Dr Elspeth Young (Commendation)
Professional Service Award of the IAG
Conferred Fremantle, June 1998
Professional Service Awards of the IAG are made in recognition of distinguished professional service in applied geography or for innovation in the teaching of geography, or for service to geographical education.
Three awards are being announced today. Margaret Ella Huxley, David Rich and Elspeth Anne Young have all made an outstanding contribution to geographical education in Australia and in the application of geographical principles to Australian urban and rural life and livelihood.
Elspeth Young is a graduate of the University of Edinburgh, the University of Papua New Guinea and the ANU. She is a trained teacher and has taught at secondary level in Trinidad. She has held several positions both research and teaching at the NARU and ADFA from mid 1980s through to 1993, when she moved back to the ANU as Director of the Environmental Management and Development Program at the National Centre for Development Studies (NCDS) at ANU which, perhaps not coincidentally won one the Commonwealth Government’s Awards for Teaching Excellence in 1997.
Elspeth Young is a passionate humanist caring for her students and delivering the highest quality education achievable. She is fundamentally an empiricist attempting to understand and assist with a broader educational agenda that has included detailed studies in new Guinea highlands, in the arid areas of central Australia, the northern territory and the Kimberley and now taking on the Asia Pacific. At NCDS geographers sometimes sit uneasily in the company of irrationalist theoretical rationals.
Elspeth has served the IAG well being Editor of Australian Geographical Studies in the late 1980s.
Citation prepared by Professor Roger McLean.