Connected Conversations | Judi Nairn

With the exciting arrival of allied health to the University in 2021, Dr Judi Nairn has been very busy over the past few months! As the Academic Lead for Learning and Teaching in the new School of Allied Health Science and Practice, Judi is part of the expert team developing the program for our inaugural cohort of physiotherapy, speech pathology and occupational therapy students. Read our next Connected Conversations to learn how Judi has maintained her wellbeing and love of teaching during this time.

 Judi Nairn

Please tell us a little bit about yourself

Hi! I’m Judi Nairn. I’m the Academic Lead for Learning and Teaching in the new School of Allied Health Science and Practice. I’ve been working in the area of health professions education (mainly in medicine) for over 10 years. At the end of last year, I moved to allied health. To be involved with the introduction of the new allied health programs–occupational therapy, physiotherapy and speech pathology–to the University was an exciting opportunity and one too irresistible to refuse! I love teaching, especially when a student grasps a difficult concept and you see that ‘lightbulb’ moment when it all starts to come together. I live at Henley Beach with my partner and many water toys. We love being on, in, under, and anywhere near the water! Being near the ocean gives me a sense of perspective and calm, which has been especially helpful in the crazy times of COVID-19. 


The Return to Campus Roadmap is now in placeWhat are you most looking forward to about being back on campus? 

I have spent a day or two in our Helen Mayo buildings getting stuck into program development, but I can’t wait to see our team in person instead of via Zoom!


What aspects of teaching online do you enjoy the most? And… what are the parts that you do not like so much?

Because we’re in the development phase of the new programs, we don’t have students yet and I haven’t had to switch to online teaching. In saying that I have missed seeing students immensely, so at this point, I can’t wait to get back to teaching in any form, especially with the inaugural allied health cohort.


How do you set boundaries when working at home between your work life and your home life? 

I have replaced my commute to campus with a morning and afternoon walk on the beach. I’m lucky I have a great ‘work from home’ set up in a dedicated room, so when I need to, I can shut the door on my work and go for a walk. I am guilty of sneaking back into my office after hours to do some ‘tinkering’, but that’s not new!


Were there any outside of work challenges that impacted you over the past few months? 

The ocean has been a constant boost to my wellbeing. It helps me slow down and feel more engaged with nature. This in turn, helps me deal with whatever curveball the world might throw at me.


Is there anything from the past few months you would like to see implemented on a permanent basis?

As much as I miss our campus and the people I see when I’m there, I have also enjoyed the flexibility and productivity of working from home. I’m hoping that as we move forward, we can find a way to balance the two. 


What is the one thing you are most looking forward to doing or seeing when you are back on campus?

Lunch with the team at the tables on the Maths Lawns!


All things considered; what good things have you discovered or learned during this time? 

It’s confirmed for me, that in the scheme of things we are all rather insignificant, so it’s not worth worrying about stuff that’s beyond our control–it doesn’t help and only makes us feel bad.


Name three things you won’t miss about this current moment in time.

Everything to do with physical distancing, not being able to travel and not being able to attend live music.


And the three things you won’t forget…

The way everyone in my street helped each other out and shared what they had when supermarket stocks were low.

The great toilet paper hoarding scandal!

Zoom meetings (this is one I would be happy to forget!)

Tagged in connected conversations