Principal bob northey cropped

Spotted on campus, former Principal Bob Northey

In April, we were delighted to host former Principal Bob Northey (1989-1995) for afternoon tea. Bob was Burgmann’s sixth principal in 10 years, and only the second after founding Master David Griffin to have fulfilled the role for at least five years.

Bob’s tenure provided a sense of stability for the College. Amongst his achievements were ensuring the adoption of policies to keep the College at full capacity throughout the academic year, thereby removing College debt; introducing academic prizes; and lifting the standards of performance at College concerts. He gave strong support to all the extra-curricular activities initiated by residents.

Bob’s dog Melba, named after great Australian soprano Dame Nellie, was a rich part of College life. Burgmann residents encouraged her to attend lectures with them and it was thought she might become the first dog to graduate from the ANU.

During his visit, Bob had a look over the College and all the changes that have taken place since he was Principal, including the Post-Graduate Village, the link between the two undergraduate wings, and the lift.

Following his visit, Bob shared the following message:

"Even though there were few students around, one of my impressions was how much they were at home using the various spaces of the College for studying, as well as their self-confidence. Some gave me a lovely smile as I was being shown through.

“I even suffered a bit of nostalgia as we did the rounds.”

Principal bob northey cropped
Former Principal Bob Northey (1989-1995) Photo credit: Amelia Zaraftis
Melba northey
Melba, featured on the cover of Omphalos
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