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Remembering Paul Dench

Dear ECAWA members,

It is with sadness that I inform you of the passing of Mr Paul Dench.Paul Dench ECAWA Life Member (dec.)

The family’s notice from the West Australian reads:

PAUL DENCH Passed away peacefully at Juniper Annesley on Friday June 26th, aged 86. Loving and much loved husband of Joan for 64 years. Loving father of Alan, Alison, Phil, Jo and David. Grandfather to Evenda, Will, Tim, Hamish, Abbey and Charlotte. Great Grandfather to Amara. Paul had a tremendous impact on so many people through his varied careers and life, most of all his family. He will be sadly missed.

Paul was a valued Life Member of ECAWA. Paul was an active member of ECAWA over many years, and continued to attend ECAWA Conferences as long as his health allowed.

Paul’s pioneering work in computing education in WA has brought benefits to generations of students.

Paul, who was the engineer at the Carnarvon Tracking Station, was co-author with the late Alison Gregg, of Carnarvon and Apollo: one giant leap for a small Australian town, published in 2010.

The Educational Computing Association of Western Australia extends very sincere condolences to Paul’s wife and family.

Michael King



Friends who wish to give thanks for the life and work of our highly esteemed Life Member, Paul Dench are welcome to share comments and memories on this page.

Any photographs you may wish to share with Paul’s friends and family may be sent to for inclusion.

It would be much appreciated if you would send photographs at the highest resolution you have available.

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  • Chris Carmody
    July 12, 2020 10:11 pm

    Saw Paul not that long ago outside Riverton Leisure Plex and briefly said hello. Probably 20 years ago Paul assisted me with developing an upper school computing course for what was the Curriculum Council. His assistance was so helpful. When I think Turtle I think Paul.

  • Chris Carmody
    July 13, 2020 4:01 pm

    I had the pleasure some years ago working with Paul on developing an upper school course for the then Curriculum Council. Paul was great to work with. I occasionally bumped into him at Riverton Leisure Plex, so he was pretty active most of his life.

  • Michael Leishman
    July 13, 2020 8:34 pm

    Paul was always a great asset to ECAWA and the education community of Western Australia. He will be sadly missed. I remember Paul as being a gentle man of great knowledge and intelligence who got on well with everybody. He was always there when needed and helped out before being asked.
    I will not forget the stories he told me of his time at the tracking station at Carnarvon especially when man first walked on the moon.
    Rest in Peace, my friend.

  • Barnard Clarkson
    July 14, 2020 8:48 am

    Paul was more multi-talented than just about anyone I know. Not many people can sew their daughter a wonderful wedding dress, manage a tracking station, master any bit of IT put in front of them, design a virtual clothing library so the Year 8s could construct realistic cartoons of the ancient Gaulish characters Asterix and Obelix or become one of the foremost Logo programming experts. He could do all that and more.
    After Paul left Carnarvon Tracking Station he took on a new life as an educator. He relished the role introducing IT to teachers and students alike, and promoted Logo and the Turtle programming language with great skill. He made time for anyone with a question and was attentive to problems and concerns of others. The newness of technology never phased him and he used his skills with people, with design and with computers to help those around him achieve more than they could imagine. He was at different times a thoughtful colleague, an insightful mentor, a caring friend, a clever problem-solver and a good storyteller. His design skills were always sought for the student magazine at school each year; and when we introduced palmtops into the school back in 1993, he loved the irony that the parents who today carry their tiny PCs, used to complain the palmtop keyboard was too small for students’ fingers.
    Whenever I think of Paul I am reminded of the old saying, find a job you love and you will never work again; even working with him was a pleasure, and we are all the poorer without him.
    Vale Paul Dench, we miss you.
    Barney Clarkson