Dr Allan RB Skertchly - a distinguished career 

Dr Allan RB Skertchly - a distinguished career

Dr Allan RB Skertchly graduated in 1991 with an Honours degree from the Northern Territory University (now Charles Darwin University).

In 1950 he graduated from The University of Melbourne with a Bachelor of Science. As a graduate in physics with some understanding of nuclear weaponry he was amongst the first Australians to be of interest to ASIO.

His first appointment in science was at The Gordon Institute of Technology, Geelong. This was followed by postgraduate studies at The University of Leeds.

Complimenting Dr Skertchly’s intense studies in the physical sciences he became a reserve pilot in the RAFVR. He also studied economics and sociology externally, becoming one of the first English graduates in sociology from the University of London in 1961.

Returning to Australia he was appointed an Associate Professor at the University of New South Wales in 1962.

From an early age, an interest in psychology led to informally attending lectures in the discipline at both Melbourne and Leeds universities. However, it was not until coming to Darwin as a foundation member of the academic staff of the new university, that the opportunity arose for completing a full professional qualification in the discipline, graduating in 1991 with an Honours degree from the Northern Territory University (now Charles Darwin University).

Upon completing the required supervised experience under the veteran Darwin psychologist, Dr Ted Milliken, Dr Skertchly was admitted by the Psychologists Board of the Northern Territory as a registered Practicing Psychologist in 1998. For some time he enjoyed tutoring first-year psychology students at CDU.

Dr Skertchly has been the President of the Association of Private Practicing Psychologists (NT) and been on the Board of TEAM Health for the last decade, where he is currently President. And also has been, until recently, Public Officer of the NT Writers Centre.

Dr Skertchly became a Principal Consultant for Success Management International Learning Resources (SMILE) and undertook, in collaboration with his environmental scientist daughter, Kristen McAllister, (also a graduate of CDU), a number of projects on emergency management for the Northern Territory Counter Disaster Service and Emergency Management Australia.

These have included studies of cyclone preparedness, critical infrastructure, catastrophe management, the 1998 Katherine-Daly Flood and the Thredbo Landslide. These endeavors resulted in a number of EMA Safer Communities Awards.

Interest in Aboriginal affairs commenced early on with annual visits to Melbourne of people from the Ernabella Mission in Central Australia. For a time Dr Skertchly managed Aboriginal housing in Western Australia for the Aboriginal Development Commission, preparing several papers on Positive Aboriginal Advancement and traditional Aboriginal approaches to survival in tropical savannahs.

Overall, along with many other mature-age students, Dr Skertchly has benefited enormously from the presence and resources of our readily accessible and most supportive twenty-first century, Charles Darwin University.

Qualification as a psychologist was the culmination of a life-long ambition and Dr Skertchly much appreciated the quality of CDU’s programs in psychology.

Visit the CDU Alumni website.