Jane Venis

Award for Sustained Excellence in Tertiary Teaching

Senior Lecturer, School of Design, Otago Polytechnic

"Nurturing student individuality and creativity".

'Fabulous, innovative and caring', are how Jane’s students describe her. This skilled educator’s life journey is a compelling account that spans Making Music night-classes in the 1980s through to leadership in the creative fields of sculptural design and creative studies today.

Jane is highly respected as an educator who challenges learners to excel. She breathes vitality into the process of learning for students through her passion for art and connection to modern society. Jane inspires learners to trust in their own artistic ability as they develop comprehensive understandings of the world around them.

Jane is an outstanding example of how humour, commitment and empathy for students’ varying backgrounds contribute to supporting innovation and critical thinking. She draws students into the process of learning and development through her careful balance of challenge and passion. As Jane wrote in her portfolio, 'Very few people learn well under stress, yet new challenges need to be offered to learners.' Managing this tension effectively goes to the heart of teaching excellence.