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Vale David Curtis

It is with great sadness that we announce to our College community the passing of one of our foundation staff members, Mr David Curtis.

David passed away peacefully in his sleep on Thursday December 7, 2023, aged 83.

David is the first of our founding staff whom we have lost and so it announces the end of an era. We have been very blessed as a community to be able to include all of our foundation staff in College events for more than 40 years.

Founding Principal Frank Millett appointed David at the end of 1981 to oversee the English and French courses. He also shared his skills in outdoor education and as a church organist, later becoming the foundation Head of McConchie House in 1989.

David’s great love was the outdoors and bushwalking with most of his leisure time spent exploring the Australian wilderness. Many students on Duke of Edinburgh hikes and camps were surprised to discover that he could easily out-walk all of them! His love of adventure in the outdoors continued into retirement up to his mid-70s – including trips to Bhutan, the islands south of New Zealand, and the wild regions near the tip of South America, including Patagonia, Tierra Del Fuego, South Georga and Antarctica.

Inevitably David had a strong interest in environmental matters, and he bought many blocks of land that were significant habitats for flora and fauna. Over time he transferred these to public authorities or environmental groups as nature reserves.

David retired from Beaconhills in 1997, to his beautiful six-acre block in Sassafras bordered by the Perrins and Sassafras Creeks, with his own lyrebirds and hundreds of mature trees. In the 26 years since then, he always keenly attended College anniversaries and reunions to catch up with past staff and students. Only two weeks ago, he was able to enjoy a morning tea in the sun with old colleagues and he was booked to attend the annual Christmas lunch with his fellow foundation staff.

David will be deeply missed by his friends and colleagues and generations of students who blossomed under his wise counsel and guidance.