Bond’s innovative educators recognised at Australia’s top University Teaching Awards

February 27, 2019

Bond University has taken out two of only 13 national honours at the 2018 Australian Awards for University Teaching.

The Awards, which have existed for more than 20 years and are the nation’s most prestigious teaching awards, recognise brilliant teachers in Australian higher education. This year 13 outstanding teacher and teaching programs awards were recognised – two of whom proudly hail from Bond:

Assistant Professor Christian Moro of Bond’s Faculty of Health Sciences & Medicine (HSM) was awarded the Teaching Excellence Award (Early Career category) for his use of innovative, creative and technology-enhanced curricula to engage science and medical students in a rich and interactive learning experience.

Many of the physiology and anatomy educational curricula created by Dr Moro, including applications, software and learning resources are freely available and now utilised to enhance learning and teaching by tens of thousands of students and academics around the world.

The Bond University Kira Kira program, which has to date supported 240 medical, allied health and sustainable development students and faculty supervisors to engage with this Solomon Islands community through work-integrated placements, took out the Global Citizenship and Internationalisation Award for Programs that Enhance Learning.

Students who participate in the Kira Kira program develop wide-ranging inter-professional skills in teamwork, leadership and resilience, in addition to profession-specific employability skills – plus the program delivers much-needed health care and infrastructure planning to a remote community. The Kira Kira program is led by Professor Peter Jones of HSM and involves an interdisciplinary team from across the University including Associate Professor James Fink, Professor Janie Smith, Associate Professor Dianne Reidlinger, Assistant Professor Nikki Milne, Ned Wales and Nikki Gommans.

Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic), Professor Keitha Dunstan said the entire Bond community was very proud of the achievements of the award recipients.

“Christian and the Kira Kira team exemplify the kind of pioneering approaches that we focus on, and are well known for, here at Bond,” she said.  

“They are innovative and collaborative, have true international impact and are making a real difference.

“Kira Kira is providing hands-on support to a community who needs it. Now in its seventh year, it has evolved to become an interdisciplinary program that our health and medical, architecture, sustainable development, and law students and academics are involved with.

“Meanwhile, Christian is using YouTube and other media platforms, educational computer games and cutting-edge augmented and mixed reality technologies to provide individualised learning experiences for students, in and out of the classroom, on and off campus.

“He is then sharing his use of cutting-edge technologies and best-practice curricula for the benefit of learning and teaching globally.”

Last year, Assistant Professor Moro was one of a small contingent of Queensland academics chosen to present and showcase innovative practice to 17 leading Chinese Universities and academics at a two-day Teaching Excellence Workshop in Shanghai, organised by the Australian Government, TIQ and Higher Education Academy.

Assistant Professor Moro said he was honoured to receive the Teaching Excellence Award.

“Today’s students expect quality learning experiences, so awards like these are very important as they focus on the ongoing development of teaching and encourage us, as educators, to continue to innovate and strive to do better in our pursuits.”

“I am excited to have the opportunity to teach this curricula and honoured to be able to use it to engage and share best practice in learning internationally.”  

This latest award follows Dr Moro’s receipt of an "Australian Citation for Outstanding Contributions to Student Learning" in 2018.

Professor Peter Jones, who has been the driving force behind the Kira Kira initiative since it began in 2013, said the University should feel very proud of the program.

“Kira Kira is the perfect example of a high-quality student experience that makes a real difference, delivers tangible benefits and creates a sustainable, lasting legacy for a community,” he said.

“Programs like Kira Kira instil a sense of global social responsibility in our students, making them more well-rounded practitioners and people.

“For many of our students it is the most powerful, transformative experience they ever have.”

Bond Vice Chancellor and President, Professor Tim Brailsford said he was very proud that the private, independent University had received two of the 13 national honours awarded this year.

“To receive not one, but two, of Australia’s premier awards for Higher Education is a brilliant achievement,” he said.

“These awards recognise our commitment to the highest levels of teaching quality, our global outlook and world-class student learning experience. 

“Christian and the Kira Kira team inspire their students to imagine and think outside the square, and their colleagues to push the boundaries of learning and teaching – and for this, I thank and congratulate them.” 

Videos of the Bond University award winners can be viewed at the following links:

Assistant Professor Christian Moro – also here and here.

Kira Kira Program