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FAIRNIE, Dr Ian James (1944-)

FAIRNIE, Dr Ian James (1944-)

Veterinarian and community development activist, Ian Fairnie was educated at Geelong College from his kindergarten years, commencing in 1948, until his departure in 1961. He was a School Prefect in 1961. After completing his secondary education he was accepted into the Veterinary Science Course at the University of Melbourne in 1962, becoming a resident at Ormond College.

Ian began graduate life as a practicing veterinarian in 1968, teaching part-time at the Preparatory School to help pay off his university fees. He moved to WA with his new wife Helen Jones in 1969 and over the next 10 years undertook graduate studies in Education and completed a PhD at Murdoch University. In 1983 he was appointed Dean and Director of the Muresk Institute at Curtin University, and six years later became Executive Vice-President of Curtin University WA Ltd, based in the USA. In this position, he was charged with overseeing US fundraising for The John Curtin Centre in Perth, and developing links to a number of US universities and colleges, with the aim of attracting their students to study abroad at Curtin. Returning to Curtin in 1995, Ian helped write Curtin's successful submission for the Federal Government's audit of Australian universities relating to community service and research, and shortly afterwards was appointed Director of External & Community Relations.

lan's main focus as Dean of Community Life is the building of formal linkages between Curtin and its many neighbours through Service Learning programs involving US study abroad students as well as local students. He nurtured the development of Curtin Volunteers in 1993; developed Service Abroad programs for US and European university students; an experience program with the Wongatha Wonganarra Aboriginal community in Laverton WA.; Asian Study Tours and the John Curtain Day from 2000 onwards. He has overseen a number of multicultural festivals at Curtin such as the annual Curtin Mundjah and "BeanAid -Curtin's Big Event", which collected food for children in Western Australia. He has been National President of the Australian Veterinary Association in 1989-90, and a foundation Board member of the International Food and Agribusiness Management Association 1990-1997, organising its World Congress in Jakarta in 1997. In 2002, Ian co-founded the Alchemist Foundation, dedicated to connecting young Australians to communities for mutual benefit. He is a director of Foodbank, WA, the board of EdVentures WA, and Volunteering WA and a member of the Community Advisory Group for Borotiia Pre-release Centre for Women. Ian's recreational interests include the pipe organ, and he has been a volunteer church organist since 1966.
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