Michael was a parishioner at St Philip's for many years. Friends and family farewelled Michael at a private service on Friday 15 August. There was a joyful public celebration of Michael's life a few week later.
Dr Michael Sawer OAM was an Associate Professor in Chinese linguistics in the School of Languages and International Studies of the University of Canberra. He remained an Adjunct Associate Professor until his death.
Michael held a Bachelor of Oriental Studies with 1st Class Honours and PhD in Chinese Linguistics—both from ANU. He studied the teaching of Chinese as a Foreign Language at Beijing Language and Culture University and taught Mandarin Chinese at Australian universities and English at universities in China and Taiwan from 1970. He led study tours to China and undertook language research in both Beijing and Taipei.
Dr Sawer was awarded OAM for contributions to Australia-China relations.
Michael was a fine musician and bass singer. He appeared in many theatrical and choral productions presented by a wide variety of Canberra musical organisations.