WAITE, MR PETER

Adjourned debate on motion of Hon. D.W. Ridgway:

That this council—

1. Notes the centenary of Peter Waite's donation of the Urrbrae e state to the University of Adelaide for the study of agriculture;

2. Acknowledges the significant outcomes delivered by the University of Adelaide and, in particular, the Waite C ampus, as a result of this philanthropic gift; and

3. Recognises the position of the Waite Agricultural Research Institute to contribute positively to ensuring global food security and providing Australia's agricultural, wine and food industries with innovative research-led developments.

(Continued from 6 August 2014.)

 

The Hon. J.S.L. DAWKINS ( 21:07 :39 ): I rise to support this motion and congratulate the Hon. Mr Ridgway for bringing it to this chamber. In the last few months, I have been pleased to have had the opportunity to read the book which is known as The Waite, written by Lynette D. Zeitz. I know the use of props in this chamber is out of order, but I do have a copy of the book sitting on my desk. This book is described as 'A social and scientific history of the Waite Agricultural Research Institute'. The cover note on the book says:

The Waite Campus is one of the world’s leading agricultural research and teaching precincts. It is fitting for this updated history to be published in 2014, the 140 years anniversary of the University of Adelaide.

I interpose that it is fitting that only today in this chamber the Hon. Mr McLachlan has moved a motion in regard to that 140th anniversary of the University of Adelaide. The cover note continues:

It is 100 years since Peter Waite formally bequested his Urrbrae property to the University in 1914, and 90  years since the University established the Waite Agricultural Research Institute in 1924.

Former University Registrar V. A. Edgeloe published The First Fifty Years 1924-1974 in 1984.

Since then the Waite Campus has added several large new research institutes and has strengthened its reputation. Lynette Zeitz has completed this detailed but engaging history to bring the story of the Waite Campus up to date. Her approach of focusing on the people, their personalities as well as their commitment to science, creates a lively and definitive work. I certainly enjoyed the book, particularly aspects of the incorporation of Roseworthy Agricultural College and the Waite Institute into the University of Adelaide nearly 20 years ago.

The book also covers various changes in focus of the Waite Campus over many different directors and many different governments and administrations. Those of us who have seen the public sector over a long time probably recognise that those things happened. The Hon. John Darley would be best placed, probably more than anybody here, to comment on the different changes that the public sector has to undergo. The dedicated staff at the Waite and the other facilities that it works with have managed to adjust very well to those changes.

The book also covers all of the other wide-ranging work done at the Waite across many agricultural and horticultural sectors. Lynette Zeitz, the author of the book, is a history graduate of the University of Adelaide and has been the manager of the Urrbrae House Historic Precinct at the Waite since 2008. She is also a visiting research fellow with the university's School of History and Politics. I commend her for covering the history of the Waite in a very interesting manner. It is something that I can recommend wholeheartedly to other members if they are at all interested in the history of science in this state and, of course, the Waite Agricultural Research Institute. I commend the motion to the chamber.