Graeme Cox

Graeme Cox, Fellow of the Australian Academy of Science, came to Camberwell High from Hartwell State School. He was a prefect from 1955 to 1957, a member of the 1st XI cricket team in 1955, and a member of the 1st XVIII football team from 1954 to 1957. He was Vice Captain of the 1st XVIII in 1956 and Captain in 1957. It is little wonder that the prefect personalities page in Prospice, 1956 noted his ‘ability to kick a football, regardless of conditions’ (p.19). In 1956-7 he was Open Age Athletics Champion.

Graeme matriculated in 1957 and began a B.Sc at Melbourne University which he completed in 1961. In 1967 he completed a Doctorate of Philosophy at Melbourne, while working under the tutelage of Professor Frank Gibson, in which he developed a genetic approach to problems of membrane biochemistry. In the same year he was appointed as a Research Fellow at the Australian National University in the ACT. In 1972 he became a Fellow and in 1977 was appointed a Senior Fellow.

He has continued to work in the Division of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at the John Curtin School of Medical Research at the Australian National University on problems associated with bacterial physiology and the use of new techniques of biochemistry and molecular biology. During the time he has been carrying out this work there has been an absolute revolution in the study of biology. He and the members of his research team have published numerous papers in international journals and have been at the forefront of research in using molecular biology techniques in molecular engineering. He explains that these techniques are applicable in many areas of biology, from the basis of energy production through to nerve transmission in the brain, and allow scientists to manipulate molecular structures.

In 1990, in recognition of his contribution to bacterial physiology he was elected as a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Science at the 36th Annual General Meeting of the Academy (The Australian, 21 May 1990).

Graeme says that his time at CHS gave him the opportunity to enjoy participation in many team sports, including football and cricket as well as the then new sport of volleyball. He maintained an interest in all three sports and later represented the ACT in both football and volleyball before coaching volleyball at state and national level. In 1981 he took the Australian Junior Women’s Volleyball team to Mexico City to compete in the World Championships. This was the first time that any Australian Volleyball team had competed at the World Titles.

He has also been involved in administering the sport, having been a Senior Vice President of the Australian Volleyball Federation. Graeme says that his interest in Volleyball was stimulated by his participation in staff-student matches at Camberwell High.