REDI members recognised in the 2023 VC Awards

Two REDI researchers have been awarded Vice Chancellor Awards in the category of Research and Innovation for the Faculty of Arts and Education. Dr Tebeje Molla has been awarded the Mid-Career Researcher Award and Dr Maria Nicholas has been awarded the Early Career Researcher Award.

The annual Vice-Chancellor’s Awards recognise and celebrate staff who have contributed to the advancement of Deakin University’s Strategic Plan – Deakin 2030. The Research and Innovation category of the awards recognise distinctive, quality discovery and applied research; scholarship and creative endeavours; generating globally recognised and highly visible new knowledge, thinking and products for impact. Both Faculty of Arts and Education awards being presented to REDI members is testament to the Centre’s collaborative approach, where researchers are encouraged and supported to excel in their fields, producing world-class research.

Dr Maria Nicholas is Senior Lecturer in Education (Language and Literacy Education) in the School of Education and Associate Investigator, Australian Research Council – Centre of Excellence for the Digital Child. She investigates students’ learning and education in pre-school, primary and secondary school settings, including high-ability and gifted teaching and learning, particularly as it relates to literacy development. Her research intersects with the development of digital literacies and the digital child and the role of mediation in child/student development and learning. She applies these understandings to develop models, frameworks, technology innovations and good practices that build children’s educational opportunities, to foster inclusiveness and equitable outcomes. Dr Nicholas has contributed to 24 publications in recognised and authoritative sources for professional educators. She has also created non-traditional research outputs such as videos that have gained tens of thousands of views worldwide.

Dr Maria Nicholas with her daughter Taylor and husband Jevon at the Deakin University, Vice Chancellor’s Awards.

Dr Tebeje Molla is an ARC Future Fellow and Senior Lecturer in the School of Education. His research focuses on educational disadvantage and policy responses at systemic, sectoral, and institutional levels. His latest projects investigate educational experiences and outcomes of African heritage Australian youth with refugee experiences. His interdisciplinary research draws on critical sociology and the capability approach to social justice and human development. Dr Molla has published widely on student equity, policy analysis, teacher professional learning, and research graduate employability. His latest book (Routledge, 2023) deals with the educational and integration outcomes of African heritage Australian youth. He also writes for blogs and news outlets, including The Conversation, SBS News, and AARE EduResearch Matters. By leveraging the findings of his research, Dr Molla advocates for enhanced educational opportunities in Australia for young African refugees.

Dr Tebeje Molla and his son Fetayel Molla at the Deakin University Vice-Chancellor’s Awards

The awards consist of a digital credential and a $10,000 grant which may be used to further the recipient’s or team’s research.

Find out more about Dr Tebeje Molla’s work.

Find out more about Dr Maria Nicholas’ work.

News 2 November 2023