Ron Witton

 
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At Sydney University I got interested in the Indonesian language and did a BA and MA in Indonesian and Malayan Studies before going to Cornell University to do a Ph.D. in Sociology (on Indonesia). I then lectured in sociology/American Studies/ Indonesian language/South East Asian studies at a variety of universities (including Flinders University in Adelaide, University of the South Pacific in Suva, Wollongong University, and Gajah Mada University in Yogyakarta) before settling down here in Austinmer on the south coast.

I now have a pleasant life with a variety of part-time positions. I am a member of three tribunals (Refugee Review Tribunal, Social Security Appeals Tribunal and the NSW Mental Health Review Tribunal). I am an accredited Indonesian/Malaysian interpreter/translator and chair the examination panel for Indonesian and Malaysian for the National Accreditation Authority for Translators and Interpreters. I do occasional lecturing at the University of Malaysia in Sarawak, and once a year lecture in Communication Skills at the University of Wollongong's Faculty of Law. I am also an accredited mediator for the Community Justice Centre and the Migration Agents' Registration Authority.

I had two children from my marriage to Bet Witton (ex-NSGH), one of whom (Dan, age 32) is a musician/composer/performer (and who is finally about to make me a grandfather), and the other (Patrick, age 29) is a writer/editor for Lonely Planet. I am now re-partnered and have a son (Celli, aged 12) and a daughter (Tosca, aged 9) and enjoy doing canteen duty at Austinmer Public School.

While my memories of NSBH are still in many ways quite vivid and lasting, I still cringe at my acceptance of the authoritarianism of the place and my contribution to that culture through having been a prefect and a C.U.O. On the other hand, the recent and enjoyable memories of others have certainly reminded me of many aspects of those five years that I had forgotten but now can clearly recall.