How long have you worked at UoW?

I commenced my employment at the University at the beginning of 2020, so I’m approaching two years. (I also undertook a memorable, but all-too-brief stint as a casual lecturer in the Summer of ’13 – when the world was young!)

 

What’s your role at the University?

I am a lecturer in the newly minted School of Liberal Arts. I also have the great privilege to act as the Head of Students in this school.

 

What’s the most rewarding part of your job?

Easily the most rewarding element of my job is interacting with cohorts of the most dedicated, ambitious, high-achieving students I have had the privilege to encounter.

 

What’s the most challenging?

I have always approached my teaching with the expectation that I will learn much in working through texts with students, but never have my opinions been so consistently and daringly challenged by my students at Wollongong. But it’s wonderful to be reminded that, on the path to wisdom, we are all students with much to learn from one another.

 

Proudest work achievement at UOW?

The students in our program face the same difficulties as any other. As Head of Students, I am supremely proud to have worked closely with my students, not merely to have retained every student who has begun the program, but to ensure that they always reach their potential.

 

What goals are you working towards in 2021?

I hope to complete my monograph on immortality in Plato’s Symposium, a wonderful account which concerns the power of supremely beautiful texts to stir in others a devotion to a lifelong pursuit of wisdom.

 

What’s your fondest memory so far of working at UOW?

Our program has a strong focus on the humanities, but in their school careers many of our students excelled in other areas, such as maths and science. I recall most strongly one student who came to me expressing the view that ‘they just didn’t get (Greek) poetry, and likely never will’. Taking an appropriately skeptical approach to such a declaration, I worked closely with this student, who in the end achieved a High Distinction for my subject. Although not an occurrence unique to this student alone, nothing inspires me more than to lead a student to that ‘eureka!’ moment.

 

Random fact about you or hidden talent?

My wife tells me I have an angelic singing voice, but a whistle appropriate only to torture the damned. I pity my colleagues, as I frequently whistle at work!

 

What’s your favourite place in the world and why?

I am rather a home body, so I am forced to declare that it is my home town: the Southern suburbs of Sydney! Unsurprisingly, my second is my (temporarily) adopted-home of Durham, in the UK.

 

Something on your bucket list you’d care to share?

Being a great cinephile, I hope to resist my interminable urge to get involved in the film making business, even in some small way. I can’t imagine a faster way to kill what would otherwise surely be an enduring enthusiasm.