Mary Melrose (deceased)

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Mary Melrose gained her PhD in Education from the University of Auckland; her early career involved Science teaching in a number of Auckland secondary schools, before being seconded to the Department of Education as an Advisor.

Mary was Associate Head of the Centre for Professional Development at the Auckland Institute of Technology, working as a senior lecturer in Tertiary Teaching and as a Staff Developer. She continued in that Centre until 1998 when her strengths in educational research led to her being appointed as Academic Manager in the Office of the Vice President (Research) in 1999, and Director of Postgraduate Studies in 2002.

Mary was a key player in fostering the research capabilities of staff during Auckland Institute of Technology’s quest for University status; modelling how to research, and running workshops and programmes for staff wishing to become active researchers and to build research into the curriculum.

Mary encouraged staff in the wider polytechnic sector of New Zealand, especially at Auckland University of Technology, Manukau Institute of Technology and Unitec, to become active members of HERDSA. In her roles as staff developer and research developer she assisted many staff with setting up and carrying out successful educational research projects about teaching and learning. She also assisted them with writing about their research and many later presented their results at conferences or seminars arranged through HERDSA or through their own teaching and learning centres.

Mary was Co-convenor of the 1998 conference, “Transformation in Higher Education”, held at the University of Auckland.

Mary served on the Auckland-based committee of the New Zealand Branch of HERDSA for approximately a decade, from 1993–2003, and in 1994, became Chairperson. She was the regional coordinator or invited speaker/ panel member/chairperson at seminar programmes, and host of many HERDSA Visiting Scholar events organised by HERDSA’s NZ Branch.

In 1996 she was elected on to the Australasian Executive of HERDSA and stayed as long as was possible under the HERDSA constitution. On the Executive she served as a member of the Visiting Scholar Committee and those committees dealing with awards for members attending conferences; judging papers and travel award applications for postgraduate student.

Farewell Mary Melrose

Mary Melrose, who died recently in Auckland, was the HERDSA NZ branch chairperson for many years. Under her leadership, in the Auckland area particularly, HERDSA NZ was active hosting regular seminars with local and visiting experts. Mary kept things going in the days when it was very much an Auckland thing – with a bit of Waikato input – and was instrumental in pushing beyond that to make the branch more national. She was also a HERDSA Executive member for a long time and was made a Life Member in 2010. Mary worked in staff development at Auckland University of Technology University (AUT). In fact she was there long before AUT became a university and had been in the polytech tutor training organisation, having been a very successful school science teacher. Her husband John, who survives her, taught engineering at Manukau Institute of Technology in Auckland and was also a NZ branch committee member.