Staff development opportunities

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Staff development opportunities


Please find below the staff development workshops on offer for up until the end of June 2016. From July 2016 the staff development calendar will be on MyUSC. (Staff login required)

Number of in-house staff development programs offered by Human Resources
Year Number of programs
2015 (YTD) 87
2014 77
2013 61
2012 42
2011 28
2010 22


Participation rate for in-house staff development programs offered by Human Resources
Year Number of participants
2016 738
2015  1012
2014 764
2013 718
2012 490
2011 429
2010 200



2011 Staff Opinion Survey priorities

Here is a brief sample of what ‘you said’ were the highest priorities in the 2011 Staff Opinion Survey, and what 'we did’ as a result.


You said

“We need to continue to improve communication across all sections of the University by becoming more effective at sharing information and increasing collaboration”

We did

The following communication activities occur regularly at USC:

  • Vice-Chancellor and President's All Staff Presentation
  • USC News for Staff
  • Facilities Management newsletter
  • Facilities Management updates
  • Community magazine
  • tHRive newsletter
  • all staff notifications
  • health and wellbeing focus groups
  • online forums and discussion groups
Internal communications activities (January 2012 to date)

This graph represents the broad range and frequency of communication initiatives taking place to improve communication across campus. Data recorded tracks the past eighteen months. Hover over the coloured markers for distribution details.


Communications method Frequency / distribution dates
VCP presentations 23 February 2012
17 July 2012
19 October 2012
13 March 2013
22 May 2013
8 August 2013
10 October 2013
tHRive newsletter 6 May 2013
30 July 2013
Facilities Management newsletter Three editions annually (March, July and November)
Community Magazine Three editions annually (March, July and November)
USC News for Staff email Emailed monthly
Research and Research Training update Emailed fortnightly
Facilities Management updates Emailed fortnightly
Research and Research Training Update Emailed fortnightly
Staff Notifications Emailed daily



You said

“Address issues leading to staff not feeling emotionally well at work including reports of high workload, not being given enough time to do their job well and a lack of resourcing within certain sections of the University”

We did

  • Significantly broadened the scope of Health, Safety and Wellbeing (HSW) across USC
  • Appointment of key team members to the portfolio of HSW
  • Increased awareness through a number of in-house HSW staff development workshops
  • Creation of Health, Safety and Wellbeing online resource via USC website
  • Promotion of physical, mental and social health activities and initiatives
  • Launch of Employee Assistance Program (EAP)

Learn more about Health, Safety and Wellbeing at USC.


You said

“Change management such as organisational and staffing changes are not handled well at the University of the Sunshine Coast”

We did

Since the last staff opinion survey, we have made significant investments in leadership development and there have be many opportunities for University staff to participate in a broad range of program and workshop topics, as well as targeted forums and planning retreats.

Building resilience and capacity

This interactive 4 hour workshop will support participants in the development of practical skills to enhance current resilience strategies. The workshop framework consists of a number of topics including the identification of personal levels of resilience, strategies to increase personal resilience, relationship of resilience to confidence, optimism and hope (psychological capital), and strength based approaches to building team resilience.

Emotional Intelligence

This one day interactive workshop allows participants to assess emotional intelligence and develop strategies to manage emotions and respond more effectively to others.

Being an effective team player

This workshop covers the building blocks of high performance teams, the five stages of team evolution, capitalising on your natural team role preferences, participating in transparent communication and committing to being an effective team player.

Supervisor Essentials and Supervisor Essentials Plus programs

These programs are designed for supervisors and team leaders, whether new to or experienced in the job, and those who aspire to be a team leader or supervisor one day. During the program, the job of “a supervisor” is analysed and the knowledge and skills needed to succeed are clarified. Participants have the opportunity to reflect on their experience and plan for future development.

Leadership Essentials Workshops

Leadership Essentials involves three full-day workshops and participants are required to undertake learning tasks between the sessions. It covers some topics similar to those covered in Supervisor Essentials and Supervisor Essentials Plus, but at a more advanced level. Participants not only improve their leadership and management knowledge and skills, but will be better able to lead the implementation of improvements within their work areas.

Leadership Development – “The Conversation Series”

In 2012, the “Conversation Series” was developed for Middle Managers (who report to Cost Centre Managers). With experienced and talented external consultants, middle and senior managers participated in two full-day workshops – Challenging Conversations and Coaching Conversations – that focused on practising some of the skills needed to lead and manage staff effectively. In 2013, the “Conversation Series” was further developed with the introduction of “Change Conversations” which has been prompted by the perpetual change that prevails at USC and the consequent development of the University’s Guidelines for Managing Change. The “Change Conversations” suite comprises three interactive and inter-related sessions in which participants explore the culture and development of the University, our responses to change and how to use the Guidelines to manage change more effectively.

Senior Staff Retreat

The Senior Staff Retreat, which is attended by members of the University Executive, Heads of Schools, Associate Deans, Directors and other representatives of key facets of the University’s operations, is held annually over two consecutive days. Two retreats have taken place since the 2011 staff opinion survey in April 2012 and March 2013. The purposes of the Senior Staff Retreat are to develop a shared understanding of the strategic directions for the University and build commitment to shaping and leading USC's future. In 2013, the sessions focussed on: realising opportunities to deliver on the Strategic Plan; clarifying and agreeing on the leadership roles required to achieve strategic objectives and build the capacity of the University; and promoting and upholding the University’s Ethics Principles and Standards of Conduct.

Executive Retreat

The members of USC Executive (VCP, DVC, PVCs, Executive Deans) meet each year to focus on the achievement of the University’s Strategic Plan. Together, they:

  • Continue to develop a shared vision for key activities and the advancement of the University
  • Identify opportunities for internal engagement and collaboration
  • Agree on the contributions to be made by each member of Executive and develop themes for the Senior Staff Retreat
  • Discuss and agree on the values to be applied in all University activities.

Learn more about staff development opportunities at USC.


The Emerging Leaders Program

The Emerging Leaders Program, involves 22 emergent academic leaders in learning and teaching taking part in a series of Professional Learning Conversations based on the five principles for action explored in the ‘Handbook For Executive Leadership Of Learning And Teaching In Higher Education’ (McInnis, Ramsden and Maconachie, 2012).

Participants in the sessions also include University executive and senior leaders and authors of the handbook.

Discussions focus on how each principle in the handbook is relevant for emerging leaders and how they can structure their own academic leadership work in response to these new understandings.

Participants will meet regularly in the second half of 2015.

Participants are: Kylie Readman (Project Leader), David Fleishman, Vikki Schaffer, Aaron Tham, Jane Fynes-Clinton, Umi Khattab, Debra Livingston, Paul Williams, Sharn Donnison, Anne Drabble, Vicki Schriever, Max Stuelcken, Nigel Barr, Terri Downer, Belinda Flanagan, Sandie Elsom, Dericka Frost, Marguerite Westacott, Adrian McCallum, Andrew Olds, Ayo Olofinjana, Geoff Lovell, Jon Mason.

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