ESHG Biographies

Dorothy Hill - image courtesy John Jell. Portrait by Lola McCausland (1967), collection of The University of Queensland - reproduced with permission.

Neville Cecil Stevens
Neville Cecil Stevens (1926-2011) taught at the University of Queensland after previous teaching and work in geology in Western Australia and New South Wales. During the 1960s and 1970s when the focus of the geological profession was clearly on the rapidly expanding minerals and petroleum industries, Neville Stevens was among the first to recognise that geological knowledge should also be communicated to students and the general public.

His book, Geological Excursions in South-east Queensland became a well-known classic for students and others in this region. It was revised as A Guidebook to Field Geology in Southeast Queensland in 1973, and as the Queensland Field Geology Guide in 1984. The latter was published by the Society.

Neville also recognised the need to protect important geological sites from obliteration so that students and the public would have examples of geological processes to draw on in the future. 

Neville Cecil Stevens - image courtesy GSAQ.

He became the foundation convenor of the Geological Monuments Sub-Committee of the Queensland Division of the GSA in 1974, and held that position for a number of years. He also was the federal convenor for a period. During this time he campaigned with various government agencies for recognition and protection of sites in and around Brisbane in particular.

In 1976, 1981 and 1984 he participated in compiling three books on the Geological Elements of the National Estate in Queensland which were made possible by National Estate grants. The first of these, dealing with the larger interesting landscape features, was influential in establishing a number of new National Parks over geologically interesting areas, such as Lawn Hill Gorge, the Undarra lava tubes and the White Mountains.

In later years he co-authored the Society's popular Rocks and Landscapes of Brisbane and Ipswich and Rocks and Landscapes of the Sunshine Coast as well as a number of the Rocks and Landscape Notes leaflets.

Neville Stevens died in 2011, but over the years he laid the foundations for communication between the profession and the public, which we must continue to build on to demonstrate the continuing relevance of earth sciences to modern society.

Warwick Willmott