The high standard of teaching at The University of Western Australia has been recognised in the 2009 Australian Awards for University Teaching.
The UWA winners for individual Awards for Teaching Excellence are:
- Social Sciences: Winthrop Professor Stephen Houghton, from UWA's Graduate School of Education; and
- Neville Bonner Award for Indigenous Education: Mr Mel Thomas and team, from UWA's School of Indigenous Studies and UWA Law School.
Professor Houghton is a registered psychologist and Director of the Centre for Child and Adolescent Related Disorders, in the Graduate School of Education. Now in his 20th year of teaching and supervising postgraduate students he brings first-hand real-world experiences of current trends in Educational Psychology and Special Education, particularly in relation to assessment, learning and treatment to his classrooms and research supervision.
Earlier this year, Professor Houghton was awarded an ALTC Citation for Outstanding Contribution to Student Learning for 20 years of outstanding postgraduate teaching and research supervision in Educational Psychology and Special Education.
Mr Thomas and his team of Winthrop Professor Richard Bartlett, Winthrop Professor Jill Milroy, and Winthrop Professor Neil Morgan received their award for the Indigenous Law program, which is run jointly by the School of Indigenous Studies and the Law School.
This includes the five-week Pre-Law intensive course which aims to prepare Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students for first-year Law studies and was developed in response to the Aboriginal community's demand for universities to increase the number of Aboriginal people and Torres Strait Islanders gaining access to and succeeding in Law studies.
"We aim to provide Indigenous people with equality of opportunity at this university, this means supporting Indigenous people throughout one of the most difficult, complex and challenging degree courses in higher education," Mr Thomas said.
The Australian Awards for University Teaching, run by the Australian Learning and Teaching Council, are worth $25,000 each and recognise the nation's top university teachers and most outstanding programs and services aimed at improving the quality of student learning.
This year 24 university teachers from across Australia will receive Awards for Teaching Excellence while a further 12 Awards for Programs that Enhance Learning will be presented at a ceremony at Parliament House in Canberra on November 24.
UWA Acting Vice-Chancellor, Professor Bill Louden, congratulated the winners and recognised the outstanding contributions of all staff nominated for the 2009 Awards.
"The list of nominees and their achievements is a tribute to the excellent standard of teaching at the University of Western Australia," he said.
"The recognition of these winners constitutes a significant individual achievement, and is also a very satisfying reflection of the University's ongoing commitment to teaching and learning."
Janine MacDonald (UWA Public Affairs) (+61 8) 6488 5563 / (+61 4) 32 637 716