A fitting tribute to Tasmanian science pioneer

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Home > Media > News > A fitting tribute to Tasmanian science pioneer
A fitting tribute to Tasmanian science pioneer

A Commonwealth Science Education Award presented to Sr Carmel Noonan in the 1960s has been donated to the Josephite Mission and History Centre in Hobart by a Tasmanian family with strong ties to the Sisters of St Joseph. 

Paddy Noonan, whose two sisters Carmel and Mary both entered the Jospehites in their early teens, decided the award should be given back to the Josephite community.

“The award was given to my mother on the death of Carmel, so it stayed in the family that way. I thought that seeing the Josephites have a wonderful museum and centre the award should be given back to the Josephite community. It is part of the history of the Jospehites in Tasmania,” Mr Noonan said.

The prestigious award recognised Sr Carmel’s contribution to the advancement of science in Tasmania. While teaching at Sacred Heart College in New Town, she was asked to complete a Bachelor of Science degree in readiness for the completion of a new science laboratory at the school.

Sr Carmel completed her degree and went on to become science mistress at the college, and later principal. Sr Carmel also worked tirelessly promoting science in other schools in Tasmania.

“She was very committed to her science and she used to run this state science talent search for all schools in Tasmania,” said Sr Jill Dance.

It is believed Sr Carmel could have been the first qualified science teacher in Tasmania, and most likely the first Josephite Sister in Australia to hold a science degree.

The Josephite Mission and History Centre in Hobart is open weekdays between 10.00am and 4.00pm, and by appointment on weekends and public holidays. Contact the Sisters of St Joseph on 6228 1628, or josephite.mission@sosj.org.au