The WA Chapter is an active and lively one with 35-40 Financial Members. The WA Chapter's focus is on engaging our Fulbright Alumni by providing events and forums to connect with one another and discuss contemporary issues. Our Chapter’s mission is also to promote the Fulbright Programme in Western Australia through our Alumni as ambassadors.
Our hallmark event is our lavish Annual Dinner held late in the year, which in the last few years has taken on a Halloween theme. The dinner attracts upwards of 60 people each year, including Alumni, their spouses, Scholarship Donors, Friends of Fulbright and others. We often have a subsidy by way of a wine sponsor, which is a popular way to keep costs as low as possible!
For the last two years the Vice Chancellor of Edith Cowan University has very kindly hosted a cocktail reception for the WA Fulbrighters in conjunction with musical performances from the WA College of Performing Arts.
We have our own Facebook group - the WA Fulbright Alumni Association - where you can find pictures from our latest events and information regarding the activities of the West Australian Chapter.
West Australian Chapter contacts:
Our current WA executives are Emeritus Professor Don Smart as Chair and Dr Jonathan Paget as Secretary. In addition we have 4 Committee members: Dr Martin Soh, Dr Ian MacLeod, Dr Susan King and Professor David Andrich.
Don has been Chair since the late 1990s and co-chaired with Robin McLellan, US Consul-General, the very successful Fulbright WA Scholarship Fundraising committee in 2007. The committee was somewhat unique in that whilst most State Scholarships come primarily from State government funds it raised almost 50% of its $1m goal from the private sector and then persuaded the State government to match it.
Don was a senior lecturer in education at Murdoch University in 1979 when he undertook his Fulbright Scholarship. He was jointly hosted by the University of Illinois (at Champaign-Urbana) and Stanford University (Centre for Finance and Governance in Education), where he undertook research into federal-state relations in the finance and governance of education. His study led him to build strong relationships with many US Scholars in the field of Education Politics and Policy. As a result he jointly published a book on Comparative US and Australian Education Policy in 1987 with a US colleague and in 1990 he was elected President of the Australian Association for Research in Education. During the early 1990s he was Dean of the School of Education at Murdoch University and he has published 5 books and over 50 journal articles on education policy. He also helped establish the Commonwealth's Asia Research Centre at Murdoch in 1991 and undertook numerous studies on international student recruitment and policy.
Now, in "retirement", as he approaches his 70th year, he continues to undertake consultancies in education policy for federal and state governments and also supervises doctoral students in Singapore and Hong Kong for the Graduate School of Education at UWA. He is also very proud of his recent contribution to the establishment of an Education Foundation for his old school, Tumut High School in the Snowy Mountains of NSW.