Visionary Highlight: Greg Oates

Greg Oates has spent his entire career passionately advocating and advancing mathematics learning and teaching. Upon meeting Greg, you will come across an infectious enthusiasm and welcoming nature that will have you wanting to share in his passion and get involved in whatever event he might be a part of.

Greg started his career teaching secondary mathematics, during that time he was recognised for his outstanding work with a New Zealand Teacher’s Study Award. Eager to continue on his journey to progress mathematics teaching, Greg completed a Masters of Education and a PhD examining the integration of technology in the undergraduate mathematics curriculum. 

Greg spent the next ten years teaching in the Department of Mathematics at the University of Auckland before making the move to Tasmania. 

Currently Greg is living in Launceston and is an Associate Professor in Mathematics Education and the Associate Head of Learning, Teaching and Performance (AHLTP), in the School of Education at the University of Tasmania. 

Recently we had the pleasure of chatting with Greg to ask a few questions to learn a little more about him. 

What is your greatest leadership achievement?

I think bringing international conferences to my home country /state:  The Delta Conference on the Teaching and Learning of Undergraduate Mathematics and Statistics to Rotorua, NZ in 2011 (, and the MERGA conference to the North of Tasmania, in Launceston in 2022 (the organisation of which started my BET relationship). 

I heard you moved to Tasmania as a result of coming to a conference here, what was the conference and what was it about your time here that made you want to make the move?

The conference was in July 2015, known as PME 39 (The International Group for the Psychology of Mathematics), in Hobart. It was only the third time the annual conference (running since 1976) had been held in the Southern Hemisphere (previously PME 8 in Sydney, & PME 29 in Melbourne). The conference attracted some 280 delegates, the northern hemisphere colleagues found it cold, but of course coming from Auckland, it was quite OK. After the conference, my partner and I travelled around the State for 10 days, visiting Cradle Mountain (both Lake St Claire & Dove Lake sides), the North (Stanley, Burnie & Launceston), the East (Scamandar & Freycinet), and South (Port Arthur, & Bruny Island), before returning to Hobart. We loved the area and were made to feel very welcome by friends and colleagues, and so when the job vacancy was advertised at the end of 2015, I was motivated to apply, based on my experiences, and the opportunity to work with internationally acclaimed colleagues at UTAS. Haven’t regretted a moment of it since. 

Quick fire questions:

An unmissable experience I recommend when visiting our island state is…

Oh, where to start; I love Launceston, with the beautiful Cataract Gorge on our doorstep, and the wonderful Seaport/Silos area… but if talking about well know attractions, I think the Dove Lake walk is unmissable.

One thing that might surprise people to learn about Tasmania is…

How cosmopolitan it is, there are so many people here who have come to live from far-flung places.

You haven’t experienced Tasmania until you have…  

Again, where to start. Seen the view on a nice day from the top of kunanyi (this is hard to beat), had a wine and cheese at Josef Chromy, Frogmore Creek, Clover Hill, or many more of the vineyards found in Tassie; Visited Bruny Island’s Get Shucked, the Cheese Factory and the Pennicott Wilderness Cruise (spectacular). Enjoyed fish & chips on the promenade at Beauty Point, a beer and meal at the amazing Ironhouse/White Sands (I recommend staying overnight). The list goes on…

But I will go with:

Had a picnic on the grounds of Cataract Gorge and a swim in the Basin in summer (lying out in the middle on your back in the basin is surreal, so close to the city)

Image Credit: Tourism Australia

Tasmania is a state that looks to the future. Here you will find a place that’s home to industry experts who work tirelessly to advance their fields not for the betterment of themselves but with the intention of creating a better tomorrow; one that empowers future generations with the expertise and teaching to pursue their goals.

Greg Oates is one such leader, his work will continue to advance education methods and inspire those to follow. As one of our Visionaries it has been a pleasure to work alongside Greg in securing business events to Tasmania that leave positive long-lasting benefits for the state.

To learn more about this program head over to the Visionary Page.