2017 at RGSQ


RGSQ lectures are free and open to the public.


“The cups that cheer but not inebriate: Australia's love affair with tea"” by Dr Peter Griggs

Between 1860 and 1950, Australians were the highest, then second highest consumers of tea per person globally. Tea was never grown commercially in Australia until the 1970s, so the 55-60 million pounds (25-27 million kilograms) of tea that was consumed annually by Australians by the 1950s and 1960s had to be imported, overwhelmingly from Asia. This extensive trade in tea from the 1820s onwards had developed linkages between Australia and Asia, long before Prime Minister Gough Whitlam visited China in the early 1970s.

Dr Peter Griggs is a historical geographer interested in agriculture and environmental history.  He has published extensively on the Australian sugar industry. The presentation will consider why Australians consumed so much tea; why it fell out of favour during the period 1960-1980 (although making a comeback now as a trendy beverage); changing source regions for Australia’s tea imports; those firms and individuals who kept Australians supplied with their favourite beverage (e.g. Bushell family; James Inglis who created Billy Tea; Robur Tea Co.; Lan-Choo Tea Co.); and the growth of Australia’s commercial black and green tea industries, pioneered by Dr Alan Maruf who established Nerada Tea plantation near Innisfail.



 July:  Rocks and Coals of the Ipswich Basin

Wed 26 July

To book: contact RGSQ at 07 3368 2066 or email at admin@rgsq.org.au


Much of the geography of SE Queensland is written in the 400 M year geology of the region. Warwick Willmott and David Trezise of the Geological Society of Australia will guide us through the formation of the Ipswich area in late Triassic period of around 200 M years ago. Members will recall that Warwick has delivered a number of fascinating lectures at RGSQ and has edited a number of publications of the Geological Society including “Rocks and Landscapes of Brisbane and Ipswich”, which will be available for purchase on the day.

* The Society's 2015/16 Annual Report may be downloaded HERE.

His Excellency the Honourable Paul de Jersey AC
Governor of Queensland