The Geographical Society of New South Wales awards Fellowships to members who have made a significant contribution to geography and to the work of their professional organisation. These Fellowships are presented biennially at the Society’s Award Night.

The nomination procedures and rules together with the nomination form can be downloaded here. Nominations for the 2019 Fellowship Awards should be emailed by COB Friday, 26 July 2019 to: 

Executive Officer, Bronwyn Bate: b.bate@westernsydney.edu.au


The 2016 Fellowship Award was awarded to Professor Chris Gibson

The award of the Fellowship of the Geographical Society of NSW for 2016 acknowledges Professor Chris Gibson for his significant contribution to Geography and to the Society. Chris Gibson

Chris Gibson's life in geography began as a toddler, when he would stay awake in bed, torch in hand, flicking through the pages of an Atlas imagining distant places, rivers and mountain ranges. Successive outstanding geography teachers at Penrith High School helped seal the deal, so when he began a Bachelor of Arts at the University of Sydney Chris inevitably signed up for a major in geography. He graduated from there with First Class Honours and the University Medal in 1995, and followed that with a PhD in Human Geography, again at the University of Sydney. Chris's PhD thesis combined his passion for geography with an equally engrossing passion for music, writing a thesis on the linkages and tensions between regional music scenes deeply embedded in local culture, and an increasingly globalised, and corporatised, music industry. Parts of that thesis became his first book, Sound Tracks, co-written with his supervisor John Connell, the first in a series of coauthored books on the relationship between music, place, economy and culture, culminating in their latest, Outback Elvis: The Story of a Festival, Its Fans, & and Town Called Parkes. After a stint as Lecturer in Geography at the University of New South Wales, Chris took up a post at the University of Wollongong, where he was instrumental in expanding the presence and visibility of geography, attracting research funding, staff and resources, and with Professor Lesley Head co-founding the Australian Centre for Cultural Environmental Research, for which he was Deputy Director between 2009-2013. Since 2013 Chris has occupied the role of Research Director for the University of Wollongong, leading their Global Challenges interdisciplinary research program. Chris has been an active member of the Geographical Society since 2001, with stints on the Council, as Secretary, and as Chair of the Marketing Committee. Chris is currently Editor of the Society's academic journal, Australian Geographer, a role which has involved the redesign of the journal and the introduction of online submissions and social media marketing. 


Past Recipients
1969 Professor George H. Dury 1992 Dr David C. Rich
1973 Professor Neville R. Wills 1994 Colin Sale
1978 Dr James Fox 1996 Associate Professor Ian Burnley
1980 James Brock Rowe 1998 Dr Stephen Codrington
1980 Sister Gonzaga Stanley 1998 Dr Deirdre Dragovich
1980 John J. Coffee 2000 Dr Graeme  Aplin
1981 Margery Joyce Martin 2002 Associate Professor James Forrest
1981 Edward Crago 2004 Dr Kevin M. Dunn
1981 Professor Alan Tweedie 2006 Dr Colin Davey
1988 Malcolm H. Barlow 2008 Professor Pauline McGuirk
1988 Dr Donald S. Biddle 2010 Associate Professor Gordon Waitt
1988 John Shaw 2013 Associate Professor Phil McManus
1990 Dr John Emery 2014 Professor John Connell
1990 Professsor Trevor Langford-Smith 2016 Professor Chris Gibson

Updated: 7 January 2015