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  • Writer's pictureThe Hon. Paul Toole MP


Bathurst is the latest recipient of a Blue Plaque located at the TAFE NSW Bathurst Campus.

The plaque is one of 35 in the state and honours two pioneering educators who resided in Bathurst during the gold rush era.

William John Clunies Ross was a passionate scientist and teacher who helped shape modern day Bathurst and the Central West of NSW. He is closely connected to the history of technical education and training in Bathurst. William helped grow a small technical school into the Bathurst Technical College, now TAFE NSW’s thriving Bathurst campus.

His youngest son William Ian Clunies Ross (known as Ian) followed his father into a career in science. Starting in veterinary science, he turned his innovative research into parasitology into the eventual role of Chair of what would become the CSIRO. Ian played an instrumental role in the release of myxomatosis for rabbit control in Australia.

Knighted in 1954, Ian is remembered for his successful leadership of the CSIRO and appeared on the reverse of Australia’s $50 banknote between 1973 and 1995.

Member for Bathurst Paul Toole was there to unveil the new plaque.

“This is a first for the Bathurst community and it is rightly so we recognise locals like William and Ian who were founding figures of the community we live in today,” Mr Toole said.

“This is a great honour for the town and for TAFE NSW, I encourage everyone to visit this Blue Plaque.”

Regional Executive Director for Education and Skills, Adam Bennett was also in attendance.

“Like William Clunies Ross, TAFE NSW Bathurst is focused on delivering high-quality education and training that meets the needs of our local industries,” Mr Bennett said.

“It is a privilege to be able to display a Heritage NSW Blue Plaque in his honour and uphold his legacy of education and training at our campus.”

Blue Plaques are an initiative of Heritage NSW connecting people to the hidden history and heritage of NSW. They share the fascinating stories of the people and events that were important in shaping our state.


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