Vale Effie Best

posted in: Christie Walk | 1

Vale Dr Effie Deland Best (1931-2022)

A scientist, ecologist, and a supporter of the Peace Foundation, Effie was born in 1931 in Adelaide, South Australia. In 1954 she was awarded a Bachelor of Science with Honours and went on to teach Secondary School biology and later biology at Teachers College. She completed a PhD in science education and inquiry-based learning, and was a co-author of the seminal biology textbook, Biological Science: The Web of Life. Later she became enthused with the application of sociodrama for learning and teaching and trained as a sociodramatist.

In her retirement she was a founding member of the Christie Walk development. The unique small inner city housing development with apartments, town houses and straw bale cottages was designed as a practical prototype for the ecological development of our cities.

“We wanted a green community, comfortable for the residents but kind to the environment; something that would significantly cut our environmental footprint. We wanted to help heal the web of life by bringing biodiversity back into the city. And we wanted it to be a community, not just a collection of disconnected dwellings.”

Effie Best with Paul Downton
Effie Best with Paul Downton in 2005 (Photo: Lumen, University of Adelaide)

Effie was instrumental in realising the vision for Christie Walk. Not just the many challenges of financing and building a sustainable development but more so the forging and maintenance of a community. Her love of gardening, food, wine and good company was infectious.

“I love looking out of my living room windows and being able to say hello to my neighbours. Living here requires a commitment and extra work, but we are rewarded in so many ways.”

She was a wonderfully tolerant, generous, and intelligent woman. The care she invested in the nurture of the Christie Walk community was evident in the care she received in her home at the end of her life. She will be missed.

A life well lived.

  1. Stefano Doglio

    very sad news, Effie came with me to several botanical/natural history tours in Italy & Europe until just before covid struck us, as I do every year a couple of days ago I sent her a photo of my first gentians of the season (her favourite flowers… or at least her favourite alpine flowers), but the mail came back with a “no such user” error. Searched the internet for another email address but found this instead 🙁
    I’m indeed missing her, she was an amazing woman but yes, hers was “a life well lived”. And yes, she was very proud of living in Christie Walk, and showed me & others photos and video of it many, many times.

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