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Staff, Management and Council

Questacon's staff are members of the Australian Public Service and include educators, science communicators, actors, exhibit designers, electronics technicians, wood and metal workers... over 200 of us! We're also lucky to have 80 or so volunteer explainers—some, retired scientists and engineers; others, students and interested members of the community, all here to help you get the most out of your visit.

Our staff teams report to management who report to the Executive. Executive receives support from our Advisory Council and reports to our Department.

Together, we work to bring you interactive science exhibitions, science shows, outreach programs and more!

Management and Executive

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Professor Graham Durant AM, Director

Graham Durant was appointed Director of Questacon in 2003. He is an experienced museum and science centre leader with a distinguished academic background. Originally trained as a geologist at the University of Wales, Graham spent 25 years at the University of Glasgow where he was awarded a personal professorship in science interpretation and communication. In Scotland he played a significant role in the establishment of the Glasgow Science Centre which opened in 2001.

Graham is a Divisional Head in the Department of Industry and Science, helped develop the Inspiring Australia strategy and is a Visiting Fellow at the Australian National University. He was awarded an AM in 2012.

Graham has served six years as an ASTC Board Member and is a leading advocate for the development of the global science centre sector.

Read Graham Durant's bio

 

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Kate Driver, Deputy Director, General Manager Operations

Kate Driver joined Questacon as the General Manager Operations in March 2014.

Kate brings experience across a number of fields including: law; strategic policy; programme management; policy implementation; corporate governance; change management; property; security; business continuity; and human resource management. Drawing from her skills and experience across a variety of senior roles in the public sector in the last seven years, and prior to that as a private practice solicitor, Kate’s reputation has been built on a foundation of delivering quality results with an emphasis on excellence in stakeholder management and leadership.

 

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Dr Stuart Kohlhagen, Deputy Director, Director of Science and Learning

Stuart has worked with Questacon since 1979, working with the founding Director to help establish many aspects of our current activities. During this time he has lead the design and development of interactive exhibits, he has also helped shape and deliver many of the programmes, shows and demonstrations that form a key part of Questacon’s activities and outreach programmes. Stuart has lead the delivery of numerous international workshops on exhibit development and has been especially active in supporting professional development of science centre staff from diverse countries.

Stuart is closely involved with the University of Canberra’s School of Science and Education in facilitating the development of the new Masters of teaching course and  is President of the Australian Science and Technology Exhibitors Network (ASTEN).

The Deputy Directors manage the following areas:

  • Centre, International and Tourism Engagement (Manager – Craig Whelan)
  • Business Development and Advancement and Strategic, Engagement and Policy (Manager – Rebecca Lee)
  • Governance Transition Team (Manager – Natalie Watson)
  • Exhibitions, Digital and Capital Programmes (Manager – Sally D’Addio)
  • Head of Innovation: National Programs (Acting Manager – Jared Wilkins)
  • Head of Innovation: Smart Skills (Manager – Tamara Niznik)
 

Advisory Council

Questacon's Advisory Council brings together business experience, scientific knowledge, and other resources to help us deliver the best in interactive science. Council members are appointed by our Minister.

 

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Leon Kempler OAM
Chairman—Questacon Advisory Council

Leon Kempler is involved in various business activities. Leon is a Chairman of the Australia-Israel Chamber of Commerce. In 1998 he received a Medal of the Order of Australia for his tireless efforts and contribution for furthering Australia-Israel bi-lateral trade and relations.

Leon Kempler has been on the Questacon Advisory Council since 2004.

Read Leon Kempler's bio.

 

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Mr Eddie Kutner
Deputy Chair - Questacon Advisory Council

Mr Kutner is founding Director of Central Equity Limited and is Executive Chairman of the Central Equity Grou, and Founder and Chair of Wonderment Walk Victoria Limited a not for profit established for the purpose of promoting art, science and knowledge.

Mr Eddie Kutner has been on the Questacon Advisory Council since 2016.

Read Mr Kutner's bio.

 

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Dr Catherine Foley
Member—Questacon Advisory Council

Dr Cathy Foley is Chief of CSIRO Division of Materials Science and Engineering. She is also a personally appointed member of the Prime Minister’s Science, Engineering and Innovation Council PMSEIC. Most recently Cathy was recognized as the 2013 NSW Premier’s Woman of the Year.

Dr Cathy Foley has been on the Questacon Advisory Council since 2007.

Read Dr Foley’s bio.

 

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Dr Gregory J Clark
Member—Questacon Advisory Council

Dr Gregory Clark is a Visiting Fellow at the Australian National University. Dr Clark has an outstanding career both in Australia and internationally. His experience ranges across a spectrum of industries from IT and communications to media, space and finance.

Dr Gregory Clark has been on the Questacon Advisory Council since 2015.

Read Dr Clark’s Bio

 

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Dr Sarah Pearson
Member—Questacon Advisory Council

Dr Sarah Pearson is CEO & CCO of the CBR Innovation Network Ltd, a new entity set up to accelerate, support and promote innovation in the ACT. Dr Pearson is also a Visiting Fellow at the ANU’s College of Business and Economics.

Dr Sarah Pearson has been on the Questacon Advisory Council since 2015.

Read Dr Pearson’s Bio

 

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Prof. Karin Barovich
Member—Questacon Advisory Council

Professor Karin Barovich is a science educator and geologist with research interests in the origin and geological evolution of the Earth. Professor Barovich is Deputy Executive Dean in the faculty of Sciences at the University of Adelaide.

Prof Karin Barovich has been on the Questacon Advisory Council since 2016.

Read Prof. Barovich’s Bio

 

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Prof. Ian Young AO
Member—Questacon Advisory Council

Professor Ian Young is Kernot Professor of Engineering at the University of Melbourne, Chief Executive with Conviro Pty Ltd and President, Cloud Campus Pty Ltd. He was previously Vice-Chancellor at the ANU from 2011 to 2016.

Prof Ian Young has been on the Questacon Advisory Council since 2016.

Read Prof. Youngs’s Bio

 

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The Hon. Dr Annabelle Bennett
Member—Questacon Advisory Council

The Honourable Dr Annabelle Bennett AO SC is a former Judge of the Federal Court of Australia and former additional judge of the Supreme Court of the ACT. She is currently Chancellor of Bond University and practices as a barrister consultant and arbitrator having previously practiced as a Senior Counsel specialising in intellectual property.

The Honourable Dr Annabelle Bennett has been on the Questacon Advisory Council since 2016.

Read Dr. Bennett’s Bio