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Kenneth William (Ken) Lockwood (1943–1986)

Ken Lockwood, Senior Technical Officer in the Department of Human Geography, RSPacS, died on 28 October, following a car accident, when he was returning from enjoying the ambience of the Formula One Adelaide Grand Prix.

Motoring and motor-sport had long played a large part in his life, stemming from his concern to teach and practice safe driving to his abiding love for MG cars. It was thus all the more fitting that members of the MG Car Club formed the guard of honour at Ken's funeral in Adelaide on 31 October.

Ken was born in Medindie (Adelaide) on 14 March 1943 and educated at Woodville Primary School and Pulteney Grammar School. He spent brief periods at the E.S. & A. Bank Ltd and British Tube Mills, before joining the South Australian Institute of Technology in 1967 as a laboratory technician.

He was appointed Technical Officer in the Department of Human Geography in 1971, principally to undertake photographic and related work. But he was always searching for new stimuli, more experience and wider responsibilities. This led him to realise the potential of, and largely through his own initiatives develop an expertise in, computer systems, especially those related to computer graphics.

An ANU Australian and Overseas Experience Award in 1984 enabled him to attend a symposium at Zurich (and subsequently meet people elsewhere in Europe) on spatial data handling. This further quickened his interest and enthusiasm for a relatively new, but increasingly important, field in which he thought ANU should be a leader rather than a laggard. Early in 1985 he was promoted to Senior Technical Officer; in 1986 he participated in the Administration Development Program.

Away from work, his life was equally full. He was a member of the Canberra Yacht Club and his 505 was well-known on the Lake. He learned to fly and, more recently, took up gliding as yet another height to be conquered. He loved music, read widely, and knew more than most about Mustang aircraft (few of which are still flying). He was looking forward to buying an Ultralite aircraft and had even organised a landing-strip.

Both within and outside the University, Ken developed a wide and diverse circle of friends. All will remember him as a person they could and often did turn to for practical help and caring advice. Finding solutions to their problems always came first.

Despite his outgoing nature, Ken was also a very private deep-thinking person who deplored insincerity, selfishness and unfairness, and he thus constantly sought to understand the meaning of life. More than anything else Ken's wish would be that his many friends continue to enjoy life to the full, rather than agonise over his sudden and premature departure from it.

Original publication

Citation details

'Lockwood, Kenneth William (Ken) (1943–1986)', Obituaries Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 30 May 2024.

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