Ian Templeman (49-56)

‘Ian Templeman made a far-reaching contribution to Australian cultural life. He left an indelible mark on Australian literature by encouraging, mentoring and publishing many writers, some of whom gained national and international reputations.’ – SYDNEY MORNING HERALD, 2015.

Ian Templeman entered Wesley College into Walton House. Known as ‘Tempo’, in his final year at Wesley Ian studied English, History, Geography, Biology, Economics and Art and excelled as a hurdler as part of the Athletics Team.

He trained as a painter and art teacher while balancing athletic competitions such as the Australian National Games in Queensland in 1961.

In 1972, he became the first director of Fremantle Arts Centre. Over the next 17 years, he developed a vibrant and creative multi-arts venue, establishing support programs for painters, potters and sculptors. Many of the programs are still in place today.

In 1975, he founded Fremantle Arts Centre Press, which achieved prominence for publishing outstanding WA writers including Elizabeth Jolley, Albert Facey and Sally Morgan. He was a member of the Australia Council during the 1980s. In 1989, Ian was made a Member of the Order of Australia for his services to art and literature

.Ian moved to Canberra in 1990 to take up the position of Assistant Director-General, Public Programs at the National Library of Australia. Immediately he set out to make Australians more aware of what a magnificent cultural asset the library was. He was instrumental in redesigning the library’s visitor areas, establishing new programs, and bringing writers, historians and other experts to the institution for conferences, seminars and events about literature, arts and society.


  • 1979 Templeman’s Poems published by Freshwater Bay Press
  • 1997 Founder of Molonglo Press, These Glimpsed Interiors published by Molongo Press
  • 1999 Director of Publications at Australian National University School of Pacific and Asian Studies
  • 2000 Poetry collection An Incomplete Memoir published by Molonglo Press
  • 2002 Chair of the ACT Cultural Council
  • 2004 Elected Honorary Fellow of the Australian Academy of the Humanities
  • 2006 Member ACT Chief Minister’s Public Art Advisory Panel
  • 2007 University of Western Australia Honorary Doctor of Letters degree
  • 2013 The Watchmaker’s Imprint published by Tin Kettle Books