Dr Melanie Hayes

Senior Lecturer in Interdisciplinary Education
BOH, BHSc(Hons), GCALL, MEd, PhD

A14 - The Quadrangle
The University of Sydney

Telephone +61 2 8627 8787

Biographical details

Mel trained as a Dental Hygienist and has worked in clinical practice, dental education and research for the past decade. She is currently a Senior Lecturer in Interdisciplinary Education, in the Education Enterprise and Engagement Unit in the Office of the DVC (Education). Her role involves teaching Industry and Community Project Units, which provide senior students from all Faculties the opportunity to work together on real-world problems for industry partners.

Prior to this, Mel held academic positions at the University of Newcastle and the University of Melbourne, coordinating and teaching courses in the Bachelor of Oral Health programs. In addition, in her role at the University of Newcastle Mel also coordinated an inter-professional first-year course across eight professional programs involving in excess of 700 students; this course includes the core topics of academic literacy, student conduct, cultural awareness, health law and ethics and evidence-based practice.

  • 2017 Masters of Education (Major: Career Development), Queensland University of Technology
  • 2015 Graduate Certificate in Advanced Learning and Leadership, University of Melbourne
  • 2014 Graduate Certificate in the Practice of Tertiary Teaching, University of Newcastle
  • 2013 Doctor of Philosophy (Oral Health), University of Newcastle
  • 2008 Bachelor of Health Science Honours (Class I), University of Newcastle
  • 2007 Bachelor of Oral Health, University of Newcastle

Research interests

Mel has strong interest in both educational research and oral health focused projects.

Her education research interests focus on student-centred topics such as flexible course delivery, development of e-learning tools, interdisciplinarity and developing self-directed life-long learners. Mel is also interested in issues affecting the academic workforce, including recruitment and retention, academic development and career development.

Mel’s oral health interests include the occupational health of dental professions and provision of preventive-based oral healthcare.

Teaching and supervision

Currently teaching Industry and Community Project Units.
2019 S1 - Clearing the air at Westmead (Project Partner: Westmead Tobacco Control Unit)
2019 July Intensive – Disrupting Higher Education (Project Partner: Accenture UK)
2019 S2 – Future of Education (Project Partner: Adobe)
2018 S2 – Connecting Human and Machine Learning (Project Partner: Ranstad)

Mel is interested in supervising postgraduate and research students on educational and oral health research topics.

D. Higgins (PhD, University of Newcastle). The Implementation of Instructional Design for Dental and Oral Health Simulated-Based Learning Experience for Psychomotor Skill Acquisition supported by a Conceptual Framework and Educational Theories.

Current candidates:
A. Rogers (PhD candidate, University of Melbourne). Investigating the influence of ecological predictors on oral health behavior.
K. Ingram (MPhil candidate, University of Newcastle). The Economic Impact of Oral Health on Chronic Disease.
J. Chuanon (MPhil candidate, University of Melbourne). Exploring the oral health curriculum in Australian pharmacy schools.


• Chair, International Federation of Dental Hygienists Education and Research Committee
• Advisory Panel Member, International Dental Hygiene Educators Forum
• Organising Committee Member, International Symposium on Dental Hygiene 2019
• Editorial Board Member, International Journal of Dental Hygiene
• Editorial Board Member, Journal of Dental Hygiene
• Member of the Dental Hygienists Association of Australia Ltd.
• Member of the Australian Dental Council
• Conjoint Senior Lecturer, Faculty of Health, University of Newcastle

Awards and honours

  • 2016 Alumni Award for Contribution to Industry/Business, Hunter TAFE
  • 2013 Faculty of Health and Medicine Teaching and Learning Award, University of Newcastle
  • 2009 Australian Postgraduate Award, University of Newcastle
  • 2009 Faculty Medal - Faculty of Health, University of Newcastle

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