Trinity College was deeply saddened to hear of the passing of one of our closest friends and most generous benefactors, alumnus and Trinity College Fellow Dr Roger Riordan AM. Roger peacefully passed away on 2 January 2019 at age 84.
Roger came to Trinity on a scholarship in 1951 and credited the College as a place that taught him many life lessons during his electrical engineering studies at the University of Melbourne.
Although he would encounter a series of ups and downs post-graduation, going from ‘genteel poverty’ (in his words) to wealth, Roger was known to hold strength in both opinion and will.
As one committed to fighting for equality, caring for the environment and increasing access to education and the arts, Roger established the Cybec Foundation with his second late wife Pat in 2002 to help his cause. Through the Cybec Foundation, and in an earlier collaboration with his first late wife Sally, Roger has supported countless people from disadvantaged backgrounds through scholarships and travel grants, and has supported a number of environmental conservation and medical research projects.
Those who have benefited from Roger’s generosity include around 300 women through the Community Bubs program, which aims to keep young mothers with their children, and more than 50 Trinity College students who otherwise may not have had the opportunity to attend college or university.
Many of our students had the honour of meeting Roger, who always took a keen interest in the people he supported. He was particularly interested in giving students the encouragement to find their own place of influence in the world and was a fervent supporter of the pay it forward concept. His hope was always that the people he helped would one day pass on the favour to someone else in need.
Roger was appointed as a Member of the Order of Australia in 2002 for service to the community, particularly through the provision of a range of scholarship funds, and to information technology as a pioneer in the field of computer antiviral software.
You can read more of Roger’s story in our latest edition of Trinity Today, for which Roger kindly gave his time speaking to us late last year.
Trinity College will be eternally grateful for Roger’s generosity over the years and he will be sadly missed by many.
Roger is survived by his children Peter, Adrian and Sarah, and grandchildren, Alexandra and Vivian.
A service that celebrates Roger's life and achievements will be held at Trinity College, with details to be advised.