Past GSAQ medal recipients - image courtesy GSAQ

2004 Neville Stevens Medal Winner

Mr David Trezise
David Trezise's Citation - presented by Neville Stevens

David L. Trezise graduated in 1972 at the University of Queensland and completed Honours the following year. He also completed an MSc in environmental science in 1980.

David joined the Geological Survey of Queensland in 1974, working in the Regional Mapping Section for one year before transferring to the Urban and Environmental section.

David Trezise (right) receiving his medal from Neville Stevens (left).
David worked initially in identifying mineral resources for shires and communities and in doing so developed the ability to communicate with non-geologists, i.e. local politicians, land planners, engineers and other stakeholders. He later worked on identifying Building Stones and their resources in Queensland and by doing so established himself as a leader in the field. His 1990 report - A review of the Queensland building stone industry - is still used.

In the mid 1980s David accepted an appointment to the Environmental Compliance Division of the Department of Mines and Energy and later transferred to the Northern District in Townsville. He later transferred with Environmental Compliance to the Environmental Protection Agency and currently is working as a technical advisor on mining and environmental compliance within Environmental Protection Agency.

David joined the GSA in the mid-70s and became involved within the GSA Queensland Division committee around 1977.He played a key role in the GSA in pre-electronic days in organising the monthly notice of meetings and taking minutes.

He showed a strong commitment in helping organise the GSA field conferences at this time. He took on the field conference treasurer’s position for various conferences. David was also actively involved in planning and assisting in several public field trips targeted at teachers and the general public, which were then organised by the GSA Education Subcommittee. David’s involvement in these activities covered the full spectrum from the planning and co-ordination of company support through to organising and cooking the end of day BBQ.

While working in Townsville for the Northern Regional Office David retained a position as the Northern Regional Representative on the Queensland Division GSA committee and acted as a proxy for the Queensland Division at Executive meetings of Federal GSA committee, when it was in Townsville after the AGC in 1998.

David also showed strong enthusiasm in contributing to the various Rocks and Landscapes booklets, lobbying the Department of Mines to produce the Townsville and the Chillagoe notes, which he wrote and compiled. He was also strongly involved in writing segments of the Rocks and Landscapes of Brisbane and Ipswich booklet, which remains one of GSA’s best sellers. Notably David was already involved with one of the early versions of the Rocks and Landscape series in the late 1970s, the Rocks of the Brisbane Forest Park, a booklet produced by the Department of Primary Industries. At this time he was also asked to design and put up rock displays and signs depicting the geological history (in laymen’s terms) of the Brisbane State Forest area, e.g. at Jolly’s Lookout. In 1983 he also compiled a report on the Cooloola National Park for the GSQ.

David was also involved with the Brisbane History Group, writing a chapter in 1991 on “Gold mining in the Brisbane region” for one of their publications.

David’s main contribution lies in his communication of geological concepts and ideas to non-geologists mainly in Councils, amongst planners and  environmental groups, many of whom have little geological knowledge.

Response of thanks by David Trezise
Madam Chairman, Fellow Colleagues, Ladies and Gentleman. I would like to thank the Executive of the Queensland Division for my nomination and award of the 2004 NC Stevens Medal. This award was unexpected. In the early 1980’s, we saw a need to develop a program to present earth science to the community in a form that would be easily understood by a range of stakeholders. I enjoyed being involved in these programs. I have been rewarded by the many friendships established over the years and in the memories from my involvement in the delivery of these programs sponsored both by the Society and the GSQ.

Before I proceed any further, I must acknowledge the leadership and friendship of Warwick Willmott who held a similar vision to my own to promote earth science to the wider community. I value his friendship and support over some 30 years.

Where do I begin to explain the events that led to this award being presented?

My interest in geology stems from my early days as a high school student, but also I recall experiencing the frustration of a limited earth science component in the curriculum. This frustration soon passed when I commenced my studies at the University of Queensland, where I met Dr Neville Stevens, Prof Wilson and other members of the faculty. I spent much of my free time pouring over geological maps and reading through the literature to find interesting geological sequences to visit and investigate. The essential reading at that time was Neville’s book: “Queensland Geology”. My friends and I visited many sites throughout SE Queensland. My copy is well worn and I still make reference to Neville’s work.

In 1984, I welcomed the opportunity to be involved in preparing guidebook on the “Rocks and Landscapes of the Brisbane Forest Park”. This work was based on our earlier geological mapping of the Caboolture 1:100,000 sheet as a member of the Geological Survey of Queensland. Our aim was to describe the geological history of the Park in terms easily understood by the public, and to establish points throughout the Park where people could view the significant features of this history. We had the difficult task of finding good exposures, which would be representative of the major elements of the stratigraphy and structural history of the area. Access to these sites had to be good and the site had to be safe from traffic and overhangs etc. Further, the site had to be durable, as many visitors would try to sample them. After several sorties into the D’Aguilar Range, we eventually found the sites to use for the self-guiding geological excursions. These sites were in use for many years and a 3D model was erected at Jollys Lookout.

The request to be Guide for the Go Bush program in the Park was a natural extension to our early works in the park. Later, I compiled the gold mining history of the Park for use by the park’s management. Over the following years, there were occasions where we wrote up notes on the geological history of various National Parks in SE Queensland, e.g. Noosa and Cooloola. These coastlines were wonderful areas to study the geological processes, although there were times when I felt slightly embarrassed as I trekked across the beach to the next headland in full field gear with my hammer and rock samples, past bemused near-naked beach goers.

The GSA Field Conferences held over the Queen’s Birthday presented another opportunity to be involved in promoting earth sciences at a professional level. I have fond memories of these excursions across the State and of being actively involved in the Field Conference Committees. I often reflect on these past Field Conferences and I am saddened that we have not continued with this program although I am the first to acknowledge that the costs did become prohibitive.  However, with low cost air travel available now, re-establishing the Annual Field Conferences may warrant consideration.

During the 1980s and 1990’s, there was shared belief within the GSA and GSQ for a more comprehensive description of Rocks and landscapes across the State. This led to our work on the publishing of a series of explanatory booklets and self-guiding geological excursions in the following areas: Chillagoe, Sunshine Coast, Gold Coast, Ipswich Brisbane, Townsville, Cairns, Carnarvon Gorge. I had the privilege of being involved the some way or another with most of these booklets as either co-author, or reviewing drafts, or in assisting with trips into these area to find suitable sites where the geological history could be viewed.

The results of above work are not solely the effort of any one individual, but the collective input by one of the most dedicated and professional groups of people I have had the pleasure of working with. There was input from the GSQ mapping teams, academia (UQ and JCU), artists, cartographers and many others. I will take this opportunity to personally thank them all for their contributions and support over the years.

Finally, I would like to thank Brenda, my wife, who has traveled with me to look at hundreds of outcrops, quarries, historic mines, geological monuments etc throughout Australia and New Zealand under the guise of a holiday. Brenda’s support included typing draft documents, correcting my poor grasp of English, helping cater for various excursions, packing field gear and tolerating the presence of rocks on every shelf, table and storage area in our home.

In closing I would like to again thank you for this award.