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Gardener's Corner ~ 8 

From Denise M Reghenzani, PhD


Plaudits for Professor Chris Duke

Early on, Chris Duke was an enigma, a man of mystery and myth who was based in distant Canberra and heading up Continuing Education when I first heard of him.  He was known as a powerhouse in adult education circles and a catalyst for continuing education.

I was in Queensland and travelling throughout the state for the Education Department, supporting personal and community development within the Rural Youth Organisation.  From working with young adults, it was a natural progression to move into further education with TAFE – all we did was based on adult learning principles.  I knew that Chris ‘had it’ when it came to policy and action for people to be given opportunities to continue learning beyond formal education and wished we had his expertise at higher levels in our Department and Universities.

We met eventually through the PASCAL International Observatory and his zeal to reach a broader network was impressive.  Then he tackled new topics through initiatives such as conferences and fulfilled further research and documentation individually or with international colleagues.  This has been undertaken with energy and bright ideas.

Another undertaking was to create and lead PIMA in developing further in-depth material on pertinent issues confronting communities.  This is more than a clearinghouse, but an exploration into original, deep and futures thinking.

Chris embraces diverse cultures and heritage.  On a personal level this does not only come through in his written work, but also in his transnational living choices with Liz.  With a generous and open spirit, we were invited to his millhouse in France.  One could feel his pride in having and honouring this piece of history with workings and weights intact, as well as his knowledge of the surrounding district.  This respect indicates his bridging of divides.

Chris Duke is a man of stature and legacy.

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