Professor Elaine Stratford (Griffith Taylor Medal) Citation

Conferred Sydney, July 2021

Professor Elaine Stratford completed her Bachelor of Arts, with Honours First Class and the University Medal for the best Social Science thesis at Flinders University in 1986.  She completed her PhD, which was awarded without amendment, in 1996 from University of Adelaide. Elaine began her career in Geography at Flinders University, before moving to University of New South Wales and the University of Tasmania.  She performed substantial service to geography as Head of School, from 2005-2014.  She is currently an Associate Executive Dean at the University of Tasmania, with responsibility for over 1,500 students and over 100 staff.

Elaine’s research is wide ranging, exploring daily life over the life-course, natural resource management, sustainable development, mobilities and transport, island geographies, geographical thought and methodologies, and professional life in higher education. She has secured more than $4.5 million in grant funding, including more than $1.7 million in Nationally Competitive Grants.  She has produced 249 publications in leading journals and books nationally and internationally. She has been involved in over 55 separate collaborations with researchers from diverse fields around the world, as well as with members of regional and island communities.  These collaborations have produced more than 30 reports to industry partners, creative works, participation in community outreach events, articles for The Conversation and media outlets, interviews for media, and blog posts.  Elaine has also provided important service to the Discipline of Geography through her role on the ARC College of Experts from 2016-2018.

She has an H-index of 25, with her research cited more than 3000 times.  She has recently published a book, Home, Nature, and the Feminine Ideal: Geographies of the Interior and of Empire shows the scope of her vision and contribution to geographical thought.  It has received accolades from globally recognised academic scholars regarding its significance and contribution to the social sciences and humanities.

Elaine is also an award winning teacher at the University of Tasmania, as well as has nurtured new generations of geographers supervising over 90 research theses, including 26 PhDs, to completion.  Her commitment to bringing geography and education together is evident in many ways. In her work at the Peter Underwood Centre for Educational Attainment, her publications on teaching and learning, and most recently, in her bringing together scholars from diverse disciplines to explore Spatialities of Education in an IAG conference session, and subsequently a special section of Australian Geographer.  She has also played a substantial role in nurturing the next generation of geographical educators at the University of Tasmania, as colleague, mentor and Head of School.

Elaine has made substantial contributions to the IAG.  She co-organised the IAG Conferences in Hobart in 1997 and 2008, and on the organising committee of the 2019 conference. From 2002-2006, she was IAG Treasurer.  She was awarded funds from the IAG in 1996 and 1999 for the Millennium Project to record the oral histories of geographers and in 2002 to archive these important records.  She is also Editor-in-Chief of the IAGs journal Geographical Research, maintaining its high quality, nurtured the next generation of scholars through the publishing process and written thought provoking Editorials. She has also been on numerous other academic journal boards, including Geohumanities, Journal of Geography in Higher Education, Urban Policy and Research.

As Elaine argued in Australian Geographical Studies in 2001:

“Recording histories of the discipline has and will continue to facilitate our capacity to reflect on how geography and geographers have influenced Australia and the Australian peoples, and to consider how we have been influenced by that same place and its inhabitants.”