Issue 18
Monday, 23 October 2017
Charles Darwin University
E-news
The late Paul Fitzsimons: revered educator, sportsman and former CDU Director of Central Australia
The late Paul Fitzsimons: revered educator, sportsman and former CDU Director of Central Australia

Centralians tip hat to larger-than-life ‘Fizzer’

By Patrick Nelson

A public memorial service to celebrate the life of highly regarded former Director of Central Australia Paul “Fizzer” Fitzsimons was held in Alice Springs recently.

Mr Fitzsimons will long be remembered as one of the Red Centre’s true characters whose influence as an educator over 45 years was matched by the sense of fun he brought to life in general.

Acting Director Central Australia Lyle Mellors said he remembered Mr Fitzsimons arriving in Alice Springs in 1970 to teach the Grade 5 class at Ross Park Primary School.

“He was my teacher that year and who was to know that decades later he would become a work colleague and boss,” Mr Mellors said.

“He was a creator of memories and will not be forgotten by those who knew him.”

Mr Fitzsimons is credited with having helped establish Alice Outcomes, a school for disadvantaged children in the Southern Region (NT) before working for the Education Department in Darwin.

On returning to Alice Springs he became the director of regional and remote education for CDU, and in 2009 he became Director Central Australia, a position he held until his retirement in late 2014.

Mr Fitzsimons also was an avid sportsman, playing Aussie Rules, basketball, cricket and squash, before turning his hand to administration, and sports broadcasting with the ABC.

He was aged 69 when he passed away on 1 October.

Within CDU, a celebration of Mr Fitzsimons’ life will be held in the Desert Lantern Restaurant on 13 November between 3pm and 5pm.