AEL awards showcase top alumni

Children's author and teacher Rebecca Johnson.
Children's author and teacher Rebecca Johnson.

Inspiring a love of science in children is primary school teacher and award-winning author Rebecca Johnson’s aim in life.

“I want children to love science at primary school so when they get to high school they can’t wait to do it,” the 2016 Arts, Education and Law Alumnus of the Year said.

Rebecca, who received the award at a gala ceremony in Brisbane on October 21, says she was surprised and honoured by the accolade.

“This award is important to me as it highlights the significance of science in the community.”

Rebecca is also the recipient of 2015 Prime Minister’s Award for Excellence in Science Teaching in Primary School and the author of more than 100 children’s books and a literary app Eggy Animal Stories.

In 2014 she won a Wilderness Society Award for Children’s Literature for her book series Juliet — Nearly a Vetand in2015 she won the Whitley Award for the best book in the Children’s Series category for her Insect Series.

Her book series collaboration with photographer Steve Parish has sold more than three million copies and her new book series about vet cadets is due for release in 2017.

As a specialist science teacher at Windaroo Primary School, Rebecca works with children to develop their skills in all areas of science.

“We’re producing enthusiastic little scientists every year who are eager to learn science at high school,’’ she said.

“The success with my books wasn’t something that happened overnight and Griffith really prepared me for my career in science teaching and the one I have developed in writing.

“The subjects I took at Griffith challenged me creatively and I found things in myself that I didn’t know existed. They helped me in my career in teaching and writing.”

Rebecca is also a member of the Primary Science Specialists network and her husband and daughter also studied at Griffith.

“I’m really proud to have that continued bond with Griffith,’’ she said. “Now this award is the icing on the cake.”

Pop idolDami wins Young Alumnus

Dami Im

Australian pop idol andQueensland Conservatorium Griffith Universitygraduate Dami Im has won the 2016 Arts, Education and Law Young Alumnus of the Year.

Represented by Sony Music and the 2o16 Eurovision Song Contest Runner Up, Dami is an award-winning pianist who won the fifth season of popular reality TV show, The X Factor Australia in 2013.

Her self-titled debut album reached number 1 on the ARIA charts, as did her lead single Alive.

Dami is also an ambassador for international charity, Compassion, which helps children who live in poverty.

Queensland Conservatorium Director,Professor Scott Harrisonsaid the conservatorium was proud to be associated with Dami’s vocal training, through the work ofmaster teacher Dr Irene Bartlett.

“Dami is one of many Queensland Conservatorium graduates who are making their mark in the world of music in a wide range of genres,’’ he said.

Held at Cloudland Brisbane, the sixth annual AEL Alumni Awards recognise the achievements and successes of Arts, Education and Law graduates.