Kevin Bell, Professor in the Remote West

By any reckoning, Kevin Bell did extremely well in his 11 years (1952 – 1962) at Marcellin.  In his final year he was both Captain and Dux of the college, and as well, represented it in all of football, cricket, swimming and athletics.  It was an auspicious start which led to an enriched life, built upon his natural talents and the values with which his Marcellin days equipped him.

Kevin studied veterinary science at the University of Melbourne, where one of his class mates was Jo Hawkes from Riddell’s Creek, whom he was to marry.  Forty five years later, Kevin and Jo live in Broome WA, where they rejoice in their seven children, and 11 grand-children, with two more on the way.  As Kevin puts it, in his optimistic, cheery way, “I celebrate life at the end of every day with Jo and a few beers.”

Their life’s journey has been highly distinctive.  After a couple of initial years practising as vets, they spent five years in South Korea as volunteers with the Columbian Missionary Society.  “It totally reset our life,” says Kevin.  “Talk about getting back more than you gave!  All you need is to say yes to God.”  High among those rewards was an adopted son, Peter, who went on to achieve fame as a dual North Melbourne premiership player and Captain of the Fremantle Dockers.

Back in Australia, Kevin re-immersed himself in his veterinary work, specialising in productivity in sheep flocks, work for which he achieved a PhD at Murdoch University.  He moved into academia, becoming Professor at Murdoch and teaching the next generation of vets, and authoring a suite of academic papers on sheep reproduction.

A somewhat unusual hobby of Kevin’s is the plectrum banjo, through which he exudes his positivity about life.  Just listen to him here in this interview with the ABC:  Another different interest is taekwando, which he has taught and earned a 2nd dan.  It fostered his knowledge of biomechanics and pursuit of physical fitness.

Of his Marcellin teachers he remembers most fondly the old, crippled Br Roger, for his self-sacrifice and for the love of chemistry he imparted.