Adjunct Professor named as Oz Day Ambassador

31 January 2012

Adjunct Professor Paul Brock AM officiated at Australia Day celebrations in his community, Castle Hill, as an Australia Day ambassador.

Professor Brock was first named as an ambassador by the NSW Australia Day Committee in 2010, an ongoing appointment that recognises of his outstanding, lifelong contribution to education.

This year he attended the ceremony at Castle Towers shopping centre, where he gave the occasional Australia Day address. He is Director of Learning and Development Research, NSW Department of Education and Communities; an Honorary Research Fellow within the University of New England; and an Honorary Associate in the Centre for Values Ethics and Law in Medicine within the Faculty of Medicine, The University of Sydney.

Professor Brock told the crowd he was delighted to have been invited to participate in the Australia Day event and that he and his family were all proud residents of Castle Hill. He also spoke of the heightened sense of "being Australian" he experienced during a visit to the World War I battlefields in 2006 with his wife, Jackie, and two young daughters.

"To visit acre after acre of graves of young Australian soldiers, and to reflect on their dying such horrible deaths on the other side of the world so very far away from their homes and their homeland – cut down in the flower of their youth – is to experience profound grief and anger at the tragedy of war and to intensify one's feeling of being an Australian."

Professor Brock is a Vice Patron of the Motor Neurone Disease Association, NSW. He is a Life Member of both the English Teachers Association NSW and the Primary English Teachers Association, and the inaugural Honorary Life Member of the NSW Secondary Principals Council.

Throughout his 44-year career in education as a school teacher, deputy principal, an academic in Australian, British and North American universities, as an education policy advisor at both Commonwealth and State government levels, as well as an author, editor and public speaker, he has researched and published extensively in the field of English literature, language and literacy as well as in the area of professional teaching standards and ethics. His PhD was conferred on him by The University of New England in 1985.

His more than 130 publications include single-authored books, co-authored books, co-edited books, monographs, chapters in books, refereed journal articles, and poetry. He has also delivered nearly 200 academic and professional papers to international and Australian conferences and forums.

Professor Brock was awarded the Australian College of Educators Sir Harold Wyndham Medal in 2002 for his career-long contribution to education. In April 2004 James Cook University conferred on Dr Brock an Honorary Doctorate in Educational Studies for what the Citation called "exceptional contributions to the advancement of human well-being".

The NSW Minister for Education and Training awarded Paul Brock the 2006 Meritorious Service Award and Medal for Service to Public Education in NSW: the highest award that is given within NSW public education. In the same year he was presented with the Professional Teachers' Council of NSW Exceptional Service Award.

In the 2006 Australia Day honours list, Professor Brock received the highest award, a Member of the Order of Australia, for "service to public education, particularly as an adviser and author in the areas of strategic policy development, to maintaining high standards of teaching and professionalism, and to people with Motor Neurone Disease".