Exercise and Sport Science Lecturer wins 2021 The University of Notre Dame Australia Aspire Award

03 November 2021

University of Notre Dame Australia lecturer, Dr. Jenny Conlon, has won a 2021 Aspire Award, and will have the opportunity to attend an international conference on Wellbeing in Education when overseas travel resumes thanks to Business Events Perth’s Aspire Awards.

Lecturing from the School of Nursing, Midwifery, Health Sciences & Physiotherapy, Dr. Conlon’s award recognises her expertise in developing the course ‘Wellbeing Fundamentals for Success’. The course equips students with skills and strategies that enable them to approach their professions (and lives more generally) with mindfulness, and promotes positive mental health.

Now in its 22nd year, Business Events Perth’s Aspire Awards sponsor local academics, researchers and professionals to attend (and often present at) a relevant international conference in their discipline, to further their professional development and profile Western Australian research on an international stage.

Business Events Perth Chief Executive Gareth Martin said he was thrilled to be supporting Dr Conlon to attend the International Positive Education Network (IPEN) conference, where she would have an opportunity to showcase her expertise and innovation on a global platform, network with like-minded professionals, and explore new avenues for collaboration and innovation into Western Australia.

“The research and developments coming out of Western Australia, such as Dr Conlon’s work in the mental health and wellness space, show that our State is truly an incubator for knowledge,” said Mr Martin.

Business Events Perth’s Aspire Awards provide opportunities each year for our brightest minds to showcase this knowledge on a global platform.

"In-person attendance at business events provides opportunities for career and professional development that are invaluable, and we are honoured to be supporting Dr Conlon and her work through the Aspire Awards."

Dr Conlon and her colleagues have developed their 13-week course consisting of weekly three-hour classes containing theoretical and experiential workshops on evidence-based strategies for promoting student wellbeing. Topics include mindfulness, physical activity, sleep, nutrition, time-management, and emotional intelligence.

The traditional approach to treating mental health conditions via the provision of counselling services, whilst effective, struggles to meet the increased demand.  This course is critical in contemporary university education given the prevalence of mental health conditions among tertiary education students.

“Being involved in the teaching of this course has been extremely rewarding as I really feel and see the impact it has on students and the difference we are making,” said Dr Conlon.

“Attending the next IPEN conference will be an amazing opportunity to hear from world leaders in this space and better understand how we can build on the work we are doing here at The University of Notre Dame Australia to impact more students and staff”.

The University of Notre Dame Australia Vice Chancellor Professor Francis Campbell is pleased that important work done by University staff is being recognised.

The work that Jenny is doing is of absolutely critical importance to Western Australia as we are in the middle of a global pandemic and we are seeing a spike in the demand for mental health services.

“What Jenny and her colleagues are doing here is helping students to develop stronger resilience and tackling it in an interdisciplinary way, not just a theoretical way, but a practical way through exercise, nutrition and sleep. All of this is helping to address an issue that is of fundamental importance."

“Every piece of work that Jenny and her colleagues do helps to grow the strength and resilience of our students and will stand Western Australia in really good stead going forward and into the future.”

Media Contact: media@nd.edu.au