It is with great sadness we farewell two of our great alumni: Suzanne Clark, a passionate educator who was instrumental in the establishment of the Ecolinc centre, and Roger Palmer, artist, typographer, writer, critic and all round man of ideas.
Suzanne Clark, who passed away on 25 January 2015, completed both a Bachelor of Science and a Diploma of Education in the 1970s,at La Trobe University, where she met and married fellow student, Gary Clark.
Suzanne had a passion for teaching, even playing at being a teacher with her sister growing up. After graduation, Suzanne taught science and mathematics at Ardeer High School, where she took great pleasure in teaching her mostly migrant students about Australia's natural heritage. She went on to teach at Sunshine Secondary and Melbourne Girls' College before becoming involved in the development of the Ecolinc Centre at Bacchus Marsh. In 2014, 16,000 students participated in Ecolinc's outreach and centre programs.
Suzanne was also a great supporter of her husband Gary's academic career, in his PhD studies and his position as a lecturer in soil science at La Trobe University.
Roger Palmer's keen interest in art, geography and creative thinking coincided early in his life, when as a boy he drew a very accurate map of Blagdon, his home village in Somerset – very much against war time regulations. He hid the map in his wallet – until 2014.
Roger moved to Australia in 1950 when his father, a Fleet Street journalist, brought the family to Australia to become a picture editor for Melbourne paper. Roger completed a Bachelor of Arts Honours in 1991 and was a long standing Art History chapter committee member.
Roger spent many hours in the Agora discussing art, archaeology, history, politics and geography – he was a man of wide interests, as reflected in his multi-layered career. Although he told his children to 'just put artist' in forms asking for their father's occupation, Roger pursued many professions in his lifetime.
He was an artist and art critic, but also a curator and valuer, a writer, a printer, a typographer and designer. He was a broadcaster for the ABC and a farmer in Lyonville; the owner of a newspaper in Chiltern and an animation theorist. He worked in public relations and advertising. Roger Palmer was a man of ideas.