Tony Gregson, interviewed by Tom Spurling and Terry Healy, 12 April 2017

By Helen WolffSeptember 13th, 2018

Dr. Tony Gregson was a CSIRO Board member from 1986-1995

Edited transcript (PDF – 300 KB)

Interview summary

Tony Gregson was born in Melbourne on 31 March 1945. In the early part of the interview he tells us about childhood growing up on the family farm in Warracknabeal and his secondary education at Warracknabeal High School and Ballarat Grammar. He highlights the contribution of Kostas Rind to his education.

He then talks about his experiences at the University of Melbourne, where he resided at Trinity College. He recalls the influence of his PhD supervisor, Ray Martin, and the other members of the group, particularly Samaresh Mitra.

Tony went to Oxford as a Post‚Äźdoctoral Fellow with Peter Day and recalls this as one of the great times of his scientific life.

Tony then gives an insight into how a young academic builds a research career in a regional university, the University of New England. In 1981 Tony and his family returned to run the family farm in Warracknabeal. He talks about his first involvement in public policy matters and his recruitment by Barry Jones to the first CSIRO Board.

There follows an account of how the Board functioned in its early years with Neville Wran as the Chairman. He recalls his early interest in priority setting, the selection of the Chief Executive and the Chris Schacht affair.

In the last part of the interview he talks about his post CSIRO Board activities and his views on the place of CSIRO in modern Australia.


Interview recorded at Swinburne University of Technology (Hawthorn) on 12th April 2017 as part of the CSIRO History Project.


Copyright owned by Swinburne University of Technology. Some re-use permitted (Creative Commons BY-NC-ND)