The Caloundra Catholic community is mourning the loss of long-serving parish priest and community member Fr John Dobson.
The Caloundra Catholic community is mourning the loss of long-serving parish priest and community member Fr John Dobson. Inga Williams

Tributes flow for much-loved Coast priest Fr John Dobson

USC Vice-Chancellor Professor Greg Hill has expressed his condolences to the family and friends of Fr John Dobson who died earlier this week.

For more than 30 years Fr Dobson was a popular parish priest at Caloundra and was Chancellor of the University of the Sunshine Coast from 2007 to 2017. 

Professor Hill said John would be fondly remembered for his commitment to the university, the community and education, and for his genuine interest in students and their struggles and successes.

"During his term as Chancellor, John chaired many University Council meetings that made significant decisions about USC's identity, direction and future," Prof Hill said.

"Among these was the expansion of USC from a single campus institution to a multi-campus university with a footprint from Moreton Bay to the Fraser Coast.

"He was a fantastic ambassador for philanthropy at USC, maintaining that education is the best investment we can make.

"His work in helping establish the Sunshine Coast Mind and Neuroscience - Thompson Institute at Birtinya to foster advocacy, teaching, research and clinical work in the prevention and treatment of mental illness, will have a lasting legacy for the region."

USC earlier this year acknowledged John Dobson's leadership and dedication to USC and the wider community by awarding him an Honorary Doctorate.

EARLIER: THE Sunshine Coast Catholic community is mourning the loss of long-serving parish priest and community member Fr John Dobson.

Fr Dobson was the priest of Caloundra for more than 30 years up until his retirement in 2012.

He died on Tuesday night.

For more than a decade, Fr Dobson served as Chancellor of the University of the Sunshine Coast, after serving as a member of the university's council for nine years.

During his term as Chancellor, the University Council made many significant decisions, including the appointment of Prof Greg Hill as Vice-Chancellor and the expansion to a multi-campus university.

Fr Dobson played a key role in securing many philanthropic donations to USC, and received an OAM for his services to the community.

In a Sunshine Coast Daily article announcing his retirement, Fr Dobson said his time in Caloundra had been "wonderful".

"Caloundra has become a great story over the years, from being a very small parish to one of the largest in the nation is significant for me and the town," Fr Dobson said.

"Being a priest is one of the most exciting ways of life and I have no regrets, only that I can't press the replay button and play it all over again."

Mourners have taken to social media to express their sadness at his death.

Carolyn Cassin-Wolff posted: "RIP to a lovely man. Great friend to mum and dad."

Tony Mohr said "Sad news, we had him for a number of years here at Caloundra."

Tabetha Woodward-xenides said: "(He was) a great priest. He is now rewarded by being with God."

Funeral arrangements have been made at St Mary's Ipswich on Friday, December 28, at 11am.