CSU pays tribute to Theo Barker

8 JULY 2003

Over 100 years of learning on the site of Charles Sturt University’s Bathurst campus was vividly brought to life by local historian Theo Barker who died yesterday, Wednesday 6 August.

Over 100 years of learning on the site of Charles Sturt University’s Bathurst campus was vividly brought to life by local historian Theo Barker who died yesterday, Wednesday 6 August, at the age of 84.

CSU Vice-Chancellor Ian Goulter said Mr Barker had made a highly significant contribution to Bathurst’s academic life. 

“From his appointment to the staff of Bathurst Teachers’ College in 1956, Mr Barker played a major role in the academic life of a generation of students, in particular encouraging a love of history through his position as Head of the Social Science Department at Mitchell College of Advanced Education and later as the Head of History and Geography.”

“However his association with the institution did not end on his retirement in 1979,” said Professor Goulter. “He went on to write a definitive history entitled “The Story of Three Colleges” which brought to life the story of education on this site from 1895 up until the late 1980s when plans for a university were first being formulated.”

“Drawing on Mr Barker’s extraordinarily extensive knowledge of local history, the book covered the period from the time the land was first used as a government reserve and a racecourse, through its time as an Agricultural Experiment Farm, an army ordinance depot during World War Two and up to the formation of a teachers’ college and beyond.”

Professor Goulter believes that the Bathurst community is poorer for the loss of such an eminent historian. “The collection of his books covering 200 hundred years of European settlement vividly brings the district’s past to life. Mr Barker’s meticulous research and attention to detail have left Bathurst with an invaluable historical resource and his legacy to Charles Sturt University is a sense of the past and an educational tradition.”

“On behalf of the staff of CSU, past and present, we offer our sincere condolences to Mr Barker’s family and many friends and colleagues,” said Professor Goulter.

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Bathurst Charles Sturt University