Tenison Woods

The Tenison Woods Community is home to the Grade 3/4 classes. 

The class names were chosen based on famous Australian Scientists. Below is a little information on each of these wonderful people.

Tenison Woods Information Night 



Sir Douglas Mawson is Australia's most famous Antarctic explorer. Born in Yorkshire, England in 1882, Douglas was just two when his family moved to Australia. At school, he was a bright student and was only sixteen years old when he started at the University of Sydney.

He graduated in Engineering and Science and got a job at the University of Adelaide lecturing in petrology - the study of the origin and structure of rocks.

When he was twenty-six he joined an expedition headed by British explorer Ernest Shackleton. The team was the first to climb to the top of Mount Erebus, Antarctica's active volcano, and the first to reach the magnetic South Pole.

In 1911, when he was thirty years of age, he was the leader of the first Australasian Expedition to Antarctica. His aim was to map and explore the coastal area of Antarctica closest to Australia. Mawson selected his team and in the ship 'Aurora' they sailed through one thousand, five hundred kilometers of pack ice to the Antarctic coast.

Their first job was to build a hut which they named "Home of the Blizzard" because three hundred kilometers per hour winds blew men off their feet. From their camp in Spring 1912 several parties of explorers set out on foot. Mawson took with him, Swiss scientist Dr. Xavier Mertz and Lieutenant Belgrave Ninnis and a team of Greenland Huskies pulled their sleds.

Mawson's party traveled east for over a thousand kilometers mapping the coastline, collecting geological samples and discovering huge glaciers. But despite their success, the journey proved tragic. Mawson was the only one who survived and he was near death. His epic trek was described as the greatest story of lone survival in polar exploration.

When he returned to Adelaide, he was knighted for his contribution to our scientific understanding of Antarctica.

In 1914, he married Paquita Delprat. Mawson loved to have his family around him and his two daughters came to know the qualities that made him a great leader.

In 1929 and 1931 Mawson headed two more voyages to the Antarctic. This time concentrating on oceanography and marine biology. They resulted in Australia claiming forty-two percent of Antarctica as Australian Territory - an area the size of Australia without Queensland.

For the rest of his life Sir Douglas worked as Professor of Geology at the University of Adelaide and was involved in forestry, farming and the conservation of the unique wildlife in our oceans.

He died in 1958 at the age of seventy-six.



Sir Otto Herzberg Frankel was born in 1900 in Vienna.  He was an Austrian-born Australian geneticist. He was recruited to CSIRO as Chief of the Division of Plant Industry in 1951, a position he held until 1962 when he was appointed to the CSIRO Executive.He was among the first to warn of the dangers of plant biodiversity loss. Beginning in 1964 Frankel worked as a member of the International Biological Program (IBP) focusing on the issue of genetic resources. ('Genetic resources' has mostly been replaced by the term biodiversity). Otto soon became a key figure in the movement and remained so for thirty years after his official retirement from CSIRO in 1966. His career in science was unusual in that his most widely acclaimed work was done after his official retirement.


Dame Annie Jean MacNamara, born 1st of April, 1899  was an Australian medical doctor and scientist, best known for her contributions to children's health and welfare.

During her schooling life she received a scholarship to study at the Presbyterian Ladies' College.  At age 17 she commenced her studies at the University of Melbourne and graduated with M.B. and B.S.  Once she graduated she became a resident medical officer at the Royal Melbourne Hospital.

During her time at the Hospital, there was a polio outbreak.  She demonstrated that there was more than one strain to the virus which became an important fact in the later development of the Salk vaccine.  Between 1925 and 1931 she was the consultant and medical officer responsible to the Poliomyelitis Committee of Victoria and then became the honorary adviser on polio to the official authorities in NSW, SA, and Tasmania. In 1931 she traveled to England and USA to study orthopedics.  

When she returned to Australia in 1934 she married dermatologist Joseph Ivan Connor and they had 2 daughters.   

Jean MacNamara died at the age of 69 from cardiovascular disease on the 13th of October,  1968.  She was commemorated, with another 7 Australian medical scientists,  in an issue of a set of four Australian stamps which were released in in 1995


Fiona Stanley was born in 1946 in Sydney. She received a Bachelor of Medicine and Surgery from the University of Western Australia in 1970. Stanley then moved to London to study and was introduced to epidemiology, biostatistics and public health, the areas that became her life’s research focus. Returning to Australia, she held senior child health, epidemiology and preventive medicine policy and research roles. A hospital in Western Australia is named in her honour. 


Sir Gustav Victor Joseph Nossal, AC, CBE, FRS (born 4 June 1931) is a distinguished Australian research biologist. He is famous for his contributions to the fields of antibody formation and immunological tolerance.

He also has a high school named after him. The high school opened up in his honour in 2010.