University of Western Australia: UWA academics recognised in Australian Awards for University Teaching

Four academics from The University of Western Australia have been recognised for their contribution to enhancing the student and teaching experience in the 2021 Australian Awards for University Teaching.

Dr Ambelin Kwaymullina, a senior lecturer in UWA’s Law School, received awards in both the “Society and Culture” category and the Neville Bonner Award for Indigenous Education.

Three other UWA academics were also recognised for Outstanding Contributions to Student Learning: Associate Professor Elizabeth Quail, from the School of Molecular Sciences, Dr Elfie Shiosaki, from the School of Indigenous Studies and Antony Gray, associate lecturer from the Business School. The citations highlight and reward the positive influences they have had on not only students, but staff as well.

Dr Kwaymullina said she was thrilled to receive national recognition.


“Although the award is an individual one, it is a tribute to all the Indigenous people who came before me,” Dr Kwaymullina said.

“It is their long advocacy for our people and their work in transforming the academy that makes my work possible.

“I am hopeful this recognition can serve as an example of what can be achieved for all students where teaching and learning develops from respectful partnerships with Indigenous peoples.”

Dr Kwaymullina has been at the forefront of developing and delivering content relating to First Nations people and transforming learning spaces to be respectful of indigenous peoples, knowledge and cultures.

It is a subject close to home for Dr Kwaymullina, who is a proud First Nations representative, with her roots found in the Palyku people of the Pilbara region in Western Australia.

UWA Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Education) Professor David Sadler congratulated Dr Kwaymullina on her achievement.

“The University of Western Australia is so proud and lucky to have a mentor like Dr Kwaymullia in our midst,” Professor Sadler said.

“Being recognised in two categories at these awards goes to show just how much of an impact Ambelin has had on not only the University, but the students she mentors as well.”

The highly competitive awards, administered by the Department of Education, Skills and Employment, celebrate quality teaching practices that contribute to a change in learning and teaching through ongoing knowledge sharing.

The awards are normally presented at a ceremony held in Canberra as part of the Universities Australia Higher Education Conference, but due to COVID restrictions the event was held virtually.

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