These workshops will be held at The Star (conference venue) on Tuesday 5th December 2017 prior to the Welcome Reception.  The workshops are an additional cost to the conference registration and you can book when registering.  Each workshop is 3 hours long and includes morning or afternoon tea.


  • $150 Members (Attending the conference)
  • $190 Non-members (Attending the conference)
  • $190 Members
  • $220 Non-members

0900 - 1200 AM WORKSHOP

Protecting your investment: What you can do to maximize student persistence

Dr Jim Elliott

0900-1200, Tuesday 5th December 2017


All stakeholders in higher education have made a significant investment in the future.  Universities spend substantial sums on marketing and recruitment. Those funding higher education hope there will be a pay-off both in terms of qualified graduates and repayment of student debt.  Those paying fees (students and very likely their families) clearly do not want their fees wasted.  The time spent by students during their course has opportunity costs in income foregone.  But if a student does not persist to completion, this investment is largely (although not entirely) wasted.

A well constructed program that identifies the variables associated with student persistence and intervenes in a timely may be seen as protecting the investment stakeholders have made in their future.

This workshop summarizes the workshop facilitator’s long experience with student success, persistence and engagement – as well as (to use less attractive language) student attrition and retention.  The session will address the nine key variables that research evidence indicates make a difference to the chances of a student persisting to the end of their educational program.  Participants will have an opportunity to reflect on the resources available at their own institutions, and how practice may be made more effective.

Workshop Facilitator: Jim_Elliott_300

Dr Jim Elliott spent 25 years in higher education before retiring as Associate Director Student Transition at Curtin University in 2014.  He was active in the development and implementation of Curtin’s Student Retention Plan and has an especial interest in effective orientation, mentor programs, student mental health, and early intervention with students apparently at-risk of discontinuing their studies.  He is a former President of ANZSSA and a former editor of JANZSSA. He has carried out significant research into variables associated with student persistence, and has published and presented papers nationally and internationally. Since retiring from full-time employment, he has maintained an interest in higher education with occasional periods as a locum counsellor at the University of Western Australia.


1300 - 1600 PM WORKSHOPS

Managing student critical incidents

Mary Ann Seow, Nadia Rajic

1300-1600, Tuesday 5th December 2017


A critical incident involving a student is distressing for families, friends and staff. The effective management of any critical incident is important. Not only is it important to assist and support affected parties, it is also important to ensure that the situation is not worsened through mismanagement.

This workshop is designed to for those that work with students at any level. It deals with the practical issues of preparation, planning of policy and dealing with actual critical incidents.  The half-day session aims to give you the resources and knowledge to devise or revise policy and procedural guidelines for a critical incident.

Program outline:

  • Definitions and Examples of a critical incident
    What is a critical incident?
  • Critical Incident preparation and response
    Pre-incident preparation and responses
  • Policy Development
    Looking at resources and guidelines in developing policy and procedures
  • Self Care
    Who looks after us?

This interactive workshop will draw on case studies and participants will be encouraged to share scenarios and cases.

Workshop Facilitators:

MaryAnn_120Mary Ann Seow is the current National President of ISANA International Education Association in Australia. Mary Ann has been involved in international education since 2000. She has been a member of the ISANA National Council since 2009 and has been actively involved in international education in Australia for over 15 years. She arrived as an international student from Singapore to study at Finders University in Adelaide and has worked in the higher education sector in a variety of roles. These have included industrial relations, human resource management, academic teaching and research, international student services and corporate training. Her passion lies in working in the international education sector and collaborating with agencies, student groups and peers to assist and support international students and to advance research in international education.

Nadia RajicNadia Rajic was the Manager of Student Counselling at the University of South Australia from 2007 until 2015. She currently works as the Manager: Student Wellbeing with responsibility for critical incident management relevant to students as well as implementing a University-wide Wellbeing Strategy and Action Plan using population based approaches and based on a holistic view of wellbeing. Nadia has also worked as an academic in the School of Psychology and Social Work at the University of South Australia. She has also collaborated on internet addiction among university students with Flinders University of South Australia. Nadia is passionate about student wellbeing and whole of university approaches to wellbeing using health promotion principles.

Unfortunately due to a unavoidable circumstances Kellie Cathcart’s workshop ‘Building our skills and resilience to support our students online‘ has had to be cancelled.  Below is the replacement workshop.  

Online journey to digital journey

Associate Professor Shanton Chang & Dr Catherine Gomes

1300-1600, Tuesday 5th December 2017


The educational environment is increasingly going digital; from flipped classrooms and online classes to provision of information for students in the digital environment. Yet, we know from research that not all students are ready for this environment.

This workshop consists of 3 main parts;

  1. What are the digital experiences of international students and what does this mean for services that are needed to support the diversity of digital skills among the student body?
  2. Standard 6 of the National Code requires that students be supported to enhance their online engagement. In this context, and given the diversity of the student body, what services might be needed in the next 5 – 10 years? These services could range from library services, online support, learning management skills, social media use, online etiquette and online community engagement.
  3. A summary of available digital technologies that might assist service providers and a discussion of guiding principles for using these technologies.

The aim of this workshop is to increase participants’ understanding of the digital experiences of their diverse student body and how this might impact on their service offerings. The workshop will focus on the development of potential services that might be needed to support the online engagement of these students. Whilst the workshop is designed to also address The National Code in relation to student support service expectations, the principles and examples are completely relevant to all support staff who are working with a diverse student body.

Workshop Facilitators:

Shanton Chang is Associate Professor and lectures in Change Management and the Social Impacts of Information Systems at the Department of Computing and Information Systems, University of Melbourne. His current primary areas of research include the Social Aspects of Online Technology, Online Behaviour, the Use of Social Media in Businesses, Education and Health, Information Needs and the Relationship between Cultures and Information Technology. He is particularly interested in how broadband technologies and Web 2.0 has impacted on education and health. Shanton consults on online behaviour of young people, online education and interaction across cultures. He was Assistant Dean (Exchange) at the Melbourne School of Engineering, overseeing the Exchange and Study Abroad Program for Engineering and IT students.

Catherine Gomes is a Senior Lecturer in the School of Media and Communication where she teaches Asian Studies.  She is leader of the Migration and Digital Media Research Lab.  Catherine was also an Australian Research Council DECRA Fellow (2013-2016) and a Visiting Research Fellow at the Singapore Management University.  Catherine has worked extensively on the themes of identity, migration, ethnicity, memory, multiculturalism and transnationalism in Australia and Singapore as well as on the information-seeking behaviour of international students in Australia.


The Australian and New Zealand Student Services Association Inc. (ANZSSA) is a professional association for people with an interest in the role of support services in post secondary education.

For more information, please visit ANZSSA website by


ISANA International Education Association is the representative body for professionals in Australia and New Zealand who work in international student services, advocacy, teaching and policy development in international education.

For more information, please visit the ISANA website at

Conference Managers

Please contact the team at Conference Design with any questions regarding the conference.