Fellows for 2014

There were five Hugh Rogers Fellowships presented in 2014:

  • Mr Sandor Kazi
  • Ms Emily Rochette
Medical research & healthcare
  • Dr Bryn Sobott
  • Dr Natalie Thorne
The Arts
  • Ms Susan de Weger


Mr Sandor Kazi

While undertaking a post-graduate degree in particle physics at the University of Melbourne, Mr Sandor Kazi was invited to work at the international physics laboratory CERN in Switzerland. Sandor has been a teacher of physics at Melbourne Girls’ College for the past 9 years and is dedicated to increasing the number of girls who want to study physics, as well as increasing their confidence in understanding concepts and improving their educational outcomes. 

This research trip will build on his work showing girls that it is possible for them to understand, enjoy and succeed in physics. To accomplish these goals he has been implementing the ideas and methods Professor Eric Mazur developed at the Mazur Group, which Mazur outlined in a seminar in Melbourne in January 2010. There has been much research undertaken in the meantime and the Hugh Rogers Fellowship will allow Sandor to visit, observe classes, and talk with Professor Mazur as well as other education researchers about their strategies and how they implement the knowledge they have gained. He can then use this knowledge to increase girls’ participation and outcomes in physics.

Ms Emily Rochette

Ms Emily Rochette teaches junior science, chemistry and Chinese at Melbourne Girls’ College. She is also a guest lecturer at the Melbourne Graduate School of Education. Emily received a Bachelor of Science from McGill University in Montreal, and an education degree at the University of Melbourne along with a Dean’s Honor Award.

Her project will develop relationships between Melbourne Girls’ College and schools in the Boston area known to offer outstanding opportunities for young women in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. By visiting three schools in early 2015, Emily will become an ambassador to learn about, share and bring back innovative pedagogies. Outcomes of this experience will be disseminated to colleagues at the college and through the City Edge Network with the intention of integrating technology into areas in which women are underrepresented.

Healthcare & Medical Research

Bryn Sobott

Dr Bryn Sobott is a Grand Challenges Research Fellow on the Saving Lives at Birth Grant awarded in 2013 to complete a prototype of the FRE02 system. As the Principal Investigator he is responsible for seeing the project from prototyping, through to field trials and eventually scaling up to achieve widespread social impact. Bryn is passionate about addressing the needs of people living in poverty and recognises that specific scientific breakthroughs have repeatedly transformed seemingly insurmountable development challenges into tractable problems. 

The goal of this project is to develop a low cost, electricity free oxygen concentrator appropriate to low resource settings. The D-Lab program at MIT has a proven track record in advancing low-cost technological solutions to address dire needs of people living in poverty. Collaboration with D-Lab will expedite the design and rigorous testing of core components of the device - a required milestone before clinical trials.

Natalie Thorne

Dr Natalie Thorne is a statistician who has specialised in bioinformatics, and the statistical analysis of the large data sets arising from sequencing of human genetic material. Natalie is the Clinical Bioinformatics and Genomics Project Manager for the Melbourne Genomics Health Alliance based at the Walter & Eliza Hall Institute. 

Boston is a world-leading centre for large scale genome testing and Melbourne does not yet have this knowledge or capability at his highly developed level. Natalie will travel to Boston to learn how to improve genome testing to achieve better diagnosis of genetic diseases for people in Melbourne. She will compare the Boston process with what we are doing in Melbourne, and will share with the Boston group the Melbourne expertise in our clinical approach. From this base, Natalie will create a new core of bio-informatics capability in Melbourne.

The Arts and Culture

Susan de Weger

Ms Susan de Weger is undertaking a Masters of Music Performance at the Melbourne Conservatorium of Music. Prior to this, Susan had a successful career in Event Management and established a highly respected IT Consulting Practice in the UK and France. After returning to Australia she developed and delivered a Continuing Professional Development program for the spatial sciences industry. Susan aims to combine a career as a freelance orchestral musician with a developing pathway as a tertiary educator with a specific focus in the areas of entrepreneurship and peak performance.

The Hugh Rogers Fellowship will allow Susan to undertake a study period at the New England Conservatory to observe their innovative Entrepreneurial Musicianship (EM) Department. She will also benefit from a private Horn tuition with Richard Sebring, faculty member, Associate Principal Horn of the Boston Symphony Orchestra and Principal Horn of the Boston Pops. This study will assist in developing her career as a performer and educator.