Victor Burley


Up-to-date new machinery at Cadbury in 1960 (AOT, PH30/1/9055)

Victor George Burley (19142002), engineer, was one of Tasmania's most celebrated engineers, and will be remembered for his contributions to the development of science and education at both state and national levels.

After graduating in engineering from the University of Tasmania in 1938, Burley joined Cadbury Fry Pascall, commencing a forty-year career in management and technical development, both locally and internationally. As resident director he guided the growth of the Claremont factory operations, developing an innovative chocolate manufacturing process which was to be replicated in other company facilities around the world.

Sir Victor was committed to the University of Tasmania, serving in numerous roles, initially as undergraduate Union president and then later as a member of their board, as warden of convocation of the University of Tasmania, as a director of the University's research company, and as a member of the faculty of engineering. In 2001 the university awarded him the honorary degree of Doctor of Engineering.

Sir Victor's interests in innovation were further exercised as a member of the state council of the CSIRO, serving as chairman for many years. As foundation chairman of the Tasmanian Council of Advanced Education he was instrumental in the establishment of the Tasmanian College. He was also a member of the board of the Tasmanian Conservatorium of Music.

At the national level, Sir Victor served as chairman of the national council of the CSIRO. He was a director of the Productivity Council of Australia, and was as a member of the Commonwealth Advisory Committee on Advanced Education.

Sir Victor received a knighthood in 1980 for public service. He was also awarded Commander of the Order vice, particularly in recognition for his work with the CSIRO.

Further Reading: Mercury, 6 May 2002; Who's Who in Australia 1994; S Drake (ed), Debrett's Handbook of Australia and New Zealand], 1982.

Victoria Burley