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Humanity in the 21st Century
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Director and Novice Elder
Neville is a founder director and is passionate about Education for World Futures. Half a century ago (elder qualification) Neville studied veterinary science and spent a year in rural veterinary practice where he learnt much about human relationships with the land and the environment. He completed a PhD in embryology and a three-year post-doctoral fellowship in reproduction at Oxford University where he became more and more interested in the truly remarkable domestic animal called human. He spent four decades at the University of Western Australia where he taught human biology, reproduction, histology, experimental design, human ethics and more recently integrated human studies, the precursor of Education for World Futures. His research interests broadened out from human reproduction to include the intersection of biology and psychology in conditioning human well-being. Many other life experiences contributed to his passion for futures and human orientated education. On route to Oxford he and his wife travelled overland from Malaysia to London in a Volkswagen Beetle; a journey that inspired a lifelong interest in peoples and cultures around the world. He has built a house from scrap materials, made biodiesel from used cooking oil, manufactured wood pellets as an alternative energy source and planted thousands of trees on his family farm, all activities providing hands on experience in sustainable living. He has been active in organisations such Freedom from Hunger, Scientists Against Nuclear Arms and the Peace Education Foundation (WA) and served on various ethics and educational boards and committees. Collectively these activities inspired him, together with his friend and colleague the late Len Freedman, to establish Education for World Futures which he regards as the culmination of his career.
Education has been a focus for Mark throughout his life. He has both contributed to as well as being a fortunate beneficiary of some extraordinary educational experiences. Mark has been a teacher, administrator and board chair in schools in eastern and western Australia as well as in regional schools in Kenya. More recently he completed a Diploma in Integrated Human Studies (the direct precursor of Education for World Futures) and went on to help develop and implement EWF curricula with Neville and Angela. These broad and wonderful experiences have entrenched in Mark a deep commitment to education – facilitating it for others and engaging in it himself. Currently Mark is finalising his PhD thesis on incorporating a futures perspective into the school curriculum. This research arose form Mark’s postgraduate studies with Neville in Integrated Human Studies and has provided sight into the professional support that teachers and schools require when a futures perspective is introduced into the curriculum.