Past GSAQ medal recipients - image courtesy GSAQ

2008 Neville Stevens Medal Winner

Mr David O'Connell
David O'Connell's Citation

David joined QIT in 1971 with a BSc and DipEd, qualifications which would not even get him short-listed these days.  As the years passed, he saw the need to upgrade, and so completed the MSc in Exploration and Mining Geology at James Cook University in 1980.

As he always saw himself as a teacher rather than a researcher, he undertook a part time BEd, instead of a doctorate, during the 1980s. He always received positive feedback from his students, which confirmed his view that it was important to be a good teacher, even at university level.

David O'Connell (left) receiving his medal from Neville Stevens (right).
David has been a member of the Queensland Branch of the Society since 1970 and been on the GSAQ committee for a couple of years, when in 1981 he stepped up as first convenor of the Education Subcommittee.  His dedication for teaching earth sciences to students and the general public has driven him to do a lot of work on the Education Subcommittee without ever expecting to be rewarded for it.

David has supported the GSA very well over the years, particularly in the geological education area.  He was Convenor of the Geological Education Subcommittee (1981 – 1983 & 2000 – 2001), and has been a committee member for several years.  During his later convenorship time he emailed a geological education newsletter to school teachers.  He participated in field trips, and shows at the Science Center and other educational venues that the Geological Education Subcommittee was involved with.

David did some important work in Earth Science Education with the Queensland State Board of Secondary School Studies of which he was a member for over ten years.  He was a member of the State Review Panel, and a member of the Brisbane District Review Panel.  He was also a C.A.E. representative on the Department of Education Mineral Industries Advisory Committee for several years.

At QIT and QUT David was a very well respected geology lecturer and teacher, and maintained a close relationship with the GSAQ and the science teachers fraternity. He was 
nominated for the best lecturer award at QUT in 1999.  He was the High School Liaison Officer for the Department of Applied Geology at QUT.

David is a registered school teacher and always maintained contact with high school geology teachers. He ran a geology teachers conference, workshops for geology teachers, and was involved with the Siemons Science Summer School, Nexus club and the CSIRO Double Helix club.