Professor Susan Danby named a Fellow of the Academy of the Social Sciences in Australia

Professor Susan Danby, Director of the ARC Centre of Excellence for the Digital Child, has been appointed a Fellow of the Academy of the Social Sciences in Australia (ASSA) for her lifetime of work dedicated to children.

Professor Danby joins 36 other social science experts in the 2021 round, and over 700 in total, who have been named Fellows for their outstanding contributions to social science research or practice in Australia.

Professor Danby was acknowledged for her scholarly contributions to the fields of early childhood and digital technologies. She is one of Australia’s leading experts in early years language and social interaction, childhood studies, and young children’s engagement with digital technologies.

Professor Danby said she was deeply grateful for the honour to be elected to the prestigious Fellowship.

“I’m honoured to join such an illustrious group of Fellows, many of whom I’ve been lucky to count as peers and mentors throughout my academic career of more than 30 years,” said Professor Danby.

“I’d like to give my thanks to QUT and to national and international colleagues and organisations in early childhood, education and research who have invested so much in building my knowledge and practice.”

Professor Danby said her career as an early childhood and primary school teacher sparked her curiosity and interest in how children learn, develop and engage with education.

“My first job was teaching a multi-age early years classroom in the regional Queensland town of Mt Perry, where I had the joy and privilege of setting the foundations for my students’ learning. This ignited my drive to learn and understand more.”

“As digital technologies started to become more pervasive, it became obvious that more exploration was needed to understand how children, families, educators, and health professionals engage with digital technologies across diverse settings, which could inform support for – and with – children during this exciting and challenging time of technology use.”

As Director of the ARC Centre of Excellence for the Digital Child, Professor Danby leads a collective of national and international researchers and partners across education settings, government, business and the community to work towards the centre’s vision – ensuring young children are healthy, connected and educated in a rapidly changing digital age.

“I’m grateful to the Australian Research Council for supporting the establishment of the Centre of Excellence for the Digital Child to help address these opportunities and challenges.”

“I’m also immensely thankful to the Academy of the Social Sciences in Australia for recognising a lifetime of work dedicated to children.”

The Academy announced 37 new Fellows across Australia for 2021, its 50th anniversary year, bringing the total number to 742.

An online event featuring brief presentations from each of the new Fellows will be held on 24 November, 4:30pm to 7pm (AEDT), and is open to the public.

ASSA will also be holding a free 50th Anniversary Symposium from 22-23 November to celebrate the significant contributions of the Academy and its Fellows to the advancement of the social sciences.

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