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Noel Butlin - Professor, economist

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CollectionsANU Emeritus Faculty Oral History Project
Title: Noel Butlin - Professor, economist
Author(s): Butlin, Noel
Foster, Stephen
Stewart, Peter
Fominas, Nik
Nelson, Diana
Keywords: Noel Butlin
Emeritus Faculty
oral history
Publisher: Canberra, ACT : Emeritus Faculty Inc., The Australian National University.
Professor Noel Butlin was born in 1921 and was educated at Maitland Boys' High School and the University of Sydney, where he graduated with first class honours and the University Medal. He was a Commonwealth public servant from 1942 to 1946 occupying the positions of Assistant Economic Adviser to the Australian High Commissioner in London and Assistant to the Interim Chairman of the Food and Agricultural Organisation in Washington, D.C. It was during this period with the public service that Professor Butlin became involved with the proposed Australian National University as secretary to the committee in the Department of Post-War Reconstruction that was preparing for its establishment. Professor Butlin resigned from the public service to take up a lectureship in economic history at Sydney University in 1946 and taught both pass and honours courses until 1949 when he was awarded an ANU travelling scholarship together with a Rockefeller Fellowship to study at Harvard University. The university then offered him a senior research fellowship in the Department of Economics. He worked in this department until 1962 when he was appointed as Professor and Head of the newly created Department of Economic History. He held this position until his retirement in 1986. During his period at the university, Professor Butlin held various committee positions and directed the Botany Bay Project during 1974 and 1975. During study leave periods he occupied academic positions overseas, including the Chair of Australian Studies at Harvard University in 1979/80.


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