Wednesday, 11 October 2017

JCU Associate Professor Noel Loos latest book added to the North Queensland Collection!

JCU Library Special Collections staff recently had the pleasure of receiving a visit from Associate Professor Noel Loos as we celebrated the addition of his latest book, an autobiographical memoir titled “In the shadow of holocausts: Australia and the third reich” published by Boolarong Press, to the North Queensland Collection.   The NQ Collection preserves for future generations of researchers every publication either wholly or partly written about our region.
JCU Associate Professor Noel Loos with some of his publications from the NQ Collection, JCU Library Special Collections.

With an accomplished career of research and education in the field of black/white history in Australia, A/Professor Loos worked at the Townsville College of Advanced Education (TCAE) prior to joining James Cook University in 1970, where he taught until his retirement in 1996.  A/Professor Loos lectured on the history of black-white relations and conducted close research into Aboriginal mission history, frontier conflict, the place of Aborigines in colonial society and government, and the evolution of government policies for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island people. 

During the 1970s he pioneered the development of teacher education programs in Queensland for Aboriginal and Islander people. In 1975, the decision was made at the then TCAE to create a Division of Aboriginal and Islander Education from which emerged, a race relations subject - Race and Culture - a one semester subject taken by all third year students. Then, in 1976, a one-year Graduate Diploma in Aboriginal Education was launched for qualified experienced school teachers who had worked in schools with a large Indigenous enrolment or who wished to work in such schools. Next, the then Queensland Deputy Director of Education asked the TCAE if it could develop a primary teacher education program for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students whom the secondary school system had not been able to graduate successfully to the standard acceptable for tertiary entrance. This course was the Aboriginal and Islander Teacher Education Program, known to all as AITEP.  A/Professor Noel Loos and A/Professor Lynette Henderson worked together to deliver the very successful Townsville based AITEP. It was a study of the program after ten years by Lynette Henderson and Geoff Coombs, Confronting Disadvantage: A Demographic Study of the first 53 Graduates through AITEP, that revealed that AITEP had, in the majority of years, either a slightly higher or equal graduation rate in Primary Teacher Education at the TCAE and, after amalgamation, JCU, than did the regular entry program.
JCU Associate Professor Noel Loos and Associate Professor Lynette Henderson with the AITEP News which can be read online in NQHeritage@JCU, the online repository for JCU Library Special Collections.

A/Professor Loos was also a friend to Eddie Mabo for twenty-five years. During Loos’s time at the TCAE and JCU, Mabo often sat in on lectures and also delivered occasional guest lectures to Loos’s students. In 1981 Loos, along with colleague Prof Henry Reynolds, informed Mabo that he had no legal ownership of his traditional land. A shocked Mabo, from the beginning of his fight for land rights, was supported and advised by Loos. A/Professor Loos has written the Eddie Mabo entry for the Australian Dictionary of Biography and edited the 1996 book, Edward Koiki Mabo: His Life and Struggle for Land Rights. He has published widely on indigenous history and politics, and has contributed to the 2008 SBS series First Australians and several books that have issued from the series.

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