the industry. This will enable her to identify best-practice for developing, launching and scaling innovation in the sector as well as advancing knowledge in research and production of sustainable biopolymers.


Chris Hagen

Chris Hagen is pursuing skills enrichment in fine art hand-printmaking, specifically stone and plate lithography and intaglio etching techniques. Distinct from the commercial printing field in this era, hand-printing pairs traditional methods with innovative approaches to make "original prints" in favor of reproducing existing artworks. Despite having dedicated the past fifteen years to study and practice in these art forms, there are lifetimes of knowledge in the field, and most centres of training are overseas. He is arranging intensive apprenticeship/residency opportunities in America and/or Europe in studios with technical programs or in direct mentorship with established practitioners.

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Lee May

Lee May runs a boutique workshop on the Mornington Peninsula specialising in making bespoke denim jeans, jackets, and small batches of ready-to-wear garments. Lee’s Fellowship involves a three-week trip to Japan exploring small-scale denim manufacturers and mills, focusing on traditional techniques, machinery and materials used to make denim garments. The trip will involve spending time in denim workshops and factories before visiting denim mills and dye houses in Okayama. This will allow Lee an in-depth understanding on how selvedge denim is traditionally made including knowledge on how cotton is spun and how to weave denim on vintage looms.

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Mei Wilkinson

Mei's Fellowship will focus on time-based media conservation, particularly software conservation. It involves working with museums in Asia to gain specialised knowledge and skills in software-based media conservation which will include a research project, training in preservation approaches, and practical application of methods for conservation of software-based artworks. The goal is to develop valuable skills, foster international collaboration, and share knowledge benefiting Australia's emerging time-based media conservation community.‘ 


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Alex Miller

Alex will inquire into a regenerative approach to our food systems and ways this approach extends beyond environmental sustainability and actively encourages food citizenship. The concept of food citizenship affirms that we are not just consumers at the end of the food chain, but participants in the food system as a whole — changemakers, collaborators, and advocates for socio-ecological systems. Through connecting with international leaders in the field, Alex will investigate landcare practices such as market gardening, ecological gardening, and traditional skills including seed saving, and how these practices can re-connect us and deepen our relationships with place, community, and food.

Innovation in Ageing

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Tanya Davison

Tanya Davison's Fellowship will identify innovative approaches to address the growing mental health needs of home care recipients in Australia. Up to one half of older people who receive care at home experience significant symptoms of depression. There is an opportunity for the Australian aged care sector to facilitate early access to evidence-based psychological treatments for depression. The Fellow will target gaps in knowledge and practice of how to deliver optimal mental health support within home care by engaging with leading international experts and identifying effective approaches suitable for the Australian setting. Learnings will help shape future models of care in Australia.


Apply now to be an Innovation in Aged Care Fellow. The International Specialised Skills Institute has 2 extra Fellowships to award in 2023.

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