In the spotlight: Visiting staff from Malaysia

Originally published in the Monash University Library ‘staff bulletin’ on September 2, 2016  

by Sara Nyhuis

Republished 08 September, 2016

 Australia Visit 2      Australia visit 1

Last week, Clayton campus was proud to host three visitors from Monash University Malaysia. Sara Kuhn, Sossamma George, and Purush Karu were able to join staff development workshops and observe Research and Learning classes in their time here to see how they could translate what we do in the Library into achieving the best results for their students in Malaysia.

In our spotlight interview, I had a quick chat with them about how they were enjoying their visit.

What areas do you work in at Monash Malaysia?

Sara: I am the manager of Research and Learning in the Research and Learning department, and I also double as a Liaison Librarian, so I manage a team of Liaison Librarians to each school and I’m also the liaison to the School of Arts [and Social Sciences].

Sossamma: Myself, I’m the senior manager for information resources. Basically I have responsibility over the budget and a team…of information resources, the IT people – one person – and acquisitions and the cataloguing. And that’s changing too, there’s a new role coming through, and we’re moving information resources into new areas.

Purush: I am Purush, Learning Skills Adviser, and also Acting Senior Learning Skills Adviser, so at the moment taking on two positions. We are basically…situated in the library and our main services are support – student support services.

Are you finding a lot of differences between the Malaysian campus and the Australian campus?

Sossamma: Absolutely. I think the structures and the clear roles that you have, and theinterlinks between all the different areas…

Sara: There’s a lot of differences. Some of the main differences to me are just physical differences – the size, the amount of technology and classrooms and workspaces and different kinds of environments you have at your disposal.

Purush: But also the numbers, yeah? There’s so many of you here in the Library.

Sara: Interestingly I’m discovering in our conversations with one another and in the reflective writing workshop, that we’re going through the same things. We have the same challenges, similar situations, it’s much more similar than I realised from a – sort of – work and practical perspective, as far as our roles are concerned.

What have you been doing while you’re here? What have you enjoyed the most out of what you’ve been involved in?

Purush: I think every session was something useful and we learned something new.

Sara: We’re learning all about the RSD Framework.

Sossamma: We see so much of relevance, so much material that we could actually draw from.

Sara: The most important thing to me has been making the connections with all the staff here. I keep saying to people I’m finding out more in a thirty minute or an hour meeting – more things than I could find out from a week or a month of emails back at home. We just get questions answered, and clarification – a lot of the little ‘aha!’ moments when people explain how they do their programs and services.


We hope the team from Monash University Malaysia enjoyed their very busy time here, and were able to take home many skills from the various workshops and classes they were able to attend – and present themselves! We thank them kindly for taking the time to visit our campus, and were proud to show them around!