Norman Curry Award for Innovation and Excellence in Educational Programs

Recognising a wide variety of programs and initiatives, all of which demonstrate innovation and excellence in support of, and service to, teaching and learning.

The Norman Curry Award recognises excellence in programs, demonstrating: distinctiveness, coherence and clarity of purpose; a positive influence on student learning and student engagement; breadth of impact; and concern for equity and diversity.

The Norman Curry Award is an open category – all programs and initiatives which meet the above definition are equally eligible.

The Norman Curry Award is open to individuals and teams providing projects or services relating to teaching and learning within any organisational unit of the University. The nomination of programs involving professional staff members of the University is encouraged, as are programs involving collaboration with partner organisations.

The University usually confers one Award annually. The award includes a trophy and a grant of $10,000.

How to apply

Honour Roll

  • 2015

    Dr  Stanislav Roudavski

    Melbourne  School of Design, Faculty of ABP

    For his internationally acclaimed program in computational creativity.  Comprised of diverse courses, workshops and learning tools, the program  successfully introduces the latest technical advancements in design computation  to a range of student cohorts.

  • 2014

    FSAE Program Team

    Department of Mechanical Engineering

    Melbourne School of Engineering

    For the development of an innovative, entertaining, and program that relates students to industry and other affiliates and puts them in charge of the development of a racecar. This innovative program gives students a level of autonomy in terms of technical direction, as well as team management, finance, and structure.

  • 2013

    “Thesis Boot Camp”

    Ms Peta Freestone, Dr Liam Connell and Dr Katherine Firth*

    Melbourne School of Graduate Research; *Academic Skills Unit

    In June 2012, the Academic Support Team within the Melbourne School of Graduate Research  ran the University’s first Thesis Boot Camp (TBC), developed and coordinated by Peta Freestone. Adapted from successful models at leading research universities in the United States, this weekend-long, intensive writing program is the first of its kind in Australia. TBC supports late-candidature graduate researchers towards completion by providing them with the time, space, motivation and support to make significant progress on their thesis draft. Completion-focused programs have been recommended by the Council of Graduate Schools as best practice to prevent graduate researcher attrition and encourage timely completion and TBC is a positive, innovative response to the needs of the University of Melbourne graduate researcher community. There are several measures by which the program is already showing great success: high demand through application numbers, the output of participants at each event, and the feedback received through formal evaluation and communication from participants.

  • 2012

    Finding Common Ground: Enhancing interaction between domestic and international students

    University of Melbourne

    A/Prof Sophie Arkoudis & Dr Chi Baik (Centre for the Study of Higher Education, lead agency)

    Dr Shanton Chang (Computing and Information Systems)

    Professor Ian Lang (Victorian College of the Arts)

    Deakin University

    Professor Kim Watty

    Victoria University

    Professor Helen Borland & Dr Amanda Pearce


    Dr Josephine Lang

  • 2011

    Peer Review from A to Z for Education (PRAZE)

    Raoul Mulder, Jon Pearce (Faculty of Science), David Adams, Gordon Yau, David Vasjuta, Gavin Leys (Learning Environments).

    Feedback is essential to learning, yet across the university sector, student satisfaction scores for this aspect of teaching are routinely low. Several factors contribute to this low rating, including the difficulty of providing detailed feedback in large classes with low staff/student ratios. Involving students in the feedback process through student peer review has numerous well-documented benefits, including improvement in the quality and quantity of helpful feedback, but there is no widely available, flexible and customizable software for managing student peer review. To address this problem, academic staff and Learning Environments specialists at the University of Melbourne collaborated to develop PRAZE, a sophisticated, flexible and customisable online tool designed to facilitate the implementation and administration of student peer review in diverse learning contexts. The program is distinctive in its capacity to enable reciprocal and anonymous peer review by large numbers of students in any discipline or learning context. Since its release in 2008, it has been used in 73 different subjects, representing all six undergraduate degrees taught at the University of Melbourne, and serving  almost 10,000 students. Quantitative and qualitative surveys demonstrate that subjects employing PRAZE enjoy sustained improvements in a range of learning outcomes.

  • 2010

    Onemda VicHealth Koori Health Unit teaching and learning program

    Mr Shaun Ewen, Professor Ian Anderson, Ms Angela Clarke, Mr   Paul Stewart, Ms Viki Briggs, Dr Bill Genat, and Associate Professor   Jane Freemantle

    Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health Sciences

    A broad teaching program which incorporates Aboriginal health into the curricula for medicine and other health sciences – more

    Setting up student to succeed

    Professor Dawn DeWitt, Associate Professor Lisanne Burkholder,   Professor Bill Adam, Ms Jennifer Keast, Dr Jennifer Critchley, and   Associate Professor Graeme Jones

    Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health Sciences

    A suite of initiatives supporting students during their   clinical practice training, with particular focus on the regional   practice.

  • 2009

    An early clinical skills program for medical students

    Dr Jennifer Conn and team

    Medical Education Unit, Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health Sciences

    An educational program and resources featuring authentic diagnostic reasoning, a standardised approach to physical examintation skills, and the integration of communication skills with core clinical skills

  • 2008

    Live Remote Captioning

    Mr Matthew Brett

    Disability Liaison Unit

    A system for supporting the participation of deaf students in classroom environments on campus, including in lectures and tutorialsmore

  • 2007

    Building Understandings in Literacy and Teaching (BUILT)

    Dr Kristina Love

    Melbourne Graduate School of Education

    A package of resources for primary and post-primary level teacher education students, developing their understandings about the   central role of language and literacy learning – more

  • 2006

    Arts Transition Program

    Associate Professor Steven James and Ms Sanchia Draper

    Faculty of Arts

  • 2005

    Postgraduate Essentials

    Ms Teresa Tjia, Dr Jeanette Fyffe, Dr Wendy Larcomber, Dr Anthony McCosker, Ms Sabina Robertson, Ms Claire Brooks

    Melbourne School for Graduate Research; Language and Learning Skills Unit; and Information Division

    A comprehensive and interactive online program supporting PhD candidates with practical information and skills for their research studies, and opportunities to network with peers and advisers – more

  • 2004

    Sensitive Examination Technique (SET)

    Professor Jane Gunn, Associate Professor Kelsey Hegarty, Dr Louise Kornman, and Dr Kathryn Robertson

    Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health Sciences

    An innovative approach to developing student doctors' skills in gynaecological examination techniques

    A multidimensional, faculty-based approach to student support

    Associate Professor Carol Johnston and TLU staff

    Faculty of Business and Economics

About Norman Curry

Norman Curry was born in 1931 and completed his secondary education at Melbourne Boys High School. He graduated with a Bachelor of Arts and Master of Education from the University of Melbourne and obtained his doctorate from the University of London.

Curry has been one of the State’s pre-eminent educationalists, having held the senior positions of Principal of the State College of Victoria from 1977 to 1981 and Director-General of Education from 1982 to 1985. He has served on a number of School Councils, including a period as Vice-Chairman of the Council of Scotch College. Nationally, he has served on such bodies as the Commonwealth Schools Commission and chaired the ABC Schools Broadcasting Advisory Board.

The contribution made by Norman Curry to theological education through the Melbourne College of Divinity is also remarkable. He attended his first meeting of the College as an appointee of the Anglican Church in August 1973 and was President of the College from 1995 to 1997. During his Presidency he was heavily involved in discussions with both the State and Commonwealth Governments about the future of theological education and need for financial support for students of theology. His outstanding contribution to the College was recognised in 2000 when he was awarded the Degree of Doctor of Sacred Theology (Honoris Causa). The encomium in support of that Honorary Doctorate cited that “Throughout all his years serving the College, Norman Curry has never lost sight of the vision of theological education which honours God and serves the community”.

His community service has included the Victorian Relief Committee, the Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme Committee and presidency of the Library Council of Victoria (1986–1989). He was President of the Royal Melbourne Philharmonic Society from 1986 to 1991.

Norman Curry has been the longest serving cleric in the history of St Paul’s Cathedral, Melbourne, having been ordained in 1961. His capacity to be able to combine a distinguished professional and public career with over 40 years honorary service in the priesthood is a remarkable record.

Norman Curry has also made an outstanding contribution to the University. A member of the academic staff of the Faculty of Education at the University of Melbourne from 1959 to 1974, he served as Sub-Dean of that Faculty from 1969 to 1971. Initially joining the University Council as the Minister of Education’s appointee from 1982 to 1985, he was elected back into its ranks by the graduates in 1988 and served continuously from that date until 2004. Over the last ten years prior to that he had been a Deputy Chancellor of the University, representing the University on innumerable occasions and presiding over many ceremonies. He has taken great interest in matters related to student and staff welfare and amenities, devoting many hours to membership and leadership of Council committees with those areas of responsibility. His wisdom and insight have enriched too many University bodies to list separately, but the University’s particular debt to his stewardship of and vision for its buildings and grounds should be acknowledged.

In 1997 Dr Curry was appointed a Member of the Order of Australia for service to education, particularly to educational thought and practice.