Graham John Thirkell, Audio Pioneer. 1937 – 2010 (5)

The Other Side of Graham – Astronomy & The ASV

Fellow astronomer, friend and early business partner Barry Clark recalls “Graham had a lifelong interest in astronomy.  At various times from his teenage years he was a member of the Astronomical Society of Victoria.  In the late 1950s, he joined a small volunteer group interested in solar activity research and public outreach in astronomy.  The group included Brian Devine and Barry Clark, and met on weekends at the South Equatorial Complex of Melbourne Observatory, which is between the Shrine, Government House and the Royal Botanic Gardens.”

Astronomer sml

The early fascination with astronomy never left Graham, but as so often happens life’s pressures often got in the way.

Nevertheless he accumulated an impressive array of telescopes and astronomical gadgets, including an 8inch Celestron Schmidt-Cassegrain, and a 10inch Newtonian telescope.



Graham’s daughter Linda recalls many nights together with her father with the telescope in the back yard. Later she and husband Clem recall how they relished the visits to the family home when the skies were clear so the telescope could be swung into action for a skywatching session.

At one stage Graham even had an observatory constructed at the new house he was building at Berwick – Linda recalls helping him assemble the kit dome he imported for the observatory.

As usual, when Graham set out to do something, he did it right.



Graham died on 6th April 2010, and a brilliant audio mind was lost to us all.


As Issac Newton is quoted as saying:

“If I have seen further it is by standing on the shoulders of giants.”

Graham was one of the giants who expanded the horizon for many who came after him.
Thanks are given to the multitude of family, friends, and former colleagues who gave so freely of their time to provide information and materials for this tribute, with a special thanks to Katherine Thirkell and Linda and Clem Berenger.


We would welcome contributions (or corrections) to this tribute from anyone who has first-person knowledge of Graham’s activities.

Anyone who has memories or experiences of Graham that they would like to contribute please contact the AES Melbourne Section on this link


Peter Smerdon
AES Melbourne Section.
12th January 2014.


Links to other pages:

GT’s Clippings’Photos’n’Stuff

The Rola Days 1 – Graham’s photos.

The Rola Days 2 – The Magnetic Drum products.

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