Dr Ayton is a clinician-scientist with a strong research interest in vision restoration, retinal eye disease and clinical assessment of visual performance. Dr Ayton completed her PhD in 2004 at the University of Melbourne in paediatric optometry, and then completed a postdoctoral position in the area of traumatic brain injury and ocular motor function. She is an early career researcher, but has already earned an impressive national and international reputation for her work as the clinical coordinator of the Bionic Vision Australia (BVA) project. This recognition has included receiving the annual CERA Award for Research Excellence in 2012, being awarded a Fellowship of the Australian College of Optometry and being an invited speaker at numerous conferences and community events. Dr Ayton is a passionate science communicator, and is also a regular co-host on 3RRR radio’s science communication show Einstein-A-Go-Go.
Along with Professor Joseph Rizzo (Professor of Ophthalmology, Harvard Medical School and Head of the Boston Retinal Implant Project), Dr Ayton is heading an international joint task force to gain consensus as to the assessment and reporting of outcomes in vision restoration trials. The Hugh Rogers Fellowship allowed Dr Ayton to travel to Harvard Medical School to work on this collaboration and generate international standards in this field.
Christine Healey has been the Education Manager at Heide Museum of Modern Art Melbourne, Australia for four years. Christine is responsible for the development, implementation and evaluation of student and teacher programming, online resources, special projects and the education volunteer program. Christine is undertaking her PhD candidature at RMIT University, researching the practice and pedagogies of Australian art museum educators. She is the current secretary of Museums Australia Education National Network and general committee member of Education Network Victoria. As a VIT registered teacher, who values divergent thinking, Christine is passionate about creating high impact art experiences in museums for young people who visit with their school and would otherwise not have the opportunity to experience art in a museum setting.
Focussing on the delivery of education programs at select art museums and galleries, the purpose of this research was two-fold. Firstly, to understand, describe and document the roles of art museum educators involved in the delivery of education programming through interviews, fieldwork observation, analysis of program goals and delivery practices including exemplar programming. Secondly, to reflect and engage with these subjectivities in Christine’s own practice as a museum educator at Heide Museum of Modern Art. Conducted from an Australian perspective, this project will contribute to a field in which little Australian research has previously been undertaken. Being awarded a Hugh Rogers Fellowship at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston enabled Christine to expand her research to include an American museum, through which comparisons may be made with local national art museum education practice.
Mr Paul Beekman and Ms Nerida Mellerick each received fellowships for education research.
Mr Paul Beekman was awarded a fellowship to undertake research at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. He intended to explore how a deeper understanding of heritage and the sustainability of natural and built environments might assist students to become active local and global citizens.
Ms Nerida Mellerick was awarded a fellowship to research a thinking curriculum that differentiates learning for gifted and talented students.