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Falconer, Graeme (1946–2004)

from Cooma Monaro Express (NSW)

Graeme Falconer, 1985

Graeme Falconer, 1985

photo supplied by Richard Hopkins

Work colleagues of the late Graeme Falconer, who only learned of his death in 2004 in late December 2011 have compiled a biography with special thanks to Richard Hopkins who was a colleague in 1971 and his successor in Sri Lanka. Graeme was born on 20th May 1946 and passed away on July 7, 2004. He was a gifted writer, a friendly, reserved civil engineer of great intellect, sharing his gifts, benefitting his colleagues and his projects in Australia and overseas.

Graeme was educated in Monaro High School and Normanhurst Boys High School in Sydney. He was awarded a cadetship with Commonwealth of Works to study civil engineering at the University of Sydney. Graduating in 1970 he began working as a civil engineer with the Commonwealth Department of Works, Sydney, in 1970. From 1972 to 1985, Graeme worked on many overseas projects with the Snowy Mountains Engineering Corporation, Cooma, and for a short time with Pak-Poy and Kneebone of Sydney. He was the main pavements and materials engineer and was involved with the SMEC's original road projects in Thailand and Malaysia, including road access to dam projects in Thailand and the Philippines. He was remembered for the dedicated application of his keen intellect and experience, solving problems of building and maintaining roads. In 1982 and 1983 he advised on the preparation of a road and bridge in Central Sri Lanka. Graeme mentored the younger Sri Lankan engineers, including six resident engineers in their role of supervising the various contracts. Richard remembered how social gatherings were enjoyed when he supplied Sri Lankan Arrack. Graeme came with Foster's beer and he travelled to Richard's office from the other end of the project area, over bumpy, dusty pot holed roads to do his job dutifully. Richard considered him as a Guru. In 1985 Graeme returned permanently to Australia and married. In Canberra he joined the Department of Housing and Construction as a Supervising Engineer, in the aerodromes and roads branch. In the late 1980s he retired to live with his wife near Devonport in Tasmania, where contact with his many colleagues ceased, but in 2012 they assembled to record their work experience with him, on learning of his death from diabetes seven years earlier.

Original publication

  • Cooma Monaro Express (NSW), 14 February 2012, p 4

Other Obituaries for Graeme Falconer

Citation details

'Falconer, Graeme (1946–2004)', Obituaries Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University, http://oa.anu.edu.au/obituary/falconer-graeme-14593/text25715, accessed 18 September 2019.

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