For what and to whom is this award given?

The G.W. Symes Award should be made to a worthy recipient who has authored an academic, peer-reviewed publication that relates to the history of South Australia (or the Northern Territory in so far that is affects the history of South Australia, recognising the intimate historical links between these two jurisdictions) and that is substantially informed by the discipline of geography. The work should have been published (online or in hard-copy) in the two years prior to 31 January of the year of the Award.

Major-General George William Symes CB MC settled in South Australia in 1949 after a distinguished career in the British Army during WW11. He took an active part in the life of South Australia and was Private Secretary to the Governor from 1956 to 1964. His interest in historical geography led him in 1949 to join the Royal Geographical Society of Australasia, South Australian Branch. When he died in 1980, he left a bequest to the Society with instructions that the interest from that bequest was to be used to provide awards for historical research into the history of South Australia and the Northern Territory in so far as the latter affects the history of South Australia.

How are awardees acknowledged?

Awardees receive a certificate of recognition and a cash prize (currently $750). Awardees are recognized at a special event of the Society, such as the Society’s Annual Dinner. They are also acknowledged in GeoNews, the member’s newsletter, as well as on the Society’s website and through other relevant media. Awardees (or, in exceptional circumstances, their nominee) are expected to deliver a public presentation based on their publication at one of the Society’s meetings without payment for such presentation.

How are awardees selected?

Any authors who wish to have their publication considered for this prize should submit it to the Society no later than 30 June each year, together with a completed application form. All nominations are evaluated by the Committee charged with managing the Society’s awards (acting as the G.W. Symes Bequest Committee) with their recommendation being put to the Council for decision. If, in any particular year, the selection committee consider that no publication is suitable for the Award, then no award shall be made.

Rules of the G W Symes Bequest Fund and Award (Adopted by Council 12 September 1984; Reviewed September 2009)