Kol Star (deceased)

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Kol Star was elected an Honorary Life Membership in recognition of his work in establishing the Society. Kol graduated from the University of Melbourne and was later awarded a Ph.D. from the University of London. His discipline was psychology and he held a number of teaching appointments in that field. After tutoring at the University of Melbourne he held lectureships at Newcastle University College, the University of Western Australia, and the University of Birmingham. In the early 1970s he returned to Australia and was appointed as Research Information Officer to the Australian Vice-Chancellors' Committee. That post led to his being in close touch with a wide range of people in higher education across the country. Two important initiatives arose from this experience. He edited the AVCC Education Newsletter which was, in effect, a forerunner of HERDSA News in that it disseminated information concerned with all aspects of teaching and learning in tertiary education. More importantly, he saw the need for the creation of a society to bring together people concerned with research and development in tertiary education.

At the 1971 AARE Conference he convened "a  meeting of interested persons to consider whether a society like Britain's SRHE should be established in Australia". At this meeting, which was attended by about 20 people, it was agreed to convene a further meeting in Sydney in 1972 during the ANZAAS Congress to "consider forming an Australian Society for Research into Higher Education".

At the ANZAAS meeting, which was attended by about 60 people, HERDSA was inaugurated and an Interim Executive appointed. That Executive subsequently appointed Kol Star as the foundation Secretary of the Society.

He carried most of the administrative load during the early years of the Society and had completed the detailed arrangements for the first conference in Canberra in January 1975 when ill-health compelled him to resign from the Executive and from his post with the AVCC. HERDSA owes a great debt to the energy, enthusiasm and farsightedness of Kol Star and this was formally acknowledged when he was elected as the first Honorary Life Member of the Society.