Canberra Street named after former Geoscience Chief

18 June 2001

Sir Harold Raggatt, the first chief executive of the Australian Geological Survey Organisation (AGSO), was officially honoured today when the street on which the organisation's headquarters is sited was named after him.

As part of the Australian Public Service Centenary celebrations, the naming recognises the long and distinguished career of the man who set AGSO on the path to becoming one of the leading geoscience research and information organisations in the world.

The Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Industry, Science and Resources, Mr Warren Entsch, unveiled the new street sign at the organisation's headquarters on Jerrabomberra Avenue at Symonston.

"Sir Harold's contribution to the understanding and development of Australia's mineral resources is unparalleled and I'm pleased to honour him in this way," Mr Entsch said.

"The Bureau of Mineral Resources, Geology and Geophysics, which eventually became AGSO, was established in 1946 to provide the Commonwealth Government with information on mineral resources and to promote its objectives in developing the minerals industry. Under Sir Harold, the Bureau took a lead role in the geological mapping of Australia and the search for new oil and mineral deposits to advance Australia's resources industry.

"During his long career in geoscience, Sir Harold held a number of positions in both the New South Wales and Commonwealth public service. He was the Commonwealth Geological Adviser, Director of the Mineral Resources Survey, Vice-Chairman of the Commonwealth Minerals Committee, Chair of the Snowy Mountains Council and Secretary of the Department of National Development.

"He had the vision to see Australia as a country with great natural resources and assisted in the economic development of those resources, particularly minerals.

"I think he would be immensely proud of the organisation that AGSO is today, of how it is applying geoscience to help address a whole range of issues beyond geological mapping and resources exploration, of how it has diversified to become much more than a geological survey organisation."

Sir Harold Raggatt died in 1968 after his contribution to geoscience was recognised in 1954 with a CBE (Commander of the British Empire) and again in 1963 with a Knighthood. His grandchildren Helen and Evan Lindesay have travelled from Melbourne to attend the ceremony.

Topic contact: Last updated: October 4, 2013