There was widespread regret when news of the death of our friend and colleague Ken Clements reached FedUni. Happy memories were shared and much laughter rang out through the sadness.
Known widely around Ballarat for his wit and jovial spirit, Ken also played an important role in the development of the Ballarat College of Advanced Education (a forerunner of FedUni). Appointed as the first registrar to our tertiary institution he took the role on earnestly, and was responsible for initiatives that have since become the norm around Australia. Robert Hook (former Pro Vice-Chancellor Finance) remembered:
“Because of his strong mathematical skills he was able to produce very good data about the student load and in particular future predictions. His foundation set a platform which enabled the new University College and then the University to do so well in meeting the extensive demands of being a member of the unified national system and producing the all-important academic profile.”
Ken was highly regarded by both staff and students. Staff member Mal Vallance remembered Ken during his student days with the following words:
"I will always remember Ken with fondness. He was always immensely supportive when I was a student in the 70s. Always the gentleman and interested in what you were doing. A good man moves on."
In later years Ken was an active member of the FedUni Ballarat Ex-Staff Association, and a valued volunteer with the Geoffrey Blainey Research Centre (GBRC). One of his most used projects in the GBRC is the transcription of Ballarat School of Mines Enrolment Books from 1870-1913. It took three years and many co-opted helpers to complete! Ken was also a great networker and enabled excellent information to be compiled through talking to the people who created our history.
A great lawn bowler, Eurekaphile, amateur historian, mentor and gentleman - he will be missed by many. In the words of former student Erin McCusky:
"Vale the fabulous Ken Clements. A man of extraordinary intellect, talent and great humour."