Vale Professor Mark Lyons
10 November 2009 at 12:37 pm
The Australian Not for Profit Sector is mourning the passing of one of its great researchers and community sector commentators, Professor Mark Lyons who died after a battle with cancer last week.
Prof. Mark Lyons was the Director of Research at the Centre for Social Impact and was a Professor of Social Economy in the School of Management at the University of Technology, Sydney.
He had a PhD from the Australian National University and has researched and published in the fields of Australian history, social policy and social economy. From 1986-1989 he was Executive Director of the Australian Council of Social Service (ACOSS).
He was the director of a number of Not for Profit companies and was the foundation chair of Australian and New Zealand Third Sector Research.
Prof Lyons was an original a member of the Prime Minister’s Round Table on Business/Community Partnerships, the Reference Group on Welfare Reform and the Australian Statistics Advisory Council.
His book ‘Third Sector – The Contribution of Nonprofit and Cooperative Enterprise in Australia’, the first comprehensive study of Australia’s third sector, was published by Allen & Unwin in February 2001. He had a particular interest in the governance of Not for Profit or third sector organisations, especially in the relationship between members and directors.
In 2005, Prof Lyons was a major contributor to the landmark research "Giving Australia". His contribution to the report was described at the time as pivotal.
His friend and colleague from the Centre for Social Impact, Peter Shergold says Mark died peacefully in the early hours of Wednesday, 4th November.
He says Mark was extraordinarily brave as he fought his illness and continued to work productively at CSI until he was forced to retire last month. His final paper on measuring social impact in the third sector, written with Gianni Zappala, will be published by the Centre in coming days.
Shergold says the team at CSI learned so much from Mark’s willingness to share openly his experience and deep understanding of Not for Profit organisations.
At his request Mark will be buried with his parents in the grounds of his local parish church. A Requiem mass celebrating his life will be held at St Patrick and St Brigid Catholic Church at Cooranbong at 2 p.m. on Monday, 9th November.