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Geology as a subject at the Ballarat School of Mines.


Ballarat History

In 1871 the Ballarat School of Mines conducted a series of public lectures. The first lecture was delivered by Joseph Usher on Chemistry, the second was delivered by Joseph Flude on on Chemistry in the Atmosphere, a third was delivered by H. B. De la Poer Wall on Geology, and the final delivered by John Phillips on Gold in General as Applicable to Ballarat. Despite this Geology was not yet a stand alone subject on the curriculum of the Ballarat School of Mines. On 30 June 1872 the Ballarat School of Mines Council reported that it regretted "to observe that nothing seems to have been done towards giving instruction to the pupils in Geology and Mineralogy".

The 1872 Ballarat School of Mines Annual Report suggested that the Council appoint examiners for Mineralogy and Geology. The next annual report was printed in for 1874 and listed G.H.F. Ulrich as an examiner of Geology, but no specific lecturer of the subject. The 1876 Ballarat School of Mines makes the first reference to a lecturer of 'Mineralogy and Geology as Applied to Mining' which was taught by William Henry Shaw (1830-1896) (Mechanical Engineer and Manager of the Phoenix Foundry), and examinations in Geology as Applied to Mining were held in that year.

In 1881 Professor McCoy was examiner in Geology.[1] In the same year Ferdinand Krause was appointed as professor in Geology at the Ballarat School of Mines. [2] Along with Professor Alfred Mica Smith, Krause laid the foundation of the future great success of the School.

The 1882 Ballarat School of Mines Annual Report highlighted the creation of Chairs in Chemistry and Geology.

During the year the Council have, for the first time, exercised authority vested in them, by establishing Chairs in these branches of science, in accordance with Art. 3, Cap. 4, of the Constitution. Messrs A. Mica Smith, B.Sc., and F.M. Krause, late Field Geologist to H.M. Government, Victoria, both on the staff of The School, have been appointed Professors of Chemistry, and Geology, respectively. The wide experience and great attainments of these gentlemen in their respective branches, eminently qualify them for, and entitle them to, the distinction conferred.[3]

Course Content 1908-1909


Trigonometry I

Algebra and Geometry II

Theoretical and Practical Chemistry I

Dynamics and Heat I

Sound and Light I

Electricity and Magnetism I

Geology and Mineralogy I

Mine Surveying

Practical, Plane and Solid Geometry

Engineering Drawing I


Graphic Algebra and Analytical Conics

Theoretical and Practical Chemistry II

Land Surveying I

Mechanics Applied to Mining


Mining Geology

Mineralogy and Petrology II


Differential and Integral Calculus

Metallurgy I

Assaying I

Land Surveying II

Geology and Petrology III

Geological Surveying

FOURTH YEAR (Optional)

To specialise in some branch of Geology. [4]

Geology Staff at the Ballarat School of Mines

The position of Lecturer in Geology was listed as 'empty' in the 1874 Ballarat School of Mines Annual Report.

# Geology Staff Member Term
William Henry Shaw (1830-1896) 1876>
Felix Ratte 1881
Ferdinand Krause 1881-1894
W.C. Kernot 1881>
Prof. Purdie 1895
Thomas Hart 1896-1913?
Charles Fenner 1914-1919
N.H. Junner ?1917-1919
Hec Yates 1920-1962

Geology Examiners at the Ballarat School of Mines

# Examiner Term
G.H.F. Ulrich 1874>
Professor McCoy 1881-1886>


The first Certificate in Geology as Applied to Mining was awarded to Robert Malachy Serjeant in 1876.

(1st Stage) Certificates

1883 - Arthur Edward Hogue[5]

1884 - William Thomas Gronow[6]

1885 - Sarah Davies; M. Nicholson[7]

c1929 - John N. Montgomery

Keith Hamilton studied Geology in 1961

Artefacts and Objects

Associated Items

See also

Ballarat School of Mines



  1. Ballarat School of Mines Annual Report, 1881.
  2. Ballarat School of Mines Annual Report, 1882
  3. Ballarat SChool of Mines Annual Report, 1882.
  4. Ballarat School of Mines Calendar, 1908-9, p 12
  5. Ballarat School of Mines Annual Report, 1887.
  6. Ballarat School of Mines Annual Report, 1887.
  7. Ballarat School of Mines Annual Report, 1887.

--C.K.Gervasoni 12:39, 6 September 2012 (EST)

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