Alan was appointed to the English Department at La Trobe in 1970. He retired from the History program in 2008 but remained active in his research and writing as an Emeritus Professor of History at La Trobe. Alan served in many roles during his career at the University, including Head of Department and Head of School.
Alan played a significant role in the early years of the University’s Mildura campus. He relocated to Mildura to provide academic leadership on campus after the establishment of the standalone campus site in 2003. Alan’s arrival in Mildura was a timely development for the University and the Mildura community, with enrolments expanding significantly during this period. Alan forged many local connections during his time in Mildura and built relationships that were important in helping the University to become embedded in Mildura and part of the local community.
Alan’s contribution to Mildura and the surrounding community was not limited to his work at the University, however. Alan’s reputation and profile in the literary community meant he was instrumental in drawing many influential figures to Mildura to present lectures to the community, including Clive James, Mario Vargas Llosa, and Alfredo Conde. Alan was also a key figure in the expansion of the Mildura Writer’s Festival and the publication of a set of essays in honour of Les Murray.
La Trobe Vice-Chancellor Professor John Dewar AO said that Alan would be remembered by his colleagues and students with great affection.
“I offer them, and his loved ones, my sincere condolences. He leaves behind a remarkable legacy that will endure for many years to come,” Professor Dewar said.