I applied for a WAIT Geography Lectureship in 1970 and was interviewed in Western Australia House by a state public servant and a Professor from Kings College, London. My resulting (first class, sea) passage to WA was just the start of amazing journey.
In the 1970s, I taught in what became one of the first Bachelor’s degree programmes in 1973, tutored students on the first ‘WAIT in Europe’ study tours, was Foundation President of WAIT Soccer Club and took study leave and LWOP to undertake a PhD at Manchester. In the 1980s, I experienced the change to university status, researched the impact of the Americas Cup on Fremantle, undertook a ‘job swap’ to Plymouth Polytechnic and travelled to Asia as Curtin recruited more international students. In the 1990s, I became Head of School in time for the ‘Vanstone cuts’ to university funding, supervised an increasing number of PGR students (the first of whom is now a Go8 PVC), organised a major international conference in Perth and made a television series for OLA. In the 2000s, I co-edited the journal of the Institute of Australian Geographers and served on the Institute’s Council, researched on tourism and heritage in the Gascoyne, the South West and Canada and became Faculty Dean of R and GS as Curtin’s research trajectory really took off.
I ‘retired’ in 2012 but, as an Emeritus Professor, I still supervise and research and am heavily involved in developing geography at the secondary level in WA schools. I hope to mark my own ‘50th’ at WAIT/Curtin in 2020 but when, as a TAFE Assistant Lecturer, I lobbed in an application to an institution that I had never heard of, I could not have imagined the growth trajectories upon which we both embarked.