Page 4252 - Week 11 - Thursday, 17 Sept 2009

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School. He developed links with University House from then. He organised the Canberra Chamber Music Society there. He remained interested in the ANU and became a generous benefactor in recent years, especially to Indigenous education and sustainable energy.

Ken’s wife, Jean, was passionate about growing Australian plants from the 1950s when that was sufficient to be described as an un-Australian activity. His daughter, Isobel, is a botanist. She describes it that, in sheer self-defence, he became interested in Australian plants and a proud and generous benefactor of the Australian National Botanic Garden. In his retirement, from 1977 to 1991, Ken firstly ran the Lifeline book fair then later, being the statistician, reorganised their collection of statistics.

Ken was a World War II RAAF navigator and flew on 27 missions over Germany until his plane was shot down and he managed to limp back across the channel to England. He was awarded the distinguished flying medal.

Career-wise, before his war service, Ken worked firstly for Nugget Coombs in the Commonwealth Rationing Commission and, subsequently, for the Australian Treasury. After completing a master’s thesis at the London School of Economics entitled The application of sampling to the collection of official statistics he moved to the Commonwealth Bureau of Census and Statistics, now the Australian Bureau of Statistics, from 1952 to 1977. He rose to become the Director of Census, and he saw as his greatest achievement there putting the 1966 census on computer.

Ken, in summary, was an unassuming quiet achiever. He came from a very large and loving Presbyterian family with high standards who expected their members to contribute to society. He felt sometimes he did not measure up to his better known brothers, historian Max and the economist Jack, later well known to many more as Sir John Crawford. He was a wonderful man and he had two wonderful children.

Mr Roland Manderson


MS BURCH (Brindabella) (6.07): I want to convey my regards to Roland. I am new in this Assembly and share the first floor. He was, as they say, one of the colourful characters on the first floor. I will indeed miss his coloured hair and his braces but, more importantly, the whistling along the corridors. So I wish you well, Roland.

I rise in this adjournment debate to talk about the opposition’s definition of quality teachers. From time to time when sleep eludes me I gather various journals and papers as good reading material. Recently I was flipping through the pages of one such journal—Voltairium—the journal of the ACT Young Liberal Movement, or perhaps the “tiny tories”, as they are known.

Normally, such a dreary and backward looking publication would send me gently off to sleep back to an image of the 1950s. But as I was flicking through this particular edition I was unable to fall gently asleep. In fact, it made me more alert and it made me wary of ACT Liberal policy.

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