Sunday 29 May 2022 | 11:30 | SYDNEY
Sunday 29 May 2022 | 11:30 | SYDNEY

Malcolm Cook


Anthony Bubalo

13 December 2010 14:32

Some readers may know that this week the Lowy Institute will lose one of its founding staff members, Malcolm Cook. Malcolm is off to become Dean of the School of International Studies at Flinders University, although he will remain a visiting fellow at Lowy.

In the spirit of Wikileaks, frank and open discussion, transparency, free speech and all that nonsense, I thought I should offer his new colleagues at Flinders seven observations on Professor Cook to prepare them for their new Dean:

  • Malcolm is an excellent faller. I once saw him fall onto a glass coffee table, while dancing, and NOT break it. 
  • If you cannot find Malcolm, do not worry. He will be in Tokyo. 
  • Malcolm is extremely selfish. He will take on every dreary, thankless task and leave nothing for anyone else. 
  • Do not worry if you do not understand Malcolm's strange metaphors. No one understands them. Just smile and nod. 
  • Malcolm has excellent culinary taste. But there are exceptions. If, for example, he offers you a potato chip, do not eat it as it will be chocolate-coated (I am NOT kidding). 
  • Do not sit too close to Malcolm in meetings. He sneezes and/or twitches unexpectedly and if you are too close you will lose an eye. 
  • Malcolm's greatest asset is his wife Lyma. She keeps Malcolm grounded, which is hard because Malcolm has no ego. Lyma did, however, concede that Malcolm's mention in the Banyan column of The Economist this year was 'ok'.

Malcolm was here from the beginning, when the Institute's current successes all seemed much less assured. He shaped and influenced this place both through the first class Asia Program that he built and through the many Institute initiatives he husbanded, from 'New Voices' to our highly successful intern program.

We are all extremely happy for Malcolm. He goes to a great job and enters challenging new phase in his working life. We are losing (at least on a full-time basis) a wonderful intellect and colleague. He will, however, remain a good friend.