Social enterprise pioneer wins top teaching award

20 Oct 2016
Dr Lance Newey was recognised in the 2016 Citations for Outstanding Contributions to Student Learning

A Senior Lecturer who pioneered social entrepreneurship courses at The University of Queensland Business School and who has inspired community projects around the world has received a government award in recognition of his achievements.

Dr Lance Newey was recognised in the 2016 Citations for Outstanding Contributions to Student Learning, which are part of the government’s Australian Awards for University Teaching program.

Dr Newey introduced his three social entrepreneurship programs in 2009 after recognising the potential for students to create social change by applying their business skills. Since then over 600 students have completed more than 150 projects in communities in Australia and overseas.

Their achievements include installing water purification technology on the roof on the community hall in a remote indigenous settlement at Dajarra, Queensland; restoring biodiversity on Stradbroke Island; and installing solar lights into 700 Namibian households to address child literacy problems by allowing students to read at night.

Many of Lance’s students have gone on to set up successful social enterprises, including Zachary Fook and Mikayla Ivanov, founders of The Tippy Toe Co., a ballet school for children with special needs, and Jose Adrian Gabriel Camacho, Director of Impact Academy in Brisbane and Mexico.

His work has attracted interest from education leaders worldwide including universities in Chile and Colombia. As part of UQ's Latin America commitment, he created the Entrepreneurship for Community Wellbeing program to train Latin American students to teach entrepreneurship to communities, and has led workshops to help locals in poverty stricken areas within Colombia, Chile, Ecuador and Peru.

The success of his Social Entrepreneurship in Practice course has encouraged other institutions to start their own initiatives. Within UQ Business School, it has led to a restructure of the postgraduate entrepreneurship major, and inspired a shift in emphasis to place greater focus on social change in other management and leadership courses.

UQ Business School Dean (Acting) Associate Professor Len Coote said: "Lance saw the opportunity for students to become agents of change by applying their entrepreneurial skills to social issues. The results have been beyond our expectations. Students have made a real impact within many different communities and have experienced personal transformations. Lance's work has also sown the seeds of a wider change, by challenging attitudes and demonstrating how business can be a force for good to help create a better world."