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The Geographical Society of New South Wales awards Fellowships to members who have made a significant contribution to geography and to the work of their professional organisation.

The nomination procedures and rules together with the nomination form can be downloaded here.


The 2014 Fellowship Award was awarded to Professor John Connell.

The award of the Fellowship of the Geographical Society of NSW for 2014 acknowledges Professor John Connell for his sustained and significant contribution to Geography and to the Society.

John Connell was awarded his PhD at the University College London. After holding research positions at the University of Sussex, and the Research School of Pacific Studies, Australian National University, in 1977 John was appointed as a lecturer to the University of Sydney. In recognition of his academic, teaching and administrative achievement John has been subsequently promoted within this university up to rank of Professor. Some of the administrative roles he has performed during this time include his role as Head of the School of Geosciences, Director of the Centre for the Human Aspects of Technology. He was also Vice-Chair of the International Geographical Union Study Group on Globalisation and Migration, and he was Chair, Institute of Australian Geographers Development Areas Study Group (1984-96). Since 2009, John has been Editor of the Society’s journal Australian Geographer.

John is an outstanding geographical educator. Through his research, passion for geography, enthusiasm in lectures, ability to inspire and a dash of humor, he continues to provide outstanding service to geographical education in Australia.

Professor Connell’s publications are vast and impressive. They cover a range of themes, including migration, urbanisation, development geographies, tourism geographies, decolonisation, nationalism, music and the Pacific Islands. John has over 330 publications including 8 books as sole author, 13 as joint author, more than ninety referred articles and fifty chapters in books and this impressive output continues to grow. His publications are read by undergraduates and post-graduates across the globe.

Professor Connell has been a longstanding participant in Society events (conferences, etc), and a long time contributor to the Society’s journal, The Australian Geographer. Since 2009 John has been the leading Editor of the journal. In that period Australian Geographer has maintained a very reputable international standing, in a context of unprecedented intense global pressure and competition across academic journals.

The journal has maintained an impact factor above 1.0 in JCR rankings, and is ranked well among peer (regional) journals. Year by year the journal is ranked about 30 to 35th among Geography journals globally. The journal is subscribed to by 151 universities across the globe and is among a further 1700 journal package subscriptions. Taylor & Francis and partner sales agreements ensure that the Journal is available in full-text in 12,000 academic libraries worldwide and a further 6,000 academic libraries in developing nations. Since 2009 when John became the leading editor of the journal there has been an increase in full-text downloads on Taylor & Francis Online from 15,060 (2009) to 41,659 (2013). The journal has never had such global readership, as it has had during Professor Connell’s Editorship.

Professor John Connell exemplifies excellence in tertiary teaching and learning at the University of Sydney. John is a dynamic and inspiring teacher. John has received constant praise for his teaching and has been nominated for teaching awards, including the Society / GTA MacDonald Holmes Award in 2007.

His ability to inspire is again reflected in the decisions of his students to continue with geographical education beyond undergraduate years. During his time at Sydney University he attracted more fourth-year honours students than any other staff member (n:60+). He has supervised well over twenty PhD and Masters students. This in itself is an outstanding achievement. John has been an outstanding mentor for his postgraduate students’ career development, providing advice on publications, and encouraging them to become independent academics above and beyond the production of their theses. John must be recognised, and congratulated, for inspiring people and fostering a sense of belonging to the discipline of Geography.


Past Recipients

1969   Professor George H. Dury
1973   Professor Neville R. Wills
1978   Dr. James Fox
1980   James Brock Rowe
1980   Sister Gonzaga Stanley
1980   John J. Coffee
1981   Margery Joyce Martin
1981   Edward Crago
1981   Professor Alan Tweedie
1988   Malcolm H. Barlow
1988   Dr. Donald S. Biddle
1988   John Shaw
1990   Dr. John Emery

1990   Professor Trevor Langford-Smith
1992   Dr. David C. Rich
1994   Colin Sale
1996   Associate Professor Ian Burnley
1998   Dr. Stephen Codrington
1998   Dr. Deirdre Dragovich
2000   Dr. Graeme Aplin
2002   Associate Professor James Forrest
2004   Dr. Kevin M. Dunn
2006   Dr. Colin Davey
2008   Professor Pauline McGuirk
2010   Associate Professor Gordon Waitt
2013   Associate Professor Phil McManus
2014   Professor John Connell










Updated: 7 January 2015 of page