How long have you worked at UOW?
I have worked at UOW for just over 8 years now.
What’s your/your team’s role at the University?
My role involves splitting time between researching about children’s development (how and when this happens, what this allows them to do at different ages, what we can do to best support this) and teaching these concepts to future teachers.
What’s the most rewarding part of your job?
I have the same passion for my work as I did on Day 1. One of the main reasons for this is that, if I do my job well, I can have a genuinely positive impact on children’s development and outcomes on a large scale.
What’s the most challenging?
The rewarding aspects of my work can also be the source of the most challenging aspects too. I am constantly seeking effective options for educators and parents to support their children. Despite my best efforts, however, not everything works as well as is hoped. And it’s frustrating when you think you have a solution, but it doesn’t end up working as well as you want. But that’s how innovation works; you are creating a roadmap where none exists, and not every option will be optimal. That’s why we must be careful and cautious in our work, to ensure that anything we create or advocate is likely to achieve positive outcomes.
Proudest work achievement at UOW?
If it were only as simple as picking just one. In teaching, it is such a joy to see the development of young adults as they pursue their dreams – and play even a small role in helping them along their journey. In research, it is so rewarding when you hear from educators and parents that you helped them create more meaningful, influential and fun interactions, activities and experiences for their children.
What goals are you/your team working towards in 2019?
In 2019, we are continuing to invest a lot of energy toward helping those who spend the most time with young children understand where their children are up to in their development, and the next steps they could take on the basis of this information.
What’s your fondest memory so far of working at UOW?
I am originally from Canada, and what has struck me from my first day all the way to today is how welcoming and collegial everyone at UOW has been. I have formed great relationships over these past years, and it really feels like home.
Random fact about you or hidden talent?
I’m not sure about a talent, so I’ll go with a random fact: I was once knocked unconscious by a frozen turkey. Exactly how that came about is a story for another day.
What’s your favourite place in the world and why?
I was born in a fairly large city (just outside of Toronto), so have always been fond of major cities. That said, I am especially taken with those cities that have interesting histories and culture, while at the same time being small enough that you sense community. There are still many places I haven’t yet been, so I consider this a tentative list, but my top 3 are: Edinburgh, Barcelona and Melbourne.
Something on your bucket list you’d care to share?
I already feel extremely lucky for the things I have had the opportunity to do, including now living in Australia, so I don’t tend to keep a list of what next. But I guess off the top of my head, I’d love to become a Masterchef-quality cook – not to do anything special with, other than to prepare good food for family and friends. For now I remain a good recipe-follower.