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TEGAN DONALD

Science Communications Specialist

Tegan is a professional high-level administrator with over 10 years in experience in higher education administration in a variety of senior executive support roles, both in senior corporate and academic environments. 

Graduating from the Australian National University (ANU) with her PhD in Science Communication in 2016.   Her academic background has provided her with skills in problem solving and analysis, the ability to distil key messages from complex scientific and technical information for a variety of audiences; but more importantly an understanding of differing audience groups and how, why, and when people consume information. 

 

Tegan is passionate about STEM and understanding the underlying motivations driving actions led her to undertake a PhD in science communication.  Her thesis investigates what a ‘scientifically engaged Australia’ would look like through the analysis of academic literature, Australian science communication policy documents and interviews with key leaders in Australian policy and science communication practitioners. The notion of a ‘scientifically engaged Australia’ stems from the Federal Government’s 2011 report ‘Inspiring Australia’; and her thesis investigates the claims made by this and other government policy documents to create a picture of understanding of Australian science communication, its priorities, limitations, and recommendations for future activity.  Her project uncovered the complex relationship that exists between science, society and policy leaders and how this fits within the national and international landscape.  This relationship is one of competing agendas and priorities that is largely driven by the desire for economic advantage. 

In 2009 Tegan was commissioned, by the then Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for Antimatter-Matter Studies, to facilitate the design an exhibit depicting the science behind antimatter for Questacon – the National Science and Technology Centre. The outcome of this project was the creation of a 20 panel travelling panel display that was originally housed at Questacon and has since been replicated across the world as part of the Centre’s communication initiatives. 

In parallel to undertaking her PhD.  Tegan began her career at ANU and then later at CSIRO in a variety of senior executive support roles, most notably to the current and previous ANU Vice-Chancellors.  From her varied professional and academic experience Tegan has gained a deep understanding of the complexities of the operation of a large and research-intensive organisations in a highly political environment.  She is able to interpret, analyse, and present data drawing meaningful and relevant conclusions both in academic and administrative settings.  Tegan is motivated by, and derives great pleasure from working on challenges that are complex, varied, and people centric; challenges that enable her to apply her skills to make a lasting and meaningful impact.

 

Professional and Educational Background

PhD, Australian National University, 2016

Experience