Murdoch scientist shaves off 40-year-old beard for charity

March 16, 2012

A group of senior scientists and managers at Murdoch University have raised more than $15,000 for the Leukaemia Foundation by participating in the World’s Greatest Shave.

The seven-strong team, called Murdoch’s Shaved Scientists and Friends, was captained by Associate Professor John Bailey, Dean of the School of Environmental Science, who made the ultimate sacrifice by shaving off the beard which has been covering his chin since 1972.

Last year A/Prof Bailey dyed his famous beard and hair bright blue, raising $2,000 for leukaemia research, but he was determined to up the ante this year.

“If I was going to shave off my beard it was going to have to be for a lot of money so I set a target of $4,000 and reached it the night before the shave,” said A/Prof Bailey.

“This is the first time my partner Professor Bev Thiele, who is Deputy Vice Chancellor (Academic) at Murdoch, has ever seen my chin and I think it’s going to take a lot of getting used to for both of us!

“Several of my colleagues in the School of Environmental Science have failed to recognise the new me!”

A/Prof Bailey said he was planning to grow his beard back “as soon as possible” in time for Perth’s winter.

Other members of the team who are also now sporting smoother, shinier – and in some cases, multi-coloured heads – were Pro Vice Chancellor Professor David Macey, A/Prof Brian Nook from the School of Chiropractic and Sports Science, the University’s General Counsel Jeremy Rigg, its Director of Research and Development Phil Hocking, its Vice President of Educational Partnerships Phil Payne and Kate Ringvall from the School of Environmental Science.

Their hair loss has been for a worthy cause. The Leukaemia Foundation invests millions into cancer research and provides free practical and emotional support to people with blood cancer and their families.

The Shaved Scientists are still taking donations via their web page.

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