Celebrating Dorothy Hill’s 111th birthday

10 Sep 2018

Dorothy HillThe University of Queensland celebrates the life and work of Dorothy Hill, a lauded Australian geologist and palaeontologist, the first female professor at an Australian university, and the first female president of the Australian Academy of Science, on what would be her 111th birthday.

Hill’s illustrious career began at UQ after being awarded one of twenty entrance scholarships, after receiving the top result in the Senior Public Matriculation Exam.

Originally passionate about chemistry, Hill chose to study geology as an elective, under the guidance of UQ’s Professor Henry Caselli Richards, and graduated in 1928 with a First Class Honours degree in Geology and the University's Gold Medal for Outstanding Merit.

She lived in England for many years, studying at Cambridge University and publishing several important papers systematising the terminology for describing Rugose corals, describing their structure and morphology.

Hill conducted critical work in the dating the limestone coral faunas of Australia, using them to outline wide-ranging stratigraphy.

She made significant contributions to Australian earth science, was an important role model for women entering tertiary education and was critical for UQ’s development, including the development of the Heron Island Research Station.

Hill mentored many leaders in the field of earth sciences, including palaeontologist Ken Campbell and geologist and Great Barrier Reef researcher Graham Maxwell.

Visitors to UQ can catch a glimpse of Hill in UQ’s Great Court, where a stone grotesque of her likeness was carved by Rhyl Hinwood in 1982.

Dorothy Hill Google DoodleToday, Dorothy has been uniquely honoured with a ‘Google Doodle’, showcasing her incredible work and legacy to the world.

The Dorothy Hill Women in Earth Sciences Symposium will be held from Thursday 14 to Friday 15 November 2019. Click on the link above for more information, as it will be a powerful two days of learning, networking, absorbing lessons learned from the top women in Earth Sciences.