Constance Margaret Eardley

Constance Margaret Eardley

Photograph of Constance Eardley in the field taken by student Elizabeth Gordon-Mills c. 1965.

In memory of Constance, the annual income from the Constance Margaret Eardley Memorial Fund is awarded as an annual Prize of $1,500 to the student who achieves the highest aggregate marks in Level II courses in plant sciences in the Faculty of Sciences.

A well-known graduate and former lecturer, Constance formed many warm friendships with postgraduate students and staff and had a keen wit and a brand of eccentricity cultivated, one suspects, to hide a shy retiring nature.  She was not popular with undergraduates who wanted a quick answer in black and white; hers was a most enquiring mind and there were several routes to any solution, the dilemma of choosing which being of utmost academic importance.

Her father had been Registrar of the University and both her mother and father were historians.  She took over her father's front study and it remained exactly as it had been, lined with more history books than botany, Classical lithographs on the wall, an Art Nouveau fireplace, a room full of leather and gold print and immense character.

Con had worked at the Waite Agricultural Research Institute and Kew for a brief time as well as at Adelaide, and one of the highlights of her life was a visit to South Africa, which inspired her with the idea to write a pocket-book on the flora of her own area, to aid in conservation.  The entire stocks of this book were lost in the floods of Brisbane after very few were distributed; it was a tremendous disappointment, but there wa a joke even in that - she received a cheque for something like 13 cents royalties, at least less tha nthe cost of the stamp, envelope and cheque.

- Extract from the Adelaide University Graduates Union Monthly Newsletter and Gazette - September 1978

Further reading: Lumen Winter 2013 Issue


For a confidential discussion about how you can give in memory or celebration, please contact the Development team on +61 8 8313 5800 or


For more information

Jackie Morris
Senior Trusts Officer
08 8313 5804