Welcome from the Dean


Welcome to the Graduate School of Education’s (MGSE) digital 2018 Annual Review. Reflecting on my first year as Dean of the Graduate School, I am struck by the sheer hard work, talent and enthusiasm displayed by our staff and their collective commitment to sustain and build upon the excellence for which the MGSE has long been renown.

It was a year of a change as we developed and began implementing our new Strategic Plan 2018 - 2021 around the theme of Collaborate, Create and Contribute. With six guiding strategies focused on transformative teaching, research leadership, community engagement, people and culture, sustainability and governance we have created a plan which will allow us to fulfil our vision to equip people to address the major educational challenges of our times.

None of this transformational work can be done alone and in 2018 we concentrated on building a strong, creative and collaborative team to execute our ambitious program of work. To this end I was delighted to appoint a new Deputy Dean, Professor Helen Cahill to assist me in leading this transformation and this year we will also benefit from a new Executive Director, Ms Keryn Negri joining us. Another key initiative we embarked on was the establishment of a new External Advisory Group, consisting of representatives from key organisations within the education sector and industry who will provide us with their expertise as we continue to develop the strategic direction of MGSE.

Over the past 12 months fundamental reforms to MGSE were implemented including a new Master of Teaching partnerships model, a research review, development of an academic performance framework, publication of the workload model, a new supervision model and academic cognate structure, publication of the new MGSE governance framework, launch of quarterly staff dialogues, rejuvenation of our staff forums and increased promotion of external events and publications.

Engaging with the education sector is a crucial part of the engagement strategy of MGSE, particularly the schools who take our Master of Teaching students on placements and the more than 100 schools who make up our University of Melbourne Network of Schools (UMNOS). In 2018 we embarked on a new podcast series, produced by Maxine McKew, called Talking Teaching  which developed from a desire to promote further dialogue about what works in the classroom, to elevate the status of teachers in Australia and to recognise that today’s teachers are global educators.

The Dean’s Lecture series is also another forum where MGSE reaches out to the wider community to provide stimulating and thought-provoking events. In 2018 our lectures ranged from Professor Gillian Triggs making the case for an Australian Bill of Rights, Professor Fiona Stanley receiving a standing ovation for her lecture which outlined her lifelong passionate advocacy for children and Indigenous Australians, and a packed house for Professor Lindsay Oades’ lecture on the emergence of wellbeing theory.

In 2018 we had 1,783 students undertaking a range of Masters’ degrees and various professional certificates, all expertly taught by our MGSE staff.  The achievements of many of our outstanding students were recognised at our MGSE Awards night, an occasion which brings together students, families, academics and sponsors. In 2019 I am looking forward to the establishment of a new Graduate Student Advisory Committee which will provide an important channel for students to provide their perspective and input to the governance and operations of the Graduate School. Through the committee MGSE aims to ensure that all students are proactively engaged in the development of MGSE’s ongoing strategic priorities and that all students are engaged, extended and fully supported by student-focused services and resources.

The research at MGSE has great reach and diversity and is conducted by researchers in our seven research centres, four hubs, and the Melbourne Disability Institute,

Dean, Enterprise Professor Jim Watterston  Melbourne Graduate School of Education

Dean, Enterprise Professor Jim Watterston
Melbourne Graduate School of Education


and through the work of our academics who are not based in a centre or hub. Our research is widely disseminated through journal articles, at conferences and workshops, through the evidence-informed practice of our students and through the University of Melbourne’s digital magazine Pursuit. In 2018 we conducted a review into MGSE’s current research activities to inform a series of improvements that will drive growth in research quality, output, income and impact.

I hope this Annual Review gives you a glimpse of the work achieved over 2018 at the Melbourne Graduate School of Education. It was an inspiring, challenging and ultimately successful year and I feel privileged to be working with a team of such talented and dedicated people who are striving to positively influence and improve the delivery of education right across the country and beyond. I am looking forward to us all continuing this work in 2019.

Dr Jim Watterston

Dean, Melbourne Graduate School of Education
Enterprise Professor, Education Systems