Celebrating 20 years of Costa Hall

Deakin Chancellor John Stanhope AM and Vice-Chancellor Professor Jane den Hollander AO joined more than 20 members of the Costa family on 25 June to celebrate the 20th anniversary of their namesake, the university’s Costa Hall.

Mr Frank Costa AO, his wife Shirley, and their extended families sat down to afternoon tea in the hall’s reception area, nearly 20 years to the day since the original Great Hall was renamed in 1998.

The Vice-Chancellor thanked the family for their vision, which she said helped to grow the university to become the sixth largest institution in the country, as of last year.

“Universities cannot grow without the generosity and forward-thinking attitude of families like yours, so we thank you for helping us to develop this beloved hall,” she said.

Originally opened as the Great Hall in 1996, it was later renamed Costa Hall in 1998 after considerable funds were donated by the family to the Great Hall Appeal.

Costa Hall has since hosted 270 graduation ceremonies, with more than 85,600 graduates crossing its stage to shake hands and receive their degrees.

Watch the Costa Hall 20th anniversary celebrations

Mr Costa, who received an Honorary Doctorate of Laws from Deakin in 2003, commended the institution for strengthening the city.

“We got involved with Deakin over 20 years ago because we realised Geelong was in such a perilous state at that stage; unemployment was high, but we saw Deakin as something that might bring new life and help employability figures by attracting more people into the town,” Mr Costa explained.

“Deakin has helped Geelong so much more than we could have expected – it really brought life back to the community.”

The Vice-Chancellor added that the solid foundations of the building and a lack of creaky doors meant it quickly became a favourite late-night study destination for students, with the local pizzerias soon learning exactly where to send their deliveries.


Chancellor John Stanhope paid homage to the Vice-Chancellor’s wonderful leadership in forming a strong relationship with the Costa family that extends beyond the hall, and which will continue to inspire and impact the institution.

The afternoon tea was capped off with a surprise performance in the hall from renowned opera singer Dimity Shepherd, who entertained the family in front of a slideshow of renowned guests and graduates who have graced the building over the years.


Moose Foundation supports Deakin Child Study Centre to make ALL children happy

As Deakin Professor Nicole Rinehart’s young children became increasingly involved in sports, she began to reflect on the challenges faced by children with developmental and language difficulties as they tried to do the same.

A clinical psychologist with more than 20 years of experience and research expertise in childhood neurodevelopmental disorders such as autism, Asperger’s disorder and ADHD, Professor Rinehart set about finding a solution.

The answer was AllPlay, a world-first digital resource developed by Professor Rinehart and her team of expert researchers at the Deakin Child Study Centre and clinicians from Deakin’s School of Psychology.

AllPlay merges the latest research with sporting excellence to provide coaches, parents, sports clubs and health professionals with practical resources to make sport an inclusive and welcoming experience for all children.

A generous game changing $2 million donation from the Moose Foundation – $1 million each for AllPlay Footy and its indigenous counterpart, AllPlay Betta Footy – allowed program development to begin in 2016.

The first phase of the program, AllPlay Footy, kicked off in March 2016 in partnership with the AFL. The second phase, AllPlay Dance, begins this month and has received funding from the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA).

Professor Rinehart explained that AllPlay Dance builds on the success of AllPlay Footy and AllPlay Betta Footy.

“AllPlay is all about creating inclusive environments for all children wherever they learn, play, dance and engage in the community,” Professor Rinehart said.

“AllPlay Footy’s resources were developed together with expert psychologists, paediatricians, educators, physiotherapists and child psychiatrists.

“AllPlay Dance adopts this model and focusses on changing teaching style, adapting genre and choreography, the equipment used and the dancing environment to enable real inclusion.”

Deakin University Vice Chancellor Professor Jane den Hollander cited the support of the Moose Foundation and Moose Toys as the key factor in making AllPlay a reality.

“Philanthropy has a transformative role in innovating to fill the gap where government and business cannot always go. To me, it’s a co-investment in an asset that is critical to Australia’s future,” Professor den Hollander said.

“The Moose Toys gift highlights beautifully what can be achieved through the power of philanthropy.  Without their faith in the Deakin vision, the AllPlay program would not be possible.”

“I’m very proud of the Deakin Child Study Centre as it exemplifies so much of what is really important to our future – a multidisciplinary approach, innovation in research and perhaps most importantly, the Centre brings researchers and industry together to make a real difference to the communities Deakin serves.”

Ms Belinda Gruebner, Executive Vice President Global Marketing at Moose Toys (home of the Moose Foundation), said the organisation hoped the study would have widespread benefits.

“Our partnership with AllPlay allows us to live our mission (to make children happy) daily and the program has become the cornerstone of our community program,” Ms Gruebner said.

“The work Professor Nicole Rinehart and her team at AllPlay are doing is driving a fundamental change to children around the globe who have a disability.

“We are very proud to support this world-first initiative and are highly motivated by the results of the research positively impacting children in Australia and internationally.”

To find out more about the AllPlay initiative and the new AllPlay Dance program, visit the AllPlay website.

Researcher profile: Professor Nicole Rinehart

Director of the Deakin Child Study Centre, Chair of Clinical Psychology at Deakin University, Honorary Research Fellow at the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute, and Consultant Clinical Psychologist at the Melbourne Children’s Clinic.

Nicole’s area of practice and research expertise is in the field of childhood neurodevelopmental disorders such as autism, Asperger’s disorder and ADHD.

She established the Deakin Child Study Centre in 2013 to create a new platform in the community for researchers and industry to come together and make a real difference in the lives of children who face developmental challenges.

Nicole has recently established a national partnership with the Australian Football League (AFL), Moose Toys, and the National Disability Insurance Agency to conduct the ‘biggest game changer for children with a disability’ in Australian sports to date – the establishment of the allplay.org.au website.

More details

Deakin South-West Scholarship Fund

A new access and equity scholarship fund has provided $312,000 of scholarship support to a massive 53 undergraduate students from Deakin’s Warrnambool campus. The South-West Philanthropic Scholarships are valued up to $7,000 each and paid to students over two years.

This great example of place-based philanthropy is thanks to the generosity and community-mindedness of a collection of regional foundations and Warrnambool City Council. The scholarship fund recognises the impact the Warrnambool campus has as a provider of higher education, employment and economic growth for the area.

The passion and pride the trustees have in the local area means more students from the south-west of Victoria will have the opportunity to achieve and fulfil their professional dreams and ambitions. This year’s recipients are undertaking various undergraduate degrees including Environmental Science, Primary Education, Nursing, Psychology and Commerce.

The South-West Scholarship Fund carves a clear pathway for students looking to study at the Warrnambool campus and contributes to the health and wellbeing of Victoria’s regional and rural communities.

A great boost for Warrnambool campus

Director of the Warrnambool campus Alistair McCosh explained that the new scholarships provide support for local students who may not have considered a university education if not for the generosity of the scholarship fund members.

“Scholarships provide life changing opportunities, enabling students to reach their full potential and make their goals a reality, whether they aspire to make a difference in industry, pursue a career as a teacher or fulfil their dreams as a marine scientist,” Mr McCosh said.

“We know that students who study in regional areas are more likely to stay in those areas, contributing to the skilled workforce in regional Victoria.”

Meet scholarship recipient Alyssa Pope

Scholarship recipient Alyssa Pope

A strong belief in the transformative power of education is what drives South-West Philanthropic Academic Scholarship holder Alyssa Pope as she embarks on a Bachelor of Education (Primary) at Deakin’s Warrnambool campus.

“I want to make a difference in the world which I believe is most effectively done through equipping children with the skills that they need to each be able to make a more substantial difference than I could make myself,” Alyssa said.

“If more children are raised to become conscientious, caring people who believe in themselves, their generation could collectively transform the world into a better, more liveable place.”

Alyssa explained that the scholarship provides a range of opportunities on top of financial security and a motivational boost.

“This scholarship provides me with the opportunity to participate in the Deakin Global Experience Program, undertaking professional experience overseas allowing me to gain an international perspective on teaching and valuable life experience.”

South-West Scholarship Fund Members

Deakin Warrnambool campus would like to acknowledge the generosity of all the wonderful Warrnambool philanthropic foundations who support this scholarship.

Archie and Hilda Graham Foundation Moyne Shire
Bill and Glenys Phillpot O’Brien Building
Business and Professional Women South West St. John of God Hospital
Ern Hartley Foundation Wannon Water
Leahy’s Electrical Warrnambool Cheese and Butter/Saputo
MGA Insurance Warrnambool City Council
Midfield Agricultural Group  

We also acknowledge with thanks the following donors who also contribute to scholarships on our Warrnambool campus.

The A.L. Lane Foundation George Alexander Foundation
Cumorah Foundation ATF Fletcher and Rena Jones Foundation The Gwen & Edna Jones Foundation
Felicity Melican Isobel & David Jones Family Foundation
The F.J. Foundation Moore Family
The Gall Family Foundation The Ray and Joyce Uebergang Foundation
Geoff and Helen Handbury / 3YB and Coast FM The Thomas O’Toole Foundation

We thank you for supporting the learning journey of our rural and regional future leaders.

George Alexander Foundation

This year marks the 12th year of Deakin’s partnership with the George Alexander Foundation (GAF), a collaboration that provides life-changing opportunities for Deakin students at the Geelong and Warrnambool campuses.

GAF scholarships focus on providing opportunities for talented rural and regional students, a philosophy that aligns perfectly with the university’s belief that geographic location and financial circumstances should not be a barrier to a university education.

What started as a first-time gift of $150,000 to support five scholarships has become the university’s largest donor-funded scholarship program, with five scholarships valued at $24,000 each awarded in 2018.

Mr Craig Connelly, CEO of GAF, looks back at the organisation’s long time partnership with Deakin and is pleased to see how the scholarship program has had a transformative effect on so many young students.

“With the wealth that George then accumulated over his lifetime he felt it appropriate to give back to the community and offer young people the same helping hand he benefited from early in his own career,” Mr Connelly said.

“It is for that reason that GAF’s scholarship program at Deakin University assists students who show community spirit, leadership potential and the ability to attain their educational goals.

“George always said his scholars were his greatest legacy, so he would be very pleased to see that there are now 68 GAF scholars and alumni from Deakin University’s regional campuses in the Greater Geelong area.”

2018 GAF Scholarship recipient and first year Bachelor of Design (Architecture) student Iain Colliver

In 2018, GAF is providing scholarship support for 13 students at various stages of their university studies, including first year Bachelor of Design (Architecture) student Iain Colliver.

My home is in Somers but once I was accepted to study architecture at Deakin Waterfront, it was necessary for me to move to Geelong. The George Alexander Foundation scholarship has helped me to maintain my independence and support my relocation from the Mornington Peninsula to attend university. I have had a lifelong interest in architecture and know this is the field I want to be in. Working with Rod Hannah Design Group over the past year has cemented my dream of becoming an architect. Being able to pursue this childhood dream of creating pieces of history in the built environment that will remain long after I am gone, is something I believe I will never tire of as a career.

As George Alexander himself once said, “encouraging bright young students, regardless of background, has been immensely satisfying.”

Deakin University extends its sincere thanks to the staff and Trustees of the George Alexander Foundation for their ongoing support of Deakin’s students and commitment to “planting seeds and hoping they grow into pretty big trees.”

The role of Trusts and Foundations

Trusts and foundations play an important role in philanthropy in Australia, particularly when it comes to the university sector.

The most recent philanthropic impact report from Universities Australia* revealed that in 2016, five distinct donor groups – trusts and foundations, business, non-alumni individuals, alumni, and other organisations – gifted a total of $324 million to the university sector.

Of these donor groups, trusts and foundations was the most generous, contributing $145 million (45 per cent).

At Deakin, our valued partnerships with generous trusts and foundations allow us to continue offering students a transformative education, nurture ground breaking research and sustain a strong and vibrant community.

* The Impact of Philanthropy in the Australian Higher Education Sector,
Universities Australia, May 2018

Dr Lewis Hughes and wife Libby

When Dr Lewis Hughes, a Deakin graduate and passionate advocate for lifelong learning and education, met his future wife Libby, he immediately recognised a kindred spirit.

As they shared their life together, their enduring love of learning and appreciation for how it flows through a person’s life contributed to their strong bond.

“Libby and I firmly believe that learning is at the core of a cohesive society and that this holds true across all cultures and times,” Lewis said.

“We believe that the measure of one’s life is centred on what you contribute, not about what assets you have.”

Both Lewis and Libby had a connection with Deakin, with Libby’s tertiary education pathway having begun at Burwood Teacher’s College (one of Deakin’s antecedent institutions) and Lewis completing his Masters Degree and PhD at Deakin.

Lewis explained that the support of Deakin’s faculty staff had a major impact on both their lives, both during the period of his return to study and what has followed as a consequence.

“In large part, it is Deakin that opened the way for me, and hence with Libby, to expand our contribution to the link between lifelong learning and a cohesive society,” Lewis said.

“This was profoundly important to us as, in 2010, Libby was diagnosed with terminal cancer and received a dark prognosis. To which our response was ‘with the superb oncology support provided, we will get on vigorously with life’.

“And, with purpose in mind, we embarked upon joint research into the relationship between vocational education and training and social capital as this, at the time, had particular relevance to Libby’s interests and professional commitment.”

The couple pursued their research, travelling to Berlin in 2011 and Cadiz in 2012 to deliver research papers together at the European Educational Research Association conferences. In 2013, Libby’s inability to travel saw Lewis present in Istanbul on both their behalf.

“I fully believe that the research that Libby and I undertook together contributed to her living – with purpose and passion – another four years after being told she only had a very short time to live,” Lewis said.

During Libby’s illness, this devoted couple began to consider how their ardent belief in the power of education and strong desire to make a difference in the world could live beyond them to the benefit of future generations.

As a result, Lewis and Libby decided to become bequestors of doctoral and post-doctoral scholarships in Lifelong Learning within the School of Education, a legacy that will inspire a lasting pursuit of knowledge and desire to make the best use of knowledge as it accrues throughout life.

Their strong desire to make a difference in the world is manifested through their generous contribution to Deakin’s student and researcher body.

In advancing the knowledge that underpins lifelong learning for others, Lewis hopes to continue the legacy of his life’s work alongside Libby.

“Also, this has legacy connection to our parents Ivy and Phil Hughes and Elsie and Lindsay Craig, in whose image Libby and I have sought to contribute,” Lewis said.

“Libby and I both felt it was right that we leave a bequest to Deakin, as it was the best way to acknowledge the appreciation we both feel. And, in, many ways, supporting Deakin’s future educators fuels the continuance of our passion.

”The social capital enriching orientation of the Deakin culture is strong. The Deakin experience is what changed my view about being an educationalist —from looking at it as an implicit professional stance to becoming knowingly passionate about it. I was absolutely amazed by the feeling of family I got from Deakin and their commitment to supporting me.”

Lewis noted that his sense of being entwined with Libby is still ever-present, and in some ways more powerful now that she has passed.

“We remain united through valuing learning and its outcomes,” Lewis said.

“Through our supporting educators – researchers and practitioners – they act as ripples from a stone in the water.

“I am confident that for others to come to Deakin, they will also enhance their strength and capability in nurturing and facilitating the valuing of leaning; and with much benefit to the community.”

Dr Lewis Hughes at home in Mt Dandenong

Paying it forward

For Lewis, this generous commitment to Deakin is also a way to show his appreciation for the kindness shown to his family after his father passed away as a consequence of previous war service when Lewis was just 12 years old.

As the surviving parent, his mother Ivy set about the task of supporting and guiding the young Lewis toward adult life in the image of his father. Legacy soon stepped in, and Geoff Handbury (coincidently, another valued member of Deakin’s philanthropic family) was assigned as Legatee supporting Ivy and Lewis.

The intervention of Legacy was profoundly important, as this was a time in Lewis’ life where his stuttering could have led to a different outcome to what has evolved.

“Geoff introduced me to what it meant to be socially confident,” Lewis said.

“At the time I could barely communicate. He really guided me in finding my place and helped me to see that I could overcome my speech issues.

“I quickly learnt the value of standing on my own two feet, and what it takes to survive, thrive and contribute to society.”

On reflection, Lewis feels that the influence of Geoff Handbury, who with his wife, Helen, made substantial philanthropic contributions to society, helped build the foundation upon which he constructed his commitment to lifelong learning as the core of community cohesion.

Join us for 3MT

One of the most common questions PhD students are asked is ‘What’s your thesis about?’

No matter whether the query is coming from a promising project partner, potential donor, future employer or a family member, it’s always handy to have a concise explanation ready to grab opportunities when they arise.

That’s where the Three Minute Thesis (3MT) competition comes in.

Developed by the University of Queensland in 2008 and held across 200 universities worldwide, 3MT helps researchers build their communication skills and showcase their research.

3MT participants have just 180 seconds to distil years of research into a compelling presentation for a non-academic audience with the help of only one Power Point slide.

Participants are judged on how clearly they communicate their research, explain its significance, and leave the audience wanting to know more.

In previous years, audiences have been treated to presentations that span the gamut of Deakin research, from misunderstood maggots to social network analysis and illuminating the brain.

At Deakin, 3MT is conducted in a series of rounds within Schools and Faculties, with the final round set to take place at the Geelong Waurn Ponds campus on Wednesday 15 August from 3 – 5pm.

Deakin’s 3MT winner for 2018 will be awarded $2,000 and a trip to Brisbane to represent Deakin in the Asia-Pacific competition in September. The runner-up will receive $1,000 and the People’s Choice Winner, selected by the audience, will take home $500.

If you’d like to come along and hear from ten of Australia’s brightest young researchers, simply register your interest today. We hope to see you there.

In the meantime, enjoy these fascinating presentations from previous winners and finalists at Deakin’s 3MT competitions.

Deakin 3MT winner in 2017 – Prosecuting psychological harms by Paul McGorrery

Deakin 3MT finalist in 2017 – Zika virus, a master of neuron manipulation by Julie Gaburro

Deakin 3MT winner in 2015 – Medical maggots: Misunderstood Superheroes by Natalie Gasz


Advanced manufacturing in Victoria received a significant boost with the opening of ManuFutures at Deakin’s Geelong Waurn Ponds campus on 16 April.

The $13 million industrial innovation and accelerator hub for start-up and established manufacturing businesses was officially launched by Vice-Chancellor Professor Jane den Hollander AO and Minister for Regional Development Jaala Pulford.

ManuFutures is a purpose-built facility within the Geelong Innovation Precinct at the Geelong Waurn Ponds campus that offers tenants access to Deakin’s industry-focused research expertise and cutting-edge technology, not to mention unique collaboration opportunities.

ManuFutures provides a clear win-win for the university and its nine tenants, which include FLAIM Systems , HeiQ Australia Pty Ltd  (which recently partnered with the Institute for Frontier Materials (IFM) on a revolutionary new textile treatment to prevent fabric pilling), and Conflux.

For tenants, there’s easy access to Deakin’s leading research centres and faculties at Waurn Ponds, including the Centre for Advanced Design in Engineering Training (CADET), IFM, the Institute for Intelligent Systems Research and Innovation (IISRI), the Applied Artificial Intelligence Institute (A2I2) and the new Institute for Health Transformation Systems.

And in a win for Deakin students, each tenant is committed to providing practical learning opportunities for undergraduate and postgraduate students.

In her remarks on opening day, Professor den Hollander highlighted FLAIM Systems, which partners with Deakin donor and technology provider Dimension Data, as a great example of the ManuFutures vision.

“FLAIM Systems is a company borne from Deakin University research at the Institute for Intelligent Systems Research and Innovation, now partnering with global systems integrator Dimension Data to create world-leading firefighting training technology soon to be launched in the US,” Professor den Hollander said.

“FLAIM Systems perfectly showcases ManuFutures’ vision to embrace the fusion between teaching and learning, cutting edge research, industry engagement and commercialisation, so that advanced manufacturing in regional Australia can flourish with real world outcomes.

“This emphasis on industry collaboration and innovation goes to the heart of the valued relationship shared between Dimension Data and Deakin University, and it is very satisfying to see FLAIM Systems today taken from an idea in a laboratory to propagation in the real world.”

Deakin Vice-Chancellor Professor Jane den Hollander AO and Minister for Regional Development Jaala Pulford demonstrate the FLAIM trainer
Deakin Chancellor Mr John Stanhope AM and Minister for Regional Development Jaala Pulford unveil the commemorative plaque