Digital storyteller receives knowledge fellowship award

Betty Sargeant Melbourne digital storyteller Dr Betty Sargeant has been awarded the 2015 Melbourne Knowledge Fellowship, further fuelling her innovative work in digital literacy and educational research.

A children’s author, illustrator and animator, Dr Sargeant specialises in creating digital content which capitalises on the rise of mobile devices and interactive technology. This is complemented by a successful academic career in which she has published numerous journal articles on the subject.

Dr Sargeant accepted the coveted award in front of guests and peers at the 25th Annual International Specialised Skills Institute (ISSI) Fellowship Awards Ceremony on Thursday 22 October 2015 – held in partnership with the City of Melbourne as part of Melbourne Knowledge Week.

“I congratulate Dr Betty Sargeant – a shining example of the tremendous talent thriving in our city,” said Knowledge City Portfolio Chair, Councillor Dr Jackie Watts. “Dr Sargeant’s work is starting to shape what the future of libraries will look like and how we can all learn using digital innovations.”

Through the Fellowship program Dr Sargeant will travel to the US, China and Singapore to continue her research and creative practice, focusing on new developments in art and technology.

“I am honoured to receive this Fellowship and I look forward to furthering our understanding of digital storytelling,” said Dr Sargeant. “I am particularly interested in gathering new knowledge around technologies that encourage social and physical activity.”

On her return Dr Sargeant will present her findings at a series of public talks, she will also work alongside the Library at the Dock to produce a new interactive exhibition for children called The Storytelling Machine.

Melbourne based artist and creative technologist, Brad Hammond, was appointed the inaugural Melbourne Knowledge Fellow in 2014. Brad has returned from his travels abroad in Germany, Denmark and the UK, where he learned about the latest technologies in creative coding, making, interactive design, robotics and virtual reality. Brad is taking over the Library at the Dock Makerspace from 12 – 4 pm this Sunday to work on a range of new projects and community.

The Knowledge Fellowship was developed and delivered by the City of Melbourne, in conjunction with International Specialised Skills Institute (ISS Institute) and the Copyright Agency Limited Cultural Fund. The $12,500 grant is to be used to visit places that will expand their knowledge, which they then bring back and share with the city. The fellowship is intended for people already experienced and skilled in an area of creative practice.

Dr Betty Sargeant writes, illustrates and designs stories for children. Her award-winning children’s storybook app, How Far is Up has been internationally recognised for the ways in which it encourages adults and children to read digital books together.

Her illustrations and digital designs have been exhibited internationally. She is a committee member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) and a role model for Books in Homes. Betty is based in the Centre for Game Design Research at RMIT University.

For more information about the Melbourne Knowledge Fellowship, visit: www.issinstitute.org.au For more information about Dr Betty Sargeant, visit: www.bettysargeant.com for details.

Image: Dr Betty Sargeant

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