Special Achievements:

Emeritus Professor Lesley Parker AM

The first woman appointed to a significant senior executive role at Curtin University, Lesley Parker was named Senior Deputy Vice-Chancellor in 1997. She is known nationally and internationally for her work in progressing gender equality in education, especially in science and technology.

Additional Information:

Lesley Parker is Senior Deputy Vice-Chancellor at Curtin University of Technology, where she holds a Personal Chair in higher Education. She has published widely in the areas of structural curriculum change, professional development of educators, and policy and practice in the area of gender equity, particularly in science and mathematics education.  Currently she is Chair of Curriculum Council of Western Australia, and of the Board of Directors of education.au limited, which administers the Education Network Australia.  She is also a member of the Western Australian Premier's Science Council, and of the Council of Questacon (Australia's National Science and Technology Centre). 


Commencing her career as a secondary teacher of science and mathematics, Lesley Parker rose to become acting director of the Secondary Education Authority. Parker was also Foundation Chair of the Western Australian Curriculum Council and had an international reputation as the leader of Girls and Science and Technology.

Parker joined Curtin in 1991 as Assistant Director of the National Key Centre for Teaching and Research in School Science and Mathematics (Especially for Women). 

In 1995 she was awarded a personal chair at Curtin, becoming Professor of Higher Education, before her appointment as Senior Deputy Vice-Chancellor.


In 1998, she was awarded the Order of Australia for services to education.

In 2008 Parker was awarded the Australian Learning and Teaching Council’s (ALTC) career achievement award in recognition of her outstanding contribution to higher education over a sustained period. She has had a major influence on the sector, dedicating 30 years to leadership, research, teaching and policy development in higher education and was also instrumental in ensuring the ALTC was established on solid foundations.

Parker was awarded the Order of Australia in 1998 and was elected a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering in 2006.