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    Premier and Minister for the Arts
    The Honourable Annastacia Palaszczuk

    Queensland signs partnership with Smithsonian (AUDIO AVAILABLE)

    Premier and Minister for the Arts
    The Honourable Annastacia Palaszczuk

    Sunday, June 14, 2015

    Queensland signs partnership with Smithsonian (AUDIO AVAILABLE)

    WASHINGTON, USA: Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk today signed a new three-year partnership with the Smithsonian Institution in Washington to support Queensland researchers and teachers to undertake research at the world famous US institution.

    Ms Palaszczuk said the agreement would see her Government invest $360,000 to support Queensland-Smithsonian and Queensland-Cooper Hewitt fellowships programs.

    “This is the only agreement of its type between the Smithsonian Institution and an Australian state government,” Ms Palaszczuk said.

    “I think that speaks volumes about the regard in which our researchers are held.

    “By formalising this partnership, we allow our best and brightest to develop their knowledge and research at one of the most respected institutions in the world.”

    Under the agreement, the Smithsonian agrees to host Queensland researchers and teachers and the Queensland Government agrees to pay for airfares and living expenses for 12-16 weeks for the successful fellows.

    The program includes two types of fellowship: the Smithsonian Fellowship for Queensland researchers and the Cooper Hewitt Fellowship for Queensland teachers to develop a design-led learning project at the famous Cooper Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum in New York.

    Funding of up to $25,000 for a Smithsonian Fellowship and $20,000 for a Cooper Hewitt Fellowship will be available to fellows for projects running for up to 16 weeks (Smithsonian) or 12 weeks (Cooper Hewitt). This includes funding of $1250 per week to assist with living costs and $5000 to pay for economy class airfares and associated travel expenses.

    The new agreement will fund four Smithsonian Fellows and one Cooper Hewitt Fellowship per year.

    The 2016 round of the fellowship program will open shortly. Applications are invited from Queensland school teachers and researchers. It is a competitive application process.

    Ms Palaszczuk used the opportunity to announce that Ms Dawn Boland, from Brisbane’s John Paul College, and Mr Silas Middleton, from Beenleigh State High School, had been awarded the 2015 Cooper Hewitt Fellowships to enable them to engage with the award-winning Education Department of the Cooper Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum in New York.

    “This is without doubt an enormous opportunity for our teachers, but equally of huge value to their students having their teachers gain experience in classroom, community and online strategies for delivering quality design education“ Ms Palaszczuk said.

    The two projects being undertaken will introduce a design-based culture to assist teachers better manage curricula, and develop a junior secondary curriculum where learning goals, activities and assessments are underpinned by design principles and processes.

    “The Cooper-Hewitt fellows are part of the Queensland-Smithsonian fellowship program which has been running since 2001, and the resources created by these fellows live on and are available for all Queensland educators via the State Library of Queensland’s Design Minds website ” Ms Palaszczuk said.

    Ms Palaszczuk also announced the 2015 Smithsonian Fellows – Dr Dan Bendrups, Mr Matthew Hayes and Dr Lucy Cameron.

    “These fellowships are for Queensland researchers to undertake a research project in collaboration with leading scientists and researchers at one or more of the Smithsonian Institution museums or research centres.”

    Dr Bendrups from Griffith University will investigate ways of managing and storing Pacific Islander music recordings and art objects; Mr Hayes from the University of Queensland will learn more about the impact of climate change on mangrove communities; and Dr Cameron from the Department of Science, Information Technology and Innovation will investigate the role of digital technologies in developing innovative workplaces.

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    2015 Cooper-Hewitt Fellowship recipients

    Ms Dawn Boland

    John Paul College, Brisbane

    Ms Boland plans to introduce a design-based culture at John Paul College to assist teachers to better manage curriculums.


    Mr Silas Middleton

    Beenleigh State High School

    He plans to develop a junior secondary curriculum where learning goals, activities and assessments are underpinned by the principles and processes of design. Working alongside the Cooper Hewitt experts, he hopes to delve further into design processes to facilitate working models that other teachers can utilise, replicate and invigorate their teaching practice.




    2015 Smithsonian Fellowship recipients

    Dr Dan Bendrups

    Queensland Conservatorium, Griffith University

    He plans to spend his time at the Smithsonian looking at their remarkable work on curating the cultural heritage of Indigenous people of the Pacific. He wants to make sure that the rich musical heritage of Pacific Island peoples does not get lost and that we keep this music for future generations to study and enjoy.


    Mr Matthew Hayes, PhD candidate

    University of Queensland’s School of Biological Sciences

    He will look at the effects of increasing Co2 on different species of mangroves. Different species of mangroves, that currently coexist in the same environment, may respond quite differently to climate change, such that one species may dominate and outcompete the other, leading to a change in community composition over time. Mr Hayes is seeking to understand the repercussions of climate change on mangrove habitat.


    Dr Lucy Cameron

    Department of Science, Information Technology and Innovation



    Dr Cameron is looking at the historical development of innovation hot spots and technology hubs in the United States.

    Her research will also focus on what role digital technologies will have on innovation hot-spots of the future:  will they be defined by place – or more by networks and digital platforms?