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Table of Contents

History of Research in the Bureau of Meteorology




Chapter 1: Germination and Growth
The First Three Decades
A Time of Rapid Growth

Chapter 2: Struggle, Competition and Emergence

Appendix 1: Meteorology Act 1906

Appendix 2: Meteorology Act 1955

Appendix 3: Simpson Report

Appendix 4: Survey Questionnaire

Appendix 5: Bibliography



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A Time of Rapid Growth

Civilian Expansion

It was not until 1937 that the Bureau finally commenced proper staff training. Lillywhite [51] and Mackey [54] both state that Barkley had foreseen the need to expand the Bureau's aviation services, prior to the 1938 Committee of Inquiry into the crash of the Kyeema and had devised a plan in conjunction with the Department of the Interior and the PSB for the implementation of his scheme (Mellor [58]). This Inquiry, whilst it made no recommendations regarding the Bureau, found that "the meteorological services are not at present altogether sufficient to provide the necessary information required by pilots" (Dept of Defence [25]).

The Committee's report provided further impetus to Barkley's idea and it then became imperative to train as many staff as possible in order to open offices at all major aerodromes. A small training school was established in Melbourne under Treloar and teaching began in June of that year. A small group of meteorological assistants were the first to be given three months training in aviation forecasting prior to being dispatched to open the new offices. Unfortunately, there is no way of assessing whether or not the 1936 decisions by the UK Meteorological Office to commence recruiting university graduates and provide formal training for their meteorologists (Ogden [63]) influenced Barkley in any way. Perhaps it was just coincidence.

Bearing in mind the possible expansion of its services, the Bureau had also decided to take action to increase the numbers of its professional staff. Accordingly, advertisements were placed in major newspapers in January 1937 calling for applications from science graduates aged 24 or less, with mathematics or physics majors, to enroll for training in aviation meteorology at the Bureau's Central Office (Lillywhite [51]). Some 14 applicants were successful. They were joined on course by Flying Officer Cohen (seconded from the RAAF to learn more about meteorology) who, as Dick, later Sir Richard Kingsland (following a change of name) headed the Department of the Interior from April 1963 until July 1970, a period of major growth for the Bureau.

People in Bright Sparcs - Cohen, Dick (Kingsland); Kingsland, Richard; Lillywhite, John Wilson; Mackey, George William; Treloar, Harry Mayne

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Gardner, J. 1997 'Stormy Weather: A History of Research in the Bureau of Meteorology', Metarch Papers, No. 11 December 1997, Bureau of Meteorology

© Online Edition Australian Science and Technology Heritage Centre and Bureau of Meteorology 2001
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