Vice-Chancellor's Distinguished Community Engagement Virtual Award Lecture

04 February 2021 @ 18:00 - 19:30


February 4, 2021
06:00 PM - 07:30 PM
Online via Zoom
Event Type:
Public Lecture


Benita Rama

Title: A work of time: Reflections on our journey to embedded engagement 

Abstract: The focus of Human Kinetics and Ergonomics is on understanding the interactions between humans and other elements of the system, with the purpose of improving human wellbeing and overall system performance, whether it be on the sports field, in activities of daily living or in the workplace. To achieve this understanding of interactions, it is necessary to take a systemic and holistic approach that appreciates the context of performance and the emergent nature of human activity. It is our argument that to truly achieve these goals as a science and to provide students with an educational experience that adequately illustrates these characteristics it is necessary to take an embedded participatory approach to community engagement, education and research. This talk will characterise our journey from a primarily laboratory-based education and research model to an engaged model that has a focus on working with the community to address locally emergent problems. In particular, we will address the lessons we have learnt along the way and how we are currently striving for alignment between our community engagement program, research and teaching and learning to promote sustainable change within the broader Makana community. For students, we will show how embedded service-learning courses can be a transformative experience that helps to promote engaged scholarship and enhanced learning. We will provide some examples from our work that illustrate how we have sought to create joint optimisation and synergy between community development and student development through embedded research and service-learning experiences.  In the context of promoting a life long passion for human movement amongst students and community, we will provide a framework of how we have attempted to change the idea of what the classroom is and where learning occurs to promote the philosophy of engaged citizenship. Most of all we will recognise that any such programs are a life long journey and to be successful, need to be a work of time.


Zoom link:


All are welcome to attend.


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