Dr Kelly Dombroski

Location: School of Earth and Environment
Kelly Dombroski

Dr Kelly Dombroski                

School of Earth and Environment

Kelly’s colleagues say they nominated her for this award because she exemplifies all that a tertiary educator should be: she purposefully crafts her courses based on sound knowledge of the theory and practice of learning and integrates her world-leading research. She says that she is passionate about creating communities of learning that enable students to honestly assess where they are at and provide the skills, opportunities, tools and support to get where they want to be to fully achieve their potential. 

Kelly is an expert on community-centred development and so embedding bicultural competence, global awareness and transferable skills are a naturally integrated element of her teaching. She has long used a variety of teaching methods, so during the Covid-19 lockdown was able to rapidly transition a class of 167 to online learning using a combination of zoom drop ins, weekly vlogs and emails. She inspires students to produce high quality work, through innovative practices like co-designed assessment and peer feedback. 

Her Head of School singles out her approach to supervising a large cohort of international postgraduate research students which provides support and opportunities to enable them to produce their best work in a way that respects their own cultures. She has initiated ‘finish your dissertation’ reading groups and writing workshops which have provided students with the opportunity to read more critically and write in more structured ways, including the valuable experience of writing a collaborative article for publication. “It was the coming together through the collective care process and the reading group what followed that has been instrumental in making my journey fun and not so lonely” according to one student. She has previously been nominated as UCSA supervisor of the year.  A colleague describes her “laid back, accessible teaching style, her clear commitment to students and her ability to explain difficult concepts in a way students can understand. She has an engaging manner.”

She is also recognised for her significant contribution to leadership in teaching with her colleagues, mentoring five new staff in course coordination in recent years. Her commitment to student outcomes is exceptional.