ACT News


ANU mourns loss of three staff members

The Australian National University community is in mourning after three employees died in a single week.

Stephen Hughes, an administrator at the university for more than 20 years, died suddenly on April 10.

In the days following, Professor David McKendrick of the Research School of Management passed away after a long battle with cancer, and Professor Geoff Mercer from the College of Medicine, Biology and Environment died suddenly on April 13.

Professor Mercer, who is survived by his wife and two daughters, last year received the E.O.Tuck Medal for his ''distinguished record of service to the field of applied mathematics''.

A statement on the university's website said he had a significant impact in turning his skills to infectious disease modelling when he joined the National Centre for Epidemiology and Population Health five years ago.

''As a teacher and mentor he was patient, generous with his time and ideas, and unwavering in his support. He contributed in ways above and beyond what was expected,'' it said.


Professor McKendrick, a professor of strategy and organisation, joined ANU in 2010

''During his time he made a profound and significant contribution to the Research School of Management in the ANU College of Business and Economics,'' the university said. He had been the author or co-author of numerous books and articles on organisational evolution.

Mr Hughes' death came after a medical incident while driving a car on campus.

He played an important role behind the scenes in the university's operations in the examinations, graduations and prizes office and had a reputation of great integrity.

''His diligence in the preparation and security of examination papers, logistical support and examination oversight was highly regarded by his colleagues,'' the university said.

Mr Hughes' funeral will be held on Tuesday at Norwood Park Crematorium, Mitchell. Professor Mercer's funeral will be held at the same venue on Thursday. For information on Professor McKendrick's funeral and memorial service, contact ANU College of Business and Economics' general manager.