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(Elizabeth) Maude McBriar (1922-2014) 
Papers re to M.Sc. thesis “Primary copper mineralisation at Moonta and Wallaroo, South Australia” 1962

MSS 0248                    20 cm

Biographical note

Maude McBriar was born in Bairnsdale in Victoria on 27 September 1922. She attended Mordialloc Primary School and McRobertson Girls High School in Melbourne, before being awarded a State Free Place to attend University with a bond to teach in the Victorian State Education system.

McBriar completed her Bachelor degree with Honours (Geology) in 1945, while also working part-time as a Geological Assistant with BHP. She then worked as a Graduate Technician with the SA Dept. of Mines from 1948, until moving back to Melbourne to work for the Commonwealth Bureau of Mineral Resources from 1948-50.

In 1950 she moved to the United Kingdom where she worked with the Colonial Development Corporation, taught “difficult” children in East London and worked as a scientist for the United Steel Company in Yorkshire. McBriar returned to Australia in 1957 to tale up an appointment as Tutor in the Dept of Geology and Mineralogy at the University of Adelaide. She remained at the University for 30 years with promotions to Senior Tutor in 1959 and Principal Tutor in 1979, retiring at the end of 1987.

With David Corbett, McBriar founded the Field Geology Club of SA together with students from their Adult Education Association classes. In 1966 she was appointed founding Convenor of the Geological Monuments (now Geological Heritage) Subcommittee of the GSA SA Division, a position she held until 1998. McBriar was the author and co-author of the first eight volumes of “Geological Monuments of South Australia” and was a leader in effort to preserve parts of the Hallett Cove Geological Monument. She was subsequently appointed as Chairperson of the Nature Preservation Committee of the National Trust of SA.

In 1978 and 1980-81 McBriar returned to the United Kingdom to study the work of the Nature Conservancy Council and the Biological Survey of the UK National Trust. Maude was also a member of ANZAAS, the Royal Society of SA, the Nature Conservation Society of SA, the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom, Scientists Against Nuclear Arms and the Geological Society of Australia. In 1988 she was awarded an Order of Australia Medal for service to conservation and the environment, and in 2006 the Bruce Webb Medal of the Geological Society of Australia (SA Division, among others.

“At the University of Adelaide … she was highly respected and adored by generations of mineralogy and petrology students. She was a staunch and highly intelligent advocate for student equity and access and for women’s rights.”

Adapted from Obituary by Bob Major and Joh Foden published in The Australian Geologist (TAG) June 2015 p. 42.

These papers were transferred from the Dept of Geology (Tony Milnes) in February 2018

Folder list

Typescript copy of thesis with photographs and diagrams
Also available online

Moonta & Wallaroo: general file
(X-ray film strips, ms notes on historical and geological setting of Moonta and Wallaroo mines, articles, charts and diagrams, geological map)

Rock descriptions
(Pamphlet: The Wallaroo and Moonta mines : their history, nature and methods, together with an account of the concentrating and smelting operations, 1909; Geological Survey Report on the Yelta and Parramatta Mines, 1912; newspaper clipping 1942; ms notes from sources; ms tables)

(Photographs used and not used in thesis; negatives; ms lists)

Acquisition list 162/-: specimens ex Elford Collection
(Ms list)

Moonta and Wallaroo: Mineralogy – x-ray determinations
(Ms notebook of Moonta specimens sent off for special study; ms notes; sample formsb

(Computer graphs)

Cu, Fe determinations on Chalcopyrites on X-ray fluorescent spectrograph
(Typescript report; ms notes re solutions, explanation of errors; experiments using manganese controls; ms graphs)

(Computer graphs)

Pyrrhotite (2 phases) – Wallaroo
(Ms tables of readings; AMDL typescript report, 1962; ms notes and graphs)

Sphalerite ex Wallaroo
(Computer graphs; ms tables)

Moonta & Wallaroo: attempted rewrite of thesis for publication
(Includes correspondence with G.H. Riley 1966; ms draft “Primary copper mineralisation at Moonta and Wallaroo, South Australia” 24 p.)

Obituary by Bob Major and Joh Foden published in The Australian Geologist (TAG) June 2015 p. 42. Photocopy

Cheryl Hoskin
September 2020

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