Co-Founder, Past Presidents & Former Committee Members
Richard Heathcote was a co-founder of the La Trobe Society with John Drury and Dianne Reilly. He served as Vice-President from 2001 until 2005 when he left Victoria to take up his position as Director of Carrick Hill Estate in South Australia.
W Bruce Nixon
Bruce Nixon was the first President of the La Trobe Society, retiring towards the end of 2001 due to ill-health. He was the Publisher of two works on Charles Joseph La Trobe:
Charles Joseph La Trobe: Landscapes and Sketches, State Library of Victoria in association with Tarcoola Press and the National Trust of Australia (Victoria), 1999, and
Charles Joseph La Trobe: Australian Notes 1839-1854, Tarcoola Press in association with the State Library of Victoria and Boz Publishing, 2006.
Professor A G L Shaw AO
Alan Shaw had degrees from The Universities of Melbourne, Oxford and Newcastle. He taught history at Melbourne, Sydney and Monash Universities. Amongst his numerous publications, his works included A History of the Port Phillip District (1996), Gipps-La Trobe Correspondence (1989), Sir George Arthur 1784-1854: A Biography (1980), Convicts and the Colonies (1966 and 1977), The Story of Australia (1960), Economic Development of Australia (1944, 1980), and Modern World History (1961). He was President of the La Trobe Society from 2002 to 2003.
Rodney Davidson AO OBE
Rodney Disney Davidson, was by profession, a solicitor and a company director. He was for many years also a patron of Victoria’s arts and heritage. Rodney was Emeritus President and Emeritus Chairman of the National Trust and was appointed President of the La Trobe Society in 2003, which position he held until 2009. He was President of the Friends of the Baillieu Library from 1978 to 1996 and its Patron from 2002 to 2016; he was Chairman of the W R Johnston Trust from 1995 to 2009.
Professor John Barnes
John Barnes, MA (Melb), MA (Cantab) is Emeritus Professor of English at La Trobe University where he taught for 25 years specialising in Australian literature. He edited The La Trobe Journal for the State Library of Victoria Foundation from 1998 to 2007 and was a committee member of the La Trobe Society from 2003 to 2006. John’s interest in La Trobe has a personal aspect, as his great-grandmother came from a Swiss family which emigrated to Victoria from the canton of Neuchâtel in 1854. His biography, La Trobe: Traveller, Writer, Governor, was published in 2017: ‘a fresh, well-rounded view of a civilised man’, Andrew Lemon.
Peter Corlett OAM
Peter Corlett is a leading sculptor, who has contributed many fine works to the Australian and international landscape. He is best known for his full-figure sculptures cast in bronze, especially his memorial works. His portrait C J La Trobe, commissioned by the La Trobe Society and unveiled by our patron, the then Governor of Victoria, Professor David de Krester, on the forecourt of the State Library of Victoria in November 2006, is one of his finest works. Other commissions have included Sir Edward “Weary” Dunlop (1995, Canberra and Melbourne), Cobbers (1998, Fromelles), Four Victorian Premiers (1999, Treasury Place, Melbourne) and Australian Lighthorse memorial (2008, Be’er Sheva, Israel). Peter was a member of the committee from 2010 and joint Vice-President from 2011 to 2013.
Peter Lovell is a Director of Lovell Chen, a contemporary architectural practice with more than 30 years experience in design and heritage. An established authority in the field of conservation, research and investigation, Peter’s deep understanding of traditional materials and methods expands the range and possibilities of contemporary designs, as well as underwriting the role of Lovell Chen as expert witnesses and consultants to national and state statutory planning and heritage bodies. Peter is a foundation member of the La Trobe Society and served as Acting President in 2010.
Robyn is an architectural historian, an interior designer and a heritage consultant. She is a director of Anthemion Consultancies, a former associate director at Lovell Chen and a past president of Australia ICOMOS (International Council on Monuments and Sites). Robyn served on the Editorial Committee of the La Trobe Society from 2009 to 2010.
Judith Ryles OAM
Judith Ryles is a Fellow of the Home Economics Institute of Australia and was a Senior Lecturer in Food and Nutrition at Deakin University. She is a director of the Ursula Hoff Institute, a member of the University of Melbourne Animal Ethics Committee, a member of the National Council of Women of Victoria, founding member of the Redmond Barry Society, and a founding donor of the Felton Society of the National Gallery of Victoria. Judith served on the Events Committee from 2010 to 2016.
Tim is a retired solicitor with interests in historical research and archaeology. He is an eighth generation descendant of Henry Antes, the leader of the Moravian community in Pennsylvania in the mid-eighteenth century, who was the great-grandfather of Charles Joseph La Trobe. Tim served on the committee from 2012 to 2014.
Lorraine Finlay is the former owner/manager of a Melbourne commercial art gallery. She previously worked in the Old Treasury Building Museum and was a personal assistant to the curators and educational services at the National Gallery of Victoria. In her role as Volunteer Property Manager of La Trobe’s Cottage, Lorraine was a member of the committee from 2011 to 2016.
Fay Woodhouse is a professional historian who has written histories for the university, public, community and private sectors. In 2017 she edited and published Robert Russell: artist of early Melbourne by Patricia Hawkins. Fay is a Fellow of the School of Historical and Philosophical Studies, University of Melbourne, and was a Victorian researcher for the Australian Dictionary of Biography 2010-2019. She was editor of La Trobeana, 2002-2008, and a continuing member of the Editorial Committee from 2014 to the present. She also served on the Events Committee.
Daryl Ross is a retired business executive and former export consultant. His Swiss great-grandfather, Louis Ernest Leuba, was one of a number of enterprising young Swiss who settled in Victoria during the early 1850s. Daryl’s interest in the family associations with Neuchâtel, which he has visited many times, triggered his interest in the La Trobe Society when it was first formed. He served on the Committee from 2010 to 2018, and was Vice Chair until 2016, then subsequently a member of the Events Committee.