Inspiring social change

Dr. Wee Chan Au

Inspiring social change

Teaching her students to be better global citizens is all in a day’s work for Dr Wee Chan Au.

Passionate about the power of education as an agent for social change, Dr Au has designed and delivered a new unit to help teach students how to be responsible leaders.

“I believe educators have a real opportunity to shape future generations by cultivating the right attitudes, behaviours, skills and knowledge to enable their students to become proactive change-makers,” Dr Au says.

The Senior Lecturer in the Department of Management, School of Business, Monash University Malaysia says she created the Social Entrepreneurship unit to foster in her students a deeper understanding of responsibility and sustainability in business.

“Social entrepreneurship is an important mechanism for achieving sustainable development, particularly among young people who are searching for new ways to make a difference,” she says.

Recognising the need to make the course meaningful for her students, Dr Au secured a Better Teaching Better Learning (BTBL) education grant to develop Malaysian-based case studies.

“The existing learning materials were dominated by the Western and developed context, so I took the lead in developing local and regional cases to help learners relate to authentic role models,” she says.

"The existing learning materials were dominated by the Western and developed context."

The learning experience is further enriched by activities that encourage students to interact with real-life social issues and enterprises.

“My teaching practice is rooted in a learner-centred approach, which primarily focuses on the learning process and experiences of the learners,” she says.

“I arranged field trips to social enterprises where students gained first-hand experience with social issues and had the opportunity to witness the social entrepreneurship model in action.

“This initiative is supported by two social entrepreneurship ecosystem builders in the region - Social Innovation Movement, Malaysia and Impact Hub Phnom Penh, Cambodia.”

Dr Au says she is thrilled to be a recipient of this year’s Monash Business School 2021 Dean's Award for PRME Education Excellence.

“I feel proud that my research and teaching have been recognised as important initiatives that contribute to the University’s commitment to responsible management education,” she says.

A certified trainer for the Active Citizens Social Enterprise (ACSE) program, Dr Au says she is deeply committed to supporting the social innovation agenda in Malaysia and East Asia into the future.

“I am dedicated to training more educators who want to go on to be involved in social innovation and social entrepreneurship education for the betterment of society,” she says.