Australian Geographer Awards

Each year, the editors of the Australian Geographer award two $500 cash prizes:Australian Geographer

  • The Dorothy R Taylor Award for best paper published overall in a calendar year and 
  • The David G Stead Award for best paper by an early career researcher published in a calendar year. For these purposes, ‘early career’ is normally taken to mean within 5 years of completion of a PhD (or beforehand).

The prizes are intended to encourage and highlight the highest quality published work in geography.


The 2021 winners are:

Dorothy R Taylor Award for Best Paper: Dean Freeman, Bhiamie Williamson and Dr Jessica Weir for their paper 'Cultural burning and public sector practice in the Australian Capital Territory'. 

David G Stead Award for Best Paper by an Early Career Researcher: Carrie Wilkinson and Dr Susannah Clement for their paper 'Geographers declare (a climate emergency)?'

Previous recipients of the Dorothy R Taylor Award for Best Paper

2020 Dr Eliza De Vet and Dr Christine Eriksen for their paper 'When insurance and goodwill are not enough: Bushfire Attack Level (BAL) ratings, risk calculations and disaster resiliance in Australia'.

2019 Associate Professor Kurt Iveson, Craig Lyons, Stephanie Clark and Sara Weir for their paper, 'The Informal Australian City'. 

2018 Dr Rae Dufty-Jones for her paper, 'A historical geography of the housing crisis in Australia'.

2017 Dallas Rogers, Alexandra Wong and Jacqueline Nelson for their paper, 'Public perceptions of foreign and Chinese real estate investment: intercultural relations in Global Sydney'.

2016 Professor Patrick D. Nunn and Assoicate Professor Nicholas Reid for their paper, 'Aboriginal Memories of Inundation of the Australian Coast Dating from More than 7000 years ago'.

Dorothy R Taylor was one of the first women employed in the Department of Geography at the University of Sydney (Australia’s first geography department). She co-authored The Geographical Laboratory (1925) with her more visible and outspoken brother, Griffith. Born in Serbia, Dorothy migrated to New South Wales in 1892, and attended Abbotsleigh College in Parramatta before enrolling in a Bachelor of Science at the University of Sydney. Dorothy worked in the Department as a map drawer attendant (1921-2), acting lecturer (1929) and demonstrator (until 1931), and later, in the 1940s and 1950s, as an assistant at the University’s Fisher library. Naming the Australian Geographer Best Paper prize after Dorothy recognises her role in the establishment of the nation’s first and longest-running academic geography journal, and acknowledges the contributions made by women geographers in Australia. 


Previous recipients of the David G Stead Award for Best Paper by an Early Career Researcher

2020 Dr Marilu Melo Zurita for her paper 'Challenging sub terra nullius: a critical underground urbanism project'.

2019 Madeleine Miller for her paper, 'Biocultural nationalism? Bananas and biosecurity in Northern Queensland'.

2018 Dr Alanna Kamp for her paper, 'Chinese Australian women's 'homemaking' and contributions to the family economy in White Australia'. 

2017 Melina Ey for her paper, 'Value, Identity and Place: unearthing the emotional geographies of the extractive factor'.

2016 Rhonda Itaoui for her paper, 'The Geography of Islamophobia in Sydney: mapping the spatial imaginaries of young Muslims'.

2015 Andonea Dickson for her paper, 'Distancing Asylum Seekers from the State: Australia's evolving political geography of immigration and border control'.

2014 Jonathon Collins for his paper, 'A Rising Tide in Bangladesh: livelihood adaptation to climate stress'. 

2013 Timothy Frewer for his paper, 'Doing NGO Work: the politics of being 'civil society' and promoting 'good governance' in Cambodia'.

David G Stead was born in St Leonards, Sydney, in 1877, David attended local public schools, and studied zoology at Sydney Technical College. He would go on to become a naturalist, ichthyologist, stampmaker and socialist. According to the Australian Dictionary of Biography, David ‘pioneered radio broadcasts on wildlife topics and interested himself in the better treatment of Aborigines; outspoken against war, he was an executive-member of the State branch of the League of Nations Union and in 1936 foundation chairman of the International Peace Campaign’. As well as editing Australian Geographer, he helped to found the Wild Life Preservation Society of Australia, and was President of the Geographical Society of New South Wales, Australian Forest League and the Town Planning Association. His daughter, Christina, went on to become one of Australia’s most celebrated novelists. In spite of scant support, David was a tireless popular scientific educator and advocate of conservation.