lundi 16 avril 2012
Vale Bruce Bennett
It is with much sadness that ASAL marks Bruce Bennett’s death early on Saturday April 14. Bruce’s staff profile as Emeritus Professor in the School of Humanities and Social Sciences at the University of New South Wales, ADFA, lists some of his most important publications and the public honours he was awarded. It also offers a snapshot into the international connections Bruce fostered as part of his project to educate scholars and foster interest in Australian Literature (http://hass.unsw.adfa.edu.au/staff/profiles/bennett.html). It does not, however, capture Bruce’s extensive involvement in ASAL. Bruce became a member of the first elected ASAL executive in 1978, as the West Australian representative. He went on to become the 3rd ASAL President in 1983 succeeding Brian Kiernan. That year he, with his WA colleagues particularly Delys Bird, organised the first WA conference.
Bruce was appointed to the Australia-India Council in 2002. He was a tireless promoter of Australian Literature particularly in India but also in Europe, the USA, the Philippines, Singapore and Malaysia. As his friend and colleague Ken Stewart has noted: ‘Nobody was a better conduit between ASAL and just about any relevant contact or committee you could name, especially concerning overseas links, or concerning Australian Literature as a professional institution and body of knowledge for educational study.'
Bruce Bennett's funeral will be held at 11 am on Friday, April 20th, at All Saints, Ainslie, ACT.