Dr Steve Georgakis

Dr Steve Georgakis is a triple-alumnus of the Sydney School of Education and Social Work. He gained a Bachelor of Education (Hons) in 1994, a Doctor of Philosophy in 2000 and then gained a Master of Education in 2011. He is currently a senior lecturer of pedagogy and sports studies in the faculty and very active with our Human Movement and Health Education alumni.

1. When were you in the ESW?
I’ve haven’t ever left. I started my studies at the Madsen Building as an undergraduate in 1990, moved onto a PhD in 1995, and became a staff member in 2002. Apart from working at Strathfield South High School and the University of Wollongong most of my adult life has been at the University of Sydney.

2. What degree/s did you complete?
I’ve completed three degrees at the University – an undergraduate (BEd), and two postgraduate degrees (MEd and PhD). I started the MEd in 2005 and graduated in 2011 – it was supposed to be a one-year full time degree but it took me a little longer.

3. Was there something in particular that attracted you to this course of study?
The undergraduate degree attracted me because it was considered the best PE (Physical Education as the degree was known) degree in Australia with a very high university entrance score. I also undertook my PhD degree at the University because I worked under two great scholars – Professor Geoffrey Sherington and Dr Bob Petersen. As for the MEd I wanted to study again and having a family it became very convenient to study at the University – although not very cheap. I was also taught by some of my current colleagues and gave them a hard time.

4. In what way did you use your ESW degree?
Primarily I used my degrees to gain employment; my father was an immigrant and believed that tertiary education should be about gaining employment; basically getting a license to do something (an undergraduate degree meant working in a high school while a PhD meant working in a University). Obviously my degrees allowed me to do more than that. Without it I would not have been able to undertake archaeological digs; undertake research in places such as Egypt, Turkey and Greece; mixing with intellectuals and becoming an educator of pre-service teachers.

5. What’s your current role?
Senior lecturer of pedagogy and sports studies in the Faculty. I teach across a number of programs including Personal Development, Health and Physical Education, general education and primary education. Each year I meet close to 300 new people.

6. How did your studies in the Faculty inform your current position?
Without a PhD it would have been very difficult to secure an academic role at the University, so it was imperative that stayed in the Faculty and got my PhD as soon as I decided that I wanted to pursue an academic career.

7. Do you have fond memories of your time on campus at ESW?
Most of my memories are fond ones – especially with the students – many of whom are friends and actively involved in the Faculty’s alumni. I also met my wife at the University.

8. Were you involved in extra-curricular activities either within or outside the Faculty?
I represented the University in a number of different sports at the Australian University Games. I have represented Education and Social Work in interfaculty competition for the Penfold Shield from 1990-2011. I feel that this has been my greatest contribution to the Faculty.

9. How significant is it to you to be part of the Faculty’s alumni & friends group?
The great joy of my work apart from teaching is meeting up with friends who are part of the alumni group. It’s easy to keep in touch using Facebook and to organise impromptu reunions. My closest friends are part of the Faculty’s alumni friends group.

10. And finally, any words of wisdom you’d like to pass on to the FESW alumni & friends?
While the University may have changed, the people who studied here haven’t.

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