Read by David Thurley 


Ian was born in Sydney to Joan and Keith just as World War II was ending. He referred to himself as a war surplus baby.

He was a very genuine, unassuming and extremely modest man, despite his considerable achievements. He put the needs of his family, students, colleagues and friends ahead of his own.

He was an extrovert in many ways and liked to perform and entertain. We all remember his antics and accents. Despite this he was also a very private person.

Although contributing significantly to many areas of research, he considered his family his greatest achievement.

Over the years, our family expanded as we “adopted” his other children - students and post docs.

His love of fine wine and food remained with him to the end. We dined at Lake House in Daylesford just over a week ago, taking on the full degustation menu, enjoying a little sparkling and a bottle Bass Phillip Pinot, which he had been pursuing for some time.

Music was one of his greatest passions. He had the most eclectic collection imaginable, AND he liked it LOUD. His favourites ranged from Miles Davis, Muddy Waters, The Beatles, Cream, Hendrix, Janice Joplin, Bob Dylan and Leonard Cohen through to Judas Priest. He was a fan of Jazz, Blues, ancient choral, Russian  and European Classical.

Sport was another passion. He was a cricket tragic AND a Collingwood supporter.

He loved literature and was an extremely fast reader, who recalled every detail. He discussed ancient English works, Arthurian legends, History, Russian literature, the Bible, Steinbeck and Hemmingway at length.

He loved Patrick White, but hated Dickens and Jane Austen. He always DID have strong opinions.

Art obsessed him, once again with really broad tastes. His favourite artists were Brett Whitely, Picasso and Rodin.

Whenever he earned extra money, he bought an artwork. His latest acquisition was an original Percival, bought just weeks ago. He was delighted with his purchase.

Despite all these interests, he was a workaholic.

Science was his life, he was genuinely excited by his own research, but also by others’ research, not directly in his areas of interest.

His illness was cruel, but he always managed to spark up when people visited.

Despite the hardships of the last 18 months, he continued to do his research. In mid- December, he devised a research plan for himself for the next few years. He was constantly coming up with new ideas and new things to try.

His enthusiasm was endless.

He wasn’t ready to go.

He was proud of his 3 children and devastated by the death of Stuart.

He often remarked he was very happy with his choice of his son and daughter in law. Accepting them completely and loving them dearly.

His grandchildren, Soren and Matisse, were a delight for him. He enjoyed them in a way unique to grandchildren.

He was our paparazzi, lurking behind his camera. He loved to photograph events and people, with candid shots his speciality.

Ian, the gentleman and scholar, always had a handkerchief for the ladies.

He seems to have left a few around for us today.