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Russell

Russell MCKINNON

Year of Award: 1971 Award State: Tasmania Multimedia > Radio
Multimedia > Television And Film
To study in the religious field, the latest techniques in television and radio - Italy, UK, Switzerland
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Dr McKinnon graduated from Sydney University in 1959 and from the United Faculty of Theology at St Andrew’s, University of Sydney in 1962. Following ordination and his first parish at Bega-Eden he was for nine years an officer of the ABC, producing and directing radio and television for the current affairs, religious and education sections. He spent his last ABC year in Sydney directing the popular ‘Behind the News’ current affairs program for schools.

During his ABC years Russ travelled as a Winston Churchill Memorial Fellow, studying radio and television systems and religious programming in Europe, the UK, the US and Asia. Some of his recommendations arising from this experience were put into effect by the ABC. He has great regard for the Churchill Memorial Trust and says: ‘The experience I gained from my Fellowship gave me a much wider understanding and perspective of how humans in varying cultures communicate with one another. It was an invaluable experience for which I am deeply grateful. ’

By 1974 the study of ‘Communication’ in its many forms was being introduced into Australian tertiary institutions, so Russ transferred to lecturing in this field. He then spent 17 years as Head of the Department of Human Communication, Warrnambool Campus, and Deakin University, lecturing mainly in the fields of Interpersonal and Organisational Communication and Research Methodologies. His Masters and Doctoral degrees are from Schools of Management. During sabbaticals he lectured in America, England and Ireland. For many years he served on various University degree accreditation committees for Higher Education Boards.

In 1991 he retired from lecturing and returned to full-time parish ministry at St Ives-Pymble on Sydney’s North Shore. During this time he was elected President of the Australasian Communication Association.

He was Chairman of the Course Advisory Committee for the School of Information Studies at the University of Technology, Sydney, and served for 13 years as a Councillor of St Andrew’s College, University of Sydney. He represented his denomination on the NSW Ecumenical Council, and for many years was chairman of the board of the Superannuation Corporation of the Presbyterian Church. Russ was also chaplain for St Ives Rotary and Bowling Clubs.

In 2002 Russ retired from 11 years of full-time parish ministry at St Ives- Pymble, having then been ordained for 40 years, and is a Minister Emeritus of the Presbyterian Church of Australia. In retirement at Soldiers Point on Port Stephens, he occasionally preaches at the local Uniting Church. He enjoys reading, photography, cruising with his Irish wife Laura, and returning to Tasmania to visit old friends and enjoy the beauty of favourite and memorable places.

Excerpt from “Bringing Knowledge Home” published by the Churchill Fellows Association of Tasmania (2016) 

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