The Linnean Society of NSW

The Linnean Society of NSW

The Society was founded in 1874 and incorporated in 1884. Successful establishment of the Society was due in large part to the dedication and financial support of its first President, Sir William Macleay (1820-1891). He provided the Society with its original accommodation and staff, set up a library and established the Proceedings (1875).

In addition to substantial gifts to the Society during his life, Sir William bequeathed a large sum for the employment of a Research Bacteriologist at the University of Sydney.

The first Macleay Bacteriologist was appointed in 1898. From 1955 revenue from the Bacteriology fund has been used as a contribution to the salary of a Linnean Macleay Lecturer in Microbiology. In 1903 a further bequest became available for provision of the annual Linnean Macleay Fellowship. In 1958 Council established the biennial Sir William Macleay Memorial Lecture.

Originally, the Society occupied various offices around the city of Sydney including the Garden Palace, where it fell victim to the disastrous fire of 1882. Macleay then provided more permanent headquarters at Linnean House, Elizabeth Bay, where it remained until 1924. It then moved back to the city at College Street until 1931, to Science House in Gloucester Street until 1976 and to the Science Centre in Clarence Street until 1983. After a number of years at Cliff St., Milsons Point, the Society moved briefly to Bunnerong Road, Matraville in September, 1999 and then moved to Gardeners Road, Kingsford in September, 2000. From April 2019 the Society will be meeting at the State Library of NSW.

Activities and benefits to members of the Society

The affairs of the Society are administered by a Council of 18 members, six of whom retire each year but are eligible for re-election. The President, Secretary, Honorary Treasurer and Honorary Editor constitute the Executive Committee.

Officers and Council 2023-2024

President: Karen Wilson
Vice-Presidents: Ian Percival, John Barkas
Honorary Treasurer: Ian Percival 
Secretary: Bruce Welch
Council: John Barkas, Hayley Bates, Doug Benson, Daniel Bickel, Jean-Claude Herremans, Ian Hill, David Keith, Robert King, Peter Myerscough, Peter Olde, Ian Percival, John Pickett, Helen Smith, Bruce Welch, Karen Wilson.
Honorary Editor:  Mike Augee 
Auditors:  Phil Williams Carbonara

The society has a Research Committee which administers the Joyce W Vickery Scientific Research Fund for Biological Sciences, the Betty Mayne Scientific Research Fund for Earth Sciences, and the William Macleay Microbiology Research Fund. The Rescearch Committee provides advice to the Council of the Society on the awarding of Grants from these Funds as well as the recipient of the Macleay Fellowship, the John Noble Award and the Surrey Jacobs Award. The Research Committee members are registered with the CSIRO to comply with federal government requirements.

Our Reasearch Committe comprises: John Barkas, Hayley Bates, Doug Benson, Daniel Bickel, Ian Hill, Ian Percival, John Pickett, Helen Smith, Karen Wilson.


Our Editor is supported by an Editorial Advisory Committee: Robert King, Ian Percival, Karen Wilson

The Linnean Society of NSW currently has thirteen Honarary Members: Professor D T Anderson, Dr Michael Augee, Dr Barbara Briggs, Professor Roger Carolin, Gwen Harden, W B K Holmes, Professor Betsy Jackes, Dr Helene Martin, Dr David McAlpine, Dr John McGarity, Dr L A Moffat, Dr Helen Ramsay and J F Rigby.