Territory Stories

Debates Day 3 - Thursday 21 October 2010



Debates Day 3 - Thursday 21 October 2010

Other title

Parliamentary Record 15


Debates for 11th Assembly 2008 - 2012; ParliamentNT; Parliamentary Record; 11th Assembly 2008 - 2012




Made available by the Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory





Publisher name

Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory

Place of publication


File type



Attribution International 4.0 (CC BY 4.0)

Copyright owner

Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory



Parent handle


Citation address


Page content

DEBATES - Thursday 21 October 2010 Tomorrow afternoon I will have the honour of joining with the staff of the Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory in farewelling one such expert, Dr Paul Horner, Curator of Terrestrial Vertebrates at the museum. Dr Horner commenced formally with the Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory as a technical officer in September 1980. Before formally starting with MAGNT, Paul did volunteer and contract work for several years. History shows that Paul was proficient in his early work in the Territory. Records indicate that between 1973 and his permanent appointment with the Museum and Art Gallery in 1980, he personally contributed 3132 vertebrate specimens to the Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory collections. While Paul had a zoo-keeping background and a passion for taxonomic research, he did not have formal qualifications. In 1980, he began part-time tertiary studies and sequentially gained a Certificate in Environmental Biology from the Darwin Institute of Technology; an Associate Diploma of Applied Science from the Northern Territory University; a Bachelor of Science from NTU; and Doctorate of Philosophy from Charles Darwin University. That history of study also reflects the evolution of our tertiary institution. Dr Horner was appointed acting Curator of Terrestrial Vertebrates in 1993, and Curator in 1995. His main research interests include taxonomy and bio-geography of northern Australian lizards with an emphasis on skink taxonomy; he is internationally recognised for his expertise and work on snake-eyed skinks. During his career at the Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory, Dr Horner produced 25 scientific papers, nine biological survey reports, one book, contributing text and photographs to several other books, a thesis, and presented papers at national and international conferences. Since 1985, he has authored the scientific descriptions of 36 new species, including 30 skinks, three geckos, two snakes, and one monitor lizard. Amongst other achievements, Dr Horner was responsible for developing the highly successful Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory, SuperCrocodilians Exhibition. In recognition of more than 30 years of service to the Northern Territory Museum and Art Gallery, the Museum and Art Gallery, Northern Territory Board has conferred Dr Horner the status of Emeritus Curator of the Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory. This is an amazing snapshot of decades of scientific contribution to the Northern Territory, and I look forward to attending tomorrows event. On 9 October, the Department of Education and Training hosted the Inaugural Smart Schools Awards. The sellout event was held at the Darwin Convention Centre and more than 400 of our educators and their supporters gathered to recognise excellence in education at government schools across the Territory. I was told by one of my staff who attended with her sister that it was a great night, and Gary Barnes and the department are to be commended for the hard work which went into hosting the event. There were seven categories on the night, with 63 nominations from 41 schools, including many rural and remote schools. As the member for Barkly and a former teacher in the region, I was very proud to hear that Canteen Creek School was highly commended in the category of Northern Territory Certificate of Education achievements. Canteen Creek is a great school in the Barkly electorate, with about 100 students from transition to Year 12. I was at Canteen Creek recently; I caught up with the teachers, and I congratulate them on the fine work they do. Congratulations again to all who entered the Smart School Awards. Our teachers do a great job, and I hope next year there are even more entries. To conclude, after a week of debate which highlighted the essence of true community self-determination and responsibility, and a great community at Canteen Creek, the challenge goes out. The teachers who must be mentioned are Ben and Susannah Hollands. They have been exemplary teachers throughout the Barkly for many years and have done incredible things at Canteen Creek. However, in 2011 they will take much deserved study leave and the community will need to adjust to having two new teachers. Ben Hollands is very much an educational leader, as is his wife, Susannah. So, we are going to face an interesting dilemma which will determine, in some respects, self-determining trends within remote communities when good people leave and new people come. The Indigenous community takes time to readjust, to trust, to develop relationships and, in the meantime, that can often set back very progressive and important programs. The challenge is out there, Canteen Creek! Mr and Mrs Hollands are going on leave and funnily enough, they look forward to being invited back to Canteen Creek. It is quite unusual for teachers to return after long periods of exemplary practice. 6544