Professor Graham Durant AM came to Questacon in 2003 from the University of Glasgow, and over 19 years has helped lead Questacon into the 21st century. He has guided Questacon through the highs and lows, encouraged us to seek and provoke curiosity, and showed us that from action, curiosity and the transferring of knowledge we can all inspire young people to become the STEM leaders of tomorrow.
Over his tenure at Questacon, Graham has made a significant contribution to the world of science communication. A few highlights of his time are:
- Meeting several Prime Ministers, especially when we ran the Prime Minister’s Prizes for Science with Graham often getting the job of introducing the winners to the Prime Minister prior to the ceremony
- The 30th anniversary event at the Arboretum. This was a stand-out for Graham with a large number of Questacon Science Circus scholars reuniting to celebrate and re-connect with colleagues. You may not know, but it was the Science Circus which first brought Graham to Australia in 1996 when he was helping to plan the Glasgow Science Centre.
- National Science Week – Graham has been a proud supporter of Questacon’s contribution in developing National Science Week into such a successful event with a significant impact each year.
- International engagement – Graham has been involved with science centres all around the world and has attended 6 Science Centres World Conferences. Since 2002, Graham has supported Questacon staff to play an important role on the international planning committees for the various world conferences.
In Graham’s own words:
‘Science Centres are a wonderful place for communicating science. Working together, science centres can make the world a better and fairer place for all. This is vital work.’
‘The role of Questacon Director places one at the intersection of many different sectors and provides opportunities to work with remarkable people from all walks of life.’
‘We seek to provoke curiosity rather than transferring knowledge. We seek to facilitate open-ended free-choice learning. We seek to help people move from inattention to attention; from attention to action; from action to sustained action through influencing attitudes and behaviours. Above all we seek to help young people prepare for futures rich in opportunities and challenges.’
‘Questacon’s best years lie ahead and I cannot wait to see how the organisation and people step up to meet the challenges ahead.’
We thank you Graham for your leadership and for helping Australians to discover the wonder of science, technology and innovation.