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Four leading academics honoured at Curtin University

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The achievements of four internationally regarded academics were recognised recently when Curtin University celebrated the newest recipients of the John Curtin Distinguished Professor title.

Author Professor Anna Haebich, engineer Professor Moses Tade and science educator Professor David Treagust have been chosen to receive the prestigious title in acknowledgement of their commitment to research and teaching in their chosen fields.

Professor Byron Lamont, one of Australia’s leading plant ecologists, was awarded the title of John Curtin Distinguished Emeritus Professor at the same ceremony.

The John Curtin Distinguished Professor title is one of the highest honours the University can present to its academic staff. It was introduced in 2005 and has since been awarded to 17 Curtin academics.

Professor Jeanette Hacket, Vice-Chancellor of Curtin University said the honour recognised the sustained contribution to Curtin University by its senior academics.

“I would like to congratulate our new John Curtin Distinguished Professors for their significant academic achievements to date,” Professor Hacket said.

“All four recipients demonstrate that Curtin is a university of significance and we are honoured that their knowledge can be shared with students and colleagues.”

John Curtin Distinguished Professors are academics who have exceptional teaching and/or research skills or scholarly, creative and artistic achievements; a significant record of public service; and an established national or international reputation, as evidenced by fellowships, memberships, awards, citations, publications or a substantial record of invited lectures.

The title is awarded for five years, or until the Professor retires or resigns from Curtin.

Current holders of the title include sustainability expert and advocate Professor Peter Newman, public health pioneer Professor Colin Binns and biofuel innovator Professor Chun-Zhu Li .


Kristy Jones, Public Relations, Curtin University
Tel: 08 9266 1930, Mobile: 0402 517 300, Email:



Professor Anna Haebich (Faculty of Humanities) 

Professor Anna Haebich is a multi-award winning scholar of international repute, known for her leadership in interdisciplinary and cross-cultural research.
Her career combines university teaching, research, centre directorship, curatorship, visual arts practice, creative writing and work with Aboriginal communities.

Professor Haebich is Vice President of the Council of Australian Academy of Humanities and a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Social Sciences.

Professor Haebich’s multi-award-winning book Broken Circles: Fragmenting Indigenous Families 1800-2000 was the first national history of the Stolen Generations.

Professor Moses Tade, Faculty of Science and Engineering
Professor Moses Tade is well respected nationally and worldwide for his research achievements in chemical engineering and specifically in process systems engineering. Professor Tade has been appointed Chairman of the Institution of Chemical Engineers in Australia for 2012 and 2013.

As the Dean of Engineering, in the past three years he has championed many initiatives, including the Engineering Pavilion Complex and outreach programs to encourage more high school students to study engineering at Curtin University.

In particular, he has secured funding to run the Indigenous Australian Engineering Summer School, a mentoring program that encourages Indigenous students to pursue careers in engineering.

In June 2008 he was the only Western Australian recognised in the list of Australia’s Top 100 Most Influential Engineers by Engineering Australia.

Professor Tade has provided the leadership and support for the successful Chemical Engineering program in Curtin Sarawak, Miri Campus. His extensive mentoring of staff at Miri helped the Miri students to win the McNab Medal for Process Design in 2007.

Professor David Treagust (Faculty of Science and Engineering)

Professor David Treagust is recognised nationally and internationally as a leading researcher in science education.

Professor Treagust is committed to the broad dissemination of research ideas and to ensuring that opportunities are made for research across cultures and countries.

Professor Treagust has received more than $2 million in research funds, including 10 Australian Research Council grants. He has also successfully supervised a large number of doctoral research students.

He has been the recipient of two awards from Curtin for teaching excellence and was nominated by Curtin for the 2007 Premier’s Prize for Excellence in Science Teaching – Tertiary. In 2011, he received the Award from the American Chemical Society for Achievement in Research for the Teaching and Learning of Chemistry.



Professor Byron Lamont, Faculty of Science and Engineering

Professor Byron Lamont is one of Australia’s most distinguished plant ecologists.

He is regarded as Australia’s expert on the biology of the great Southern Hemisphere family Proteaceae and the harsh environments in which it thrives, especially the iconic genus Banksia.

He is considered by some ecologists as the ‘father’ of studies on Australia’s extensive heathlands.

In January 2010, Professor Lamont was appointed a Member of the Order of Australia, in recognition of his ‘services to conservation and the environment, especially the Australian flora, as an educator, researcher and author’.

He has also just received the 2012 Clarke Medal from the Royal Society of NSW for ’for distinguished work in the Natural Sciences done in, or on, the Australian Commonwealth and its territories’.

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