Geological Society of Australia
Victoria Division

invites you to the

S e l w y n   S y m p o s i u m   2 0 1 6
Supercontinent Assembly through Breakup:
An Eastern Gondwana Perspective

Thursday 29th September

Selwyn Lecture given by
Dr Hamish Campbell
The Geological Society of Australia (Victoria Division) Selwyn Memorial Lecture and Symposium commemorate the work of A.R.C. Selwyn, the first Government Geologist of Victoria.
This year's symposium brings together the latest research on the assembly of Gondwana and the subsequent controls that this had on disintegration of the supercontinent particularly focussing on eastern Gondwana (Australia, Zealandia).

Selwyn Lecturer

Dr Hamish Campbell


Did the entire New Zealand landmass sink beneath the ​waves 23 million years ago?

To the east of Australia lies a largely sunken continent of Zealandia. As land areas, New Zealand and New Caledonia represent the emergent 6% of this continent. It sank as a function of crustal extension (thinning) and isostatic subsidence as Zealandia was rifted away from Gondwana with formation of the Tasman Sea floor.

It will also explain the geologic evidence for substantial if not total submergence.

Significantly, the geological record invites the possibility of total submergence of Zealandia, and hence New Zealand, about 23 million years ago. However, this idea is highly controversial and flies in the face of biological evidence.

This talk will provide a forum for debate and an opportunity to hear some of the latest developments from both geological and biological perspectives.

The Selwyn Medalist Abrieviated Citation 

John Webb graduated from the University of Queensland with BSc First Class Honours in 1973 and PhD in 1982. He was awarded the University of Queensland medal in 1973. He has worked at La Trobe University since 1986 and has mentored many students as well as continuing his extensive research.

John has a very wide range of geological interests: plant palaeontology, sedimentology, karst, landscape development and geomorphology; cave mineralogy, Acid Mine Drainage (AMD), archaeology, hydrogeology and hydrology. He has published over 130 papers on these topics. He has acted as a consultant on groundwater, contaminated site management and geomorphology of archaeological sites, including as an expert witness. Much of this has had a Victorian focus.  He has worked on the geomorphology of archaeological sites in Australia, China, Papua New Guinea and New Caledonia.

During a long history of geological research in Victoria, John Webb has been involved in numerous joint projects with researchers and with land and groundwater managers. Through this effort he has forged strong links between his research and the people who benefit most from the outcomes.

John has made substantial contributions to Victorian geology in the following fields:


  • The causes of dryland salinity, appropriate remediation strategies, the role of vegetation and climate, and the potential impacts.
  • The use of radon, tritium and C14 to date groundwater and undertaking sophisticated groundwater modelling techniques to understand the groundwater of especially western Victoria.
  • The recharge of the sub basaltic and basaltic aquifers of the western district volcanic plains, confirming that a major recharge to the deeper aquifers is the eruption points scattered across the volcanic plains.
  • He has been a committee member for the International Association of Hydrogeologists (Victorian Chapter) for several years until recently.
Geomorphology and Landscape Evolution
  • John, in collaboration with Tom Gardner and others, has significantly reinterpreted the tectonic geomorphology of the southern uplands, in particular the area around Cape Liptrap and South Gippsland.
  • The reinterpretation of the low angle fans in northern Victoria and the related landscape, with the development of the use of satellite imagery to interpret geomorphological features that have been overlooked in the past. 
Speleology and Karst Geomorphology
  • In collaboration with Dr Brian Finlayson and their honors and postgraduate students, completely revised the understanding of the Buchan karst and its relationship to the present landscape.
  • Similarly John and Brian Finlayson worked on and published significant work on the granite caves of eastern Australia and their speleogenesis.
  • The discovery and description of a new cave mineral, Parwanite.
  • He was a previous President and committee member of the Victorian Speleological Association and was awarded the prestigious Edie Smith Award by the Australian Speleological Federation in 2013 for services to speleology and for his research work in karst.
Geomorphology and sedimentology of archaeological sites
  • The sedimentology of important archaeological sites and the relationship between silcrete outcrops and stone tools.
  • His work with Mark Domanski on heat treatment of siliceous rocks has added significant understanding to this aspect of stone tool making.
  • As his palaeontological expertise was originally in Triassic plants, positively identifying the plant fragments at the Bacchus Marsh, after dispute for many decades.
  • He has encouraged other plant palaeontologists and supervised students in these areas.
Acid Mine Drainage (AMD) and Acid Sulfate Soil remediation (ASS)
  • John is currently researching and supervising postgraduate students in the remediation issues needed to manage AMD and ASS. These are significant land management problems needing addressing and his research is ongoing.

The secondary aspect of his contribution is his love of field work and sharing that knowledge with enthusiastic students, and his encouragement and mentoring of other, especially younger, geologists, many of whom have followed careers in the earth sciences. He has always been prepared to take students for higher degrees who have a passion to work in a particular area. He is an excellent and supportive supervisor, mentor and university lecturer. This has meant that his influence and contribution has been enhanced. His former students are now occupying numerous positions in the Victorian hydrogeological and the earth science industries.

The 2016 Selwyn Symposium

The Selwyn Symposium will be held on September 29 at the Earth Sciences Building, University of Melbourne (corner Swanston & Elgin Streets, Parkville). A map and further details are provided at: 
Registration is now open.

Detailed Program
*some changes may occur

08:30-09:00      <<<  Onsite registration (limited places)  >>>
                         Dr David Cantrill (GSAV chairperson)
                         Symposium Opening
09:00-09:40      Dr George Gibson (ANU)
                         Rodinia breakup and formation of the hyperextended east Gondwana
                          continental margin
09:40-10:20      PhD Candidate Andrew Merdith (Earthbyte/USYD)
                         Kinematic constraints on the Rodinia to Gondwana transition: building a                          topological plate model for the Neoproterozoic
10:20-11:00       Dr Steven Boger (University of Melbourne)
                         From Arabia to Antarctica: the trace of the Mozambique Ocean within                            Gondwana and its implications for Gondwana assembly

11:00-11:20       <<<<  Morning Tea (refreshments provided)  >>>>

11:20-12:00       Professor Nick Rawlinson (University of Aberdeen)
                          Seismic structure of the lithosphere beneath eastern Australia:
                          implications for the tectonic evolution of the east Gondwana margin
12:00-12:40      Prof Alan Collins (University of Adelaide)
                         Tectonic Geography of Eastern Gondwana Formation

14:40-13:30       <<<<  Lunch (lunch provided at the venue)  >>>>

13:30-14:10      Dr David Moore (Monash University)
                          Ribbon tectonics in VanDieland
14:10-14:50      Dr Paul Green (GEOTRACK)
                          Regional exhumation episodes around Africa and the importance of
                          missing section
14:50-15:30      Dr Hamish Campbell (GNS Science)
​                          Zealandia

15:30-15:50       <<<<  Afternoon Tea (refreshments provided)  >>>>

15:50-16:30      Dr Simon Holford (University of Adelaide)
                          The under recognised record of Cretaceous-Cenozoic magmatism in
                          the offshore basins of the rifted southern Australian margin: why is it
                          there and why should we care?
16:30-17:10      Dr Milo Barham (Curtin University)
                          ​A Rifted Development: new sedimentological, stratigraphical and
                          provenance data help clarify the evolution of Australia’s post-
                          Gondwanan margins
17:10-17:50      Dr Ian Duddy (GEOTRACK)
                          Gondwana-wide thermotectonic events and their expression in
                          southern and southeastern Australia before and after break-up:
                          denudation, volcanism, sedimentation and provenance.

17:50-18:15       <<<<  Break  >>>>

18:15-18:30       Selwyn Medal Presentation
18:30-19:30      Dr Hamish Campbell
                          Selwyn Public Lecture: "Did the entire New Zealand landmass sink
                          beneath the waves 23 million years ago?"

19:45-22:00       <<<<  Symposium Dinner  >>>>

                          Café Italia, 56-66 University Street, Carlton VIC

Vale Ken Grimes
19 October 1944 – 17 August 2016
Ken died on the 17th of August, killed by a falling tree on his property near Hamilton, Victoria, while clearing a couple of jammed fallen trees. The tree jam presumably resulted from the recent high winds in the area. Our condolences are extended to his wife Janeen.
Having graduated in 1969 from The University of Queensland, with a Bachelor of Science (Honours), he went on to work as a geologist and geomorphologist with the Regional Mapping section of the Geological Survey of Queensland until 1990 when he moved to Hamilton in Western Victoria. He was assigned to the joint BMR-GSQ team mapping the Carpentaria and Karumba Basins, where he made a major contribution to the interpretation of the Cenozoic geology and landscape development of that region. He went on to apply the expertise that he developed to areas of central and southern Queensland, such as Fraser Island.

Since moving to Victoria, Ken has worked as a consultant geologist and geomorphologist specializing in karst, pseudokarst and regolith, drawing upon the experience from many years involved in research and mapping.

Ken was a current editor of the speleology journal Helictite, is a Fellow of the Australasian Cave & Karst Management Association and has been acknowledged “for outstanding service to Australian Speleology over a long period of time” with the Edie Smith award from the Australian Speleological Federation. He was a valued member of caving clubs in Queensland, Victoria and South Australia.

Since coming to Victoria he periodically gave talks to GSA (most recently just last year on Sandstone pseudo-karst in Northern Australia). Many of us remember him with his inimitable beanie and his excellent presentations and explanations of caves, karst and pseudokarst.

Ken was a wonderful colleague who had the ability to communicate his vast knowledge and wisdom to people right across the spectrum of scientific understanding. He was very helpful and generous with his time and knowledge and a wonderful interpreter of the geological world. His presence will be missed enormously by the entire speleological and geological community across Australia, and especially those of us who have worked closely with him.

A more detailed obituary will be published in the next TAG.

by Susan White
The internationally renowned monthly social get-together
for explorers, miners & other geoscientists

Fellow Geoscientists,

Welcome to the inaugural GeoPub Melbourne. This monthly event provides an opportunity for members of the Melbourne exploration community to catch up on the industry “goss”, have a few drinks, talk technical, reminisce, and/or generally socialise. Occurring on the second Friday of the month, GeoPub Melbourne aims to become a regular event on any Geologist’s social calendar.

Join Us:  At 5:30pm, every 2nd Friday of the month as your work-spouse-budget-health allows.
Why:  Meet other people working / interested in geology, mining & exploration.
And Do? Catch up on "goss", have a few drinks, talk technical, reminisce, and/or generally socialise.
Where:  P.J. O’Brien’s, Shop G12-16, Southgate, Southbank.

Forthcoming events

Unless otherwise noted, all 2016 talks will be held at the Fritz Loewe Theatre, School of Earth Sciences, University of Melbourne.

September 29th: Selwyn Symposium
Supercontinent Assembly Through Breakup: An Eastern Gondwana Perspective.
More information:

October 27th: Monthly meeting:
Associate Professor John Paterson:

The Emu Bay Shale Konservat-Lagerstätte: A view of Cambrian Life from East Gondwana

November 24th: Monthly meeting:
Social Night: Includes a tour of the Monash University Earth Science Garden, 500 rock specimens and Chinese feast in Springvale.

Student Scholarships

The GSAV are pleased to offer scholarships for honours and postgraduate students in geological sciences for assistance with travel costs associated with attending conferences (fieldwork excluded). The number and value of the scholarships awarded each year is made at the discretion of the GSA Victoria committee. Up to $500 for travel within Australia and between Australia and New Zealand and $700 for travel elsewhere is available, paid half before and half after the conference. More information, including the eligibility criteria and application form, is available at

Contributions to The Victorian Geologist

If there are any events, happenings, news, or views that would be of interest to the membership, please send your details and information to Kieran Iles at
Newsletter deadline: First Friday of the month, except for December and January.

Contribute to TAG

It is member contributions which make TAG (The Australian Geologist) a member magazine – please keep the contributions coming and assist with informing all of the membership (not just your Division) about your activities.

Please send your news to:

About the GSA Victoria Division

General information about the Geological Society of Australia and GSA Victoria Division can be found at and
Contact details for the GSAV Committee can be found at

Copyright © 2016 GSA Victoria, All rights reserved.

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