Welcome to the Geographical Society of New South Wales

The Geographical Society of New South Wales is a professional society whose members are geography academics, teachers, practising geographers from both the public and private spheres, and other interested members of the public.

Encourage - Engage - Excite

The Society's mission is to encourage and promote geography in New South Wales and throughout Australia. The Society both engages and elevates geographical research, scholarship and education. The Society writes and encourages geographical submissions to appropriate authorities on environmental and social issues in Australia. The Society works to support geographical literacy, awareness and inspire enthusiasm for geography among the public in a globally connected world.

For information about events or membership, please contact us.


Vale Dennis Norman Jeans, 1934-2020

With the death of Associate Professor Dennis Norman Jeans on 3 April 2020, the Australian geography community has lost one of its pre-eminent practitioners. He died peacefully in Sydney at the age of 85. Dennis was born in Bournemouth, England. He obtained a B.A. degree with First Class Honours in Geography from University College London in 1951, and the Ph.D. degree in 1955 from the London School of Economics & Political Science. In the same class at UCL was Les Heathcote. After lecturing briefly at the University of Liverpool, Dennis was recruited in 1959 by Professor James Macdonald Holmes for his Department at the University of Sydney. There he remained until retiring in 1994. For his ground-breaking research and teaching in historical geography, Dennis was awarded the Fellowship of the Royal Australian Historical Society. For the Geographical Society of New South Wales, he edited the Australian Geographer from 1968-73, and negotiated its publication by Sydney University Press. For Sydney University Press, he also edited Australia—A Geography, a two-volume, thousand page conspectus of what geographers had discovered about the continent (1977; second edition 1987). For Dennis, with over thirty expert and adamant authors involved, that project was not so much herding cats as herding tigers. Dennis also published An Historical Geography of New South Wales to 1901 (1972). His recourse to original sources was prodigious. With Peter Spearritt, he published The Open Air Museum—The cultural landscape of New South Wales (1980). Ill health plagued him for many years, and dampened but never extinguished his rebellious, anti-authoritarian social conscience. On one of those interminable academic questionnaires about the amount and purpose of work, he simply scrawled two words: TO THINK. That he did, incessantly. Dennis once sent me a premonition from a slab in the parish church at Dinton, in Wiltshire. “From Earth we come, to Earth we must return.” It was dated 3 April 1693. Farewell, the consummate historical geographer. 

Bruce Ryan, Ph.D., FIAG
Emeritus Professor of Geography
University of Cincinnati, USA