The Shine Dome is a National Heritage listed building rich with scientific history. The Academy is now encouraging event bookings at the Shine Dome—the ideal location for many types of events.
The Dorothy Hill Room is one of several conference rooms at the Shine Dome. It is a very versatile space and has a large fold back door that opens into the foyer should additional space be required for networking.
The Dorothy Hill room was named after the eminent Australian geologist and palaeontologist who became the first woman university professor at an Australian university.
Professor Dorothy Hill AC CBE FAA FRS made broad contributions to science, took a leading role in the administration of the University of Queensland and was a powerful supporter of women’s educational rights. Professor Hill was the first woman to be elected as a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Science and was the first woman to have served as president of the Academy.
Professor Hill discovered the use of fossil corals in sorting out the correlations of Palaeozoic rocks in Australia, actively supported the scientific study of the Great Barrier Reef, and expanded the knowledge of stratigraphy of eastern Australia.
Born in Brisbane in 1907, she received a scholarship to study geology at the University of Queensland and graduated with first class honours in 1929. The high calibre of her work won her a scholarship to carry out her PhD on carboniferous corals at the Sedgwick Museum of Earth Sciences in the University of Cambridge. After her PhD was awarded in 1932, she received several awards and fellowships to continue her research at Cambridge.
Professor Hill returned to Australia in 1938 to take a position as a research fellow at CSIR (now CSIRO) until 1943. One of her most outstanding contributions was her taxonomical work on the coral faunas of Australia. She added value to the global understanding of coral evolution and the interpretation of stratigraphy, setting standards such as those in the Treatise on Invertebrate Paleontology. She also engaged with resource industries working with the coal, oil, and economic sedimentary rocks of Queensland to share specialist geological knowledge.
Professor Hill concurrently worked as a lecturer and researcher in palaeontology and stratigraphy at the University of Queensland over the next 25 years. She was highly involved in fostering a spirit of independent inquiry among students and encouraged them to investigate research careers. During the Second World War, she worked as an operations staff officer for the Women’s Royal Australian Naval Service.
Professor Hill became Professor of Geology at the University of Queensland in 1959. She was elected as an Academy Fellow in 1956 and made a Fellow of the Royal Society of London in 1965. She became vice-president of the Academy in 1969 and president in 1970.
Professor Hill was a strong supporter of Australian scientific publishing and was also instrumental in building up the University of Queensland’s library collection (the Physical Sciences and Engineering Library was named after Hill).
In 1971, she became President of the Professorial Board of the University of Queensland, the first woman to be so recognised. She retired from the university in the following year and the Dorothy Hill chair was established in her honour. Professor Hill died in 1997.
See Professor Hill’s biographical memoir.
The Dorothy Hill Medal honours the contributions of Professor Hill to Australian Earth science and her work in opening up tertiary science education to women.
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