Geoffrey Norman Handbury AO
08 August 1925 – 26th November 2019.
A man of energy, integrity and commitment
The Centre for Adolescent Health is enormously grateful to Geoff Handbury AO, a generous benefactor of our work for the past 25 years who died at home in late November, aged 94.
Enthusiastic and energetic, Geoff was one of life’s true gentlemen. In the spirit of his wife Helen and mother-in-law, Dame Elisabeth Murdoch, Geoff was deeply committed to improving the lives of his local community in Western Victoria. He had a great soft spot for vulnerable young people and had been a tremendously generous supporter of the Royal Children’s Hospital, Centre for Adolescent Health for over 25 years. The Centre’s director, Professor Susan Sawyer, holds the inaugural Geoff and Helen Handbury Chair of Adolescent Health at the University of Melbourne through a very generous gift to the RCH Foundation. The Handbury Family Trust at the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute also provides invaluable support of the Centre’s efforts.
Both Susan and Professor George Patton remember with great fondness the annual visit to Hamilton for lunch, always accompanied by a very nice bottle of white wine. This would be followed by an annual ‘quizzing’ of the implications of the Centre’s latest research. Geoff intuitively understood the formative nature of the adolescent and young adult years, and was remarkably canny in seeing the significance of the latest community trends. “I will miss him dearly”, said Susan.
At the memorial service on December 7th, the Minister, Peter Cook, reported a conversation with Geoff when he was recently in hospital that Susan felt was absolutely typical of Geoff’s love of life. In response to Peter Cook’s suggestion that he had lived enough to fill three lifetimes, Geoff had apparently said, “and I enjoyed all of them”.
A huge loss to his family, to Victoria, and to the Centre for Adolescent Health.
We thank you Geoff.
Top L to R: Paul Monagle, Sue Hunt, Peter Yates OAM, Hon Rob Knowles, George Patton, Patrick Handbury
Bottom L to R: Judy Handbury, Geoff Handbury AO and Susan Sawyer