History

In 1955, a resolution “that the Australian Society of Soil Science be inaugurated from this meeting” was recorded in Melbourne. The following year the first official meeting of the Society took place in Queensland, with a Federal Executive and presidents from the Australian Capital Territory, New South Wales, Queensland, South Australian and Victorian branches forming the Federal Council. In later years the Executive expanded with the addition of the Western Australian branch in 1957, the Riverina branch in 1962 and most recently the Tasmanian branch in 2008.

The objectives of the Society were:

  • the advancement of soil science and studies therein with particular reference to Australia, and
  • to provide a link between soil scientists and kindred bodies within Australia and between them and other similar organisations in other countries.


Membership was initially restricted to people engaged in the scientific study of the soil and has grown steadily from to 147 members in 1957 to more than 800 members in 2017.

The first issue of the newsletter Soils News, was published in January 1957. Soil News continued to be published twice yearly until 1996 when the name changed to Profile.

Dr J A Prescott

The first honorary life membership was awarded to Dr JA Prescott. The Federal Council established a Student Award in 1969 and over ensuing years a range of awards have been established: the JA Prescott Medal (1972), the Soil Science Publication Medal (1979), the JK Taylor OBE Gold Medal in Soil Science (1984), the CG Stephens PhD Award in Soil Science (2003), the LJH Teakle Award (2010) and conference presentation awards.

Branches were busy during this time and hosted many activities including seminars, field trips and conferences for both members and others interested in soil science. By the early seventies several branches had conducted refresher courses and in 1974 the Society became incorporated.

The Society hosted its first world congress, the 9th International Society of Soil Science Congress, in Adelaide in 1968 with 310 papers printed, 239 papers presented and 720 delegates. In contrast, 42 years later the 19th World Congress of Soil Science returned to Australia, where in Brisbane 1914 delegates from 68 countries were treated to 343 presentations, 1227 research posters, eight keynote and 65 invited lead speakers. A commemorative stamp was produced for the first Congress and another stamp was created in 2007 to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Society.

An inaugural joint conference with the New Zealand Society of Soil Science was held in Rotorua in November 1986. This paved the way for joint national conferences every four years.

In 2011 the name Soil Science Australia was adopted as the public name. In 1998 the first Executive Officer was appointed and in 2010 the then Governor of Queensland, Her Excellency Ms Penelope Wensley AC accepted the invitation to become the first Patron.

A significant decision taken in 1996 to introduce Certified Professional Soil Scientist (CPSS) accreditation has seen the program burgeon, partly due to the increasing demand by government authorities for certified professionals in soil and land management. Accreditation is only available to members with requirements for accreditation listed in the Standards for Professionals in Soil Science.


Federal Honour Board

In 1955 the first meeting was held and election of officebearers took place the following year.
Listed below are the Federal Council members from 1956 onwards.

YearPresidentVice-PresidentTreasurerSecretaryNewsletter EditorExecutive Officer
1956L.J.H. Teakle
(QLD)
G.W. Leeper
(VIC)
K.C. Leverington
(QLD)
A. McDonald
(QLD)
I.F. Fergus
(QLD)
 
1957L.J.H. Teakle
(QLD)
G.W. Leeper
(VIC)
K.C. Leverington
(QLD)
A. McDonald
(QLD)
I.F. Fergus
(QLD)
 
1958J.K. Taylor
(SA)
R.G. Downes
(VIC)
R.D. Bond
(SA)
A.R.P. Clarke
(SA)
G.Blackburn
(SA)
 
1959J.K. Taylor
(SA)
R.G. Downes
(VIC)
R.D. Bond
(SA)
A.R.P. Clarke
(SA)
G.Blackburn
(SA)
 
1960R.G. Downes
(VIC)
B.E. Butler
(ACT)
W.R. Rothols
(VIC)
J.S. Murray
(VIC)
J.G. Baldwin
(VIC)
 
1961R.G. Downes
(VIC)
B.E. Butler
(ACT)
W.R. Rothols
(VIC)
J.S. Murray
(VIC)
J.G. Baldwin
(VIC)
 
1962B.E. Butler
(ACT)
N. Collis-George
(NSW)
D. Cosgrove
(ACT)
R.J. Hunter
(ACT)
D.V. Walters
(ACT)
 
1963B.E. Butler
(ACT)
J.P. Quirk
(WA)
D. Cosgrove
(ACT)
R.J. Hunter
(ACT)
D.V. Walters
(ACT)
 
1964J.P. Quirk
(WA)
T.J. Marshall
(SA)
N.J. Barrow
(WA)
J. Keay
(WA)
A.W. Humphries
(WA)
 
1965J.P. Quirk
(WA)
T.J. Marshall
(SA)
N.J. Barrow
(WA)
J. Keay
(WA)
A.W. Humphries
(WA)
 
1966T.J. Marshall
(SA)
G.D. Hubble
(QLD)
J.T. Hutton
(SA)
D.J. Greenland
(SA)
C.B. Wells
(SA)
 
1967T.J. Marshall
(SA)
G.D. Hubble
(QLD)
J.T. Hutton
(SA)
D.J. Greenland
(SA)
C.B. Wells
(SA)
 
1968G.D. Hubble
(QLD)
J.K.M. Skene
(VIC)
I.F. Fergus
(QLD)
J.S. Russell
(QLD)
R.J. Gilkes
(QLD)
 
1969G.D. Hubble
(QLD)
J.K.M. Skene
(VIC)
I.F. Fergus
(QLD)
J.S. Russell
(QLD)
R.J. Gilkes
(QLD)
 
1970J.K.M. Skene
(VIC)
C.H. Williams
(ACT)
N.C. Uren
(VIC)
G.P. Briner
(VIC)
E.A. Jackson
(VIC)
 
1971J.K.M. Skene
(VIC)
C.H. Williams
(ACT)
C.B. Campbell
(VIC)
G.P. Briner
(VIC)
E.A. Jackson
(VIC)
 
1972C.H. Williams
(ACT)
M. Mulcahy
(WA)
A.V. Blackmore
(ACT)
J. Loveday
(ACT)
D.J. David
(ACT)
 
1973C.H. Williams
(ACT)
M. Mulcahy
(WA)
A.V. Blackmore
(ACT)
J. Loveday
(ACT)
D.J. David
(ACT)
 
1974M. Mulcahy
(WA)
A.N. Smith
(RIV)
G.M. Dimmock
(WA)
N.J. Barrow
(WA)
K.M.W. Howes
(WA)
 
1975M. Mulcahy
(WA)
A.N. Smith
(RIV)
G.M. Dimmock
(WA)
N.J. Barrow
(WA)
K.M.W. Howes
(WA)
 
1976A.N. Smith
(RIV)
P.E.V. Charman
(NSW)
P.R. Cary
(RIV)
G.D. Batten
(RIV)
I. Kelly
(RIV)
 
1977A.N. Smith
(RIV)
P.E.V. Charman
(NSW)
P.R. Cary
(RIV)
G.D. Batten
(RIV)
I. Kelly
(RIV)
 
1978P.E.V. Charman
(NSW)
K.G. Tiller
(SA)
R. Hicks
(NSW)
B.S.C. Wood
(NSW)
G.J. Hamilton
(NSW)
 
1979P.E.V. Charman
(NSW)
K.G. Tiller
(SA)
R. Hicks
(NSW)
B.S.C. Wood
(NSW)
G.J. Hamilton
(NSW)
 
1980K.G. Tiller
(SA)
J.S. Russell
(QLD)
R.M. McKenzie
(SA)
A.M. Alston
(SA)
K.A. Handreck
(SA)
 
1981K.G. Tiller
(SA)
J.S. Russell
(QLD)
R.M. McKenzie
(SA)
A.M. Alston
(SA)
K.A. Handreck
(SA)
 
1982J.S. Russell
QLD)
L.A. Douglas
(VIC)
J.A. Mullins
(QLD)
I.F. Fergus
(QLD)
G.E. Rayment
(QLD)
 
1983J.S. Russell
(QLD)
L.A. Douglas
(VIC)
J.A. Mullins
(QLD)
I.F. Fergus
(QLD)
G.E. Rayment
(QLD)
 
1984L.A. Douglas
(VIC)
J.R. Freney
(ACT)
R.S Costello
(VIC)
B.L. Finlayson
(VIC)
P.F. Clinnick
(VIC)
 
1985L.A. Douglas
(VIC)
J.R. Freney
(ACT)
R.S. Costello
(VIC)
B.L. Finlayson
(VIC)
P.F. Clinnick
(VIC)
 
1986J.R. Freney
(ACT)
R.J. Gilkes
(WA)
W.J. Bond
(ACT)
A. Pinkerton
(ACT)
R. Wetselaar
(ACT)
 
1987J.R. Freney
(ACT)
R.J. Gilkes
(WA)
W.J. Bond
(ACT)
A. Pinkerton
(ACT)
R. Wetselaar
(ACT)
 
1988R.J. Gilkes
(WA)
K.R.J. Smettem
(SA)
K. Lindbeck
(WA)
J. Dixon
(WA)
H.M. Churchward
(WA)
 
1989R.J. Gilkes
(WA)
K.R.J. Smettem
(SA)
K. Lindbeck
(WA)
J. Dixon
(WA)
H.M. Churchward
(WA)
 
1990K.R.J. Smettem
(SA)
A.S. Black
(RIV)
P.M. Clayton
(SA)
R.H. Merry
(SA)
C.A. Kirby
(SA)
 
1991K.R.J. Smettem
(SA)
A.S.
Black (RIV)
P.M. Clayton
(SA)
R.H. Merry
(SA)
C.A. Kirby
(SA)
 
1992A.S. Black
(RIV)
R.E.
White (VIC)
M. Win
(RIV)
M. Conyers
(RIV)
W.A. Muirhead
(RIV)
 
1993A.S. Black
(RIV)
R.E.
White (VIC)
M. Win
(RIV)
M. Conyers
(RIV)
W.A. Muirhead
(RIV)
 
1994R.E. White
(VIC)
P.A.
Hazelton (NSW)
P. Chalk
(VIC)
C. Weston
(VIC)
N.C. Uren
(VIC)
 
1995R.E. White
(VIC)
P.A. Hazelton
(NSW)
P. Chalk
(VIC)
C. Weston
(VIC)
N.C. Uren
(VIC)
 
1996P.A. Hazelton
(NSW)
G. Price
(QLD)
D. Yates
(NSW)
P. Mulvey
(NSW)
R. Lines-Kelly
(NSW)
 
1997P.A. Hazelton
(NSW)
G. Price
(QLD)
D. Yates
(NSW)
P. Mulvey
(NSW)
R. Lines-Kelly
(NSW)
 
1998G. Price
(QLD)
L. Abbott
(WA)
D. Lester
(QLD)
S. Raine
(QLD)
J. White
(QLD)
 
1999G. Price
(QLD)
L. Abbott
(WA)
D. Lester
(QLD)
S. Raine
(QLD)
J. White
(QLD)
Alice Melland
(SA)
2000G. Price
(QLD)
L. Abbott
(WA)
D. Lester
(QLD)
S. Raine
(QLD)
J. White
(QLD)
Alice Melland
(SA)
2001Lyn Abbott
(WA)
Richard Harper
(WA)
Keith Lindbeck
(WA)
Richard Harper
(WA)
Daniel Murphy
(WA)
Linda Bennison
(VIC)
2002Lyn Abbott
(WA)
Richard Harper
(WA)
Keith Lindbeck
(WA)
Richard Harper
(WA)
R. Poulter
(QLD)
Linda Bennison
(VIC)
2003Cameron D. Grant
(SA)
Neal W. Menzies
(QLD)
Keith Lindbeck
(WA)
Anne McNeil
(SA)
Lyn Abbott
(WA)
Linda Bennison
(VIC)
2004Cameron D. Grant
(SA)
Neal.W. Menzies
(QLD)
Keith Lindbeck
(WA)
Anne McNeil
(SA)
Lyn Abbott
(WA)
Linda Bennison
(VIC)
2005Neal W. Menzies
(QLD)
Stephen R. Cattle
(NSW)
Cameron Gourley
(VIC)
Steven Raine
(QLD)
Jonnie White
(QLD)
Linda Bennison
(VIC)
2006Neal W. Menzies
(QLD)
Stephen R. Cattle
(NSW)
Cameron Gourley
(VIC)
Steven. Raine
(QLD)
Rebecca Lines-Kelly
(NSW)
Linda Bennison
(VIC)
2007Stephen R. Cattle
(NSW)
Richard MacEwan
(VIC)
Alice Melland
(VIC)
Brendan H. George
(NSW)
Rebecca Lines-Kelly
(NSW)
Linda Bennison
(VIC)
2008Stephen R. Cattle
(NSW)
Richard MacEwan
(VIC)
Alice Melland
(VIC)
Brendan H. George
(NSW)
Rebecca Lines-Kelly
(NSW)
Linda Bennison
(VIC)
2009Richard MacEwan
(VIC)
Jason Condon
(RIV)
Jonathan Holland
(NSW)
Gemma Heemskerk
(VIC)
Tina Dalby
(NSW)
Linda Bennison
(VIC)
2010Richard MacEwan
(VIC)
Jason Condon
(RIV)
Jonathan Holland
(NSW)
Gemma Heemskerk
(VIC)
Tina Dalby
(NSW)
Linda Bennison
(VIC)
2011Richard MacEwan
(VIC)
Richard Doyle
(TAS)
Jonathan Holland
(NSW)
Lucy Burkitt
(TAS)
Tina Dalby
(NSW)
Linda Bennison
(VIC)
2012Richard MacEwan
(VIC)
Richard Doyle
(TAS)
Cath Botta
(VIC)
Lucy Burkitt
(TAS)
Stephanie Alt
(NSW)
Linda Bennison
(VIC)
2013Richard Doyle
(TAS)
Tim Overheu
(WA)
Cath Botta
(VIC)
Sarah Richards
(TAS)
Stephanie
Alt (NSW)
Linda Bennison
(VIC)
2014Richard Doyle
(TAS)
Tim Overheu
(WA)
Cath Botta
(VIC)
Sarah Richards
(TAS)
Sarah Richards
(TAS)
Linda Bennison
(VIC)
2015Tim Overheu
(WA)
Jane Aiken
(NSW)
Cath Botta
(VIC)
Noel Schoknecht
(WA)
 Linda Bennison
(VIC)
2016Tim Overheu
(WA)
Jane Aiken
(NSW)
Cath Botta
(VIC)
Noel Schoknecht
(WA)
Noel Schoknecht
(WA)
Linda Bennison
(VIC)
2017John McLean Bennett
(QLD)
Luke Mosley
(SA)

Zoe Read
(ACT)

Ashlea Doolette
(SA)

Daniel Brough
(QLD)
Noel Schoknecht
(WA)
Rosie Burn
(SA)