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2021 Fellows

George Alexander Foundation Fellows

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Kirri Mae Sampson
GAF Fellow 2021

This fellowship will focus on the skills gap of Knitwear Linking. A niche but crucial role in the process of knitwear production, a skill that is still thriving in many offshore contexts and would be a valuable addition to the Australian market. Currently without this skill accessible, fashion labels are forced to compromise their designs to meet existing local capability or seek manufacturing offshore altogether. Developing accessible learning resources for this skill will create opportunities for its ongoing dissemination. Meanwhile, increasing scope of local design/production capability will have flow on benefits for the industry, assisting in raising the bar and opportunity for Australia to build competitive capacity in design and innovation for apparel on a global scale.

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Camielle Fitzmaurice
GAF Fellow 2021

Camielle is a paper and book conservation specialist (BA Arts.Hons, MA MCCM). She has worked as a conservator in both private practice and institutions in Australia, and undertaken specialist training in book conservation. Her Fellowship addresses the siloing of historic bookbinding and book conservation knowledge in Australia. It seeks to openly address the gap between book and paper conservation approaches to assessing and treating bound items and develop a hub for collecting and disseminating book conservation knowledge in Australia. Camielle will work with book artist, binder and book arts academic Karen Hanmer in Chicago, ILL., to develop both historic and modern cut-away book models. Cementing of her knowledge of book construction will aid in the reserve-engineering of book structures Camielle is tasked with in her profession. Camielle’s research will focus on books as dynamic objects – collaborative and functional.

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Emily Dawson
GAF Fellow 2021

Emily’s Fellowship hopes to contribute to teacher training, educational policy and curriculum development at a critical turning point towards greater inclusion of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students, their communities and their perspectives on education. Her Fellowship will provide a complex and comparative reading of the past, dominantly through text-based and documentary research of archives to try to map the advocacy and agency of students, families, communities, teachers and authorities within colonial systems of education throughout the 20th Century. Her Fellowship hopes to produce important knowledge that is useful to many communities of learning and practice, providing a “history of the present” regarding education as both a transnational and transcultural discipline.

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Claudia von der Borch
GAF Fellow 2021

The aim of Claudia’s fellowship is to investigate the purpose and power of immersion in exhibition design. Museums are constantly pushing for richer opportunities to connect visitors with ideas, collections, and content. Immersive exhibition design is a relatively new and evolving area of museum practice, and there is more to uncover about the ways that cultural institutions can utilise it to deliver different aspects of audience engagement. Claudia hopes to build an understanding of how immersive design meets visitor and museum needs, and how it’s application delivers lasting experience outcomes. The insights of this Fellowship will be shared with the sector in Australia, expanding knowledge of how this type of exhibition can be used to better engage audiences.

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Shane Wiechnik
GAF Fellow 2021

Shane is a conservator of furniture and wooden artifacts, which is a narrow field within Australia with few qualified practitioners. His Fellowship will focus on our heritage crafted pieces come from overseas, or were informed by international traditions. Objects of historic and personal significance are often treated by people with no formal training in conservation or historic crafts, and the skill pool is relatively small . He will have the opportunity to bring back up to date as well as traditional skill-based techniques currently in practice among conservators with a variety of training backgrounds and ethical approaches.

Vocational Education & Training

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Simone Jamieson
VET Fellow 2021

Simone Jamieson has worked in the Community Development and Education sector for 12 years. The aim of her fellowship is to research and develop innovative ways to empower disadvantaged and disengaged learners suffering from mental illness and to provide teachers with more tools to support and guide learners into realistic employment. A key research outcome will be the development of a framework for local labour markets to adopt capacity based and flexible work arrangements suitable for people experiencing mental health issues.

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Emily Tucker
VET Fellow 2021

Emily works at Carringbush Adult Education as an EAL teacher. The aim of this fellowship is to investigate best practice pedagogies of digital literacy skills for adult EAL migrant and refugee learners within the community-based education setting. This cohort encounter significant challenges accessing, engaging and navigating digital devices that give them access to information allowing them to participate fully in everyday life, employment and education opportunities in Australia. Emily will explore the complex digital and language skills needed for independent technology use for everyday activities and online or hybrid learning contexts. 

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Will Dalgliesh
VET Fellow 2021

Will Dalgliesh has worked in many areas of Environment and Sustainability for the past 25+ years. By researching from the context of teacher, courseware creator and subject matter expert, Will looks to research internationally report back up on the uptake and transition of sustainability and the subsequent process systems, across aspects of the food supply chain. This includes sustainable land management, agriculture and food security systems, nutrition, processing, manufacturing and the supply chain logistics, through to marketing, retail and hospitality. Will hopes to do this by visiting SMART cities with lean quality management systems with efficient use of resources. The outcomes will inform educational, workplace and social change perspectives.

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Giselle Sim
VET Fellow 2021

Giselle’s fellowship looks to blending wellbeing and learning in the classroom for adult learners.

After two years of teaching and research at Cloverdale Community Centre in Corio Geelong, Giselle has been finding different ways to teach adults and keeping them engaged and coming to class. With a background in Anthropology, not education, Giselle brings fresh eyes to our educational systems. A lot of barriers for learners are rooted in general wellbeing in life. With the use of anthropological methods of research and qualitative data, we are finding new ways to innovate the classroom. Through the stories learners have to tell about their lived experiences we find where the needs are and can then look for solutions. Many problems could be solved by change of cultural views to education and training. There is value in education, and it is lifelong. By keeping these conversations going we mean to maintain engagement and networks. Which provides a space for communities to build and grow.

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Karen O'Reilly Briggs
VET Fellow 2021

Although the VET in Schools (VETiS) policy has been in existence for approximately three decades, the Australian education sector has not as yet been able to establish a sustainable or productive enough way of upskilling industry experienced tradespeople and technologies experts to become qualified VET in Schools teachers. There is a serious skill shortage of qualified VET teachers to teach young Australians in our schools, and very little is currently being done to rectify this deficiency. My fellowship is proposing to look to overseas to countries who have successfully implemented practices that support the ITE of trade and vocational professionals transitioning into the secondary teaching profession, in the hope that we can learn from those who have managed to implement successful practices that support VET professionals in their aspirations to become professional secondary school teachers.

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Michele Tocci
VET Fellow 2021

Michele Tocci’s research will develop greater understanding of international trends to ensure training delivers behaviour changes and results for the individual and organisation. She aims to understand new strategies that international educational organisations utilise to engage adult learners, structure training and ensure behavioural change for new and emerging leaders. My research will focus on training delivered in the areas of psychological safety, workplace wellbeing, diversity, inclusion and emotional intelligence. These are areas of leadership, business and organisational culture that are key, especially as we transition from the impact of Covid.

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Jane Hickey
VET Fellow 2021

University students with disability find it significantly harder to gain employment as  graduates in comparison to their non-disabled peers (QILT 2020). Universities have increased their enrolments of students with disability by 131 per cent between 2008 and 2018 (Universities Australia 2020), but are struggling to provide the right supports for students. There are existing mentoring and peer led programs in different formats around the globe which can be explored and examined to understand the key elements for success that can be applied to creating a new program in Melbourne. The models that I wish to explore include: AS I AM, In Dublin, Republic of Ireland, WAM, in Dublin, Republic of Ireland, Edgewood College (Cutting Edge program), Wisconsin, USA and the Enabling Village in Singapore.

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Ido Gat
Palladio Fellow 2021

Ido Gat has over 20 years experience working as a Stone Mason, Floor finishing and Restoration specialist. Learning these skills through his father in the family business, Ido’s passion for working with natural and composite stone was ignited early, where he has ground, polished and honed thousands of square meters of Marble, Terrazzo, Concrete and other natural or composite surfaces. Ido has also manufactured stone for the kitchen industry and have applied these skills to developing hand caste Terrazzo surfaces.

Through his business, InStyle Stone, Ido has had the pleasure of being involved in replicating and restoring In situ Terazzo floors for heritage listed buildings as well as residential homes and commercial spaces.

The fellowship is to connect with the original masters of the trade. Having the affiliation with the ISS institute, Ido hopes to travel to Italy, and access to training, exploration of raw materials and tools that are used in traditional Terrazzo creations.

Vin Ryan
VET Fellow 2021

Vin has worked as an artist and art educator for the past 25 years. He wants to use his fellowship to research new innovations in arts education programs that are run in prisons around the world. As part of this he plans to visit The Prison Arts Collective which part of San Diego State University.  He’s looking in particular at the way that this organisation uses experts from a range of fields to create a collaborative approach to arts education. He’s also really impressed by their marketing and advocacy skills in prison arts education. He’ll also be visiting curators, artists and academics in New York that advocate for prison arts education.  He wants to adopt a range of skills that will help him to advocate for an expansion of arts education in the prison system.

Italian Australian Fellows

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Emilia Iacovino
Italian Australian Fellow 2021

Emilia Iacovino is an engineer who for the past ten years has worked in the energy efficiency and renewable energy sector. Emilia’s work with Detail Green covers energy auditing, building energy assessment and Passive House design.

Passive House is an internationally recognised science-based building standard originating in Germany, which is considered world’s best practise for energy efficiency.

The fellowship will enable Emilia to undertake the necessary course in Germany to become a Passive House Certifier, or independent auditor of Passive House designed buildings. Additionally, the fellowship will allow her to connect with passive house professionals in Germany, Italy and the UK providing a professional support network for future projects in Australia.

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Amy Franz
Italian Australian Fellow 2021

Amy Franz has spent the last two decades investigating different aspects of the jewellery and leather goods industries, working in diverse roles including buying and product development, styling, design, and bespoke production. Her continued love for making shifted her focus to slow fashion and traditional craft practice, leading her to New York where she studied Accessory Design at the Fashion Institute of Technology, and worked alongside a master craftsperson in luxury handbag production. Amy now freelances as a leather goods maker and designer, producing commissioned pieces for Australian and international clientele.

Amy’s fellowship will focus on researching traditional techniques of Florentine leatherwork through a mentorship program at the Scuola del Cuoio and investigating the traditions, practices, and current innovations that make Italian-produced leather goods globally renowned. Her research aims to consider the skills gap present in the Australian accessories industry through an investigation of past, present and future directions in leather craft-practice and will consider how heritage skills can be preserved, disseminated and utilised in innovative and sustainable ways to enhance local production practices.

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Emily Dawson
Italian Australian Fellow 2021

Dr Mary Hughes is a lecturer for the Bachelor of Early Childhood Teaching at Holmesglen Institute in Melbourne. She has extensive experience as a teacher and educational leader in primary schools in Australia and the UK and is a member of committees and advisory panels working across VET and HE departments at Holmesglen.

Mary’s fellowship will focus on two curriculum approaches to teaching and learning in the early childhood sector. These are the Montessori and Reggio Emilia approaches, both being child-centred and both based on a constructivist model. There is evidence that children’s early literacy and maths skills are supported by these approaches and that there are benefits for their cognitive and social development. Currently, implementation of these approaches in Victorian pre-schools varies widely from setting to setting, depending on the type of provider and expertise of staff. Through this fellowship, Mary will examine best-practice models of these curriculum approaches with a view to developing clearer course content for VET and HE students studying early childhood education courses. It is anticipated that on return, Mary will design and provide professional learning opportunities for teachers and educators in Victorian early childhood settings.

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