Community mourns a good friend and an expert in his field
TRIBUTES are flowing for CQUniversity psychology lecturer Dr Phill Donaldson who passed away at the weekend, after being involved in a serious crash at the Hummock on March 13.
Professor Andrew Bridges, Associate Vice-Chancellor (Wide Bay Burnett) said that the thoughts and prayers of everyone at the University are now with Dr Donaldson's fiancée, his family and close friends.
"Everyone here at the Bundaberg campus is deeply saddened by Phill's passing; it is a tremendous loss to both the university and the academic community.
"Phill was not just a colleague but a friend to many, he was an inspiring teacher, gifted researcher and one of the wittiest and nicest people you could have had the pleasure of meeting."
"Many people have been touched by Phill's passing, especially his past and present students who are coming forward to share their memories and pay tribute to him and the fact that he ignited their passion for learning and psychology (one of Phill's areas of expertise was statistics, so this was no mean feat)," said Prof Bridges.
On top of his teaching success, Dr Donaldson was also an accomplished researcher with a longstanding interest in spatial memory.
In recent years, he made a substantial contribution to the Gambling Research group based in Bundaberg and recently led a successful bid for $55,000 from the Victorian Responsible Gambling Foundation to develop a tool to measure the stigma felt by gamblers.
He was also part of the research team which was awarded a further $132,000 from the Foundation investigating the way in which electronic gaming environments contribute to gambling harm.
Funeral arrangements for Dr Donaldson have not yet been confirmed.
A big smile is what Michelle Cooper will always remember when she thinks of Phill Donaldson.
Michelle and her husband Graham, who own Pegasus Gaming in Bourbong St where Phill was a regular, said they considered him a good friend.
"We only went to his engagement party a couple of weeks before the accident so I was pretty sad," Mrs Cooper said.
"He was always smiling, always up for a laugh and a game.
"He lit up the room - everyone was just smiling when he talked."
She said her husband was hit hard by the loss of his friend.
"He was just devastated," Mrs Cooper said.
"Graham and him would game a lot during the week."
Mrs Cooper is also a student at CQUniversity's Bundaberg campus where Phill was a lecturer.
"He's left a hole in a lot of people's lives," she said.
"He's going to be missed."
Mrs Cooper said he'd always be remembered for his massive shelf full of board games that he loved to play with his friends.
"He was a fun guy who would do anything for you," she said.
- Phill was a charismatic and knowledgeable lecturer which he certainly recognised within himself. He loved sharing what he knew with others and this was no more apparent than when I watched him teach while I was enrolled in one of his university courses. I am grateful to have experienced his zest for teaching and his admirable ability to impart wisdom upon his students. He lived his life with passion in all facets; be it work or play. Personally, I was lucky enough to know Phill both professionally and as a friend. One would struggle to find someone more ideal to simply sit and play a board game with, to share a couple of laughs with or to merely enjoy his excellent barbecuing skills and inspirational level of kindness and friendship. The loss of Phill is to the utter detriment of our world and he will be missed, but never forgotten.
- Phil was a brilliant human being in every possible way, compassionate, caring, kind, smart, humble, confident and comedic. Although he is gone, a part of him lives on in each of his family members and friends, and he will never be forgotten. We are blessed to have been part of Phill's life, and can only hope that his passing is the start of a new adventure. Rest in peace, my friend.
- I didn't know Phill very well, but for the length of time I knew him, he was awesome. He will be missed by all who knew him.