New Mandala invites readers to celebrate the life and career of an extraordinary scholar.

On 12 October, the Australian National University, Australia and the world lost one of its intellectual giants.

Professor Desmond Ball lost his long-running battle to cancer and passed peacefully away surrounded by loved ones.

Des was the leading figure in Strategic Studies in Australia of his generation, and made a major contribution to global scholarship in a field of vital importance. He was one of Australia’s foremost public intellectuals, and exemplified the way scholars can and should contribute to national policy debates. Over many decades he was a major voice on questions of defence policy, nuclear strategy, intelligence and Asia-Pacific security.

Des was also a past contributor to New Mandala and readers will no doubt be aware of his exceptional work on mainland Southeast Asia.

For many decades Des was a linchpin of Myanmar-focused research at ANU. His studies of the Myanmar-Thailand borderlands, captured in four major books and many other publications, were truly unique.

To commemorate Des and his remarkable career, ANU will hold a memorial service on 22 November. The event is open to the public and will be led by ANU Chancellor and former Australian foreign affairs minister, Professor the Hon Gareth Evans AC QC.

“For a scholar deeply conscious of our common humanity, never content just with conceptual theorising, always focused on real world outcomes benefiting real people – it doesn’t get much better than this,” Professor Evans said.

“And in the long and proud history of ANU it didn’t ever get much better for us. Des Ball was a giant in every way, and we will miss him profoundly.”

Readers and members of the New Mandala community are warmly invited to celebrate the life and work of brilliant researcher, analyst, writer and educator.

For more details and to register visit here.

Vale Des. You will be missed, and long remembered.