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New Carrick Institute for Learning and Teaching in Higher Education.

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Media Release


11 August, 2004 MIN 851/04

Today I launch the new flagship institute for learning and teaching in higher education. The Institute will be called The Carrick Institute for Learning and Teaching in Higher Education.

The Institute was announced as part of the higher education reform package, Our Universities: Backing Australia’s Future and will provide a national focus for the enhancement of learning and teaching in Australian higher education institutions.

Although teaching is a core activity of all higher education institutions, funding, internal staff promotion practices and institutional prestige have traditionally reinforced the importance of research performance rather than teaching performance.

The Australian Government’s reforms will provide an increased focus on teaching to ensure the ongoing high quality of Australia’s higher education sector. The Carrick Institute will be central to this renewed focus through its leadership in the promotion of learning and teaching in Australian higher education.

Its responsibilities will include developing mechanisms for the dissemination of good practice, and professional development in learning and teaching; and managing a competitive grants scheme for innovation in learning and teaching. It will also be responsible for liaising with the sector about options for articulating and monitoring academic standards.

The Institute has been named after Sir John Carrick, a former Commonwealth Minister for Education.

Sir John is well known among educators having made a significant contribution to all education sectors. He established the Commonwealth Tertiary Education Commission (CTEC) which was responsible for higher education policy development through the 1970s and 1980s. He also more recently chaired the Committee appointed to review school education in NSW. He has also been a champion for early childhood education through his Chairmanship of the Institute of Early Childhood Foundation at Macquarie University.

The new Carrick Institute reflects the Australian Government’s ongoing commitment to

further advancing learning and teaching in our universities. The Government will provide the Institute with $22 million a year from 2006. The Institute will be established in Melbourne.

A Planning Director has been appointed to lead some early planning for the Institute ahead of an Executive Director being appointed next year.

Professor Lesley Parker, who was until recently Senior Deputy Vice-Chancellor at Curtin University of Technology, has been appointed to this position and will take up the role in September this year. Professor Parker has experience in education spanning 25 years. At Curtin University, she has driven the enhancement of educational practices in areas such as online learning and outcomes-based education.

The Board of the Institute will be chaired by Professor John Hay, Vice-Chancellor of The University of Queensland and Chair of the Australian Universities Teaching Committee. Professor Hay has demonstrated a high level of commitment to the promotion and advancement of teaching and learning in Australian higher education.

The Board members are highly experienced and will bring an excellent range of skills to the Institute (see attachment).

One of the early tasks of the newly appointed Board will be to appoint the Executive Director for the Institute who will be responsible for the management of the Institute.

The Australian Universities Teaching Committee (AUTC) has been overseeing the early development of the Institute. After consultation with the Institute’s stakeholders, the AUTC has developed a report, which includes recommendations for establishing the Institute including advice on its mission statement, objectives and structure.

The AUTC’s report is available at

Media contacts: Dr Nelson’s Office: Ross Hampton 0419 484 095 Dept of Education, Science & Training: Chris John 0412 650 549


The Carrick Institute for Learning and Teaching in Higher Education Board

Professor John Hay AC Vice-Chancellor, The University of Queensland (Chair)

Mr Tim Besley AC Chairman, Australian Research Council

Professor Margaret Gardner Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic), The University of Queensland

Professor Elizabeth Harman Vice-Chancellor, Victoria University of Technology

Associate Professor Lynne Hunt Associate Dean Teaching and Learning, Faculty of Computing, Health and Science, Edith Cowan University

Professor Daryl Le Grew Vice-Chancellor, University of Tasmania

Professor Terence Lovat Pro Vice-Chancellor (Education & Arts), The University of Newcastle

Pastor Brian Millis Principal, Christian Heritage College

Professor Ian O’Connor Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Teaching & Learning), Griffith University

Ms Helen Paphitis Principal, Salisbury High School

Professor Belinda Probert Pro Vice-Chancellor (Academic), The University of Western Australia

Dr Ken Rowe Research Director, Learning Processes and Contexts, Australian Council for Educational Research

Ms Judith Wheeldon Headmistress, Abbotsleigh