Special Interest Groups



All Special Interest Groups (SIGs) are facilitated by NAEEA members from around the country. To join a SIG, email the contact/s provided.


Jump to a group: 




Research Development and Collaboration


The purpose of this SIG is to create a collaborative space for colleagues interested in researching enabling programs, student transitions in higher education and lifelong learning, and related areas such as widening participation, equity, and social justice in education to come together.


Our aim is to foster a research community where members feed into and develop the direction of the SIG, share research approaches, develop research skills, gain confidence with publishing and participate in projects. We believe that it is through research and publications that we are able to influence policies and allow the voice of the enabling sector be heard.




Associate Professor Anna Bennett, University of Newcastle, Anna.Bennett@newcastle.edu.au


Dr Jo Hanley, University of Newcastle, joanne.hanley@newcastle.edu.au



Enabling Assessment


Assessments play an important role in promoting learning and preparing enabling students for university study, while allowing enabling educators to make informed decisions about student progression and attainment of skills and knowledge.


Our purpose is to facilitate dialogue around the principles and uniqueness of enabling assessment practices, while promoting evidence-based practice and innovation in assessment within enabling education and the wider higher education sector. Although as enabling educators we often know and have anecdotal evidence that indicates the impact of certain types of assessment practices on student success, this SIG aims to promote robust, informed arguments for assessments that lead to better outcomes for all students.




Dr James Valentine, Charles Darwin University, james.valentine@cdu.edu.au


Dr Liz Goode, Southern Cross University, Liz.Goode@scu.edu.au



Enabling Curriculum


The purpose of this SIG is to facilitate national discussions among enabling educators in Australia about the characteristics of curricula in enabling programs. Through these discussions, the SIG aims to establish unified curriculum principles. Additionally, the SIG will share information on curriculum design approaches and promote best practices in enabling education across Australia.


Contact: Dr Bronwyn Relf, University of Newcastle, Bronwyn.Relf@newcastle.edu.au 



Mental Health and Wellbeing 


Students in enabling programs bring a richness and diversity to our universities, but they may also arrive with numerous challenges. For a variety of reasons, students may seek support and advice regarding their non-academic challenges (such as mental health issues) from their lecturers and tutors, rather than from psychologists and counsellors. The NAEEA SIG on Mental Health explores the area of student wellbeing in enabling programs and considers the roles of academic staff in supporting enabling students.


Contact: Associate Professor Susan Hopkins, University of Southern Queensland, Susan.Hopkins@usq.edu.au



Science, Technology, Engineering & Maths (STEM)  


Are you someone who is passionate about inspiring more students to consider studying STEM subjects at university? We believe that STEM offers endless opportunities, drives innovation, and empowers individuals to shape progressive and technologically advanced future.


The purpose of this group is to foster collaboration and share knowledge and expertise amongst likeminded professionals to advance research and development and to assist with teaching STEM subjects.


Contact: Dr Anthea Fudge, University of South Australia, anthea.fudge@unisa.edu.au



Culturally & Linguistically Diverse Students 


To effectively education and support Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD) students, it is crucial to employ strong pedagogical approaches that bridge the linguistic divide.


We would like to invite you to join us in developing a strong network of enabling educators, who are particularly interested in sharing the challenges and opportunities of teaching culturally and linguistically diverse students. We hope to develop synergies that will stimulate new approaches and ideas in a respectful and effective manner.


Contact: Tamra Ulpen, University of South Australia, Tamra.ulpen@unisa.edu.au



 Online Learning


The landscape of online teaching and learning is evolving, and it is beholden on educators to ensure they are providing education that is supportive and engaging in this digital realm. This SIG will be running a series of webinars on innovative online teaching and learning, where we will have opportunity to network and build a community of practice of like-minded practitioners. 




Associate Professor Suzi Syme, Southern Cross University, suzi.syme@scu.edu.au


Anne Braund, Central Queensland University, a.braund@cqu.edu.au



Indigenous Students 


Are you interested in Indigenous enabling programs or helping students from Indigenous backgrounds within mainstream enabling programs?


This special interest group will focus on Indigenous pedagogical approaches to teaching in enabling programs and culturally appropriate ways to assist Indigenous students navigate enabling programs. The purpose of this group is to provide a space for sharing resources and methods to improve the education of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander enabling students, across a range of contexts.  


Contact: Daniel Collins, University of Newcastle, Daniel.Collins@newcastle.edu.au





If you are an educator in a diploma unit/subject/course/program at undergraduate level, then this special interest group is for you. This SIG seeks to bring together a community of practice to share, generate, and progress the evidence base around diplomas in higher education. The aim of the Diplomas SIG is to develop a strong network of educators in Australia, who are particularly interested in discussions around diplomas in higher education.


Dr Johanna Nieuwoudt, Southern Cross University, johanna.nieuwoudt@scu.edu.au

Dr Rikki Quinn, Southern Cross University, Rikki.quinn@scu.edu.au 




Understanding self-efficacy as a theoretical concept is important because it helps individuals gain confidence in their abilities and achieve their goals.

The focus of this SIG is on the self-efficacy of both students and educators. The primary aim of this SIG is to connect colleagues and build a supportive community. We are interested in academic and career self-efficacy as well as related concepts such as locus of control and self-directed learning. As we grow, we aim to foster national-level discussions around self-efficacy, share resources, and see growth in the research within this space.

Contact: Ana Larsen, Central Queensland University, a.larsen@cqu.edu.au 



In-School Enabling Programs

If you are engaged with an in-school enabling program, or your institution is considering developing an in-school enabling program, then this SIG could be for you. In-school enabling programs are part of an increasingly widespread and important practice. Some programs are run during school hours by the high school, while other programs are run after school hours by the university. This SIG seeks to create a community of practice to pool together insights and learning in this growing enabling space. The purpose of this SIG is to build a community of practitioners to facilitate shared learnings, benchmarking opportunities, and effective curriculum design.  


Dr Johanna Nieuwoudt, Southern Cross University, johanna.nieuwoudt@scu.edu.au

Selena Tenakov, Edith Cowan University, s.tenakov@ecu.edu.au