Murray McCaskill (Fellowship) Citation

Conferred Adelaide, February 1989

The Institute of Australian Geographers is pleased to award to Professor Murray McCaskill a Fellowship of the Institute in recognition of his distinguished service to the Institute and his varied and comprehensive contribution to its affairs.

Professor McCaskill brought considerable geographical skills from New Zealand to Australia on taking up the Foundation Chair in Geography at Flinders University in 1965.  Previously editor of the New Zealand Geographer he assumed editorial responsibilities for the Proceedings of the Royal Geographical Society of Australasia (South Australian Branch Inc.) in 1969 and over the period 1970 to 1973, and then took over as editor of the Institute’s Australian Geographical Studies from 1973 to 1978 (with help from Peter Smailes 1975-76).  In each case editorial supervision was achieved with clear guidelines and sympathetic consideration.

Professor McCaskill served on the Council of the Institute from 1966 to 1968, was Vice-President in 1980 and 1982 and was President from 1980 to 1981.  His enthusiasm and dedication to the Institute’s affairs in these capacities was exemplary and included oversight of the first publicity brochure for the Institute.

Previously he had been President of the South Australian Branch of the Royal Geographical Society of Australasia 1967-70.  During this latter term he had chaired the Committee reviewing the South Australian Matriculation Syllabus which was revised in 1969 and continued until further modifications were added in 1977.  It is fair to say that it was his understanding and professional approach in this activity which helped to build the strong links between the secondary and tertiary education sectors which have characterised South Australian geography since then, and which helped create the foundations for the current close collaboration between the Institute and the Australian Geography Teachers’ Association, which will be to the long term benefit of geography in Australia .

Further service as Chairman of the South Australian Government Inquiry into the Citrus Industry brought his geographical knowledge into the public arena.  Most recently he has served for five years as one of the two Pro-Vice Chancellors of Flinders University and not only served the University with distinction but also provided advice on the changing context of tertiary education (as seen from the Vice Chancellor’s office) to councillors of the Institute.

His publications have continued his long term research interest in the historical geography of mining around the Pacific, provided a text for the revised Matriculation Syllabus, provided commentaries on the changing geography of the 1960s and most recently, with Trevor Griffin as co-editor, has provided the Atlas of South Australia as the official State Sesquicentennial Atlas.  The Institute has benefitted from his editorial and presidential roles and has benefitted indirectly by his public commitment to and enthusiastic public work for the discipline in general.  Professor McCaskill has well justified the award of the Fellowship of the Institute .

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