"The past is never fully gone. It is absorbed into the present and the future. It stays to shape what we are and what we do."
Sir William Deane, Governor-General of Australia, Inaugural Vincent Lingiari Memorial Lecture, August 1996.

Jim Westcott

The "Friendly Forester"

The following information about Jim Westcott has been precised from an obituary published by Scotch College.

Alan H White

VSF Lecturer, 1959-1961

"It will be evident from the above egocentric saga that my time at the VSF was, in many ways, pivotal in a serendipitous and opportunistic career. It was a unique experience, worthwhile in so many ways, in a unique place."

Alan forwarded this paper to the FCRPA some time ago.

Like so many of the post-WWII era, I sold my soul to the Victorian State Education Department, agreeing to teach for three years, in return for an otherwise unaffordable university education – in my case BSc, DipEd at the University of Melbourne, under the guidance of the Secondary Teachers’ College. By the second year it became apparent that the latter had fairly firm views about the nature and content of courses deemed appropriate for a budding teacher – by-and-large broad and general arrays of subjects done in insufficient depth to fit one for anything else afterward. 

James Hamlyn (Jim) Willis A.M.

Botanist Extraordinaire
Mike Leonard (bio)


Jim (born in 1910) graduated from the VSF in 1930 and gained his BSc from the University of Melbourne in 1940.