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Biographical entry Ward, Leonard Keith (1879 - 1964)

17 February 1879
Petersham, New South Wales, Australia
30 September 1964


Keith Ward was a geologist who became Assistant Government Geologist and Inspector of Mines in Tasmania after four years teaching at the School of Mines in Kalgoorlie, Western Australia. In Tasmania he focussed on the State's tin, silver-lead and copper deposits. In 1912 he became Government Geologist in South Australia, with additional responsibilities from 1916 as director of mines and supervisor of boring and from 1919 as secretary to the Minister of Mines. Ward's interests ranged over mineral and hydrological investigations, petroleum exploration, and coal resources. He worked to integrate the mining industry with the South Australian economy, initiated a systematic examination of South Australia's mineral and underground water resources, and established a department of chemistry to conduct systematic chemical industrial research on South Australia's natural resources. He served on a number of commissions related to petroleum exploration, the production of oil from hydrogenation of coal, and underground water supplies. His work was recognised by being awarded the Clarke Medal of the Royal Society of New South Wales and the Verco Medal of the Royal Society of South Australia, of which he was President 1929 - 1930.



Education - BA, University of Sydney
Education - BE, University of Sydney
1903 - 1906
Career position - Lecturer, Western Australian School of Mines in Kalgoorlie
1907 - 1912
Career position - Assistant Government Geologist and Inspector of Mines, Tasmania
1912 - 1944
Career position - Government Geologist, South Australia
Career position - President, Geology and Mineralogy Section, Australasian Association for the Advancement of Science Conference, New Zealand
1925 - 1931
Career position - Consultant Geologist for the Northern Territory
Education - DSc, University of Adelaide
1926 - 1944
Career position - Member, State Advisory Committee, Council for Scientific and Industrial Research
Career position - Chairman, Interstate Artesian Water Conference
1928 - 1931
Career position - Member, Executive Committee, Imperial Geophysical Experimental Survey
1929 - 1930
Career position - President, Royal Society of South Australia
1929 - 1930
Career position - Member, Australian Royal Commission on the Coal Industry
Award - Clarke Medal, Royal Society of New South Wales
1930 - 1931
Career position - President, Royal Geographical Society of Australasia, South Australian Branch
1936 - 1940
Career position - Member, Commonwealth Oil Advisory Committee
Award - Imperial Service Order (ISO)
Award - Honorary Fellow, Royal Society of South Australia
Award - Sir Joseph Verco Medal, Royal Society of South Australia

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Published resources

Book Sections

  • O'Neil, Bernard, 'Ward, Leonard Keith (1879-1964), Geologist and Public Servant', in John Ritchie and Diane Langmore (eds), Australian Dictionary of Biography, vol. 16, Melbourne University Press, Melbourne, 2002, pp. 489-490. Also available at Details

Journal Articles

  • Miles, Keith R., 'Memorial to Leonard Keith Ward (1879 - 1964)', GSA Bulletin, vol. 76, no. 6, 1965, pp. 83-6. Details

Online Resources

Helen Cohn