House debates

Thursday, 8 September 2022

Statements by Members

Matthews, Professor Brian Ernest

1:39 pm

Photo of Rebekha SharkieRebekha Sharkie (Mayo, Centre Alliance) Share this | | Hansard source

I wish to advise the House of the passing of a distinguished Australian academic and acclaimed writer from my electorate of Mayo. Professor Brian Ernest Matthews was born in St Kilda in 1936 and passed away in June this year. His first academic posting was in 1967 at the Bedford Park Teachers College in Adelaide before joining the English department of Flinders University. Professor Matthews held several prestigious academic positions. He was a Fulbright scholar in residence at the University of Oregon, and in 1990 he became the chair of the literature board of the Australia Council.

In 1993 he was appointed as head of the Menzies Centre for Australian Studies at the University of London. In 1996 he became a foundation director of the Australian-Europe institute at Victoria University, a position he held until 2003. He accepted visiting professorial roles at the universities of Venice, Trento and Lecce. Publications included his treatise on Henry Lawson and biographies of Manning Clark and Richie Benaud. Other notable works included The Temple Down the Road, about the MCG.

Professor Matthews's contribution to our national literary history is immense, and I'm sure he will be studied, enjoyed and discussed by many generations to come. Vale Professor Matthews.