It is with great sadness that we learnt of the death of Pluto author Frans Timmerman earlier this week. The following obituary was passed on to us by his partner, Anitra Nelson.
Frans Timmerman was best known as a political activist, for his various careers in publishing, and for his profound love and knowledge of music.
A Life Member of the ALP (Australian Labor Party), ardent advocate of the Socialist Left, including leadership of the Victorian Pledge faction, Frans worked for over 15 years for six state and federal members of parliament. Frans was an outspoken supporter of social justice, especially the Palestinian cause, and for the peace and environmental movements.
His journalism and media work began writing for student newspapers in the late 1960s, and then, in the early 1970s as editor of Tharunka at the University of New South Wales and National U for the Australian Union of Students. He joined with another student editor, David Spratt, to produce Alternate News Service and later the trade union paper Frontline, as well as Free Palestine (with Ali Kazak). Frans was a professional editor for the CSIRO for several years, a fully accredited freelance editor for decades, and was responsible for editing in Melbourne Media Services, a desktop publishing business that he ran with David Spratt. Others knew him through his second hand bookshop in Brunswick (Victoria) and later in Katoomba (NSW).
His most recent work was as co-editor, and co-author of certain chapters in, Life Without Money: Building Fair and Sustainable Economies (Pluto, 2011), recently issued as an eBook. He collaborated on Life Without Money with his partner, Anitra Nelson.
Early in 2013 Frans was diagnosed with an aggressive form of motor neurone disease, progressive bulbar palsy, and deteriorated rapidly. Frans is survived by his partner Anitra, his three brothers Julius, Peter and Herman, and his mother Margje Timmerman.