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Murdered professor mourned by colleagues and union at Curtin University

Posted 21 December 2012 by Carmel Shute (NTEU National Office)

Colleagues at Curtin University in Western Australia are mourning the loss of Professor Gavin Mooney who was murdered, along with his partner Dr Delys Weston, in Tasmania this week.

Before semi-retiring in 2008 and moving to Tasmania, Professor Mooney, 69, had been Director of the Social and Public Health Economics Research Group and Professor of Health Economics at Curtin University in Perth. He was a very active member of the National Tertiary Education Union (NTEU) from 2003-2009.

Jan Sinclair-Jones, NTEU Curtin Branch President, said that Professor Mooney was very highly regarded both as a scholar and person.

“Professor Mooney was Australia’s leading health economist and a ‘founding father’ in this newish field internationally – an achievement recognised by the University of Cape Town which awarded him an Honorary Degree in Social Sciences in 2009,” she said.

“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. Since moving to Tasmania last year, he’s contributed to The Mercury's coverage of health issues.”

Sinclair-Jones said that Professor Mooney had been a good friend and she was personally shattered by the tragic news.

“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,” she said.

His partner, Dr Weston, 62, wrote her PhD on the political economy of global warming at Curtin University. She 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. Dr Weston's 27-year-old son from a previous relationship, Nicholau Francisco Soares, was charged yesterday (20 December) with two counts of murder.

Dr Mooney has published over 250 academic papers including over 20 books, most recently Challenging Health Economics (OUP, 2009) and A Handbook on Citizens’ Juries ( in 2010. He was currently writing a book on the political economy of health for Zed Books.

Media enquiries: Carmel Shute, NTEU Media Officer: 0412 569 356;

Media comment: Jan Sinclair-Jones, NTEU Curtin Branch president: 0417 953 822;



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