The Royal Geographical Society of Queensland Inc
Dr Peter Griggs
Recently, Tracey and I were fortunate enough to spend some time in Israel. We started our trip in Jerusalem, being present in the city over a Friday and Saturday. These two days coincided with Shabbat or the Sabbath which is Judaism’s day of rest. Businesses, government offices, museums, art galleries and libraries start to close soon after noon on Friday. By the time a siren rings out at dusk announcing the start of Shabbat, much of the city had shut down. It is an eerie feeling when a city falls very quiet, as the traffic dwindles and most of its citizens head indoors for festive meals.
We were staying in accommodation in West Jerusalem, so we decided to go for a walk to see what shops etc. had remained open. Other people who we presumed to be tourists must have had the same idea as we were not alone. We encountered a few open pizzerias and restaurants, and a Filipino grocery store and restaurant which was being well patronised by Filipinos. The presence of so many Filipinos was puzzling and the next day we asked our guide for an explanation. He explained that Israel has an ageing population* and difficulty attracting workers to the aged care sector. Filipinos can enter Israel on five-year work permits, and now make up a considerable portion of the aged care sector in the country.
Jerusalem has a population of approximately 800,000. The city sprawls across several hills which form part of the Judean Mountains, an elevated plateau which runs through the centre of Israel. The hills of Jerusalem are bisected by the Kidron Brook, a non-permanent watercourse that is prone to sudden flooding after rain.
Fig 1. Map showing the three parts of Jerusalem. Source: https://www.city-journal.org/html/between-green-line-and-blue-line-13397.html
Jerusalem has a complicated internal geography (Fig 1). East Jerusalem is quite hilly and populated by approximately 260,000 Palestinian Arabs. Many live in three to six storey apartments (see Figure 2). Until the Six-Day War or Third Arab-Israeli War (5-10 June 1967), this territory was part of Jordan. Jewish areas, however, have been established in East Jerusalem and it is estimated that approximately 200,000 Jews now live in East Jerusalem.
West Jerusalem is not as hilly and is that part of the city created mostly after Israel became a separate country in 1948. Israeli Government Ministries, the Israeli Parliament, and the Israeli National Museum and Art Gallery are located in this part of the city. The third section is the Old City, which was first established c. 1500 BCE, destroyed by the Romans in 70 CE and then later rebuilt during the second and third century CE. Today, it is an area of narrow, winding streets (see Figure 3) and is still surrounded by walls (see Figure 4). The Old City is entered via various gates in the walls (e.g. Damascus; Jaffa; Zion), including one whose name conjures up past city functions (see Figure 5).
Fig 2. A view of East Jerusalem from the Old City, January 2019. Source: Peter Griggs
Fig 3. Some of the narrow streets in the Jewish Quarter, Old City, Jerusalem. Source: Peter Griggs
Most of our time was spent exploring the Old City, which is split into the Armenian, Jewish, Muslim and Christian Quarters. Access to the Muslim Quarter is regulated so we did not visit that part of the Old City where Temple Mount and the Dome of the Rock are situated (can be seen from a distance, however). The other main sites that can be visited include the Western Wall, Herodian mansion ruins, the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, King David’s Tomb (reputedly), Via Dolorosa and various Christian churches.
Fig 4. A view of the Old City of Jerusalem taken from Mount of Olives. The Dome of the Rock, Islam’s third holiest site, is featured in the centre of the image. Source: Peter Griggs
Fig 5. One of Jerusalem’s Old City’s gates. The Dung Gate allows entrance into the Jewish Quarter. Source: Peter Griggs.
We were reminded that Jerusalem has had a violent recent past (and ancient past) when our guide showed as two features. The first was the bullet holes made in the city’s walls by the fighting between the Israeli and Jordanian troops in 1967. The second was the site where archaeological excavations have revealed an almost metre thick layer of ash which the archaeologists have concluded was created after the Romans destroyed Jerusalem in 70 CE.
For a very readable account of Jerusalem’s complicated history, I would recommend Simon Montefiore’s Jerusalem. The Biography (London: Phoenix, 2011).
* In 2018, 11.6% of Israel’s population was aged over 65 years of age (Source: CIA World Factbook).
By Todd McNeill
Growing up I have always had a fascination about Earth and the planets in our solar system which resulted in many questions relating to their origins and the mechanisms which shaped them. For many of my teenage years, geographical, geological and space documentaries, aided by Google fuelled my desire to learn more about Earth and the planets that made up our solar system. However, I reached a point where my education became a bottleneck limiting me from understanding the greater complexities of planetary systems. As result this led me to pursue a degree and future career in physical geography (geomorphology).
Geomorphology aims to understand the relationship between landforms and the biological, chemical and physical mechanisms that currently and have historically shaped them. For me Summerfield (1991) best describes geomorphology as, ‘...the science concerned with the form of the landsurface and the processes which create it’.
The geomorphology disciplinehas been further extended into areas such as landscapes of planetary bodies within the solar system and also the study of submarine features (Summerfield, 1991).
Why pursue a degree and career in physical geography?
One of the many benefits of geomorphology is that the discipline’s philosophies are carried over many environments, whether that is aeolian, catchment, coastal, glacial or my personal favourite coral reef geomorphology. As a result, my current time studying geomorphology has allowed for me to adventure out and experience many of the magnificent landscapes the world has to offer, including fringing reefs of Middle Island, Tully Gorge and the Atherton Tablelands to name a few.
The science of geomorphology is also surrounded by many aspects from other allied disciplines, such as geochemistry, hydrology, and climatology to name a few. Pursuing a degree and career in physical geography will provide one with the critical thinking required to piece together the processes that have moulded the landscape in the past and continue to shape it today.
Studying physical geography also provides advancements in one’s technical skill set in areas such as interpreting satellite data through remote sensing, developing maps and models through geographic information systems (GIS) and plotting models and data using programming languages such as R.
Economic outlookLooking at a career in geomorphology from an economic point of view, according to Australian Governments Job Outlook, geomorphologists looking to work in the environmental science sectors are forecast to see strong job growth over the next 5 years. Other social professionals (geographers) are also forecast to see moderate future growth over the next 5 years.
ConclusionNow is a very exciting time to pursue a degree and career in geomorphology. Whether your interest is in a particular environmental setting or just a desire to better understand the landforms surrounding you,I am sure geomorphology will be a very rewarding career.
ReferenceDepartment of Jobs and Small Business 2019, Environmental Scientists, Australian Government, viewed 06 April 2019, https://joboutlook.gov.au/Occupation.aspx?search=alpha&code=2343
Department of Jobs and Small Business 2019, Social Professionals, Australian Government, viewed 06 April 2019, https://joboutlook.gov.au/Occupation.aspx?search=Career&code=2724
This year, The Royal Geographical Society of Queensland prize for the highest achieving student in the geography major at the University of the Sunshine Coast was a tie, and the joint winners are Caleb Mattiske and Kent Olive. Both achieved a perfect grade point average of 7.0 out of a possible 7.0. Caleb is now working in the Northern Territory and Kent has enrolled for his Honours research year.
The same award at James Cook University, Townsville was presented to Todd McNeill. Todd has contributed a News article on why one should pursue a career in geography.
Internal Migration in China
Dr Aude Bernard
Dr Aude Bernard is a Population Geographer/Demographer, an ARC DECRA fellow in the Queensland Centre for Population Research, within the School of Earth and Environmental Sciences at the University of Queensland. Her research interests are in human mobility and migration.
Dr. Bernard works closely with the Asian Demographic Research Institute (ADRI) to advance understanding of migration behaviour in Asia and its socio-demographic impact on societies. One of the countries that Dr. Bernard has been researching is China using a cohort perspective to analyse migration levels, patterns and reasons for moving in China for cohorts born between 1935 and 1974. She applies this approach to migration histories retrospectively collected as part of the China Health and Retirement Longitudinal Study in 2014. She is also developing migration projections to provide insights into how migration levels are likely to evolve in the coming decades in China. Her research shows modest but rising levels of migration underpinned by a reduction in lifetime immobility and a rise in repeat movement, largely caused by an upswing in employment-related migration. Significant sex differentials are demonstrated that have persisted across successive cohorts.
Dr. Bernard has recently completed work for UNESCO to establish the association between internal migration and education attainment in countries at various stages of development. In 2016, she was awarded an ARC Discovery Early Career Researcher Award (DECRA) to examine the long-term decline of internal migration rates in advanced economies. This project aims to establish the onset and pace of migration decline and identify the socio-economic causes of this profound shift in human mobility.
Bernard, A 2017, 'Cohort Measures of Internal Migration: Understanding Long-Term Trends', Demography, vol. 54, no. 6, pp. 2201-21.
Bernard A., Bell, M, and Zhu Y. (2019) Migration in China: A cohort approach to understanding past and future trends, Population, Space and Place, 2019-e2234. https://doi.org/10.1002/psp.2234
Open Day: On Tuesday, 9th April we welcomed around 40 members and visitors to RGSQ’s new home - Gregory Place for our “Open Day”. Many commented that it definitely looked like a Geographical Society! Members also remarked that a key benefit of the new premises was the easy access which the “open plan” now allowed to browse the library and map collections. To do so had, previously, been somewhat difficult at Milton as these resources were located in a separate room from the auditorium and were rarely used by members.
I would like to thank Bob Abnett and Ian Francis for leading a team of volunteers (John Fairbairn, Jim Graham, Roger Grimley, John Ladbrook, Neville McManimm, Peter Nunan, Graham and Kay Rees, Bob Reid, Mary Comer, Ralph Carlisle) who worked to complete the fit-out of the new premises, and preparing and catering for the Open Day/Evening.
And so, this completes our move … We now hope to see members coming along to enjoy Gregory Place, browse our library and map collections, attend the regular monthly lectures, meetings of special interest groups or just to drop in any time they are in the vicinity.
Changes to office staffing: Recognising the Society’s expanding range of activities and obligations, in late 2018 Council resolved to address a critical need to review and restructure RGSQ office employed positions. Over the past few months, in consultation with our existing staff, we have been engaged in clarifying and redefining office roles. We believe the changes will assist staff in their work and enable us to pursue more effectively the Society’s wider goals in promoting Geography. The changes which have been introduced are:
I would like to thank Bernard, Lilia and Rosie for their cooperation and assistance during this process of change. The next few months will be a period of transition during which responsibilities are re-aligned. Members please note:
Please support our staff in their new roles and thank you for your recognition of these changes.
I look forward to seeing you at RGSQ Gregory Place.
Dr. Iraphne Childs, President
The Australian Geography Competition mailout was completed during the week of 12-15 March. Special thanks to Lilia Darii, Kath Berg, John and Mary Nowill for taking on extra responsibilities with this mailout and to members: Ian Francis, Roger Grimley, Neville McManimm, Mary Comer, Kay and Graham Rees, Bob Reed, Catherine Martin, John and Doreen Wilkinson for their help and other RGSQ members for their offer of assistance.
I am happy to report that the fit-out work at our new premises in Fortescue Street, Spring Hill is now complete. Staff and volunteers have been working tirelessly throughout this process to keep RGSQ activities going. I would especially like to thank Bob Abnett and his Gregory House Committee, (Paul Broad, Ian Francis, Chris Spriggs and Bernard Fitzpatrick), for their excellent work in designing, organising and supervising the fit-out, and for many member volunteers who have given their time and effort in setting up our new space. It’s a pleasure to now be able to invite members to visit our new home on Open day on April 9th.
RGSQ's new home - Gregory House, 1/28 Fortescue St, Spring Hill
[photo: I Childs]
Spring Hill is one of Brisbane’s oldest suburbs, with many houses dating from the nineteenth century. Spring Hill was so named because the hill on which the suburb was built was the source of the creek that was Brisbane's first fresh water supply. Boundary Street was named due to the racist policy of separating Europeans from the Jagera and Turrbal peoples whose territories originally extended from Moreton Bay to Toowoomba, including Brisbane and Ipswich. Aboriginal people were exiled beyond the boundary lines after 4pm, six days a week and completely on Sundays. Police troopers rode the perimeter cracking stock-whips and rigidly enforced the curfew.
Following land subdivisions in the 1870s, the lower Spring Hill slopes became increasingly overcrowded. By the time of the Great Depression in 1929, Spring Hill had become renowned for its seedy cheap rents, crowded boarding houses, high levels of unemployment, brothels and criminals which all helped to give Spring Hill a bad reputation that continued until the 1950s. In the 1960s some parts of Spring Hill began to attract young professionals who were drawn to the character of the area. This heralded an era of gentrification with many of the small timber and tin “workers” cottages and grand historic buildings along Wickham Terrace beautifully restored. Today, Spring Hill is one of Brisbane’s most sought-after places to live. Fortescue Street is representative of these changes.
The Lady in Blue, 122 Fortescue Street
This is the former site of the Presbyterian Mission Hall. Deaconess May Walker gave forty years of her life looking after the poor and needy in Spring Hill, becoming known as the ‘Blue Angel’. She sought to alleviate the poverty and hardship she saw in Spring Hill, particularly women and children. In the 1920s, St Andrew’s Presbyterian Church constructed a mission hall on the corner of Fortescue and Wedd streets to assist with her endeavours. The hall became a community centre where those in need could go and be given food, clothing and nursing also. Now the site is residential units.
Claydon House, 149 Fortescue St
[Photo: R Carlisle]
This building was constructed in 1879 by Irish bricklayer, William Jackson. Upon completion of the building, Jackson ran the unlicensed “Spring Hill Tavern” from the premises. Popular legend has it that it was so noisy and disreputable that a public petition demanded its closure in 1888.
The building was converted to a local store in the early 1900s. Renovations over the years have maintained its external heritage significance. The building is now a legal practice.
The row of five cottages called ‘Park Terrace’ was built between 1889 and 1890 by local engineer James Anderson as investment properties. Fortescue Street was then a well-established suburban street. Targeted at a professional clientele, the rents for each cottage may have been higher than other houses in Fortescue Street. e.g. in 1890, the cottages were home to an engineer, an architect, the secretary of the Queensland Club and a Madame Boucherville (profession unknown). By 1910, the tenants renting the cottages had changed to artisan and working class people including a shop assistant, tailoress, prison guard and a missionary. Park Terrace had fallen into disrepair by the 1970s and Spring Hill’s character and proximity to the city was increasingly valued. By 1988, all five cottages had been restored and they are still there today.
Early Settler Recollections of Bygone Brisbane, http://www.brisbanehistory.com/HAP_recollect.html
Saunter through Spring Hill. Brisbane Heritage Trails. Brisbane City Council https://www.brisbane.qld.gov.au/sites/default/files/20150604_-_saunter_through_spring_hill.pdf
|Brisbane could rename historically racist Boundary streets, Brisbane times January 30, 2016
Dr Iraphne Childs, RGSQ President
Wild Apricot for Members is a free App for IOS (Apple) or Android phones that is very convenient for managing your RGSQ events. You can book and pay for events as well as checking your bookings. With a finger click you can ensure that all your bookings go into your calendar as a reminder, just in case you forget. How easy is that?
Download Wild Apricot for Members from the App Store and use your normal RGSQ account/password to login. Next time you open the App, it will automatically log you in. And yes - you can also pay your membership fees and update your personal profile. New features will be added from time to time.
The RGSQ website is built using the Wild Apricot web engine.
by Iraphne Childs
Many members will have known, may have worked with, or at least be aware of Dr. John Sinclair, the pioneering conservationist who spent decades lobbying to stop sand mining and logging on Fraser Island. Sadly, John died on 3rd February aged 79 after a battle with cancer.
John was born in Maryborough and formed the Fraser Island Defenders Organisation (FIDO) in 1971. In the 1970s he took the then-Queensland premier Sir Joh Bjelke-Petersen's government to court for failing to protect the natural environment of Fraser Island. With his solicitor, Mr Stephen Comino, he subsequently took a case to the High Court of Australia which overturned the decision of a Mining Warden to grant a mining lease on Fraser Island (Sinclair v Mining Warden at Maryborough (1975). John Sinclair made great personal sacrifices in the two-decade battle for protection of Fraser Island. He was left bankrupt. However, the public attention his efforts and the court cases received paved the way for Fraser Island’s eventual listing as a World Heritage-listed site in 1992 assisted by the Fraser Government’s decision to cancel export licences for mineral sands.
John gave a lecture at RGSQ Milton in February 2009 entitled “The Great Sandy Region: natural wonder of the world”. In this lecture he emphasised the geographical and biological uniqueness of Fraser Island, saying that “this fragile and beautiful region must be protected from unsympathetic development and its wilderness qualities saved from pressures on the land and surrounding estuaries”. Clearly, in 2009 he was still very concerned about the future of Fraser Island, despite its World-Heritage listing.
John’s conservation efforts have been widely recognised: in 1976 he was named Australian of the Year for his leading role in protecting Fraser Island; in 1990 he was honoured with the United Nations Environment Program’s Global 500 Award for individuals who made a significant role in protecting the environment; in 1993 he received the Goldman Environmental Prize; in 2014 he was appointed in the Order of Australia and in 2017 received an Honorary doctorate from the University of the Sunshine Coast. John’s achievements and passion for the environment will continue to provide inspiration to protect the values of our precious World Heritage Sites. His latest project was to extend the Fraser Island Great Walk by building a 52 kilometre-long George Haddock Track. Mr Sinclair's family have requested that he be remembered by donations to further the wisest possible use of Fraser Island. A public memorial service will be held in about a month.
Tony Moore, Sydney Morning Herald, 4/2/19 The conservationist who stopped mining on Fraser Island dies at 79 https://www.smh.com.au/environment/conservation/the-conservationist-who-stopped-mining-on-fraser-island-dies-at-79-20190204-p50vii.html
The Courier Mail “Fraser Island protector praised for his courage”, 6 February, 2019 Environmental Defenders Office, 5 February 2019, Remembering Dr John Sinclair AO, the dedicated conservationist who helped protect Fraser Island from mining for future generations. https://www.edoqld.org.au/vale_dr_john_sinclair_ao
Professor Hamish McGowan
Professor Hamish McGowan is a Geographer in the School of Earth and Environmental Sciences at the University of Queensland. His research interests include meteorological hazards, earth surface-atmosphere interactions, weather and climates of Alpine and mountainous regions, the role of atmospheric dust in local, regional and global climate dynamics and palaeoclimate reconstruction.
Professor McGowan has been developing a new field of research into severe weather – in particular thunderstorm and bushfire meteorology. The research is based in eastern Australia making use of the natural thunderstorm hotspot of southeast Queensland, and the bushfire prone states of NSW and Victoria. The research is supported by partners in the Bureau of Meteorology, NSW Rural Fire Service, Victoria Country Fire Authority and Queensland Fire and Emergency Services.
This severe weather research is distinguished internationally by the novel use of a portable dual polarised x-band radar (UQ-XPOL). Japanese Radar manufacturer Furuno is providing technical support and software upgrades to enable new radar scanning patterns to observe storm and smoke plume dynamics. Professor McGowan believes this work will have far reaching international applications as his team develops mobile radar specifically designed for real-time wildfire observation and pyro-convective plume dynamics.
Photo: Courtesy of H. McGowan
McGowan, H.A., Soderholm, J.S., Callow, N.J., McGrath, G.S. and Campbell, M.L. (2018) Global warming in the context of 2000 years of Australian alpine temperature and snow cover. Scientific Reports-Nature Publications, DOI:10.1038/s41598-018-22766-z.
McCarthy, N., McGowan, H., Guyot, A. and Dowdy, A. (2018) Mobile X-Pol radar: A new tool for investigating pyroconvection and associated wildfire meteorology. Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, doi:10.1175/BAMS-D-16-0118.1.
Dear Members, it was great to see so many of you at our Welcome evening on February 5th. The overview presentations from our special interest groups gave a good idea of what is planned for this year’s Society activities, overseas tours, treks and monthly lectures. I hope you can enjoy participating in some of these events.
The re-fitting of our new home in Level 1/28 Fortescue street Spring Hill is proceeding as planned. The Gregory House committee has negotiated with tradesmen to undertake the work we require to change the layout of the space to fit our purposes. With the Christmas-New Year holidays it was not possible to commence construction until late January. It is anticipated that the work will be completed in March. At present there is limited access to the premises, so we will have the March lecture meeting at the Lavalla Centre in Rosalie. The RGSQ office in Fortescue street will be staffed throughout and can be contacted as usual.
As always with geographical interest, we have noted the extreme weather events experienced across the globe in January-February 2019. In both the northern hemisphere winter and southern hemisphere summer climatic conditions have been more severe than those experienced at the same time in 2018. The Mid-West of the USA experienced a “polar vortex” – a super cold period with temperatures plummeting to minus 40deg. in some parts and with heavy snow drifts causing road and air transport chaos.
Australia’s heatwave January 2019; source Bureau of Meteorology
Townsville flooding. Source: ABC News, 5 February 2019
Steve Turton (Geographer, RGSQ Thomson Medallist) The stubborn high-pressure system behind Australia’s record heatwaves; The Conversation 25 January 2019 https://theconversation.com/the-stubborn-high-pressure-system-behind-australias-record-heatwaves-110442
Port Augusta's hot weather record broken again; Sun Herald 24 January, 2019 https://www.theherald.com.au/story/5869116/port-augustas-hot-weather-record-broken-again/
BOM says Townsville flooding far from over, as city lies trapped in weather 'convergence' zone; ABC News, 5 February 2019 https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-02-05/what-is-causing-record-rainfall-and-floods-in-townsville/10779032
The Royal Geographical Society of Queensland Inc
Gregory Place, Level 1/28 Fortescue St, Spring Hill Qld 4000Tel 07 3368 2066ABN 87 014 673 email@example.com