30 November 2004

The University of Queensland has won two major awards at the Australian Awards for University Teaching announced at Parliament House in Canberra today (Tuesday, November 30).

Dr Merrilyn Goos won the Social Sciences category of the awards, presented by Federal Minister for Education, Training and Youth Affairs, Dr Brendan Nelson.

The UQ Graduate School’s “Harnessing Support for Research Students’ Learning” program won in the Institutional section in the category Provision of support services (on and off campus) that assist the learning of students.

The winners of the individual categories each receive $40,000 while the institutional award winners receive $50,000.

UQ’s Dr Jose (Jimmy) Botella, a Senior Lecturer in UQ’s School of Life Sciences in the Faculty of Biological and Chemical Sciences, was a finalist in the Biological Sciences, Health and Related Studies category.

- Dr Goos is a senior lecturer in UQ’s School of Education, Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences.

She is responsible for the pre-service and continuing professional education of mathematics teachers at undergraduate and postgraduate levels, and through professional development activities with teachers.

Dr Goos graduated with a Bachelor of Science in 1978 and then worked for several years as a food technologist.

“Abandoning this career to tutor school students and adults returning to study gave me tantalising glimpses of how minds can be shaped and nurtured in learning interactions, and made me realise that I was meant to be a teacher,” she said.

Dr Goos graduated with a Diploma of Education in 1986 and began a new career as a teacher of secondary school mathematics and chemistry, then went on to complete a Master of Educational Studies degree and a PhD.

“My goal is to prepare excellent mathematics teachers. This makes it important for me not only to teach my students about teaching, but also to model excellent teaching practice,” she said.

- The Graduate School’s team members included Professor Alan Lawson (Director, UQ Graduate School and Dean of Postgraduate Studies), Dr Catherine Manathunga (Lecturer in Higher Education, Postgraduate Supervision and Teaching), Professor Christa Critchley (Deputy Director, UQ Graduate School) and Ray Johnson (Principal Administrative Officer).

The Graduate School, in association with the UQ Schools and several organisational units, provides an extensive range of training, services and support for all of the University’s research students, their advisors and administrators through a fully integrated and situated framework.

This takes effect from prior to the students’ enrollment through to the completion of their studies.

The framework involves providing training and support to the advisors, coordinators and administrators involved with research students, as well as to the students themselves.

The success in this year’s awards continues a strong tradition among UQ staff.

UQ academics have won awards in each of the seven years since they were introduced, including the Prime Minister’s Australian Award for Individual University Teacher of the Year for the past two years, and three times overall.

Associate Professor Ian Cameron, a Reader in Chemical Engineering at UQ, won the 2003 Prime Minister’s Australian Award for Individual University Teacher of the Year.

In 2002 Dr Peter O’Donoghue, an Associate Professor in the University’s School of Molecular and Microbial Sciences, jointly won the major award with Associate Professor Lynne Hunt from Edith Cowan University in Western Australia.

In 2000, a Professor of Information Systems at UQ, Ron Weber, won the Prime Minister’s Award.

This year’s winner was Professor Mark Israel, a Professor of Law and Criminology and Associate Dean (Research), from Flinders University of South Australia.

Contacts: Dr Merrilyn Goos (telephone 0419 671 311) and Director of the UQ Graduate School and Dean of Postgraduate Studies Professor Alan Lawson (telephone 0413 308 225).

Media: Further information; contact Brad Turner at UQ Communications (phone 07 3365 2659, mobile 0400767489).