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Retirement of Mr. W.J. Weeden

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Embargo: p.m. Sunday 16 August


The Commonwealth Minister for Education and Science, the Hon. Nigel Bowen, Q.C., announced today that Mr W.J. Weeden, O.B.E., M.A., Dip.Ed., F.A.C.E., had retired from the Commonwealth Department of Education and Science. The Minister commented on Mr Weeden's distinguished services to Australian education.

After outstanding work in the New South Wales Department of Education,Mr Weeden joined the Commonwealth service in 1943 as Secretary to the Universities Commission, the first Commonwealth Government instrumentality with direct responsibilities for education.

In 1946 he became Assistant Director of the newly established Commonwealth Office of Education in which position he played a central role in developing the Commonwealth Reconstruction Training Scheme and the first Commonwealth assistance to universities.

In 1953 Mr Weeden succeeded Professor R.C. Mills as Director of the Commonwealth Office of Education, and on the absorption of the Commonwealth Office of Education into the Department of Education and Science in 1967 became a Senior Assistant Secretary in that Department.

Mr Bowen said that during his career Mr Weeden had played a most important part in the formulation of a number of Commonwealth programs in education. As Chairman of the Commonwealth Scholarships Board he had been responsible for the administration and development of various types of Commonwealth assistance to students at universities, colleges of advanced education, technical colleges and secondary schools.



Mr Weeden had been Chairman of the Australian National Advisory Committee for Unesco which had fostered many worthwhile activities in the fields of education, science and culture and had been a member ofthe Australian delegation to many Unesco general conferences. Mr Weeden had also led the Australian

delegation at several international educational meetings. In 1962 he was educational adviser to a mission sent to Iran by the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development.

In recent years Mr Weeden had been Chairman of two major educational inquiries: on educational television services in 1964 and on education in Papua and New Guinea in 1969.

He was a Founder Member of the Australian College of Education in 1959 and became a Fellow of the College in 1961.

Over and above these responsibilities, however, Mr Weeden had made a most important contribution to the development of the Commonwealth's policies and programs in education.