Page 936
Previous/Next Page
Federation and MeteorologyBureau of Meteorology
Table of Contents

Memories of the Bureau, 1946 to 1962





Chapter 1: The Warren Years, 1946 to 1950
Warren the Man
Warren Joins the Bureau
Wartime Perceptions and Attitudes
Return to Civvy Street
People in the Bureau
Re-establishing and Reorganising the Bureau
Reorganisation of Central Office
The Position of Chief Scientific Officer
Post-War Reorganisation
The Haldane Story
Public Weather Services
The New South Wales Divisional Office
The Victorian Divisional Office
The Queensland Divisional Office
The South Australian Divisional Office
The Western Australian Divisional Office
The Tasmanian Divisional Office
Pre-war Services for Civil Aviation
Post-War Meteorological Service for Aviation
Indian Ocean Survey Flight
The Aviation Field Staff
Synoptic Analysis, Prognosis and Forecasting
Antarctic and Southern Ocean Meteorology
A Wider Scientific Horizon
Research, Development and Special Investigations
Analysts' Conference, April 1950
Instruments and Observations
Radar Winds and Radar Weather Watch
Climate and Statistics
The Universities
Achievements of the Warren Years

Chapter 2: International Meteorology

Chapter 3: The Timcke Years, 1950 to 1955

Chapter 4: A Year at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Chapter 5: The Dwyer Years, 1955 to 1962

Chapter 6: A Springboard for the Future

Appendix 1: References

Appendix 2: Reports, Papers, Manuscripts

Appendix 3: Milestones

Appendix 4: Acknowledgements

Appendix 5: Summary by H. N. Warren of the Operation of the Meteorological Section of Allied Air Headquarters, Brisbane, 1942–45



Contact us


The origins of the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) began in June 1926 when David Rivett was appointed to the Executive of the newly-formed CSIR.

Rivett was born on 4 December 1885 at Port Esperance, Tasmania. He attended the University of Melbourne, graduating B.Sc. (first class honours in chemistry) in 1906. He won a Rhodes Scholarship in 1907, attended Lincoln College, Oxford, where he gained B.A. in 1909 and B.Sc. in 1910, both with first class honours. He was appointed Lecturer in Chemistry at the University of Melbourne in 1911 and in that year married Stella, the daughter of Alfred Deakin, one of the founders of the Commonwealth of Australia.

Rivett gained a commission in the Australian Medical Corps in August 1915 and in 1917 worked on the production of military explosives in the British munitions works at Swindon, Wiltshire. While there he developed ideas on the manner in which research could support industry.

On his return to Melbourne in 1919 he was appointed Associate Professor of Chemistry at the University of Melbourne and in 1924 was made full Professor. After joining CSIR in 1926 he was appointed Chief Executive Officer in 1927.

When CSIR was granted 250 000 pounds for research grants to existing laboratories Rivett agreed that applied science should have first priority but felt that half of CSIR's grants should be devoted to basic research. This led to some conflict with universities who considered finance for basic research should be devoted to their activities.

During the economic depression of the 1930s Rivett became dissatisfied with the level of Government support. He was appointed Chairman of CSIR in 1946 but when the CSIR became the CSIRO and the Public Service Board was given responsibility for supervising staffing structure, Rivett retired on 19 May 1949.

It is interesting to note that Sir David Rivett was a member of the committee appointed by the Minister for the Interior in 1940 to consider applications received following an advertisement of the position of Director (Commonwealth Meteorologist). The report of that committee (discussed earlier) indicates that Sir David Rivett was absent overseas when the committee met on 7 May 1940 to make its report.

People in Bright Sparcs - Warren, Herbert Norman

Previous Page Bureau of Meteorology Next Page

Gibbs, W. J. 1999 'A Very Special Family: Memories of the Bureau of Meteorology 1946 to 1962', Metarch Papers, No. 13 May 1999, Bureau of Meteorology

© Online Edition Australian Science and Technology Heritage Centre and Bureau of Meteorology 2001
Published by Australian Science and Technology Heritage Centre, using the Web Academic Resource Publisher