Murdered academics fondly remembered

Two university scholars murdered in Tasmania have been mourned by their colleagues, the academics union has said.

Dr Gavin Mooney, 69, a health economist at Curtin University and his partner, Dr Delys Weston, 62, who wrote her PhD on the political economy of global warming at Curtin University were found dead in their home in Tasmania.

Police have accused Dr Weston’s 27-year-old son from a previous relationship, Nicholau Francisco Soares, of murdering the pair with a hammer and a sledgehammer but have yet to outline a possible motive.

Jan Sinclair-Jones, National Tertiary Education Union Curtin Branch President, described Dr Mooney as a founding father of health economics and a good friend.

“He was passionately interested in the impact of poverty and inequality on health and worked at both the university and community level to foster Aboriginal control of Aboriginal health services. Gavin was active in establishing the WA Social Justice Network,” she said in a press release issued by the union.

“Gavin was a lovely person – funny, engaging and a great colleague. He was a fearless champion of justice and totally brave when it came to speaking out to the media. He was much admired by those who worked around him and could always be relied upon to be on the picket line. We will miss him profoundly.”

Dr Mooney had commented on several articles on The Conversation.

Dr Weston, 62, had been a visiting Scholar at the University of KwaZulu Natal in Durban, South Africa and an Honorary Research Associate at the University of Tasmania in the School of Geography and Environmental Science, the union said.

Curtin University Vice-Chancellor, Jeanette Hacket, said in a statement on the university’s website that Dr Mooney “worked at both academic and community levels to pave the way for Aboriginal control of Aboriginal health services.”

“Gavin’s colleagues will remember him as a brilliant academic who wanted to make a difference,” she said.

“I extend my deepest sympathy to Gavin’s family, friends and colleagues.”

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