Desmond Patrick Ballantyne

Dr Desmond Patrick Ballantyne, born in the Mater Maternity Ward on Fulham Road in Townsville on 14 February 1975 is the son of James Ballantyne and Jacinta Chin, proprietors of Ballantyne & Chin, Accountants in the shopping centre and commercial development on the corner of Ross River Road and Elizabeth Street opposite Stockland Plaza.

After attending primary school at Holy Spirit school in Cranbrook (1980-86) he completed his secondary education at the neighbouring Ignatius Park College (1987-91). 

His family lived in a sprawling riverside compound in Cranbrook, handily convenient to the James Cook University campus at Douglas. 

Desmond's Year Twelve result, an OP 1, would have taken him into Medicine if there had been a medical school at James Cook in 1992. While he could have moved to Brisbane, he decided to stay in Townsville, living at home and funding his living costs by enlisting in the Army Reserve. He had been a member of the Army Cadets at Ignatius Park, 

After completing a Bachelor of Science with Honours in marine biology (1992-95), he went on to a doctorate, working on the toxicology of venomous marine life found in northern waters (1996-99). He was carrying out fieldwork off the coast of Arnhem Land in 1997, working out of Nhulunbuy and Elcho Island when he met his wife Lynette, a Gumatj Yolngu woman.

She moved to Townsville with him when his fieldwork was complete, and the couple lived in the granny flat attached to his parents' residence. 

The flat was formerly occupied by Desmond's grandfather Doug Ballantyne, who had passed away in 1995. Their first child, Belinda, was born in 1998, followed by Michael in 2000 and Tamara in 2001.

© Ian Hughes 2017