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Heritage Guide to The Geelong College






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HARBISON, Charles Eric (1922-1910)

HARBISON, Charles Eric (1922-1910)

Charles Harbison, arboculturalist and Geelong College staff member from 1970 to 1981 at both the Preparatory and Senior Schools was notable for his early involvement in the teaching of Environmental Science at the College. He died on 10 June, 2010. He was born at Armadale on 24 April, 1922 and attended Melbourne Grammar’s Grimwade House which was just across the road from where his family lived and later, Geelong Grammar School from 1937 to 1940. From 1941 to 1946 he served in the RANR as an able seaman on minesweepers, mainly in Northern Australian and New Guinea waters.

After the war, he studied Forestry, gaining his Diploma in Canberra in 1950, later adding a BSc from Melbourne University in 1954. He worked for many years for the State and Federal Governments, including 4 years with the NSW Forestry Commission, several years with Northern Territory Forests and 12 years as Logging and Plantation Managers with both Saxon Timber and Alstergren. When he was appointed to the Geelong College in 1970 it was to teach Agricultural Science at the Senior School, a subject later subsumed into the wider curriculum of Environmental Science. This required him to gain teaching qualifications, which he did through night-school at Box Hill. During his period at the College he was a tutor at Warrinn and coached both football and cricket. After he retired from teaching he established a nursery business in Horseshoe Bend Rd which he operated for ten years until he moved to Lovely Banks.

Charles was instrumental in establishing the first Environmental Centre at the Preparatory School at a time when awareness of the associated needs and issues was low. For many years he was a stalwart of the Lord Somers Camp at Balnarring and was particularly proud of leading the project to establish a teak plantation at Naivi ivi in Fiji after the devastation of a cyclone.

Sources: The Age (Melb) 12 June 2010; Harbison Family. CL.
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