Meet Jinki Trevillian

Social Impact scholar Dr Jinki Trevillian is a dedicated academic and online learning specialist with over 20 years’ cross-cultural experience.

Activities in our local, national, global and online communities affect us on an individual level – a basic fact that highlights the universal importance of social impact, according to Dr Jinki Trevillian.

“Social impact is important to everyone. It is not only about the big issues that impact people globally such as poverty and unemployment, but the issues that affect everyone from inequality, to mental health, obesity to aged care. These don’t just happen to other people, they impact on us individually, our families and communities,” she says.

Jinki has extensive experience building a diverse career dedicated to increased understanding between individuals, institutions and communities. Working with intangible cultural heritage and values for over 20 years, Jinki has brought community involvement and cultural exchange activities to events including Woodford Folk Festival and The Dreaming – Australia’s International Indigenous Arts Festival.

Her PhD, Talking With The Old People; Histories of Cape York Peninsula, 1930s-1950s, led Jinki to remote communities in Far North Queensland to learn about history directly from those who experienced it. Her academic career spans cross-cultural communication and has included volunteer teaching in India, ESL to migrants, and university teaching in disciplines ranging from business to design theory, and the humanities.

This year, Jinki became Co-Director of Education for the Centre for Social Impact and is teaching online courses in social impact for UNSW Business School. She enjoys seeing students gain a deeper understanding of the complexity of social issues, as it adds to their commitment to having a positive impact.

“Teaching social impact is very rewarding, and it really does come down to every time a student says, ‘this course helped me to think about things differently’. We have had some very inspiring students who have taken what they learnt in the course to set up their own social enterprises. Recently a student was excited to discover that a prospective employer supported UN Sustainable Development Goals. She realised this was a value she could and would look for in future. Every time that kind of personal progress happens is a career highlight for me.

“One of the great things about online discussion is that it can be very thoughtful and allows the opportunity to go away and think about something, maybe do some more research, before coming back to the question. So, our discussion forums go for a week, rather than a face to face tutorial over in a couple of hours, and with strong participation this can really develop thinking and a deeper understanding.”

Jinki’s key advice to her students is to be prepared to think, and read a lot, and then think some more. But it’s not all theory!

“Theory is only valuable when we start to apply it. So, some of that thinking involves connecting those readings and ideas to your work or real-life case studies,” she says.

“You are an active participant in your learning.”

Visit Dr Jinki Trevillian’s biography for more information on her career and achievements.