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Call for 2023 Forum Presentations


UCA Forum 2023 – ‘The Whole Person’

26 – 28 September 2023

Park Hyatt, Canberra


Call for Presentations


The Organising Committee is pleased to invite proposals for practitioner presentations at the UCA Forum 2023, on the theme of ‘The Whole Person’.

We are seeking a varied range of presentations in the five broad strands of the Forum program (more information on these strands can be found below):

  • Emotional Intelligence

  • Wellbeing

  • Identity and Community

  • Intellectual Development

  • Employability, Future Service, and Citizenship

Presentations will take place after the one-hour Expert session in that strand, and should be of no more than 20 minutes duration with additional time for questions and audience interaction allowed. We envisage programming two practitioner presentations per strand.

We are keen to receive proposals from all members of our College communities, including Heads, Deputies, Deans, and other staff. Presenting at the Forum is a way to explore new ideas, share best practice, develop your professional confidence and standing, and open new discussions.

As part of your proposal you will need to provide the following:

  • Title

  • Abstract (no more than 300 words)

  • Nominated strand (Emotional Intelligence; Wellbeing; Identity and Community; Intellectual Development; Employability, Future Service, and Citizenship)

  • Learning outcomes (at least 3 outcomes which will highlight the aims of the presentation and what participants will take away from the presentation) (150 words)

  • Brief biography of presenter(s) (150 words)

Please e-mail proposals to no later than 9 June. Multiple presentation submissions per person will be accepted. 

All proposals will be reviewed by the Organising Committee with relevance and presentation style taken into consideration as part of the selection process. Presenters will be advised of acceptance / rejection of their submission by 30 June.

If you have any questions or would like to discuss an idea for a proposal please do not hesitate to contact Forum Committee Chair, Bill Peirson:


Forum Strands


Emotional Intelligence

Education is fundamental to the mission of universities; education of the whole person is the unique value proposition of university residential communities. Central to the concept of the whole-person is emotional intelligence, the quality that enables people to negotiate with patience, insight and temperance, the central problems in our relationships with others and with ourselves. It includes the notion of resilience, teamwork, adaptability, creativity, self-regulation, independence, and grit. These attributes are essential for every individual, and serve our students into the future, regardless of the career they embark upon. Staff members are role models and mentors for our students and are influential for students in their leadership journey. Role-modelling these attributes fosters a space where it is safe to question, reflect, and grow, which leads to better outcomes for individuals and importantly, their communities as a whole. 


Increasingly, well-being is recognised as core priority for residential colleges where staff, student leaders and residents require adequate and regular support. It’s an area that needs ever-increasing investments of time, planning, professional development, and resources. But how do you know what investments are worth it? What supports and interventions actually work for residents and staff? What would a wellbeing strategy contain and who would it serve? And what are the measures of success? This session will unpack the what, why, and how of wellbeing in colleges; connecting evidence with practical strategies to create and maintain effective cultures, systems and processes for staff, student leader and resident wellbeing.

Identity and Community

Community issues around personal identity have significantly increased over the last twenty years. Some of these have created significant tensions within the mainstream society in which we live and practice. While issues of personal identity have increased broader appreciation of minority experiences, they also present some serious questions for university residential colleges. How can our communities ensure that the specific needs of hidden minorities and individuals are appreciated and accommodated? How do we balance college aspirations of freedom of speech against potential harassment and marginalisation? How do we lead these communities by example? For those of us with open, religiously-affiliated colleges, how do we remain faithful to our core beliefs and practices without unintentionally marginalising any young people in our care?

Employability, future service and citizenship

The world of academia, work, and industry is evolving at a rapid pace, due to the technological advances in automation and AI. The skills, expertise, experience, and strengths that future employers are looking for are entirely different to what was prioritised even ten years ago. Colleges will always play a critical role in exposing students to meaningful leadership and development opportunities which are not readily available to all university students. This forms an important part of our value proposition.

It is also clear that the current and next generation of students are deeply committed to social justice and environmental action. Many workplaces are shifting their focus and values to meet this consumer appetite for socially responsible operations. This creates a challenge and an opportunity for colleges to build a strong culture of citizenship and service from within. In the aftermath of the COVID pandemic, students are now more likely than previous generations to seek choice and flexibility regarding their working arrangements, to prioritise a work / life balance, and to safeguard their mental and physical wellbeing.

This session will seek to unpack how the world of work is changing in this complex post-COVID context and what the world of work might look like in the coming decade.

Intellectual development

Our students’ intellectual development does not begin and end in the lecture theatre or laboratory. Whilst some may consider our residential colleges to be the passive spaces in which our students learn the so-called ‘soft skills’, they are also intentional interdisciplinary and intergenerational intellectual communities in which staff, senior students, and others can effectively model intellectual curiosity and enquiry, academic integrity, and the joys of life-long learning.

Through our ‘living-learning’ programmes, residential colleges can and should play a vital and active role in their students’ development into graduates who can apply their learning, analyse data, evaluate their own methods, and create new forms of knowledge – the highest levels of Bloom’s Taxonomy of Learning (Anderson & Krathwohl, 2001).

Whether through formal tutorial programmes; co-curricular events like lectures, workshops, hackathons, and reading groups; or simply though mealtime conversations with peers from different disciplines, residential colleges can not only help improve students’ academic attainment but ensure that they mature into confident, curious, agile, and open-minded learners for life.  




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