Emeritus Professor Kwong Lee Dow, AO AM

Former Dean of Education, Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Vice-Chancellor, The University of Melbourne

Professor Kwong Lee Dow was a student at Camberwell High School from 1950 to 1954. He matriculated from Melbourne High School in 1955, as the final secondary year was not then available at Camberwell. He thus started at Camberwell High School within the first decade of the school’s history, broken though it was as a consequence of rearrangements in the second world war.

After brief periods as a science school teacher and college lecturer in Chemistry, he joined the University of Melbourne in 1966, was appointed Professor of Education in 1973, Dean of the faculty from 1978 to 1998, and Deputy Vice-Chancellor to 2003 and Vice-Chancellor through 2004.

He held Victorian government appointments as chair of the Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority and at times, of its predecessor bodies, the Victorian Institute of Secondary Education and the Victorian Board of Studies. He led a review of the Victorian Certificate of Education in 1997. He has had extensive input into Commonwealth government education policy including chairing a Review of Teaching and Teacher Education (2002–2003), he has involvements with the Australian Learning and Teaching Council and its predecessor and successor bodies, and was a member of the Review of Higher Education Financing and Policy (1997–1998) and a member for six years of the Higher Education Council.

Internationally, he has been active in Hong Kong, Singapore, New Zealand and Saudi Arabia. He has been a long-serving member of the Hong Kong Council for Academic Accreditation and has had long involvements also with the Hong Kong Institute of Education. He was a member of a Review of the National Institute of Education, Singapore, has been an audit member for three New Zealand universities, and an accreditation panel member of King Saud University and advisor to the Ministry of Higher Education in Saudi Arabia.

Since formal retirement, Kwong has accepted appointment for a period as Vice-Chancellor of the University of Ballarat, and more recently has focused on connections between universities and TAFE institutes, particularly in regional communities. This was a key element of a national Review of Student Income Support Reforms he undertook in 2011, but had earlier found expression in developing a Tertiary Education Plan for Victoria (2009), and was later followed by detailed work in Gippsland and in outer soth east Melbourne.

He was appointed Member of the Order of Australia in 1984, and Officer in the Order in 2012. He has a Gold Medal from the Australian Council for Education Leaders, the Sir James Darling Medal of the Australian College of Educators, and honorary doctorates from Melbourne and Ballarat universities and from the Hong Kong Institute of Education.

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