Peninah (Penny) Kansiime is a Lecturer of Social Work and has been with Excelsia College for nearly one and a half years. She has a heart for social issues including forced migration, child protection, family and domestic violence, mental health, and HIV/AIDS, having practised in the field for 12 years. Penny has an international and local practice background and has worked both in university and college settings across Sydney, as well as Uganda. She brings her cross-cultural experience to the College. Penny’s approach to teaching is by helping students to become critically reflective practitioners.
In her work as a social worker and lecturer, Penny has learned from God to think outside of the box and consider multiple perspectives. ‘Out–of–the–box thinking involves me getting out of the comfort zone regarding what I know and listening to different opinions and respecting them,even if they are contrary to mine,’ Penny says.
God has also taught Penny the value of kindness and empathy. ‘Our students come from across the world, and I have learned with time that we have to listen, understand and treat them as individuals because each of their circumstance is unique,’ she explains. ‘God has challenged me to judge less and be more empathetic.’
One of Penny’s favourite books in the Bible is Psalm 91. Verses 1–2 say, ‘Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.’
One of the things that has surprised Penny the most is the generosity of Excelsia in looking after her emotional wellbeing. Penny would describe the College as a ‘genuinely caring environment’ and it is this care that she brings to her teaching and students as she educates the next generation of social workers. With a down to earth personality and beautiful smile, Penny is a fitting Excellent Personality and Excelsia is lucky to have her.
If you’re interested in helping to care for people and want to learn from compassionate staff like Penny, why not explore our Master of Social Work (Qualifying) course?