Centaurus College heads
Dr Lynette Pretorius
Dr Lynette Pretorius grew up in South Africa and moved to Australia just before she started her university studies. While she was very keen to move to a new country, she quickly realised the importance of building a strong support network. Lynette also quickly discovered the challenges of learning in a different language and culture. Having a strong and supportive community to help her during her studies was one of the main reasons she made a successful transition to Australia. As a result, Lynette is passionate about improving the student experience for students as they transition into tertiary studies.
Lynette studied a double-degree during her undergraduate studies, and even overloaded her course in second year. As a result, she gained a lot of experience managing her time wisely, particularly since she also had a part-time job. With a strong passion for learning, Lynette continued her studies, eventually completing her PhD in medicine. Lynette's PhD research focussed on a gene activated in the hearts of athletes, where she investigated whether this gene pathway could be used to treat people with heart failure. Throughout her PhD, Lynette learned a lot about the importance of wellbeing in the workplace. She now applies this knowledge in her workplace, where she volunteers as one of Monash's Wellbeing Champions.
After her studies, Lynette started work at Monash University. She has taught in many areas of the University, including the Faculties of Education and Science, the University Library, and English Connect. Lynette's work has always focussed on developing students' personal literacy and confidence to help them succeed at university as well as in their future careers. Currently, she is the Academic Language Advisor for the Faculty of Education where she teaches both undergraduate and postgraduate students to improve their academic language and literacy skills. Lynette also conducts research in the areas of experiential learning, reflective practice, doctoral education, and curriculum design.
In her spare time, Lynette enjoys reading, dancing, and yoga. She also loves science-fiction television shows (particularly the Star Trek franchise), and enjoys watching sport (particularly athletics and cricket). Lynette is proud to be part of the Centaurus College and looks forward to getting to know the new members who join the Centaurus community.
Deputy College Head
Dr Ros McFarlane
Ros grew up in a tiny country town on the bottom of Western Australia and originally thought the three skyscrapers in the nearest city made it very impressive. Since then she has discovered that most cities average more than three skyscrapers and has been very pleased to travel to many of these exciting places. One such place has been Copenhagen where she studied and learned to speak Danish. Ros also learned that living in another language is not as easy as the montages in movies make it seem and it taught her a lot about determination, perseverance and the importance of reaching out to find supportive friends.
In 2011 she moved to Melbourne to pursue her PhD in cross-cultural literature and write poetry. She also learned to combine multiple part time jobs, at one particular time averaging four different positions plus her PhD study. Ros has finished her thesis and is (slowly) getting there on the poetry book. She currently works in the English Connect program which she thinks is the best job ever because it combines different cultures, languages and making new friends. She would love to talk to you about engaging with people from different cultures, creative writing, time management and stories about her beloved cat.
Deputy College Head
John Pilbrow is a PhD candidate and Teaching Associate in the Faculty of Arts. Having served three years as a College Advisor with the Non-Residential Colleges, John is very excited to be involved in a new capacity. Involvement in the NRC program played a large role in John's undergraduate years, allowing him to not only build bridges with students and staff at Monash, but also worked to enhance several personal attributes including self-confidence and cultural awareness.
Perhaps the greatest benefit from John's NRC journey has been understanding the need for, and benefits of, balance between the study, work and personal spheres of a university student's life. As such, aside from wading through electoral data (which is his favourite academic pastime as a scholar of political science) and his teaching commitments, John ensures that he balances his time by also feeding his addiction to Mario Kart, reading the same novels over and over, spending time with his family and friends, and sleeping in as often as possible.
John is very much looking forward to meeting all the Centaurus members and advisors for 2018.