Teaching excellence recognised with prestigious national award

Professor Craig Gonsalvez’s outstanding contribution to the teaching and supervision of clinical psychology has been recognised with a prestigious national Award for Teaching Excellence, presented as part of the 2017 Australian Awards for University Teaching.

The prize – for the category of Social and Behavioural Sciences – was awarded to Professor Gonsalvez for the outstanding quality of teaching resources developed to enhance the quality of clinical supervision in higher education.

Professor Kevin Dunn, Dean of Social Sciences and Psychology, says Professor Gonsalvez is a very worthy winner.

“At Western, he oversees clinical practicum at the Psychology Clinics, trains supervisors and systematically evaluates supervision,” he says.

“He has been instrumental in initiating a pedagogically informed competency-driven approach to supervision, thereby improving student acquisition of competence. We are producing superior clinicians at Western, and Professor Gonsalvez’ influence extends nationally."

With 70 publications in the area of Clinical Psychology, 25 publications in the area of Clinical supervision and attracting more than a million dollars’ in research grants during the past ten years, Professor Gonsalvez, from the School of Social Sciences and Psychology, has established himself as an expert in his field.

In 2016 Professor Gonsalvez was the recipient of an Office for Learning and Teaching (OLT) citation award for his project: ‘Enhancing placement outcomes and experiences for psychology students through competency-based supervisor training and assessment.’

He also led the design and delivery of the Australian Psychological Society (APS) Institute's clinical supervisor training program, currently delivered nationally by the APS Institute, and was the National Chair of Course Approvals for the APS Clinical College from 2005-2010.

In addition to his contribution to the field of clinical psychology training and clinical supervision, Professor Gonsalvez is also an experienced senior clinician having held positions such as Director of the Anxiety Disorders Clinic, and Deputy Head of the Department of Medical Psychology at Westmead Hospital.

Professor Denise Kirkpatrick, Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Vice-President (Academic), says, “we are extremely pleased that Professor Gonsalvez’s extensive professional and academic achievements have been recognised through these awards. His approach to clinical learning integrates competence and skills development with the cultivation of those human attributes that are so critical to effective professional engagement in contemporary society.”

“Professor Gonsalvez exemplifies the academic qualities that are necessary to deliver truly research‑informed teaching and his practice creates learning experiences that are effective in developing graduates who are well‑prepared for their profession and the future.”

Professor Gonzalvez says he is delighted, humbled and honoured to receive the award.

“I am delighted because it’s tangible recognition of work conducted over more than a decade; humbled because I’m aware that there are many, many academics within SSAP and at Western Sydney University who do great work but are yet to be acknowledged in the way I have been recognized; and honoured to be included in such illustrious company,” he says.

Professor Gonsalvez has also pioneered research in: the applications of technology in supervision (e.g., eSupervision); the development and assessment of psychologist practitioner competence; and the evaluation of clinical supervision processes and outcomes.


15 December 2017

Emma Sandham, Senior Media Officer