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  • 29 Aug 2018 9:40 AM | Anonymous

    Annual General Meeting - September 11, 2018

    Notice is hereby given to members of the Society that the 2018 Annual General Meeting of The Royal Geographical Society of Queensland Inc will be held:

    at Lavalla Centre, 58 Fernberg Road, Paddington, 4064.

    on Tuesday, the 11th of September 2018, commencing at 7:30 pm, see map on page 8 for directions to the venue.

    The business to be transacted at the meeting is:

    (i)         to receive the Council’s Report and the Statement of Income and Expenditure, Assets and Liabilities of the Society for the financial year to 30th June 2018.

    (ii)        to receive the Auditor’s Report in respect of the financial year to the 30th June 2018.

    (iii)       to appoint the Auditor in respect of the financial year to 30th June 2019.

    (iv)       to elect members of the Council.

    Explanatory Notes

    Business items (i) – (iii)

    Material supporting these items (Council’s Report and the Financial Reports, including the Auditor’s Report) will be available for those attending the meeting, and will be added to the Society’s website following the meeting.

    Business item (iv) Election of Members of the Council

    Under the Rules of the Society, all Councillors retire from office each year, and a new Council is elected by members. The Society Rules provide for a Council of thirteen (13) members. Any member may nominate (and be seconded) for election as a Councillor, and nominations can be lodged at any time up to the commencement of the meeting. For a copy of a Nomination Form, please contact us at The functions of a Councillor are set out in a document ‘Role Description – Councillors’, which can be obtained from the Executive Officer, or any current Councillor.

    The following current members have nominated for election to the Council for 2019 (and positions where indicated):

    Bob Abnett, Paul Broad, Jennifer Carter, Iraphne Childs (President), Duncan Cook, Ian Francis, Peter Griggs (Vice President), Margaret McIvor (Secretary), Leo Scanlan, Chris Spriggs (Treasurer), John Tasker.

    AGM Format

    • 7:30 pm - Annual General Meeting;
    • Presentation on new RGSQ premises (delivered by Bob   Abnett, Chair of Gregory House Standing Committee);
    • Tea, coffee and light supper.
  • 29 Aug 2018 9:38 AM | Anonymous
    UPDATE ON NEW PREMISES: very good news! Over the past few weeks we have been going through a period of “due diligence” seeking confirmation that the property we have been considering in Spring Hill passes all the necessary inspections. This has included a building and pest inspection, town planning inspection, inspection by the Society’s Honorary Architect, Brisbane City Council and other searches (undertaken by our Solicitors) and analysis of body corporate financials (undertaken by our Treasurer and also our Solicitors). I am very pleased to report that all these investigations have been satisfactory and no issues of concern have been noted. RGSQ Council, therefore, expects to be going ahead with the purchase of this property and arranging the settlement date. We look forward to presenting a visual “show and tell” about the new premises including details of the location and internal space, parking options, public transport access and with opportunities for questions from members at the AGM on September 11.

    GEOGRAPHY PRIZES AND MEDALS: on Saturday, 4th August, I had the pleasure of presenting prizes for the Australian Geography Competition (AGC) to this year’s Queensland State winners, years 7-12. The awards were presented at the annual Geography Teachers Association of Queensland conference held at the University of Queensland. In talking to attending geography teachers (including some of my former Education degree students!) it was very pleasing to hear that they are keen to continue the association of the GTAQ with RGSQ.  

    Congratulations to the Australian team which has won two bronze medals at the XV International Geography Olympiad (iGeo) held in Quebec City, Canada, from July 31 to August 6, organised under the auspices of the International Geographical Union (IGU).

    ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING: will be held on Tuesday 11th September at the Lavalla Centre, 58 Fernberg Road, Paddington. The AGM is an important event in the Society’s annual calendar. It provides an opportunity for members to hear a review of the Society’s activities and achievements over the past year and the anticipated projects and plans for the year ahead. I encourage members to come along to the AGM and to participate in the deliberations. If any member wishes to nominate for Council for the 2018-2019 year, nomination forms are available through the RGSQ Office. We would appreciate it if nomination forms could be received at the RGSQ Office by Thursday, September 6th.    

    Dr Iraphne Childs, President

  • 21 Jul 2018 4:28 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The 2018 iGeo is being held in Quebec City, Quebec, Canada from July 31 to August 6, 2018.

    Australian Team Students (announced in the March 2018 Bulletin):

    Sophie Ohlin, NSW, from Sydney Girls High,
    Harry Hall, SA, from Trinity College (Gawler),
    Hannah Wright, SA, from Walford Anglican School for Girls, and
    Phoebe Blaxill, WA, from St Mary's Anglican Girls' School, Karrinyup.

    Australian Team Leaders are:

    Kath Berg, Australian Geography Competition Committee and RGSQ member, and
    Liam Sloan, Geography Teachers Association of South Australia, and 2017 and 2018 Geography’s Big Week Out Coordinator

    The Australian Team will be departing for the 15th iGeo on the weekend of Saturday 28 July.

    We will update members on the Australian Team endeavours at the 15th iGeo in the September Bulletin.

    Australia’s participation at the 15th iGeo is supported by funding from the Australian Department of Education and Training, and Australian Geography Competition sponsorship from Monash University (School of Earth, Atmosphere and Environment (Physical Geography), and School of Social Sciences (Human Geography), Macquarie University (Department of Geography and Planning and Department of Environmental Sciences), and The University of Queensland (School of Earth and Environmental Science).

  • 21 Jul 2018 4:22 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    by Phoebe Blaxill, one of the four students on the Australian team at the 2018 International Geography Olympiad in Quebec City, Canada

    What do you like about geography?
    What I like most about geography is discovering the ways humans interact in complex ways with the natural environment. I have always been a person who is interested in science but also humanities subjects. For me, geography is the ideal subject because it interlinks physical sciences with human sciences such as politics and economics. These interconnections enable us to explore ways to improve our world through sustainable development opportunities. I love this practical aspect that geography brings.

    Why do you want to represent your country at iGeo?
    I am so excited to be representing Australia at iGeo because I am looking forward to sharing my Australian geography experiences with other people from all around the world as well as learning about so many other countries. The world has so many unique and interesting places and I can’t wait to learn about different cultures and environments and meet young people who have a similar passion for learning.

    First published on Canadian Geographic

  • 21 Jul 2018 4:13 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    1985: Thomson Bronze Medal for advancement of geographical education, particularly in outdoor education and orienteering.

    2015 – 2016: RGSQ Councillor

    2015 – 2018: Coordinator of the RGSQ Library Group

    It is with sadness that we inform you of the death of fellow member, Rob Simson, on Sunday 15 July. A member of the RGSQ since 1970, Rob was a geographer and teacher ahead of his time and contributed a great deal to geography education in Queensland and Australia.

    The Society offer our condolences to the Simson family. Rob’s son, Neil, is an RGSQ member and Honorary Planner.

    The following words about Rob have been penned by Ian Stehbens, Rob’s friend and colleague, and RGSQ member.

    “Students have written that Rob challenged them softly with questions, and then gave them the experience to gain the knowledge to answer those questions. Young people felt very proud to have been involved in activities and learning experiences alongside Rob. Rob intentionally brought young people together in environments that meant they built friendships that continued into their adult lives. And those experiences were treasured as "life-changing", "greatest moments of their lives", "giving insights that changed [the] way of thinking and even [their] life choices", "fabulous experience". 

    Geography was taught by Rob to be lived in the world, to appreciate landscapes, to love outdoor recreation, to challenge young people to reach a fuller potential. He led students across the button grass bogs of the Overland Track in Tasmania before it was tamed, he took young people into Robinson Gorge and over Consuelo Tableland before the area was mapped and we relied on oil search aerial photos to navigate our way through the unknown.

    Rob was convenor of the Syllabus Committee at a time when major new paradigms in education were emerging. And we were at the vanguard of the new era: Settlement Patterns and Processes, People & Environment, Australian Geographical Inquiries were new curricula in senior geography. Fieldwork was championed by Rob, and many Weekend Field Camps were held to which teachers accompanied by a group of their students attended and together learnt and developed fieldwork and reporting in geography.

    Innovation was important to Rob, for he had assessed the limiting that old pedagogy had on people, and he could see a new world emerging if young people were inspired, challenged, and peer supported. One of his significant contributions was to give leadership to the Queensland Geography Competition, which brought reward for many fine students, and opened up new discoveries. One of those discoveries that stands out for me is Undarra Lava Tubes, which we encountered through the work of a year 10 distance education student, who lived on the grazing property that embraces those tubes. Today, Undarra is a tourism draw card.”

    The RGSQ would appreciate any information or stories about Rob for our records. Please email the Office at

  • 21 Jul 2018 4:12 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The Society would like to offer condolences to Kevin Teys on the death of his wife Valma Teys on the 4th of July.

  • 21 Jul 2018 3:27 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Barriers to developing commercial opportunities for Canarium Indicum (galip nut) in small Pacific island states

    Dr. Jennifer Carter, Associate Professor in Geography, University of the Sunshine Coast, has been working on barriers to developing commercial activity around the galip nut to provide options for collecting and distributing the nuts to processing plants. 

    Canarium indicum (known as galip in Papua New Guinea) is a nut that grows ubiquitously in the Pacific region and is a staple foodstuff. Commercial development in small island states can be limited by the lack of micro-enterprise clusters and regional arrangements across supply chain networks. Dr. Carter’s participatory action research involved stakeholders reflecting on objectives and options during several workshops and training days. Outcomes by local women participating in the research included value-adding to the galip nuts by drying, roasting, salting and flavouring then packaging in plastic packets with local labels and a galip biscuit recipe using nut by-product after oil extraction.

    An emerging small-scale nut-cracker manufacturer is hoping to provide equipment at an affordable price. There is now a greater interest in PNG for the galip factory and packaged product and a positive outlook for the establishment of a galip industry. Challenges remain around the costs and reliability of electricity and fuel supplies, and the procurement and retainment of both suitable skilled and unskilled staff. A key aspiration is the desirability of employing young community people in this emerging industry.

    Reference: Carter, J and Smith, E.  (2016) Spatialising the Melanesian Canarium industry: understanding economic upgrading in an emerging industry among three Pacific small island states.  Geoforum 75: 40-51.

  • 21 Jul 2018 11:06 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    ** CHANGE OF VENUE FOR LECTURE NIGHTS: Following our 3rd July lecture meeting we received notice that Magda Hall was experiencing some difficulties and regrettably could not accommodate any public events over the next few months, including our monthly meetings. Fortunately, we have been able to confirm bookings for our August and September meetings at the Lavalla Marist Centre, 58 Fernberg Road, Paddington. In case you are wondering, this venue was not available when we inquired earlier in the year, hence our use of Magda Hall, Bardon. This turn of events highlights the potential problems of having to rely on hiring meeting venues and the need for RGSQ to have an auditorium/lecture space at the Society’s own premises.

    ** NEW PREMISES: Good news! Council has identified a suitable and very attractive property in Spring Hill for the Society’s new home. After much consideration and advice received from our solicitors that the relevant documents are in order, we have signed a conditional contract for the property. We are now in a period of “due diligence” investigations, seeking confirmation that this property passes all the necessary inspections and answers the remaining questions that we, and our solicitors, have. If all goes well we will confirm a settlement date as soon as possible. I hope to have more news on this to share with members very soon.

    **ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING: The time for our AGM is drawing closer. This year the AGM will be held on Tuesday 11th September at the Lavalla Centre, 58 Fernberg Road, Paddington. The AGM is an important event in the Society’s annual calendar. It provides an opportunity for members to hear a review of the Society’s activities and achievements over the past year and the anticipated projects and plans for the year ahead.

    I encourage members to come along to the AGM and to participate in the deliberations.

    ** NEW CONSTITUTION: You may recall that, at a meeting of members on 6 June 2017, then President Jamie Shulmeister, led a discussion which centred on the incorporation status of the Society. A new Constitution is central to adoption of a revised basis of incorporation, which will move away from the Letters Patent structure under which the Society has operated since its inception in 1885, to a Company Limited by Guarantee (CLG) under the Commonwealth Corporations Act. The proposed new Constitution and By-Laws reflect work that has been undertaken on this over the past 12 months. The draft new Constitution, By-laws and explanatory information on the need for the proposed changes were distributed to members on 22 June with an invitation to attend a “Q&A” session on 3 July 6.30-7.15 prior to the July lecture presentation. Council welcomed input and comments from members who attended that Q&A session and other written comments from members. There is still some work to be done on this, and hopefully it will be ready to present to members later this year.

    ** ELECTION OF SOCIETY COUNCILLORS AND PRESIDENT: Another very important item on the AGM agenda is the election of the President and Councillors. If any member wishes to nominate for Council for the 2018-2019 year, nomination forms are available through the RGSQ office, ph. 07 3368 2066 or email We would appreciate it if any nominations are received by Thursday, September 6. Please send the nominations to or by post to The Royal Geographical Society of Queensland, 237 Milton Rd, Milton, 4064.

    Dr Iraphne Childs, President

  • 26 Jun 2018 3:10 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Well it was new around the mid 18th century. The little pocket globe featured in the image of the 'Latest News' summaries on the Society's Home page was taken at the National Library during the Mapping Group's visit to Canberra in Nov 2017. The NLA's collection of almost a 1M maps, includes several of these wonderful pocket-size terrestrial globes.

    The globe pictured was made by Leonard Cushee of London, most likely between 1754 and 1760. 

    Note in the detail of the map on the right that both New Guinea and Dimen's Land were thought to be connected to the mainland

    A pocket globe dated 1754 did not have the completed east coast of Australia (New Holland as it was called on maps of the day) because it was still unexplored.

    A similar globe produced in 1776 included Cook's voyage along the east coast. New Guinea is now separate from Australia and New Zealand is mapped.

    Information courtesy of the National Library of Australia, Canberra ACT.
    Images by Kay Rees and NLA

  • 23 Jun 2018 5:36 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The oldest document found in the recent reorganisation of the Society’s archives has nothing to do with geography! It is an 1819 pamphlet produced for the London showing of Benjamin West’s painting Death on the Pale Horse.

     Death on a Pale Horse, B West (Wikimedia Commons)

    West was an American-born artist who specialised in scenes developed from biblical text and this painting completed in 1817, used apocalyptic themes from Revelation 6:8 referring to Death, War, Famine and Pestilence. The Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts notes on its website that “The biblical narrative of the painting was considered to be so complex that it was originally exhibited with an explanatory pamphlet”. A copy of the 7-page pamphlet (cover shown below) is held by the Society.

    The most likely provenance of the pamphlet has been traced to Sir Thomas Mitchell who was assistant then Surveyor-General of New South Wales from 1827 to 1855. After serving at Salamanca in the Peninsular War, Major Mitchell married in Lisbon then took an army pension and returned to London. He had always been keen on art and took the opportunity to hone his skills. It is supposed that he went to the 1819 London showing of Death on the Pale Horse and purchased the pamphlet for sixpence.

    In 1946 Mitchell’s grandson, an art dealer, sold a number of Mitchell’s paintings to the Society and, after the Society built the Mitchell monument in Mitchell, he donated a number of his grandfather’s artefacts and documents to the Society. Presumably, the pamphlet was one of those.

    To test the significance of the pamphlet, the painting was tracked down to the Detroit Institute of Art (DIA) which has a version of the painting but does not mention the pamphlet in its extensive bibliography, suggesting that the pamphlet is extremely rare. The DIA was contacted by email and has requested a digital copy to try to clear up uncertainty about the showings of various versions of the painting. This has been sent. For the time being the document is safely filed away with other Mitchell rarities in new archive boxes while the Society’s archive reorganisation continues.

    by Peter Lloyd, RGSQ member and past President, for the Archives Group

The Royal Geographical Society of Queensland Ltd
Gregory Place, Level 1/28 Fortescue St, Spring Hill Qld 4000
Tel 07 3368 2066
ABN 87 014 673 068 | ACN 636 005 068

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