Vale Professor Peter Karmel

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Tuesday, 13 Jan 2009

Issued 13 January 2009
Vale Professor Peter Karmel

Staff of the Australian Council for Educational Research (ACER) have been saddened by the passing of former Chair of the ACER Council,

Professor Peter Karmel, AC, who died on 30 December at the age of 86. Professor Karmel played a very significant role in the history and development of ACER. He was a member of ACER Council for more than 30 years, from 1968 to 1999, and Chair of the Council from 1979 to 1999.

During the thirty years in which he was associated with ACER, Professor Karmel worked with four of ACER’s five chief executives (Bill Radford, John Keeves, Barry McGaw and Geoff Masters) and was directly involved in the appointment of three.

Professor Karmel was also Vice-Chancellor of the Australian National University, Founding Principal of Flinders University South Australia, and the author of several major reports on tertiary and school education.

He chaired the Interim Committee of the Australian Schools Commission which produced a report that had a major influence on the direction of schooling in Australia.

In 1998, on the 25th anniversary of the release of that report, ACER held two research conferences in Professor Karmel’s honour, one on higher education and one on school education.

“Professor Karmel made an enormous contribution to Australian education over many years and ACER was fortunate indeed to have benefited from his close involvement and leadership of the organisation for more than thirty years,” said ACER chief executive Professor Geoff Masters. “Our thoughts are with his wife and family.”