Class of 1967

As a senior television journalist, Paul Lockyer’s work was widely seen and respected by viewers across the country and beyond. Very sadly he met an untimely death at the age of 61 in an air crash at Lake Eyre while on a story for the ABC.

Paul came to Aquinas College from Corrigin where his parents Nona and Norman Lockyer ran a farm. They brought him to board at Aquinas in 1963 and apart from the usual adjustment period Paul loved his time at school and showed his sons around it with pride years later. Paul excelled at hockey and was vice-captain of the team the year he left. He was a cadet in 1965-67 and was a member of the YCS, the Legion of Mary and Veritas. He also played a lead part in the Musical Oklahoma in 1966, the songs of which stayed with him for years to come according to his sons.

Within two years of leaving school, Paul secured a highly-prized cadetship with the ABC. He began a stellar career spending time in Sydney and Canberra before being promoted to a correspondent in Port Moresby, then working in Jakarta and Bangkok. His reporting during the Vietnam War was rated highly and he was responsible for bringing the truth of the Khmer Rouge killing fields to our screens.

Paul was posted to Washington DC during the Reagan administration and also covered central and North America. He returned to Asia and received accolades for his coverage of the trial of drug-traffickers Kevin Barlow and Brian Chambers, nominated for a Gold Walkely for his coverage.

He moved to the Nine Network and was a senior correspondent in many fields covering droughts for A Current Affair and working on Sunday, Midday, and the Wide World of Sports. He won a Logie Award for Most Outstanding News Reporter in 2001 for his coverage of the Olympic Games.

Paul returned to the ABC to become an anchor for the WA news. But he will be remembered mostly for his coverage, and love, of the land. One of the marks of the man is the great camaraderie he shared with his working colleagues. Household names from the ABC lined up to pay tribute to his work in 2011 when he was killed in a helicopter crash at Lake Eyre.

Paul was an Aquinian through and through. He helped to build the Chapel wall made from Mt Barker stone and was married at Aquinas. His son paid a loving tribute to him: “…not just for being a respected journalist who got so much out of people, but also a man of the land. More importantly as a brilliant father and the most beautiful kind man you could ever come across.”