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Emma Mayer


It’s well recognised today that it is imperative Australia builds strong and sustainable connections with its Asian neighbours, and that this begins with education.

Emma Mayer appreciates this more than most, and thanks to her efforts in introducing and building the subject of Indonesian at Bayside Christian College, so too do her students.

Before Emma joined the team at Bayside, the school did not have an Indonesian subject or any international connections. Soon after her arrival, the subject grew dramatically, and the Indonesian unit quickly became a busy hub of language activity.

This is largely due to Emma’s innovative approach to teaching.

“Emma utilises a range of exciting and engaging strategies and resources that draw upon both verbal and non-verbal communication to support student understanding,” explains Head of Teaching and Learning, Mrs Millie Proudlove.

Emma frequently seizes opportunities to embed formative assessment using peer- and self-assessment. This results in the frequent use of immediate feedback to students so they can be in tune with their own learning and progress. Exemplary practice and high expectations are the norm in Emma’s classroom.

To expand her students’ international connections, Emma is dedicated to the inter-school Bridge Program. She has official connections to two schools, one in Malaysia and one in Indonesia, through this program. These relationships allow Emma’s students to interact with pen pals, as well as engage in dialogue and discussions with their international peers.

Emma’s efforts are not confined to her subject area. She is proactively seeking opportunities to expand cultural education across the school. Only recently, she liaised with a teacher in Indonesia about the festival of Eid and was able to share this learning with Year 7 students, expanding their understanding of other religious and cultural practices around the world.

Emma’s deep current knowledge and understanding of language and culture is critical to her successful teaching of Indonesian. She works hard to ensure her knowledge and skills remain current, as language is constantly evolving.

She instils this love of lifelong learning in her students, with one recently commenting that they were very grateful that Emma taught them to engage in learning for life.

The most fitting conclusion for Emma’s story is again a quote from Mrs Proudlove: “Emma is an outstanding practitioner who rises to any challenge with several solutions…she deserves recognition for her friendly, unassuming approach to teaching Indonesian in a school where languages once received no credit. She is a role model not only to students, but also to colleagues. Emma has single-handedly turned the tide through sheer dedication, enthusiasm and a genuine passion for her subjects and students.”

Congratulations on being shortlisted for the TEACHX Excellence in Teaching Award Emma.

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