Bernard HickeyBernard Hickeyi(A29294 works by)(birth name: Bernard JosephHickey) Born:Established:22 Mar 1931Maryborough,Maryborough (Qld) area,Maryborough - Hervey Bay - Fraser Island area,Maryborough - Rockhampton area,Queensland,;Died:Ceased:30 Jul 2007Lecce,
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Bernard Hickey was born in Maryborough, Queensland, the youngest of four children. He attended Christian Brothers schools, and, for a year, a Franciscan novitiate in New South Wales. He graduated from Queensland Teachers College and taught for about two years at Meandu Creek State School near Kingaroy. He also began an Arts degree at the University of Queensland, and completed it, followed by a Master of Arts, at Trinity College, Dublin. From 1956 to 1962 Hickey taught in Kent and London, and from 1962 he taught English language in Rome. He was awarded a doctorate in literature from the University of Rome, with Patrick White as the subject of his dissertation. In 1968 he joined Ca' Foscari University in Venice as a teacher of Commonwealth literature. There he was an associate professor for some years, and was also the co-ordinator of the Australian Writers' Studio in Venice for the Australia Council. In 1987 he became professor of English literature at the University of Lecce, where he taught Australian literature for twenty years. He was also in latter years the Director of the Observatory of Diasporas ('L'Osservatorio sulle Diaspore, le Culture e le Istituzioni dei Paesi d'Oltremare') at the University of Lecce.
Hickey was a pioneer of Australian Studies in Italy and in Europe, and was known for his tireless work in this area. As well as teaching Australian literature, he actively promoted it through conferences, readings, and his own hospitality to Australian writers in Italy. His efforts between 1969 and 1988 led to the establishment of a permanent Australian pavilion at the Venice Biennale, and also the B.R. Whiting Writer's Studio in Rome (the successor of the Australian Writers' Studio in Venice). In 1995 he donated to the University of Lecce his collection of about 8000 volumes of Australian and Commonwealth literature. He also established the Australian Studies Centre which houses the collection, known as the 'Fondo Commonwealth/Hickey'. It has been described as the largest collection of post-colonial literature in the Meditteranean.
In 2004 he was awarded an Honorary Doctorate from the Australian Catholic University. Hickey was an honorary life member of the European Association for Studies of Australia, and was also Patron of the Fellowship of Australian Writers. He died and was buried in Lecce.