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No plans to stop for this 103 university professor

With an ageing population, the current retirement age is a strongly debated topic and Kiwis are having to rethink their approach to retirement.

One Australian man is taking this approach a step further and continues to work four days a week at the age of 103.

Dr David Goodall officially retired over 40 years ago at the age of 65. But he missed his job at Perth’s Edith Cowan University so much that he decided to return and work for free.

Speaking on SBS’s Insight program, Dr Goodall said he would keep working until his last breath.

When asked by host Jennie Brockie why he insisted on going into the office, he replied jokingly:

“I have nothing much else to do.”

“My work was plant ecology, I was studying vegetations.”

He initially retired at the age of 65 as he felt obliged to due to the policy of the federal government. But missed his life’s passion so much he returned to work for free.

The esteemed academic, who received the Order of Australia at the age of 101, is still at the same University though in an honorary capacity, fronting up to the office four days a week.

Last year he managed to keep his university post despite being ordered to leave on health grounds. His daughter, Karen said at the time “People are staying healthier for longer, and if a person wants to work and is able to work and contribute then I think that each case should be judged on its merits.”

“He is a very intelligent, bright man, sharper than many people a quarter of his age. I think it is very demeaning and disempowering.”

In the end the university stood back from its decided it was within Dr Goodall and the universities best interest to allow him to continue to work there.

Karen said of her father “His work is his hobby as well as his passion”.

When asked what his life would be like without work, he replied: “Well, I don’t know. I think it would be very empty. I should probably continue to work at home. I can do much the same sort of thing at home as I am now doing at the university. But it is better to have a place like that.”