Jillian Brandsema

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Jillian Brandsema

Lecturer in Design & Technology

Room Level 2 , Field Building

+61 3 6430 4945 (phone)

+61 3 (fax)

Jillian Brandsema is a lecturer in Design and Technology and has taught across a range of units since commencing with the university in 2011. Jillian focuses on assisting pre-service teachers explore and understand the concepts of problem solving and critical thinking through the development of creative and innovation solutions. Jillian offers a scaffolded practical approach to guide pre-service teachers’ learning about Design and Technology in both undergraduate and post graduate level units.


  • 2019 – Emerald Publishing IRD (Interdisciplinary Research Fund) Award (Highly
    commended) – Enterprising Women in Rural Regions (team application)
  • 2019 – Recipient of King and Amy O’Malley Scholarship for PhD study
  • 2018 – Team Teaching Merit Certificate – University of Tasmania
  • 2015 – Individual Teaching Merit Certificate – University of Tasmania
  • 2014 – Individual Teaching Merit Certificate – University of Tasmania
  • 2012 – Finalist VET/Teacher of the Year – Tasmanian Training Awards
  • 2011 – Finalist Vocational Student of the Year – Australian Training Awards
  • 2011 – Winner Vocational Student of the Year – Tasmanian Training Awards


Jillian taught in both primary and secondary schools in NSW and Tasmania before moving to the University of Tasmania in 2011. During her time in schools, she held several key leadership positions with a focus in the areas of Design and Technology, Vocational Education and Training Manager (including Registered Training Organisation manager) and Careers and Pathways.

Jillian’s research interests include the motivations and drivers of women entrepreneurs, pedagogy and practice in the area of Design and Technology, and the development of opportunities that provide knowledge and skills that will enhance the individual’s ability to become entrepreneurial or work within the areas of Design or Technology. For example: Investigation into female secondary school students’ knowledge and perceptions of computer science and their career aspirations.

Career summary


  • Graduate Certificate in Research (2019), University of Tasmania, Australia
  • MEd. (2017), “Partnerships, Perceptions and Priorities: Enhancing ITES professional experience placements in North-West Tasmania, University of Tasmania, Australia
  • Certificate IV Career Development, RMIT, Melbourne, Australia
  • BEd. (1994) Home Economics, University of Western Sydney, Australia


Teaching expertise

Since commencing at the university, Jillian has taught and/or coordinated units with the Bachelor of Education (Primary) such as Academic Literacies, Design and Technologies, Positive Behaviour and Foundations of Teaching. She has also worked in the Bachelor of Secondary Education (Design and Technology) teaching and/or coordinating units including Design and Technology Curriculum in schools, Food and Culture, Culinary Design, Nutrition and Food, Digital Technologies and Design Technologies, and Enterprise in schools. Jillian taught and coordinated the unit Teaching Technologies Project for practicing teachers as part of a Graduate Certificate qualification.

View more on Mrs Jillian Brandsema in WARP


Using quantitative and qualitative research methodologies Jillian’s current research is investigating the motivational drivers of women entrepreneurs in the Cradle Coast Region of Tasmania. Community connections have allowed Jillian to recruit suitable participants for this project from a broad range of industries and backgrounds. Jillian’s research endeavours to explore the motivations that drive these diverse women entrepreneurs who reside in the Cradle Coast Region adding economic value and creativity to the local community.

Areas of research interest:

  • Women entrepreneurs
  • Drivers and motivations – Pull/Push Theory
  • Design and Technology pedagogy and practice
  • Female aspirations


Working in collaboration with university colleagues Jillian helped to facilitate an investigation into female secondary school students’ knowledge and perceptions of computer science and their career aspirations. Pilot workshops were held at partnership schools and facilitated by experts from the Girls’ Programming Network. These successful pilot workshops lead to a successful funding grant from the Tasmanian Community Fund to assist in establishing the Girls’ Programming Network in North-West Tasmania.

‘Living Cultures’ workshop for Children’s University students using The Orb multimedia resource, created by the Tasmanian Department of Education Aboriginal Services, was facilitated by Jillian and university colleagues at the Cradle Coast Campus in Burnie. The purpose of the workshop was to guide pre-service teachers, and Year 11 and 12 students aspiring to be teachers, to plan and deliver the workshops. The research team investigated the pre-service teachers’ prior and post understanding and confidence in teaching Tasmanian Aboriginal culture, based on their experiences with the workshops and The Orb resource.

Current projects

NW Tasmania Girls Programming Network (2020 - 2021)

Fields of Research

  • Continuing and community education (390301)
  • Educational technology and computing (390405)

Research Objectives

  • Other education and training (169999)
  • Gender aspects in education (160202)


Total publications


Journal Article

(1 outputs)
2021Clayton SM, Hawkins C, Brandsema M, 'Rural implementation of Girls' Programming Network (GPN)', Australian and International Journal of Rural Education, 31, (2) pp. 38-45. ISSN 1839-7387 (2021) [Refereed Article]

[eCite] [Details]

Co-authors: Clayton SM; Hawkins C


Grants & Funding

2019 - UTAS 2019 Peer Learning Circle grant - $500.00

2018 - UTAS 2018 Community Engagement (Mid-Year) Grant - “Cross-sectorial collaboration: Tasmanian Aboriginal ‘Living Cultures’ workshops for Burnie primary school students” - $5,000.00

2018 - Inspiring Australia Grants for Tasmanian Science Engagement Events “Girls Inspiring Girls’ Genuine Learning of Encoding Systems (GIGGLES)” - $1,974.00

Funding Summary

Number of grants


Total funding



NW Tasmania Girls Programming Network (2020 - 2021)$10,382
The Girls' Programming Network (GPN) is a program which offers free, female-only programming workshops to adolescent girls. We are going to establish the first Tasmanian node of the Girls' Programming Network in the North West of Tasmania, a regional area which is situated in the poorest federal electorate of Braddon. Adolescent girls in this area are rural and regional students, and as such there is often a lack of educational services and opportunities. With a large portion of the region being of low socioeconomic status it is important to offer individualised training to improve attitudes and aspirations through learning opportunities. Providing attainable challenges in free programming workshops will empower young women and give them confidence that they can succeed in this area. Inclusivity and diversity are core values of the GPN, providing support in a safe and welcoming environment where new skills are learnt and new friends are made. Participation can also make them aware of the possibility of further programming experiences and career pathways. Research will investigate participants' experiences in the workshops and their perceptions of computer science. It will also track their participation in each workshop and aim to identify what impact learning programming and meeting role models in the industry has on their self-empowerment, confidence and aspirations.
Contract Research
Administered By
University of Tasmania
Research Team
Clayton SM; Brandsema JM
2020 - 2021
Girls Inspiring Girls Genuine Learning of Encoding Systems (GIGGLES) (2018)$1,974
The proposed event will be a collaborative approach between the University of Tasmania ( Dr Stephanie Clayton, Dr Cherie Hawkins and Jillian Brandsema) and the University of Sydney (Dr Nicky Ringland) to hold a computer science workshop with the aim to engage young highschool aged females on the North West Coast in the prospective opportunities and career pathways in the computer science industry. This full day workshop will be facilitated by Dr. Nicky Ringland (with assistance from UTAS) who is a computing education specialist and the co-founder of Girls' Programming Network. Two workshops will be offered in the first week of September, each having a participant number of approximately 20 places. Students will be facilitated through the fun hands-on workshop by giving them the opportunity to learn and trial coding practices that can then be demonstrated in practical applications. No previous knowledge will be required to attend the workshop. The point of difference of these workshops is the focus on the girls leaving with greater knowledge of digital technology, a can-do attitude and a completed product that they have created. The workshop will provide the participants with the opportunity to explore specialised digital technology equipment within the CollabLab at the UTAS Cradle Coast Campus.
University of Tasmania ($1,974)
Administered By
University of Tasmania
Research Team
Clayton SM; Hawkins C; Brandsema JM; Ringland N