Holly Tootell is a Senior Lecturer in Information Technology at the University of Wollongong, Australia. She is also a mum of four fun-loving red-heads. Holly has 19 years experience teaching in higher education. She is an experienced researcher in the social impact of technology. She has been awarded grants to research pre-school children as co-designers of technology, and to explore technology-integration in multisensory environments. Holly’s work explores meaningful ways to understand both the adult and child perspectives in IT research. Holly believes that if we can provide positive technology encounters for children, we can create a much-needed social shift. Holly loves working in multidisciplinary research teams. She passionately believes that our social and cultural breakthroughs will come from sharing and learning from each other, making our technology-based research accessible by all.

1 Are you an early bird or night owl?

Night Owl

2 Are you pro- or anti-pun?


3 Do you have any pets?


4 Do you have any science-themed home decor?


5 Do you prefer cooking or baking?


6 Do you prefer sweet or savory?


7 Do you speak any other languages?


8 If you could switch professions, what would you do?

Palliative care

9 If you could switch science fields, what field would you want to work in?


10 If you got a plane ticket right now, where would it go?


11 If you had one superpower, what would it be?


12 Is there anything you strongly recommend we watch and/or read and/or listen to?

Babylon Berlin

13 It’s your day off. What do you want to do?

Tend my growing succulent collection.

14 What are three things you can’t live without?

Family, chocolate, nature

15 What beverage gives you life?

French Early Grey tea

16 What book did you read in school that positively shaped you?

Looking for Alibrandi

17 What did you want to be when you grew up?


18 What drives you and keeps you going?

Faith and wanting to be a positive change

19 What got you excited in science?

How fast technology changes

20 What excites you about science now?

Seeing how it can impact people’s lives

21 What is a guilty pleasure of yours?

Late night chocolate after kids are asleep

22 What is a secret talent of yours?

Colonial dancing

23 What is your favorite game?

Gin rummy

24 What is the last book you read?

Ready Player One

25 What is one of the best pieces of advice you’ve received?

A candle loses nothing by lighting another candle.

26 What is something you’ve always wanted to try but you’ve been too scared to do?

Tap dancing

27 What is the best advice for your 18 year old self?

Trust your instincts

28 What is the best way to de-stress?

Massage or time with friends

29 What is the last thing you watched?

Chicago Med

30 What is the weirdest thing you’ve had in your bag?

Several plant cuttings from a walk around the neighborhood.

31 What is your favorite animal?


32 What is your favorite book?

Dark Emu

33 What is your favorite comfort food?

Roast lamb with mint jelly, roasted potatoes, carrots, zucchini and pumpkin.

34 What is your favorite day of the year?

Mother’s Day

35 What is your favorite plant?

So many to choose from…. Chain of Hearts

36 What is your favorite science fact?

That Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander are the longest continuous living culture in the world.

37 What is your favorite season?


38 What is your favorite smell?

Lemongrass essential oil

39 What is your favorite sound?

The trickling of creek water over rocks and pebbles.

40 What is your favorite thing about yourself?

That I choose to look for the good in all situations and people.

41 What is your favorite word (in any language)?

Huggles – invented by my children – it’s a cross between a hug and a cuddle

42 What is your proudest moment?

Seeking the help I needed to put a childhood trauma to rest.

43 What kind of tree would you be?

Tasmanian Oak tree

44 What’s the best thing about where you live?

Living between the ocean and the mountains.

45 Tell us something we probably don’t know.

Deer in my local area eat most plants, but they won’t eat Proteas. Guess what I now grow a lot of.

46 Who would you like to see 46 Questions interview next?

Dr. Pippa Burns @pippaburns