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Inaugural Hollomby Lecture with Dr Rowena Ball

  • Geraldton Universities Centre 33 Onslow Street Geraldton, WA 6530 (map)

The 2017 Hollomby Lecture is the inaugural lecture designed to inspire aspirations for university education for people in Mid West communities by providing a tangible link to successful and relatable professionals and high achievers.
Attendees will hear from the inspiring Dr Rowena Ball as she shares her story of how she became an expert on the origins of life and a passionate advocate for Indigenous scientific and engineering heritage and knowledge … among other subjects!

“Dr Ball’s story is a story that many in our community will relate to and hence be inspired from. She undertook a science degree part-time by distance education in regional NSW, while she had three young children and worked as a gardener to support her family. She studied hard by evenings and weekends. It took 7 years part-time to complete her bachelor degree with honours and that determination lead her to many subsequent successes,” said Ms Nelmes.

The Hollomby Foundation is dedicated to the advancement of tertiary education in our region. Named in honour of the late Joe Hollomby, the Foundation supports the Geraldton Universities Centre and Mid West students to fulfil their dreams, building the capacity of the region. The Hollomby Foundation has awarded more than $200,000 in scholarships and prizes to GUC students in the past five years.

Bio: Dr Rowena Ball

Associate Professor Rowena Ball obtained her PhD from Macquarie University in Sydney in 1997 then, after postdocs at Sydney University and Leeds University in the UK, joined the Australian National University in 1999, where she currently holds a joint appointment in the Mathematical Sciences Institute and the Research School of Chemistry. She has held many competitive research grants and fellowships, and from 2010 to 2016 she held a prestigious Australian Research Council Future Fellowship.

Rowena is an applied mathematician and physical chemist with expertise in nonlinear and complex dynamical systems, and has collaborated with scientists from other disciplines on a wide range of interesting research problems: the origin of life, chemical oscillations and instabilities, decarbonation of fuels and flue gases, combustion, thermodynamic optimization of processes, and magnetic fusion plasmas. A passionate interest in Indigenous scientific and engineering heritage and knowledge has led to a new project on using mathematics to date events in pre-colonial history. She is of Indigenous descent with ancestral country in central Queensland and in Ireland.
For the full GUC Open Day program go to

Who to contact for enquiries: Brendan Penzer 0472 688 655

Later Event: August 19
Hillcrest market day