Vale Don Bartlett

It is with great sadness that we share the news of the recent passing of Don Bartlett, a friend, a respected colleague and staunch coatings stalwart on February 10, 2023 at the age of 80.  Don was an expert in the fields of paint technology, anti-corrosive coatings, corrosion mitigation and materials of construction generally and his work is well known to many of his erstwhile colleagues.

Don began his work as a chemist, first gaining an Associate Diploma in Applied Chemistry in 1961 and later adding a Chemistry Diploma and a Fellowship in Chemical Engineering.  He started his working life at the State Electricity Commission, followed by the Melbourne Metropolitan Board of Works, and later became the Principal Materials Scientist at the Commonwealth Government’s Scientific Services Laboratory.

Don was probably best known for his long stint running what was originally called the Government Paint Committee (GPC), later renamed as the Australian Paint Approval Scheme (APAS).  During that time, he gave generously of this time, chairing a range of Standards Australia Paint Committees (CH/3 Paints, CH/3/3 Testing of Paints, CH/3/8 Painting of Buildings and CH/3/9, Hazardous Paints).  He also served on Committee MT/14/2 Corrosion Protection of Steel and MT/9/6 Pre-coated Metal Cladding, and was Chairman of the APAS Technical Committee and the Painting Contractors Certification Program (PCCP) Management Committee.

Don was a strong presence in the Australasian Corrosion Association, particularly the Melbourne Branch, and was the inaugural Chairman of the ACA’s Protective Coatings Technical Group (PCTG).  In 2009, he was awarded the ACA’s prestigious Victor Nightingall Award for his long service to the industry.

Don was a member of the Institute of Engineers and a member of NATA’s Surface Coatings Technical Group.  He was a Laboratory Assessor for NATA and Telarc, NZ, carrying out over 50 QA assessments for these organisations. He has lectured and published widely both in Australia and overseas and was Australasia’s contributing editor of the SSPC Journal of Protective and Linings.

And from 1998 until his retirement in 2013, Don was CTI’s Victorian Manager, bringing to us his wide expertise in the appraisal, selection, testing, QA and failure investigation of a diverse range of building materials and products.

As a person, Don was always bright and positive, his enthusiasm for his work and for life in general shining out of every pore in his body.  Every problem could be solved and each was worth the effort.  As so many in the industry before us, we at CTI were privileged to be able to share in Don’s knowledge and determined approach to the complex field of paint technology.

Don was also active outside his professional career, being involved with various community organisations, mainly in the Templestowe region and noted his hobbies as jogging, golf, tennis and sailing. He also travelled extensively.  Obviously a busy and active person.

We offer our sincere condolence to Helen and all of Don’s family and friends.  The world could do with more like him.

Fred, Carol and Bill

A memorial service for Don was held on Friday, 24 February, 2023 at Manningham Uniting Church, Templestowe. 


Don Bartlett receiving the Victor Nightingall Award from Willie Mandeno at the ACA Conference in 2009
Don Bartlett checking out rust on Fraser Island