James Pendlebury

Inducted 28 November 2007

James Pendlebury was born in Cessnock in 1929.  He was educated at East Cessnock, Griffith and Aberdare Primary Schools, Cessnock High School, and was awarded a Sydney University Exhibition to study Science.

James graduated from Sydney University in 1951 with a BSc (Hons) in Chemistry and a Graduate Diploma in Education.

Having been inspired by his teachers in High School to become a teacher himself, in 1952 James began teaching Science at Lithgow High School. In 1960, at the invitation of the Department of Education he began lecturing at Sydney Teachers College (STC).  The STC later became the Sydney Institute of Education (SIE), and was subsumed within the Sydney College of Advanced Education (SCAE), Sydney University.  James was promoted to Senior Lecturer in 1967, Principal Lecturer and Head of Chemistry in 1972 and Principal Lecturer and Head of the Science Department in 1978, where he remained until his retirement in 1989.

From 1961 to 1978, James was General Secretary of the NSW Science Teachers Association, where he was a leading force in the establishment and running of the NSW School Science Research Competition. For most of those years he was also a Councillor of the Australian Science Teachers Association.

In 1964, James was asked to assist in the establishment of Secondary Science Programs for ABC Television and be one if its two presenters, This led to his being offered a Fullbright Scholarship to study Television in schools and Chemistry Curriculum development in the USA.

Following the completion of an MSc (Hons) in Chemistry, a Commonwealth Scholarship enabled him to undertake a PhD in Chemistry at Macquarie University, graduating in 1972.

Following are further contributions and honours:

  • Honours Leaving Certificate Chemistry Assessor (1963 - 1966)
  • Wesley Mission (Sydney) Honorary Treasurer from 1970 - 2009
  • Member of the HSC Chemistry Syllabus Committee (1984 - 1988)
  • Member of Board of Alan Walker College for Evangelism (1985 - 2006)
  • Awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia in 1991
  • Director of the Board of Wesley Institute for Ministry and the Arts from 1990, becoming its Chairman from 1995 - 2009
  • Appointed a Justice of the Peace from 1993 - 2009
  • Director of the Aged Persons Welfare Foundation from 1996-
  • Chairman of the Gordon Moyes Scholarship Foundation from 2005-
  • Author of numerous books, journal articles, theses and research papers throughout his career.
  • Several Honorary Life Memberships awarded: the NSW Science Teachers Association (1978); the Bible Society (1992); the Australian College of Educators (2002).
  • An active member of the Methodist/Uniting Churches. Roles and responsibilities exercised include lay preacher, teacher, Congregational Chairman, Church Council Chairman, member of Uniting Church Synod, Council of Synod and the National Assembly.

Plaque location
54 Vincent Street, Cessnock (garden bed)