After 30 years at RMIT, Professor Di Siemon is retiring. Beginning her career as a secondary school teacher of maths, Di’s passion has and continues to be mathematics education. Over her impressive career Di has held numerous leadership roles within Education at RMIT, leading the Mathematics, Science and Technology Education Department and later heading the Department of School and Early School Education. She continues to nurture the development of maths education within the school and has been instrumental in the appointment of new staff to build the team in the lead up to her retirement.
Di has led the profession as past President of the Australian Association of Mathematics Teachers and she is a life member of the Mathematical Association of Victoria. She has been involved in setting standards for the profession and was on the National Mathematics Advisory Panel for the development of the Australian Mathematics Curriculum. All of these roles have been important in raising the profile of mathematics education at RMIT.
Di has a strong and sustained international reputation as a maths educator, particularly focused on the development of number ideas and strategies in years K to 9. She has attracted more than $3 million in funded research projects. Di also led the Consultancy Development Unit within the School and continues to be one of the go-to people for tenders across the sector. She has instigated and directed a number of large-scale projects including the Reframing Mathematical Futures Project, funded from 2013-2017 by the federal government. This project has been instrumental in underscoring the importance of formative assessment and targeted professional development to improve mathematics outcomes, particularly targeting students whose future would otherwise be constrained by lack of access to critical aspects of school mathematics. The work was recently awarded the 2018 Beth Southwell Practical Implications award by the Mathematics Education Research Group of Australasia.
Di’s impact on the profession is considerable, having led teams that produce the seminal texts in mathematics teacher education. She is lead author on the Oxford text, Teaching Mathematics: Foundation to Middle Years and she continues to work with ACARA and State and Territory governments on big ideas in number. Di also has a long standing commitment to access and equity for the provision of indigenous education in remote communities and she has negotiating transformative experiences for our education students in these communities. She was involved in not one, but two ERA impact studies in 2018. She was recently instrumental in the design and development of the 1300 Club at RMIT, bringing together researchers from across the University who publish in the education ERA code.
Di has had a long and distinguished career at RMIT and I hope our connection will continue. Her service has been and continues to be exemplary. She is a positive force within the school, supporting innovation and growth.
I do hope you will come and celebrate her career on Thursday October 25 at 4 pm in the Garden Room on the City, b.10.5.08.