Two wins for Deakin in the 2020 AFR Higher Education Awards

Deakin University is excited to announce our wins in two categories of the 2020 Australian Financial Review Higher Education Awards. Deakin’s AllPlay Learn initiative won in the Community Engagement Award, which had the largest field with 21 submissions from universities across Australia. Deakin’s Centre for Refugee Employment, Advocacy, Training and Education (CREATE) won the Equity and Opportunity Award.

Of the 36 shortlisted entries across nine categories, Deakin received four nominations – equal with one other university for the most nominations overall. This is an impressive result which reflects the great quality of Deakin’s industry-leading efforts and our exceptional staff.

Vice-Chancellor Professor Iain Martin said Deakin’s shortlisting and wins across multiple award categories was recognition of the depth of talent and innovation in its research teams and programs.

‘I warmly congratulate each of Deakin’s award winners, nominees and, of course, the incredible teams behind AllPlay Learn and CREATE, who bring such innovative programs to life. Their work is industry- and world-leading and shows great promise for addressing current and future challenges,’ Professor Martin said.

The Community Engagement category recognises projects that bring together students and external community groups in a way that benefits both. AllPlay Learn, a world-first program, was co-designed to address a vital gap for the 1-in-6 children with developmental challenges and disabilities attending early childhood centres, primary and secondary schools. AllPlay Learn makes education fit for all kids through practical online resources and courses for children, teachers, families and the community.

The Equity and Opportunity category recognises initiatives that have significantly improved participation rates, engagement, educational outcomes, personal development opportunities, or employment opportunities of under-represented or non-traditional student groups. CREATE was launched in 2019 with the aim of overcoming barriers that can prevent refugees in Australia from accessing higher education and meaningful employment. It uses research-driven initiatives, refugee-centred design and collaboration with community partners to support refugees, including career clinics and information booklets.

Deakin’s former Vice-Chancellor Jane den Hollander also won the Lifetime Achievement Award in recognition of her outstanding contribution to the Australian Higher Education sector. The award recognises her exceptional leadership in her years at Deakin, including her focus on digital education, investing in technology, pursuing a diversified international student base and navigating crises such as the collapse in Geelong manufacturing in 2010.

‘On behalf of the Deakin community, I extend my congratulations to Jane on receiving the Lifetime Achievement Award. This is recognition of Jane’s dedication to Deakin, and for working so hard to ensure the brightest of futures for all of our students, communities, partners and friends,’ Professor Martin said.

In the 2019 awards Deakin won three categories and received the most nominations overall. In 2018, Deakin was nominated across six categories and won the Information Technology category with the Deakin Genie App. To receive this level of recognition and success several years running showcases the consistency and depth of Deakin’s initiatives across a broad range of focus areas.  

Deakin was also nominated in the Sustainability category for the work of our Marine Mapping Group, whose ground-breaking ocean mapping, biodiversity assessments and citizen science programs are monitoring real-time coastal change. Professor Alexander Newman was nominated in the Emerging Leader category for his leadership in the sector and impressive efforts as Associate Dean (International) for the Faculty of Business and Law. This includes his research into employment for humanitarian migrants, which led to the launch of CREATE to offer real-world impact that improves lives.

Each of these nominated projects and individuals make a significant contribution to the broader community, whether through improved education outcomes, access, or environmental understanding and sustainability. This showcases Deakin’s dedication to research that advances knowledge, betters humanity and preserves our planet, and our focus on giving back to our local and global communities. The University is proud to be recognised by our industry peers and to be included in such an impressive group of nominees.   

For information about studying at Deakin and to view the many degrees on offer, visit our international student page.

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