The conference took place in January 2018 at the University of Western Australia, Perth and will cover the range of areas where Rasch measurement theory is applied, including Education, Psychology, Health, Marketing and Social science. The GSE offered an award in honour of the contributions by the late Professor Tim Dunne of The University of Cape Town to Rasch measurement theory and practice in South Africa and his period at GSE, University of Western Australia. The award constitutes registration fees and pre-conference Advanced Course in Rasch Measurement Theory in addition to the airfare and accommodation for the duration of the course and conference. All the finalists have also been granted free access to the UWA online Rasch courses.
Prof Dunne was convinced about the power of Rasch measurement theory to support the research community in providing a means of validating assessment instruments, and so enabling social justice. He promoted Rasch measurement in South Africa, through international workshops and courses in Cape Town allowing many young scholars to learn about Rasch measurement. In January 2015, Prof Dunne hosted the Sixth International Conference on Rasch models bringing together colleagues from all over the world. He leaves a legacy towards the utilisation of Rasch measurement in South Africa and in many other countries on the continent.
In May 2017, International adjudicators evaluated the submissions and the top four South Africans were selected and sent to the GSE committee at the University of Western Australia. The committee selected the winner, Ms Combrinck who is currently studying towards a PhD in the Department of Educational Psychology at the University of Pretoria. Ms Combrick’s thesis is article-based and focuses on solving measurement problems in the social sciences. She is responsible for programme management for research projects and psychometrics.