Fay Gale AO

Each year a Fay Gale Memorial Lecture is delivered by an invited outstanding early career researcher working in Australia.

About Fay Gale AO

Professor Emerita Fay Gale AO (1932–2008) was an Australian geographer, emeritus professor, and advocate for equality for women and Indigenous communities. She was the first geography honours graduate at the University of Adelaide and went on to complete her PhD that was published in 1960. Her thesis was entitled: A Study of Assimilation: Part Aborigines in South Australia. Emerita Gale is respected for her contributions to geography, academia, the equality of Indigenous communities in Australia, and the role of women in academia.

In 1978, Fay Gale was the first woman to be appointed as professor of geography at the University of Adelaide. Then, in 1988, she was appointed Pro Vice Chancellor at the University of Adelaide. In 1989, Fay Gale was awarded the Order of Australia for her service to the social sciences in the fields of geography and Aboriginal studies. She was appointed as the Vice Chancellor of the University of Western Australia from 1990 to 1997 where she introduced various programs to eliminate discrimination against women and as such, has been deemed a pioneer for equal opportunity for all in academia.

Fay Gale was the first woman elected as President of the IAG, the first woman elected as the President of the Academy of the Social Sciences in Australia, and also the first woman elected to the Council of the Association of Commonwealth Universities, among many other recognitions and achievements.

Through Emerita Gale’s formative record inside and outside of academia and her commitment to social change for women and Indigenous communities, the Fay Gale Memorial Lecture, hosted at every IAG Conference, aligns with the core values that the IAG strives to achieve.