Students at the University of Sydney
Students in the early years
This webpage provides brief information about the beginnings / establishment of the Faculty of Agriculture, and photos of its early students and graduates.
View more information and photos about early women Agriculture students.
On this webpage:
Click on images for enlargement.
FACULTY OF AGRICULTURE 1920 (now Faculty of Agriculture and Environment)
||Agriculture was initially part of the Faculty of Science with Professor Robert Dickie Watt as the first Professor of Agriculture in the Department of Agricultural Science.
||The first students admitted to the Department were: James Heinich, Ethelbert Southee, Harry Stephens and Harold Wenholz. They spent their first year in lectures delivered to other Science undergraduates.
||The first Agriculture lectures began.
||The first students to graduate Bachelor of Science in Agriculture were James Heinich, Harry Stephens with First Class Honours and the University medal, and Harold Wenholz.
||Lorna Byrne (later Hayter), Margaret Ramsay (later Brebner), Muriel Hutton and Isabel (Bell) Millar (later Jones) were the first female students admitted to Agriculture.
||Lorna Byrne (later Hayter) and Margaret Brebner were the first female Bachelor of Science in Agriculture graduates.
||The Faculty of Agriculture was established, with Professor Watt as the first Dean.
||Walter Lawry Waterhouse was the first to be awarded the degree of Doctor of Science in Agriculture.
||Eric Edwards and Norman Parbury were the first to be awarded the degree of Master of Science in Agriculture.
||The first of the University farms – the 162 hectare McGarvie Smith Farm at Badgery's Creek – was purchased with the objective of setting up a teaching farm.
||Dilbagh Athwal and Harland Kerr were the first to gain a Doctor of Philosophy in the Faculty.
||The Faculty was renamed the Faculty of Agriculture, Food & Natural Resources and had 636 student enrolments, 426 of whom were men.
||The Faculty was renamed the Faculty of Agriculture and Environment.
||The 19 rural properties collectively termed the ‘Camden Farms’ comprise an area of around 1500ha between Camden and Badgery’s Creek. These farms are essential to supporting the present core teaching and research activities of the Faculty of Veterinary Science and the Faculty of Agriculture and Environment.
In the early 1900s
Professor Robert Dickie Watt's first Agriculture lecture to the first students James Heinrich, Harry Stephens, Harold Wenholz and Ethelbert (Bert) Southee in 1911, photo G29_6_001, University of Sydney Archives.
The Sydney University Agricultural Society's first annual dinner at Miss Bishop's Cafe in 1913, photo G3_224_1312 , University of Sydney Archives.
The students on the 1913 Commem Day float include the first Agriculture undergraduate students: James Heinrich, Harry Stephens, Harold Wenholz and Bert Southee, photo G3_224_0651, University of Sydney Archives.
One of the first four Bachelor of Science in Agriculture students, Ethelbert (Bert) Southee in uniform in 1918, photo G3_224_1501, University of Sydney Archives. He won a Rhodes scholarship in 1913 and proceeded to St John's College, Oxford, was commissioned in the (Royal) Army Service Corps in 1914, served on the Western Front and in Italy, and graduated Bachelor of Science in Agriculture in 1919.
Harry Stephens was the first to graduate Bachelor of Science in Agriculture with First Class Honours and the University Medal, in 1914. Following the outbreak of war, he enlisted in the Australian Army and rose to the rank of Captain. He was killed in Ypres on 18 November 1917, photo, 'Hermes" June 1918, University of Sydney Archives.
Robert Noble graduated Bachelor of Science in Agriculture with First Class Honours & the University medal in 1915. He enlisted in WW1 in October 1915 and returned from active service in 1919, photo G3_224_1511, University of Sydney Archives.
The RD Watt Building, the first purpose-built building for the newly established School of Agriculture, in continuous use for that purpose since 1916, photo G3_224_0056, University of Sydney Archives.
Lorna Byrne (later Hayter) and Margaret Ramsay (later Brebner) were two of the first four women to enter the Agriculture Science degree in 1917. They graduated in 1921 (the other two had dropped out). In this photo taken in 1918 they are in academic dress, G3_224_1338, University Archives.
In the 1920s
Agriculture students and staff in 1926, photo G3_224_1600, University of Sydney Archives click on the image to see names.
Winners of the Shute Cup and Inter-Faculty R U F Competition in 1926, photo G3_224_1611, University of Sydney Archives click on the image to see names.
Winners of the B Grade Inter-Faculty Competition in 1928. Rear from left: C E Ahrens and E J Watson; front from left: G Kaleski, P C Hely and W W Jones, photo G3_224_1612, University of Sydney Archives.
In the 1930s
Faculty staff and students in 1930, photo G3_224_1601, University of Sydney Archives click on the image to see names.
After an experiment in cross-breeding of wheat, an Agriculture student is covering the ears of wheat with cellophane bags to protect the pollenising process, photo, The Queenslander, 16 November 1938, National Library of Australia.
Staff and students in 1939, photo G3_224_1604, University of Sydney Archives.
In the 1940s
Agriculture staff and students outside the Agriculture Building in 1942, photo G3_224_1605, University of Sydney Archives click on the image to see names.
While Driver John Barrie, AIF, was a prisoner of war in Borneo, his wife and daughters were running his 320-acre dairy farm at Duntroon, Canberra. Nancy Barrie (right), with her two sisters, was a Bachelor of Agriculture graduate of the University who worked as an agrostologist in the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research at Canberra, photo, The Australian Women's Weekly, 8 January 1944, National Library of Australia.
Agriculture first-years Alan Crawford, Joyce Harley, Ernie Friend, Myfanwy Murphy (Wayland) and Betty Liggens (front) take a break from lectures in 1944, photo, University of Sydney Archives.
Robert Robertson-Cuninghame, a 28-year-old ex-serviceman and 4th year Agriculture student at the University, was the NSW Rhodes Scholar for 1948. He owned a small mixed grazing property at Deepwater NSW which his father would work while he took a postgraduate course at Oxford, photo, Townsville Daily Bulletin, 22 November 1948, National Library of Australia.
In the 1950s
3rd, 4th and 5th year Agriculture students in 1952, photo G3_224_1608, Universiyt of Sydney Archives.
Final year Agriculture students in 1954, photo G3_224_1609, University of Sydney Archives click on the image to see names.
Final year Agriculture students in 1958, photo G3_224_1615, University of Sydney Archives click on the image to see names.
In the 1980s
Dr Hector Geddes explaining his Water Harvesting system to final year Agriculture students on Mayfarm, Camden in 1981, photo, The Gazette, September 1981, Univerity of Sydney Archives.
Students harvesting wheat at Narrabri during the Christmas vacation, photo, The Gazette February 1981, University of Sydney Archives.
Cows grazing on irrigated pasture in front of the Dairy Research Centre, Corstorphine Farm, Camden, photo, The Gazette February 1981, University of Sydney Archives.
PhD student Brett Summerhill setting up an experiment to measure soil temperature under different stubble treatments at Livingstone Farm in 1986, photo, University of Sydney Annual Report 1986.
In the 1990s
At the Plant Breeding Institute, Camden in 1992, photo, University of Sydney Annual Report 1992.
First years in 2012, photo from the Faculty website.
A Plant Breeding Institute project, photo from the Faculty website.
The R D Watt Building today, photo, 'Lost on Campus'.
Agriculture students, photos, University of Sydney.
Agriculture student, photos, University of Sydney.
Faculty staff attended the annual 2012 Careers in Agriculture Expo at the Royal Easter show in April 2012, photo, University of Sydney more.
Winner of the the Faculty Three Minute Thesis (3MT) Challenge, PhD student Mana Gharun with the Judging Panel members, 17 July 2012, photo, University of Sydney more.
Postgraduate students, Brendan Malone, Kanika Singh, Irshad Bibi, Nabeel Khan Niazi and Uta Stockmann, gave presentations at 19th World Congress of Soil Science in Brisbane in August 2010, photo, University of Sydney more.
Members of the Faculty's Student Landcare Society and Faculty staff planted another 1000 trees at the University rural property Arthursleigh in 2012, photo, University of Sydney more.
- 'A History of the University of Sydney, Vol 1, 1850 - 1939', by Clifford Turney, Ursula Bygott and Peter Chippendale
- National Library of Australia historic newspapers
- University of Sydney Calendar Archive
Lis Bergmann, 2012