Gino Beltrame '52

Written on the 3 May 2018 by Old Collegians Association

Gino Beltrame AM

Excerpt from 2004 Rostrevor Magazine

Congratulations to 1952 graduate, Mr. Gino Beltrame B. Eng. (Hons), who was awarded the AM in the 2004 Australia Day awards.

Gino Beltrame AM

Gino has worked for the WRE and now DSlD (Defence, Science and Technology Organisation) for over 40 years and was awarded the AM "For service in the field of defence science and technology, particularly through the development of a countermeasure decoy system for use against anti-ship missiles."

Gino attended Adelaide University from 19S3 studying Engineering and on completion of his degree in 1957 he gained employment at the Weapons Research Establishment at Salisbury as a Scientific Officer.

He married Maria in 1959 and together they travelled to England for two years working at Royal Aircraft Establishment, Farnborough where he undertook training in defence projects. On his return to Adelaide he took up a project providing systems analysis advice to the Army for the acquisition of surface-to-air guided weapons systems such as the Rapier system. He worked in this area until the early 70's, then began work on battlefield sensors and was in charge of a Group developing battlefield computer systems through simulation and modelling. 

From the 1952 Annual: Gino Beltrame.

In 1980 he began work for the Navy on what became known as the Nulka Project. Nulka is an aboriginal word meaning "to deceive and the project developed a hovering rocket decoy carrying an electronic payload that could be flown in a direction to deceive incoming guided missiles and redirect them away from the ship to be protected.

Testing of the system was conducted at Woomera and Jervis Bay and when completed the system was adopted firstly by the RAN and then by the US Navy. 

Gino advanced fairly quickly through the ranks at DSTO. He began as a Research Scientist then a Senior Scientist, a Principal Scientist and retired as a Research Leader although he is still a consultant to the industry. He and Maria have four sons who also attended Rostrevor: John, Peter, Michael and Anthony. Anthony is currently on the staff at Rostrevor as Science Coordinator. Grandson Sam is currently in Year 8.

Football First XVIII - from the 1952 Annual.
Seated: G Kains, J Marks, J Newman. B Kain. D Clifford (Capt.), S Hayles, B Byrne. G Quigley.
Middle Row: D Sh
annan, B Hennessey, J O'Brien, J Hannan, G Beltrame, M McAuley, M Shanahan, M Page.
Top Row: L Connell, J Meyers, R Hopkins, R Kemp, P Thiele, N Reidy.

When Gino commenced work at WRE there were over 3,000 people on the staff and the facility covered seven square miles. Other Rostrevor graduates Gino is aware of who have worked at WRE are Nick Canny ('43), John O'Brien ('52), John Curtin ('52), Brian O'Loughlin ('52) and Bernard 'Doc' Sheedy.

In his final year at Rostrevor Gino was a Prefect and represented the College in the lst XVlll, cricket and had an interest in gymnastics. A lifelong friend from his Rostrevor days is Des Flaherty, who now resides in Melbourne with his wife Pauline. Gino and Des attended St Joseph's, Tranmere together and then Rostrevor. Pauline's brothers were also graduates, Jim and John Jenkins. Others he -remembers fondly from his school days include Peter Day and Peter Phillips. 

From the 1950 Annual: Sports Day.

Br Mogg was Head during Gino's time at Rostrevor. Br D P O'Connor was Deputy and bursar and Gino recalls his initials forming an amusing acronym as bursar: "Don't Pinch Our Cash!" Br Kerwick (' are you with us or against us?'), Br McMahon, Br Gurr and Br Carroll are others he recalls. 

One amusing anecdote Gino recalls was during Saturday morning Chemistry Prac with John Marks. Gino was working on his prac while, unbeknown to Gino, John was conducting his own experiments with the manufacture of a concoction with the properties of a match head. Gino recalls an almighty explosion, the shattering and spraying of glass and a pall of smoke from which emerged John Marks, thankfully with only superficial injuries.

Gino has not only been an exceptional contributor in his professional life, with wife Maria, he has been an outstanding contributor to various Adelaide Catholic communities. Gino has been Chairman of the Aged Care Management Board of the Society of St Hilarion (1999-2003), Honorary Treasurer of St Francis of Assisi Parish (since 1980), and Honorary 'Treasurer of the St Francis of Assisi New Church Building Committee (1981-86).

From the 1952 Annual: The Rostrevor Bus.

The ROCA acknowledge Gino and M Beltrame and their extended family­ the contributions made in achieving AM and for bringing further credit to the name of Rostrevor College and the work of the Christian Brothers. Palma Merenti.


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Author:Old Collegians Association


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