Past GSAQ medal recipients - image courtesy GSAQ

2003 Neville Stevens Medal Winner

Associate Professor Lloyd Hamilton
Lloyd Hamilton's Citation - presented by Neville Stevens

Neville Stevens began by expressing his appreciation of the honour the Queensland Division had bestowed on him by giving his name to this medal, and the pleasure to be able to present it.

Whereas the previous medal was given largely for publications and public lectures, this year the recipient, Lloyd Hamilton, has been active in the field of geoscience education, especially in schools.


Lloyd Hamilton (left) and Neville Stevens (right).
He was a member of the Queensland Division's Education Subcommittee from 1982, chairman until mid 1992, and was instrumental in beginning the medal series in 1983. The medal series as instigated by Lloyd is substantially similar to the series operating today.

Lloyd also worked tirelessly to bring the Schools Competition, another innovation, to success. The competition ran for seven years and ultimately involved 4000 students.

Lloyd took on the role of the inaugural national chair at the Education Specialist Group in 1996 and held this position for two years. As well as education committees Lloyd has served in many other capacities with the G.S.A. He was Vice Chairman of the Specialist Group in Economic Geology, Queensland representative of the Coal Geology Specialist Group and Chairman and Vice Chairman of the Queensland Division, member of the Committee for the 9th AGC and excursions convenor in 1988. His commitment to Geological education in Queensland and at a national level has been outstanding.

Response of thanks by Lloyd Hamilton
Thank you very much for the honour of granting me this medal. I appreciate it and value it greatly. It is even more of an honour to accept it from the man himself. A person so well known for his work in geological education and beloved by his students.

I first met Neville in 1965 on an excursion at the International Volcanological Congress in NZ, which is appropriate as we both love fieldwork. Neville has written several books on geological excursions used by thousands including me. Every Queensland teacher of geology must have one of these. In the editorial page of the Ninth Australian Geological Convention FIELD EXCURSIONS HANDBOOK I suggested using Dr N C Stevens' 1984 Field Guide as a companion volume. Of the 14 papers in the new guide Neville contributed to 4 of them.

I feel truly humbled by the honour of this medal and never expected it. I wish to congratulate the selection panel on the excellent job they did. I would like to back this up with some extra information on my activities that the panel appears not to have known about.

Excluding QUT teaching books, I wrote 12 articles on geological education, and was chairman of the Science Advisory Committee of the Queensland Board of Senior Secondary School Studies from 1990 to 1993.

The Australian Vice Chancellors' Committee selected me to be chairman of the Geology Reference Group on Credit transfer. This finally gave students at first year level the ability to move from one university to another and carry credit for the work they had done, and the same for students coming from TAFE Colleges going to universities. Following an approach from Phil Harlow at Ipswich Grammar School, I allowed high school students who had a good record in geology to skip first year geology at QUT if they could pass an examination to show they were at an advanced level. This was followed by the other universities in Queensland.

As the Honorary Secretary of the Queensland Selection Committee of the AusIMM bursaries fund for several years I made sure that heads of Departments did not neglect to nominate students for bursaries.

At QUT I introduced a mentoring scheme for older students to help younger students.  This helped alleviate problems associated with being away from home, poor finances, shyness and disadvantaged backgrounds. I also started the QIT Students Geological Society.

The Standing Committee for Geological Education was involved with many people on a variety of tasks. People who contributed to this in my time were Laurie Hutton, Brad John, Andrew Simpson, David Tresise, Warwick Willmott, Phil Harlow, Margaret Howe, Val Dripps, Dawn Hendricks, Al Grenfell, Mark Thornton, Bernie Beswick, Peter Scott, David O Connell, and Neville Stevens. These tasks included:

1) Medal giving to school and university students: This has continued since 1984.

2) A school quiz: (This was Phil Harlow's idea, I would have preferred a poster competition). Phil Harlow, Al Grenfell, John Broadfoot and David O'Connell prepared the papers. In 1991 we posted 100 kilograms of letters to 33 schools and received 1500 responses from year 10 students and 1143 responses from years 11 and 12 students. Unfortunately the work became too much effort after a few years but otherwise the quizzes were very successful. To keep them going would probably cost about $10,000 a year.

3) Public field excursions: These were highly successful and our members from the GSQ did much of the work, including setting up great barbecues. A wide variety of people and a few family dogs attended. We had fun and Gospel of Geology was spread to the community. We also may have learned some more geology ourselves.

4) Workshops for school teachers: David O'Connell and Al Grenfell the main workers here. Others included Roger Coleman, Mac Bofinger and me. These workshops were in conjunction with the universities and were very effective. Andrew Simpson was a great help at the University of Queensland Geology Museum. His Newsletter also was very effective in publicising events such as workshops and excursions.

5) Development of resource kits and a Computer Link: Many people contributed to resource kit work including Dawn Hendricks and, especially, Mark Thornton who introduced the Computer Link idea and made it work.

6) Excursion Guides: Neville's books were the main general guides but special guides were written for the public and for given districts. Warwick Willmott and Neville Stevens wrote several of these starting with "Rocks and Landscapes of Brisbane and Ipswich". The Rocks and Landscapes series has been a great success and the guides are widely used.

7) Geological Education Field Areas: Phil Harlow organised the Thane Creek area as a reserve for geological education and fossicking. This was the first area to be set aside specifically for geological education. Palmer Creek National Park was established through the efforts of Eric Heidecker and Warwick Willmott, and with Phil Harlow they developed the legislative guidelines for geological heritage and land use that have become widely used as a model for other areas for geological education.

The biggest job in geological education is in motivating people and overcoming apathy. We need more interaction with the public and with schools, and more field trips. Over a long period we can see things happen in cycles but each cycle is a little different. We need to look at the opportunities and plan for a bright future.

Thank you to the Society and to everyone who worked with me to help foster geological education and produce the results that allowed me to receive this honour.