La Trobe journalism and sports management students were the first to meet Mick Malthouse today at the inauguration of his role as the University’s first Vice-Chancellor’s Fellow.
The former Collingwood coach has joined La Trobe on a three-year part-time appointment to support Vice-Chancellor John Dewar in areas such as student aspiration and leadership, strengthening schools in La Trobe’s catchment areas and supporting community learning opportunities.
He aims to help raise education aspirations of school students who have had little previous exposure to the benefits of higher education, and also boost higher education participation by Indigenous students.
As a leader and mentor, Mr Malthouse will also work closely with staff, students and the community on sports development as well as provide practical support for academic programs including sports journalism, sports management, physiotherapy and podiatry.
He will help mentor individual students, work with campus residential colleges and contribute to staff leadership, team-building and personal development.
Vice-Chancellor, Professor John Dewar, says Mr Malthouse brings with him ‘extraordinary motivational ability based on inspirational teamwork’.
‘La Trobe has many programs that support increased access to higher education through partnerships with schools, sports clubs, and leadership initiatives in Melbourne’s north and among our regional communities. He will be able to make a valuable contribution to these.
‘Throughout his coaching career, he has learnt life lessons that transcend the sports field, that apply to any person chasing a dream, pursuing their goals or embarking on challenging endeavours.’
La Trobe University, says Professor Dewar, is about established excellence in teaching and research in many fields, for example biosciences and food security at the new $288m AgriBio centre and $94m Institute of Molecular Science (LIMS).
‘But this University is also about providing educational opportunities for people from all walks of life, and it has done so since its inception.
‘For more than 40 years La Trobe has made a difference to many people’s lives, resulting in amazing career outcomes for students from a wide range of backgrounds.
‘So Mick Malthouse’s new role fits perfectly with that objective, encouraging students from all backgrounds to consider a university education. We will work together as peers in the pursuit of knowledge through practice,’ says Professor Dewar.
After 40 years experience in professional football, Mr Malthouse says he made the move to La Trobe because he was seeking new directions and wanted to put his practical expertise to good use.
New learning methods
‘It is inspiring that the University is taking a chance on new learning methods by giving their students a more practical education.
‘I’m honoured to be a part of such a ground breaking program and that my lessons from life on the football field can be used to make a difference.
‘Individual, organizational and community leadership has been core to my professional life and is also a major part of the success of students and local communities,’ says Mr Malthouse.
‘La Trobe University is proactively supporting local leadership development, and I am proud to be at the heart of championing this and supporting La Trobe students to be the best that they can be,’ he says.
‘The University has a fantastic track record and is one of the strongest in Australia. I am proud to be associated with La Trobe.’