Learning Skills Advisors

Learning Skills Advisors (LSAs) are professional educators who work with you to achieve your academic goals. Whether you are transitioning to tertiary education, or studying for a postgraduate qualification, we offer individual, tailored support to help you get there.

We offer one-to-one and group support to help you develop your academic study and writing skills, such as structuring assessment tasks, paraphrasing, referencing and editing your work, to name a few. LSAs do not offer a proof-reading service.

Due to the present COVID-19 restrictions, all appointments with LSAs are offered online via Skype, phone or email until further notice.

Make an appointment with a Learning Skills Advisor.

Meet the LSAs

Berwick Campus

Daniel North

Daniel completed a Bachelor of Arts in German and European Studies at the University of Western Australia before completing his Honours in German studies at the Universitӓt Koblenz-Landau in Germany. He also holds a Master of TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) from University of Melbourne.

With a keen interest in languages and language learning, Daniel has taught English as an additional language for 10 years at various language schools and universities in Australia and the United Kingdom. Through his extensive experience in teaching English for Academic Purposes, Daniel has become passionate in language acquisition and academic language development.

As a Learning Skills Advisor, Daniel is enthusiastic about working with international and non-English speaking background students as he enjoys watching confidence and capabilities grow through improved language abilities.

Liz O’Connor

Liz is a Senior Learning Skills Advisor at the Berwick Campus. She has a BA (Hons) in Latin and Greek (Victoria University of Wellington) and an MA in Education (La Trobe University). Her thesis focused on the ways students who speak English as an additional language adapt to academic writing in science.  She also studied Te Reo Māori (the Māori language) at Te Wānanga o Aotearoa. 

She has worked as a learning skills advisor for over 20 years in universities in Australia and New Zealand and has significant experience working with students from all subjects and levels. While in New Zealand, she worked with WaiPESI (Wainuiomata Pasifika Educational Success Initiative) to encourage young people to fulfil their aspirations.  Her passion is to support students on their academic journey and develop their confidence.  Liz can help you develop the skills you need to succeed at uni.

Dr Alice Robinson

Alice completed a Bachelor of Creative Arts at Melbourne University in 2001 and a PhD by Research in Creative Writing from Victoria University in 2012, where she was awarded the Vice Chancellors’ Award for Research and Research Training for her work on climate change and culture. Since then, Alice has worked in universities as an academic, and now as a Learning Skills Advisor.

Alice’s first novel, Anchor Point, was longlisted for the Stella Prize and the Indie Book Awards in 2016. Her second novel, The Glad Shout, won the Readings Prize for New Australian Literature in 2019, and was listed for the Aurealis Award and the Colin Roderick Literary Award in 2020. Her fiction, essays, reviews and scholarship have been published widely in print and online, and she has appeared at writers’ festivals across Australia championing books and writing.

Brisbane Campus

Bernadette Willans

Bernadette is the Librarian and Senior Learning Skills Advisor at Brisbane Campus. She holds a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Western Australia and a Diploma in Education (Secondary) from the University of Queensland. She also holds a Master in Education (Teacher Librarianship) from Charles Sturt University.

Previously a secondary school teacher, Bernadette has worked in universities for nearly twenty years both as a Librarian and as a Learning Skills Advisor and she is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. Bernadette is passionate about supporting new students in their transition into university. She is also particularly interested in the development of online learning in Higher Education.

Camp Street Campus

Bronwyn Blaiklock

Bronwyn completed a double degree in Arts (German and Psychology double major), and Music (Honours in Piano Performance) at the University of Adelaide and Elder Conservatorium of Music. She also holds a Graduate Certificate in Education (Tertiary Education) from the University of Ballarat.

As a Senior Learning Skills Advisor, Bronwyn draws on diverse skills and experience to provide academic and language support to students. She has a special interest in the transition to higher education for mature-age students, particularly the development of self-efficacy and its expression in academic language.

Bronwyn is also a freelance editor and pianist, and she has been active as a performer, writer and teacher in the creative arts industry since the late 1990s. Her poetry has been anthologised and her first chapbook collection was published by Melbourne Poets Union (2016). Bronwyn has contributed to state-wide literary initiatives through membership of the Board of Writers Victoria (2010-2014), and she is presently a board member of the Ballarat Arts Foundation.

Gippsland Campus

Leigh Albon

Leigh Albon is a Learning Skills Advisor at the Gippsland Campus of Federation University and is able to help all students with their learning.

Leigh is a Latrobe Valley local, and studied at the Gippsland Campus himself. He started his working life as a high school teacher and taught locally in Morwell and Leongatha. He then improved his English as a Second Language teaching skills and taught English to locals in the UAE.

As a professional, he has helped students of all ages and backgrounds excel; high school students wanting to succeed, university students first attempting university life, and foreign business people hoping to study in English speaking countries. No matter the course, faculty, or language level, Leigh will be able to assist you with your academic needs.

Dr Martin Davies

Martin has been a career academic since the 1980s. He completed a double doctorate in Philosophy in addition to a range of other qualifications in Engineering, Education, English as a Second Language, and Electronic Publishing. He was most recently an Associate Professor in Higher Education in the Faculty of Business and Economics at the University of Melbourne. He received the H. J. Allen Prize in Philosophy from the University of Adelaide in 2002.

In addition to his role in CLIPP, he is a Principal Fellow in the Melbourne Graduate School of Education. Martin has been an Editor of a number of academic journals in and is widely published with six books and a large number of papers, reports, commissioned studies and government-funded projects to his credit. For further information, see: http://www.martindavies.com.au

Martin is happy to assist all students and has a special interest in mentoring staff and/or HDR students working on doctoral dissertations or peer-reviewed publications.

Jess Rosseland

Jess is a Phd candidate at Federation University in the School of Science, Psychology and Sport. Her research involves investigating the health and diseases of Antarctic penguins.

Prior to undertaking her PhD, Jess completed a Bachelor of Veterinary and Wildlife Science and a Bachelor of Science (Honours) at the Gippsland Campus. She returned to study after several years working in the media industry as a radio announcer. This experience has given her an understanding of the unique challenges that face students returning to study after full-time work.

Jess is based at the Gippsland Campus, and is passionate about the region and regional students accessing quality education and the support that they need to succeed in their studies.

Melina Stewart-North

Melina Stewart-North is a PhD candidate at Federation University Australia. Her doctoral research focused on researching digital vigilantism in Australia via a mixed methods approach to examine the nature, influences, and impacts of ‘netilantism’. Melina has a background in Psychology (BPsySc) and Criminal Justice (BA(Hons), recently focusing on the frequently forgotten rural frontier and barriers to accessing justice.

Melina can help you with all Student Academic Study Support (SASS) enquiries. Melina can get you sorted outside of the Learning Skills Advisor (LSA) program too with her knowledge of FedReady, Mentoring, PASS, Studiosity, and the ASK Service.

Mt Helen Campus

Dr Jen Anderson

Jen Anderson has been a learning skills and curriculum adviser in universities in Australia, Vietnam, China and Cambodia.

It is an honour and pleasure to collaborate with students in developing study and learning skills, and their university and ‘early’ professional identities. In terms of staff engagement, Jen is particularly interested in curriculum and assessment design for face to face and online delivery, and enjoys working with them to incorporate academic skills into existing courses. Jen has experience in facilitating Academic Writing Circles.

A particular research passion is transcultural transformation and its manifestations over time. Her PhD Ganyu: Moving Encounters in Early Post-Mao China received Monash University’s prestigious Mollie Holman Doctoral Medal. Her current project explores early Hun Sen Cambodia (1989-1993) through the lens of an international aid worker.

Talia Barrett

A Senior Learning Skills Adviser, Talia Barrett is based at the Mount Helen campus, providing academic and language skills support to undergraduate and post-graduate students. One of Talia’s main areas of interest is collaborating with academic staff on curriculum development – reviewing and designing assessment tasks applying scaffolding pedagogies, and creating rubrics that provide clear foundations for developing students’ knowledge and study skills at university.

Talia is also enthusiastic about internationalising the curriculum and providing opportunities for all students to develop intercultural communication skills throughout their degree. This interest stems from Talia’s background in international education having lived and worked in Thailand and Indonesia for two years and, also, in her role as academic adviser to international students in university settings for over 12 years. Her own university study experience started with Slavic Linguistics (Monash Uni), then Education (Uni of Melbourne) and, finally, led to a Masters in Applied Linguistics (LaTrobe Uni), which enabled her to integrate her interest in the language learning experience of older migrants, having worked among migrant communities in Melbourne and Ballarat for many years.

Bronwyn Blaiklock

Bronwyn completed a double degree in Arts (German and Psychology double major), and Music (Honours in Piano Performance) at the University of Adelaide and Elder Conservatorium of Music. She also holds a Graduate Certificate in Education (Tertiary Education) from the University of Ballarat.

As a Senior Learning Skills Advisor, Bronwyn draws on diverse skills and experience to provide academic and language support to students. She has a special interest in the transition to higher education for mature-age students, particularly the development of self-efficacy and its expression in academic language.

Bronwyn is also a freelance editor and pianist, and she has been active as a performer, writer and teacher in the creative arts industry since the late 1990s. Her poetry has been anthologised and her first chapbook collection was published by Melbourne Poets Union (2016). Bronwyn has contributed to state-wide literary initiatives through membership of the Board of Writers Victoria (2010-2014), and she is presently a board member of the Ballarat Arts Foundation.