It is with great sadness, the School of Demography advises that one of its greatest luminaries, Emeritus Prof Gavin Jones, passed away in Perth on Friday, 27 August 2022.
After completing his undergraduate degree at the University of New England, Armidale, Gavin Jones joined ANU to conduct his PhD in 1963-1966 on the topic of ‘The Growth of Malaysia's Labour Force’. This research was the start of a lifetime of research on Asian demographic issues. He then worked for the Population Council in New York, Bangkok and Jakarta until he returned to ANU Demography as a staff member in 1975. From 1979-1982, he was Executive Director of the ANU Development Studies Centre, and from 1988 to 1996, he was head of the Department of Demography at ANU. At ANU, he held many roles, including Head of the Division of Sociology and Demography in RSSS, supervised numerous PhD students, and was universally respected. He moved to the National University of Singapore in 2003, retiring from there in 2014. At NUS, he established the important journal, Asian Population Studies. For many years, he was the most cited scholar on the demography of Asia. In his early career, his work was focussed on population and development, but he later became one of the world’s leading scholars on the demography of the family. He joined the Emeritus faculty of ANU in 2018. In his retirement, he continued his academic work from his base in Perth.
Gavin’s skills were always in high demand, conducting research consultancies for many international governments and NGOs, including the Ford Foundation, World Bank, Population Council, the Australian Development Assistance Bureau, United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), International Labour Organization, Malaysian Centre for Development Studies, United Nations Centre for Human Settlements, Asian Development Institute and the Indonesian National Development Planning Agency. Despite long stretches working abroad, Gavin was never far from the Australian demographic community, and will be remembered for his kind and thoughtful insights, and dedication to supporting early career researchers. Gavin is survived by his wife, Henny, and his children Andrew, Tanya, Greg and Stephanie, to whom we extend our condolences.
A research endowment fund has been established in recognition of Professor Gavin Jones's longstanding service to the School of Demography. This fund supports the School to build on research conducted in the fields of demography and human development - including topics such as low fertility regimes in Asia, urbanization issues, and equity aspects of educational development. If you would like to contribute to this fund you can give here.