Dave's journey through CQUni's first four decades
Published on 15 May, 2012
While many of CQUniversity's founding fathers and pioneers are commemorated by names on buildings, Dave Cardnell still strides confidently through the campus on his way to his office, more than 40 years after first reporting for duty.
It will be the end of an era when he finally retires as an employee on Thursday, May 17.
Dave started work back in 1969 at the then two-year-old Queensland Institute of Technology (Capricornia), which later gained university status* and changed names several times to become CQUniversity Australia.
He will continue his association with the University as an enrolled student for a while longer as he completes a Graduate Diploma of Learning and Teaching, enabling him to apply for teacher registration so he can seek contract work as a maths and physics specialist in the high school system.
That's right! After more than 40 years as a lecturer, Dave is looking forward to being a classroom teacher.
"The interaction with young people helps keep you agile and young," he says.
Originally a Londoner, Dave started his career in electronics with the English Electric Valve Company, researching colour TV tubes, but decided to come to Australia under the '10-pound Pom' migration program. He didn't have a job lined up but had been interviewed for a teaching position by staff at Queensland House in London.
Arriving in Sydney in February, 1969, he discovered he had a job waiting for him in Rockhampton. Catching the Rocky Mail train was then the quickest travel option (although the 'dining car' consisted of a guaranteed meal stop in Gladstone).
Dave began teaching in shared premises at the TAFE building in Bolsover Street before moving out to the newly constructed science buildings on the current northside campus.
He was living in the residential building at one end of campus and teaching evening classes in the science buildings at the other end, with plenty of scrub in between.
"As a newly-arrived Englishman the cries of the curlews were really spooky at night," he said.
After gaining additional qualifications in semiconductive physics (he's also completed degrees in business and mathematics), Dave has been able to lecture for electronics, physics, mathematics and computing subjects over the years.
As the only specialist in acoustics in the region, he's also been called on to monitor disco noise on behalf of the liquor licensing authorities, meaning he's spent a few lonely hours in the odd back alley behind nightclubs.
Outside work and study, Dave has been a soccer player and referee (he was once called upon to referee a game when Rockampton hosted the visiting English team Charlton Athletic) and he still enjoys playing squash at the age of 68.
* This year is the 20th anniversary of university status for CQUniversity.