Brian Francis Gibson was born on 4 November 1936 at Ascot Vale, Melbourne, the eldest son of ten children of Kingsley Melbourne Gibson and his wife Agnes, née O’Donnell. He received his secondary education at St Patrick’s College, Ballarat. Kingsley Gibson worked for the Forests Commission Victoria and Brian followed his father into forestry, gaining a forestry scholarship to the University of Melbourne where
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Brian Roper Archer was born at Calder, North-West Tasmania on 21 August 1929, the youngest of four children of Clive Anton Archer and Ellen (Nellie) Archer, née Gilmour. Clive Archer, an artillery officer during WW1, had served at Gallipoli and in France and was awarded the Military Cross. Brian grew up at Calder on the family dairy farm, a sixteen hectare soldier settlement block