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July 15, 2013 | by  | in News |
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Rosemary Barrington: 1947-2013

Rosemary Barrington, a champion of student representation at Victoria University, passed away on June 24.

Barrington had a strong social conscience, and believed firmly in the value of community participation, engagement and representation.

These beliefs were reflected in the public roles that Barrington held over her lifetime, and in the valuable contributions she made to the University. Barrington dedicated a significant amount of time and energy to developing the partnership between Victoria’s students and the University, and was a current member of Victoria’s University Council, after being elected by alumni in the Court of Convocation Election. She was awarded the Hunter Fellowship, one of the highest recognitions for alumni, for her “exceptional service to the University”, said Chancellor Ian McKinnon.

“She was energetic, capable, and showed real commitment to Victoria over many years, from her days as a student to sitting on Council.

“Rosemary was involved in every aspect of the University from student politics, to research and, latterly, setting policy and helping to guide Victoria into the future through her role on the Council. She was well known to many in the University community and will be deeply missed.”

University Council Student Representative David Alsop said Barrington was insightful, and someone who provided good advice to him and other student representatives.

“The length of service Rosemary gave to Victoria University and her accomplishments over the years are a record of her dedication to making Victoria a better place for all.

“Her death is a deep loss to our community.”

Barrington was a foundational member of the 1968 joint committee on student representation, served as a University Councillor in 1999, and was University Chancellor from 2002 until 2004.

She also served as VUWSA’s International Affairs Officer in 1967, implementing a bulk importation of rice that fed hungry and disadvantaged students at Victoria, despite strict import and price controls. She became Women’s Vice-President in 1968. As Women’s Vice-President, she instigated the discussions for a student crèche, now an integral part of Victoria’s student-support services.

“Ms Barrington will be dearly missed by all, especially by students, for whom she worked so hard to ensure a quality education and experience during their studies at Victoria,” said VUWSA President Rory McCourt.

“Ms Barrington recognised the power and importance of partnership between Victoria’s students and the University, and it was her vision which ensured the voices of students have been, and continue to be, heard at the discussion table in their own right.”

Aside from her involvement with Victoria University, Barrington made an impressive career for herself as an academic and public servant. She was a research fellow at Victoria’s Institute of Criminology and held key public-service roles in the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, as General Manager of Culture and Recreation at Wellington City Council, as the Chief Executive of Horowhenua District Council, and as the Director of the Government Research Unit.

“Rosemary made an extraordinary contribution to the public roles she held and had so much more to contribute… our thoughts are with her family,” said Kapiti Mayor Jenny Rowan.

Barrington’s funeral was held at Old St Paul’s in Thorndon on July 1. In lieu of flowers, the family asked for memorial contributions to be made in the form of donations to the New Horizons for Women Trust.

Barrington is survived by her partner, Blair Badcock, her six children, and her grandchildren.

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