Deakin pioneer a ‘generous achiever’

PROFESSOR Colin Ferguson will be remembered as one of Australia’s most respected accounting academics whose research included the magnitude of corporate fraud.

He died last week at the age of 64 in St John of God Hospital Warrnambool after a battle with cancer.

Deakin University will commemorate his life during a ceremony in April at the Sherwood Park campus where he started his career when it was the Warrnambool Institute of Advanced Education (WIAE). He helped design the campus golf course and establish the Sharks football team.

Later he helped develop the Deakin University medical school.

Professor Ferguson was born and schooled in Warrnambool where he attended the Christian Brothers College (later incorporated into Emmanuel College). He took pride in his 2011 induction as an Emmanuel College alumni and followed the unwritten CBC ethos “to achieve anything in life requires considerable effort, there are no short cuts”.

The college last week described him as a   “very humble and generous achiever”. 

Professor Ferguson graduated from WIAE with a diploma of business studies and later obtained four more diplomas and masters and a PhD plus achieving fellow status as an accountant.

He was appointed lecturer at WIAE in 1975 and taught many local students who went on to work in accounting businesses across the district and further afield.

His career also included professor appointments at the University of Queensland and Melbourne University.

Work colleague Pro­fessor Graeme Wines of Deakin’s Warrnambool campus said Professor Ferguson was particularly influential in his career development and for those of many others.

“He acted as a mentor for so many academics, not just at Warrnambool, but throughout Aus­tralia,” Professor Wines said.

“He was incredibly effective in including others in his research projects, enabling them to build up research reputations of their own and advance their careers.”

Colin Ferguson is survived by his wife Yvonne and children Sam, Kate, Joseph and Patrick and a grandchild.


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