Professor Rod Tucker is a retired electronic engineer with a lifelong interest in the exploration and mapping of the Australian coast and inland Australia. He is an Emeritus Professor in optical fibre communications and internet technologies at the University of Melbourne. Rod served as an advisor to the Federal Government on the establishment of the National Broadband Network. Rod’s research into Babbage’s expeditions was stimulated by a family connection to a member of Babbage’s team and by a fascination with the enigmatic relationships between Babbage, the press, and the government of the time.
Presented by the Royal Geographical Society of South Australia.
Take a journey into the past as Professor Rod Tucker looks at how Benjamin Herschel Babbage’s explorations in the late 1850s provided a crucial step towards the opening of northern South Australia to European settlement. Babbage recognised that there was a gap in the mythical horseshoe-shaped Lake Torrens that Edward John Eyre imagined sixteen years earlier. Babbage opened the way for John McDouall Stuart’s crossing of the continent. But at the time, his contributions were subject to much controversy, and the South Australian Government summarily dismissed him as expedition leader.
This talk will give an overview of Babbage’s explorations in the Flinders Ranges and the Lake Torrens - Lake Eyre region and recount the political machinations in Adelaide that led to his removal from the expedition. The talk will be illustrated with original and modern maps and with many sketches by Babbage and his botanist, David Herrgott.
Free for members, $10 for non-members.
How do I get to the State Library by public transport?
The 'State Library, Art Gallery, Museum' tram-stop is just outside the State Library. There are bus stops close by near the War Memorial on North Terrace. The closest train station is the Adelaide city station on North Terrace.
You can plan your journey via Adelaide Metro.
Is there car parking near the State Library?
The nearest car park is Wilson's Adelaide Central car park, 225 North Terrace, next to David Jones.
There is paid metered street parking along Kintore Ave and Victoria Drive.
Where is the wheelchair and stroller access?
Access to the Spence Wing first floor and the Mortlock Chamber is via the lift in the glass foyer entrance of the library.
There is on-street disabled parking available in the nearby roads. View more information and maps of Adelaide City Council's Disability parking for permit holders.
How do I check if the Mortlock Chamber is open when I plan to visit?
You can visit the Mortlock Chamber on the ground floor to look at the exhibition bays. The upper levels of the Mortlock Wing include quiet study areas.
Is there a cafe at the State Library?
Yes, the State Library Cafe is open Monday to Friday from 8am to 4pm and Saturdays from 12 to 4pm.