Champions of change: Celebrating the recipients of the 2023 Dean’s Awards for Equity, Diversity and Inclusion

This year the Faculty of Information Technology recognised several collective teams and an individual standouts across its Dean’s Awards for Equity Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) categories.

These annual awards celebrate staff who have made outstanding contributions to EDI, surpassing the regular scope of their roles to drive sustained achievements across one or more of the following faculty and broader university strategies:

Open to academic, professional and sessional staff, the faculty recipients go in the running against winners across Monash for the Vice-Chancellor's Excellence Awards for Equity, Diversity and Inclusion in November 2023.

Here are more details about the 2023 winners and their impact:


Angkit Thapa Magar, Caitlin Reid, Dermott McGrath, Emmelyn Vincent, Heather Beveridge, Keshan Withanage, Teju Hari Krishna and Victoria Zhu

Marketing and Communications

The Marketing and Communications Team prioritised increasing the visibility of diverse student groups above and beyond their regular marketing roles, with a focus on reaching underrepresented groups such as low socio-economic status (SES) students, women and Indigenous students.

Through innovative programs and strategic initiatives, including advertising, content creation and partnerships, the team have surpassed the Monash benchmark for low socio-economic status (SES) diversity with a current representation of 13.2% – setting a standard for other faculties to follow.

Partnering with the Regional Education Student Network (RESN), the team invited a bus load of students from regional areas to the 2023 Open Day and developed targeted grants such as the 3K Tech Scholarship to improve access for students from regional and low-SES areas.

Leona Holloway

Inclusive Technologies, Department of Human-Centred Computing

Leona Holloway’s research and community engagement is leading to direct change within the blind and low vision (BLV) community, contributing to standards for accessible formats, the provision of accessible materials to BLV children and adults, and awareness of braille and tactile media as essential for people who are blind and deafblind.

In 2017, only one school for the blind in Australia offered 3D printing as a limited in-house service. Through Leona’s leadership within an ARC Linkage Project partnering with blindness organisations and the Victorian Department of Education, there are now six additional providers throughout Australia and New Zealand, and all seven have formalised processes for production and requests.

She has played a pivotal role in the organisation and delivery of many public outreach events, such as the National Science Week, Melbourne Knowledge Week and the Melbourne International Flower and Garden Show, where she simultaneously provided accessible materials for BLV  visitors, conducted research and raised awareness of why inclusion and accessibility are important.

Her work has also led to the formalisation of 3D Printing Guidelines published on the Round Table website, attracting over 6,000 visits so far. 3D model designs published on Thingiverse have been downloaded up to 700 times per model, with a total of 22 models/collections made available to assist with tactile literacy, education and mapping for people who are from the BLV community. Many of the models have also been remixed and shared in other online repositories.


Professor Dragan Gasevic, Dr Guanliang Chen and Dr LeLe Sha

Centre for Learning Analytics at Monash (CoLAM), Department of Human-Centred Computing

Professor Gasevic, Dr Chen and Dr Sha are from the Centre for Learning Analytics at Monash (CoLAM) and they have made dedicated efforts to improve fairness and inclusivity in education through educational technologies.

Over the past two years, they have focused on improving algorithmic fairness in machine learning techniques commonly used in teaching and learning analytics contexts, advancing the research and practical understanding of predictive fairness.

Notably, their Learning Analytics project with Catholic Schools Parramatta Diocese demonstrates the practical application of their research in which they predict the likelihood of student failure in a unit, which enables proactive support from teachers.

Environment and Culture

Professor John Grundy

HumaniSE Lab, Department of Software Systems and Cybersecurity

Australian Laureate Fellow Professor Grundy uses a two-pronged approach to drive human-centred research that is purposeful, fair and collaborative.

Leading by example, he sets a precedent by spearheading high-quality and award-winning research, developing and designing software that supports diverse end users with a focus on vulnerable communities such as people living with disabilities, those with low digital literacy and internationally marginalised groups.

Professor Grundy embodies an empathetic and systematic leadership approach within the Lab to foster an inclusive work environment. As a result, all members feel empowered to be bold and innovative when developing software with improved accessibility and usability.

A notable initiative is the ‘diversity advancement’ portfolio, which celebrates the intersectionality of his team across different gender, cultural and ethnic backgrounds. This is realised through honouring cultural festivities, organising team-building activities, arranging informal get togethers more.

Professor Grundy also emphasises that all staff and students can communicate their opinions independently, and are treated with equal respect regardless of views. He is always willing to listen to his students, mentees, colleagues and peers, and actions his priority on work-life balance with regular runs and coffee shop meet-ups.