Emeritus Professor Richard (Rick) Speare

Emeritus Professor Richard (Rick) Speare AM

2 August 1947 - 5 June 2016

 Tragically died in a motor vehicle accident on the Atherton Tablelands


Prof Rick Speare served James Cook University for 26 years from 1990 to his death, when he was travelling from home in preparation for teaching on the JCU Cairns campus.

Rick was a man of great humanity, wisdom and wit. Through his extensive professional and personal endeavours, his commitment was to make the world a better place. People across the globe will attest to his immense kindness, genuine humility and great intellect. Rick has been influential in so many of our lives.

One of Rick’s great passions was to understand and improve the health of people, and animals, in the Pacific. In recent years he was central to establishing the Atoifi Health Research Group in Solomon Islands . This Group brings together people from community, health services, research institutes, universities and professional organisations in a remote provincial setting that face numerous health challenges. The Atoifi Health Research Group is committed to train and support a generation of young Pacific Islander health professionals and researchers to investigate local health issues and create locally appropriate solutions to those problems.  

In honour of Prof Speare, and the passion he had to improve health in the Pacific, the family requests that instead of purchasing flowers, that people make a donation to a special fund to ensure Rick’s work in the Solomon Islands is continued.

All donations over $2 are fully tax-deductible. For secure online payments please use the form below

If you would prefer:


Cheques can be made payable to James Cook University

and be posted to

Prof Rick Speare Fund

Office of Engagement (Bldg 8)

James Cook University

Townsville, Qld 4811

Please include your name and an address or email address so that we may send you a receipt.


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