Vale Ian Templeman

Fremantle Press extends its deepest sympathy to the family and friends of Ian Templeman, who passed away yesterday. Along with the late Terry Owen, Fremantle Press owes its existence to Ian’s vision for an independent publishing house that would provide greater publication opportunities for writers living and working in Western Australia.

As inaugural director of the Fremantle Arts Centre, Ian instigated the original feasibility study into the establishment of a publishing program and it was with his support that Fremantle Arts Centre Press was founded in 1976 under Terry Owen’s management.

During Ian’s time the Press’s achievements included the establishment of the T.A.G. Hungerford Award for an unpublished first manuscript by a Western Australian author. This prize recognised and developed the talent of writers like Simone Lazaroo, Gail Jones and Brenda Walker and it continues to identify new talent today. Some of the landmark books published during Ian’s tenure included Elizabeth Jolley’s first book Five Acre Virgin and other stories, A Fortunate Life by A.B. Facey and Sister Ships by Joan London. Author Nicholas Hasluck published Anchor with Fremantle Press during this time and knew Ian well. ‘He was a friend to many local poets and a fine poet himself,’ said Hasluck.

Ian went on to become the deputy chair of the Australia Council and the assistant director-general at the National Library of Australia before heading up Pandanus Books at the Australian National University and Molonglo Press. Ian was an author in his own right whose first book was published in 1967. In 1989 he was made a member of the Order of Australia for his services to arts and literature.

Chair of the Fremantle Press board Ian Lilburne said that the Press had been looking forward to celebrating Ian as part of the Fremantle Press 40th anniversary in 2016.

‘It saddens me that neither Ian nor Terry Owen, who died within a month of each other, will be with us to celebrate the anniversary and their tremendous achievement.’

‘Without Ian’s establishment of the Press, many Western Australian writers would have gone unpublished and Australia’s literary landscape would be poorer for it,’ said Lilburne. ‘We owe a debt of gratitude to him.’

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