Level 3 Mortlock Wing State Library of South Australia North Terrace Adelaide SA 5000
Wr PXA Vol 6 p 140 Rev J Tenison Woods

Monthly Lecture


Roderick O'Brien

Tenison-Woods was a pioneer educator, establishing a system of schools in South Australia and beyond.  He also produced textbooks. Roderick O’Brien will discuss the first Geography book written by Tenison-Woods among other of his achievements.

Image by Unknown author - State Library of New South Wales PXA 362 Vol 6, Public Domain

Julian Tenison Woods (1832-1889), pioneer scientist and missionary, is well remembered through his scientific work (in books, reports, and over 200 technical and popular articles), and is well remembered for his religious work especially the foundation of the Sisters of St Joseph in Penola, with St Mary MacKillop. He is not so well known as a pioneer educator, establishing a system of schools in South Australia and beyond. The cost of importing textbooks for these schools was a great burden, and he turned his talents to writing textbooks. Today we will examine his Geography (1868), its origins, its aims, its construction, and its use.

The presentation will be a useful preparation for the tour to the Southeast of South Australia, where Woods spent ten productive and happy years. It would also be useful for members or friends with interest in the teaching of geography. And it should be enjoyable for a general audience.

Dr Roderick O’Brien is, like Woods, a Catholic priest. When living in the southeast of South Australia, he was first introduced to Woods’ amazingly varied life. Since then, he has found snatches of time to research Woods’ work. His special area of interest has been Woods’ scientific explorations in Asia.

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The Royal Geographical Society of South Australia Inc. Trust Funds are to support, sponsor, encourage or promote projects or other activities for scientific study of any or all aspects of geography and/or the educational applications or dissemination of the findings thereof. The funds either provide for growth in our geographical Library knowledge and information services; or are applied to more general geographical activities, awards and scholarship.

Date and Time

18 April 2024
5:30 pm

Hetzel Lecture Theatre, Institute Building, State Library of SA, North Terrace, Adelaide

Members: $Gold coin
Non members: $10

Light refreshments from 5:00 pm