We are proud to announce our 2017 Fellows:
ISS Institute is grateful to the George Alexander Foundation for supporting five young Australians to pursue a Fellowship that will advance skills and knowledge in Australia.
“I am keenly interested in how environmental groups in Australia – especially Indigenous ranger groups – can best communicate their work. I propose to visit international conservation groups who use effective, innovative and creative methods of communication. I will focus on how these groups explain their work to three audiences: (1) their local community, especially children; (2) current and potential project donors and (3) the general public. I will also undertake skill enhancement training through StoryCenter, an international leader in digital storytelling and participatory media; an organisation that grassroots groups on how to improve their marketing and communications.
My aim? To bring this knowledge back to Australia to support Indigenous ranger groups in how they can most effectively communicate the importance of their work on country. I grew up in western Queensland and am especially looking forward to sharing these skills with conservation groups working in rural and remote Australia”.
“My Fellowship is in the area of Education and has two distinct, but interconnecting arms. I will undertake applied research in the areas of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) education, as well as Student Voice and its potential to improve student outcomes. Combining these two areas has the potential to improve current practice in Australian schools. Through enhancing student engagement in both STEM and genuine student voice, we have the potential to empower the youth of Australia to create change, and become leaders and global citizens who will go on to deliver the needs for a future Australia. Confident and competent young people with leadership skills and advanced knowledge in the areas of Science Technology, Engineering and Mathematics, who are ready to take their place in society and make a contribution for the better, is exactly what this country needs to thrive in the future global world”.
“My Fellowship is titled ‘Political History and the 21st Century Museum’. My proposed Fellowship aims to develop my curatorial skills through applied research at three American museums that lead practice in political history and heritage. By undertaking applied research at the National Museum of American History’s (NMAH) division of political history, the National Constitution Centre (NCC), and the Museum of Democracy (MOD) I intend to:
I intend to adopt similar approaches to practice at the Centre of Democracy (South Australia) to enhance programming including exhibitions, online and collecting. The Fellowship will assist me to champion political history and heritage practice in the Australian museums sector”.
“Through the Fellowship I wish to establish myself as a maker, reproducer and restorer of fine carousel animals, travelling to America and Europe to research traditional carousel animals, learn the skills needed to make and finish them as well as the social and historical role their original makers played. As far as I am aware, I am currently working as Australia’s only full time hand-carved timber rocking horse maker – using traditional tools and techniques.
With my Fellowship I wish to travel to America and Europe to research traditional carousel animals, learn the skills needed to make and finish them as well as the social and historical role their original makers played. In order to do this I would like to start my journey in America where I can learn the traditional timber carving and restoration skills required to complete my work. I would like to be able to carve and finish replicas of carousel animals from historically famous carousels and as a result bring this information, knowledge and skill set into Australia and share my findings and work.”
“The need for heritage trade skills in Australia has been recognised and well documented, especially building trades. The need for specialist heritage locksmithing skills has been overlooked, and risks being lost. Recent changes to training packages have not addressed the growing need to maintain the existing skills and develop new skillsets. Heritage listings continue to grow and diversify, and locksmith skills need to follow.
This Fellowship seeks to locate and investigate current best practices in conservation, maintenance and preservation of heritage locks and security products, by observing best practice in the UK and Europe. The primary outcomes will be skill development and increasing knowledge within the Australian locksmithing industry, sharing this best practice with a broad range of stakeholders including architects, furniture and building conservators and heritage consultants. Importantly, the journey of learning will be shared with apprentices from across Australia and inform and inspire their training in the future”.
ISS Institute is grateful to the former Food and Agribusiness Solutions organisation for supporting three members of the agribusiness sectors to pursue a Fellowship that will advance skills and knowledge in Australia.
“My Fellowship will study three critical areas for horticulture producers in Australia drawing from international best-practice in the Netherlands. In a challenging environment of stagnating prices and rising input costs, Australian horticulture needs revolutionary change to thrive into the future. The technology and practices exist overseas, but need to be made accessible to Australian growers. The Netherlands is a leader in high-tech horticulture technology, seed and genetics, grower cooperatives and investment. This study proposes to investigate and draw on this international best practice to address three critical areas for our industry: Increasing productivity and value adding through technology adoption; Securing the investment needed to fund the high-tech revolution in Australian horticulture; and, Investigating ways to work cooperatively and share R&D, marketing and investment costs. At the end of my investigations I will draw on my findings to present a number of feasible, actionable recommendations for industry and government so that together we can drive a high-tech revolution in Australian horticulture. I will use my strong political, government and industry networks to share knowledge widely and ensure recommendations are actioned.”
“The purpose of this Fellowship is to support development of a Tasmanian sea urchin industry by building and sharing knowledge of commercial on-shore sea urchin production. This will complement marine ranching of wild catch, and ensure a long-term future for the industry. The skill enhancements I will investigate through this Fellowship are a) on-shore farming of sea urchin (tank ranching or wild harvest) and, b) sea urchin hatcheries (Hawaii, Ireland, Japan, Norway).”
“We’re all familiar with the slow-food movement. Well, sustainability, provenance and ethics apply to the cut-flower industry too. So-called “fresh” flowers imported into Australia, from countries like India, Colombia, Ecuador or Kenya, often bring with them residual pesticides, huge flower miles and unethical labour and environmental issues; not to mention a lack of fragrance and the toll they take on small-scale Australian flower farmers. The true cost of flown-not-grown ‘fast-flowers’ is little-known to unsuspecting customers. Therefore, the production and sale of locally-grown, holistically-farmed, seasonal cut flowers is a vital part of Australia’s sustainable agribusiness and agritourism future.
Whilst overseas, I intend to use my Fellowship to learn first-hand best practice artisanal flower farming and floriculture promotion from two highly successful exemplar floriculturalists and change-agents based in the USA. Upon my return to Australia, I aim to help raise the profile of Daylesford-Macedon Ranges’ blossoming floriculture industry, promote the benefits of buying locally-grown slow-flowers and in so doing provide a role model for women in agriculture.”
ISS Institute is grateful to the Victorian Department of Education and Training for supporting 10 vocational training practitioners who are employed within Registered Training Organisations (RTOs) and Adult, Community and Further Education (ACFE) Board registered Learn Local Organisations (LLOs), including TAFEs and private RTOs. The Fellowships aim to develop opportunities within the Vocational Education and Training (VET) sector to align with and support the priorities and objectives of ‘Skills First’.
“There is an increasing expectation on the Vocational Training sector to produce learners with the necessary skills, knowledge and attributes so they are ‘work ready’. Potential employers are seeking employees not only with the required technical skills but also with the desired non-technical (or soft) skills. Equally, learners are seeking to develop a skills portfolio that will make them attractive as an employee and give them career options.
Simon’s Fellowship will explore how the correct combination of social and collaborative tools and technologies aligned to the appropriate learning approach can be established as a framework around the concept of consequential learning. This consequential learning approach fully enhances opportunities to contextualise the learning content and provides ample opportunities for reinforcement of the learning outcomes and the mastery of skills and knowledge. By providing learning experiences that incorporate consequential learning, it is envisaged that VET practitioners will play a significant role in ensuring that quality and continuous improvement are at the heart of VET.”
“Karen and Cate’s Fellowship will identify best practice in Europe that can inform current Australian research and in particular further inform two of the four Adult and Community Further Education (ACFE) strategies under ‘Effective Approaches to Re-engagement’: ‘Outreach and Engagement’ and ‘Teaching and Learning’.
These strategies have been identified by ACFE as being an effective intervention to improve opportunities for disadvantaged, disengaged learners to move from unemployment and associated disadvantages into employment and positive life options. This Fellowship will research effective methods that will translate into practical application and ultimately an increase in the numbers of disadvantaged, unemployed adults engaging in initial training, moving into VET or equivalent programs that pathway into sustainable employment.”
“Tracey’s Fellowship will examine successful, sustainable engagement programs that lead to employment outcomes. She will meet with services that work with disengaged young people and study their methods in getting clients into education that in turn becomes employment and look that the methodologies and pedagogies that they utilise. Tracey’s Fellowship will also examine support of staff and how services sustain successful programs, especially programs that operate in different settings including metropolitan, regional and rural to map against similar locations in Victoria. One of the programs Tracey will visit is in Scotland looking at their Government’s ‘Education Working for All!’, a blueprint to substantially and permanently improve the transition of all young people from education into sustainable, productive employment. She will also liaise with ‘UK Youth’ to examine their programs and meet with ‘Movement to Work’ representatives to learn about employer driven programs.”
“By offering vocational education students short-term work placements overseas, a new generation of future graduates will have enhanced future employability opportunities. It will demonstrate to teachers the need for hard and soft competencies to be developed within programs that are aligned and connected with industry and changing global needs.
Alain’s Fellowship will seek to develop strong links with the vocational education sector, professional organisations and business communities in different countries, actively seeking their views and suggestions, and attract them to collaboratively engage with Victoria on such work placements. Such programs will assist educators to focus on ways to teach and develop effective cross cultural communication skills, give them the ability to successfully work with people from different countries, enhance critical thinking and problem-solving skills to real life workplace issues, as well as instilling a level of passion and commitment to global industry needs.”
“Anagha’s Fellowship focus is to learn from countries that have mandated Building Information Modelling (BIM), how they prepared for this new process through skills development of the existing workforce and how they have translated into VET curriculum. The findings will help move Australia forward with its own implementation that is now behind other developed countries. Anagha will undertake this by identifying how the UK, Singapore and Denmark have managed the transition to a BIM regulatory environment (demand driven) and determine how those countries have enhanced the skills of their workforce (BIM supply side). She will also investigate current building and construction qualifications, that have upgraded to include BIM, in those countries. Anagha’s overarching aim will be to recommend to the VET sector, industry and the Australian Government on how to improve BIM investment.”
“Victorian vocational education training in healthcare requires more workplace participation as it needs people to have skills that are usable in the workplace and only employers can provide this kind of knowledge. There is often a barrier presented by employers to either ‘train on job’ or employ VET graduates as they often believe they do not have the relevant skills or experience for the workplace. The employers, students and community as a whole have to be confident that the VET system is of high quality and contextualised to meet future workplace needs.
Paula’s Fellowship will explore the challenge of workplace and industry practical placements as well as apprenticeships and develop workable solutions of improving the VET system so that some of these challenges can be mitigated and employers more engaged and will to offer meaningful work placements.”
“International policy decisions that are mirrored locally are seeing an increase of accountability and transparency in education that has given rise to high stake testing and high stress educational environments. The unintended consequences of these decisions are having a detrimental effect right through to vocational training settings where learners are disengaging at an increasing rate. The question of increasing learner engagement is critical to supporting our industry requirements but more importantly the wellbeing of our communities.
Through his Fellowship, Daniel will investigate best practice engagement online and traditional models, including outreach, that have successfully engaged disadvantaged learners who have left vocational education, and re-connect then with education. Although online tools and approaches are plentiful there is no clear and coherent model that has found its way to VET providers, especially for use with young people. Daniel is committed to this purpose and will relish the challenge of developing as a manager and educator to make a real, meaningful and lasting impact in the VET sector.”
“Adult literacy learners who have experienced trauma often enter the VET classroom with what is commonly referred to as ‘baggage’. This baggage may never be addressed or even understood. Many teachers do not understand trauma or the common experiences adult literacy learners bring to the classroom. Learners often get stuck in the same adult literacy classes for significant periods of time.
Linno’s Fellowship will investigate the idea that creating a secure attachment relationship between the adult learner and teacher will lead to a transformational change which will greatly improve learning successes and develop stronger pathways into further education and employment. By meeting with experts in Britain, Canada and America who work in adult literacy and trauma, she will investigate current psychological theories around attachment, trauma, brain neuroplasticity, and combine the work of Carl Rogers and Malcolm Knowles and other adult learning theorists.”
“Katrina’s Fellowship aims to explore ways of increasing the number of international students participating in education in regional Victoria. In her international research, Katrina will explore some of the strategies and techniques used effectively to support students, from their first introduction to education and training, through to higher education, employment and lifelong learning. Part of this will require a greater understanding of the skills and knowledge that students have on arrival, ensuring that VET programs are engaging, are of a high quality, reflect current and future skill requirements, use innovative technology and include a work based component. Katrina believes that this will also have benefits for our domestic students, local communities and will lead to less reliance on government funding.”
“Identifying and acting upon the welfare needs of disadvantaged persons is paramount to any successful educational program. Recognising that the sector is appropriately supporting persons who have a variety of structural or situational obstacles that affect their ability to learn is essential. An effective educational program must make available the necessary and appropriate learner support and wrap around services for the learners.
Student well-being and support systems varies across the sector and Feren’s Fellowship will be undertaken at internationally identified centers of excellence where she will observe, interview and research in relation to trauma related mental health support systems and engagement of learners (between 16 – 40 years) in the VET and higher education sector. Upon her return, Feren aims to implement leading practice and share the findings and experience with the VET sector and industries.”
ISS Institute is grateful to the Italian Australian Foundation for supporting Australians of Italian descent to acquire higher-level skills and drive leading practice and innovation in Australia.
“Through my Fellowship I plan on investigating the preservation, regeneration, and development of Italy’s architectural and cultural heritage, particularly within the context of the innovative alberghi diffusi (“scattered hospitality”) model, with a view to applying this knowledge to promote sustainable tourism initiatives within Australia and beyond.
The objective of the alberghi diffusi – offering tourists accommodation, dining and associated cultural activities – is to preserve and regenerate the territorial identity of certain specific and historical sites: the history, landscape and local materials, urban planning, architecture and interior design, crafts and artisan skills (including lost and rare trades) and cuisine. This kind of sustainable tourism seeks to provide people with an exciting and educational holiday that is also of benefit to the people of the host country.
Transferring and adapting the template to an Australian context will foster access to an increasing number of ‘living museums’ both within Australia and abroad, promoting culturally and historically significant tourism whilst supporting the lives linked to these initiatives at a social, environmental and economic level.”
“I aim to introduce a pioneering Art education methodology— the ‘Martenot’ Method—to Australia. Developed by French psychologist Ginette Martenot, in the 1930s in Paris, the Martenot Method proposes that the concept of making art should be embraced as a platform for initiating creativity as a necessity for humankind. The fundamental principal of this methodology is that it establishes advanced and progressive discoveries in our creative processes and is aimed at all ages, therefore it develops and fosters creativity in both children and adults.
With the assistance of this Fellowship, I will be in a position to introduce this new approach to teaching in Australia. The Martenot pedagogy can be integrated and taught in diverse education courses and settings. It is highly significant in terms of the idea of establishing a cohort of creative individuals who are not necessarily taught how to be creative thinkers in their profession. My Fellowship will also enable me to also develop and introduce progressive creative processes into my own thinking: this is fundamental to continuing to grow as an artist and make new and inventive artwork.”
ISS Institute is grateful to the Barro Group for supporting an individual working within the area of the heavy construction materials industry, specifically in the manufacture of concrete or in quarrying, to undertake international applied research and encourage innovation in this important Australian industry sector. The Fellowship is offered in memory of David Barro, founder of Barro Group, who had always advocated industry innovation and improvement.
“This Fellowship will enable me to travel to Scandinavia to research the current best practices and future innovations that will help improve the construction materials industry in Australia. By visiting quarries in the region that are the largest in terms of production, effectively use technology and are leaders in terms of sustainability/green practices I hope to be able to learn valuable lessons and gather ideas that will contribute to the progression of the industry in Australia. By visiting Scandinavian construction equipment manufacturers and engineers I also hope to identify technology and innovation that could contribute to industry advancement in Australia.
The overall aim of my Fellowship is to share learnings with my industry peers and contribute to the development of a mindset picture of a future quarry that employs best practice in terms of technology, innovation and sustainable green practices. This will help ensure the continued improvement of Australian quarries and help to secure the future of our construction materials industry.”
The ISS Institute is grateful to Elsie Valmorbida for supporting an individual working in a specialised trade to enhance their skills through learning and development overseas. This Fellowship is offered in honour of Elsie’s husband Carlo Valmorbida.
“My Fellowship offers an invaluable opportunity to undertake studies that develop my existing stone working skills, and in return offer these to workers to whom I may act as mentor. My proposed Fellowship studies and investigations in Italy and the UK are of direct relevance to my vocational activities, and provide a benchmark of best practice in stone conservation and maintenance. Attendance at a scheduled heritage conference and meeting leaders overseas will reinforce my understanding of conservation challenges and management practices at the professional level.
The proposed tour of study will provide great insight into how the European and UK stonemasonry industries have developed and promoted specific training packages to ensure there remains a viable and skilled workforce available to undertake sensitive repairs of the respective countries’ built heritage”.
“My Fellowship will assist me in setting up the MOLLUSO MOTOR SPORTS race team. This will allow me to investigate first-hand how the GoKart frames and engines are manufactured and made in Italy, the technical data behind these, setting up the frame/chassis and engines for Australian conditions and learn how to recondition the engines. Through this I want to share the skills I develop with the younger generation of school-based and full-time trainees and apprentices that I support and mentor in my business. I will use my Fellowship to build relationships with the manufacturers in Italy to share with peers in my industry. I also see this fellowship as providing future apprentices and racers a chance to achieve their goals either by racing or through development of their mechanical skills”.
International Specialised Skills Institute