Rosemary Callingham has achieved a lot throughout her teaching career, but she said none of it would have been possible without her colleagues.
An Adjunct Associate Professor at the University of Tasmania, she has dedicated her career to mathematics education, research and teacher development.
It is for this and her service to the community that she has been appointed a Member of the Order of Australia.
While "very surprised" by the recognition, Dr Callingham said it was really an acknowledgement of the hundreds of people she's worked with over the years.
"You can't do these things on your own," she said.
"I think this is an award that really acknowledges that. So I am very proud to share this with my colleagues, across many fields."
Dr Calingham started her career as a research chemist in the UK, before moving to Honk Kong for three years and later Tasmania where she commenced a high school teaching career in mathematics and science.
In 1992 she moved into mathematics curriculum implementation, undertaking a Masters in Educational Studies. However, she said teaching wasn't something she originally planned to do.
"I didn't want to teach at all. When I first graduated, my degree was chemistry with a sub-major in maths," she said.
"My parents said go into teaching. I though 'oh no'. But I came into it late, as a necessity as much as anything. My husband had died and I had two small children and I knew teaching was a good career.
"Plus it turned out that I just loved it and I became more and more interested in the way children learn mathematics. How powerful it is, if you are not afraid of the numbers."
Among a long list of achievements, Dr Callingham said she was most proud of the many national projects she had led and been a part of.
This includes roles with the Australian Council for Educational Research and Office of the Chief Scientist.
She said her involvement with Anglicare Tasmania as a past chairwoman and board member had also influenced her for the better.
"I learned so much in that time and particularly about the needs of the most disadvantaged and vulnerable people in our society. That was just an extraordinary period," she said.
While still writing and collaborating, Dr Callingham said it was acknowledgements from past students that often stopped her in her tracks.
"I have had a couple of people come up to me, some of them many years later and say - 'you taught me at school and because of you, I have done this, this and this'.
"That makes me very proud," she said.
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