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Papers of Elspeth Anne Young
Most of the material is available to be read, and a reasonable portion may be copied for private study and research and/or published with acknowledgement [Access code: R1 C1B]. The exceptions are three folders that have closed access and require the Principal’s permission for reading, copying and quotation [Access code A3b B1]. For details to these folders see introductory notes to ‘series’.
Date range: 1954-2002 (bulk 1976-2002)
Extent: 1.2 metres (7 boxes) + 3 folio folders
Elspeth Young was a geographer who spent many years studying Indigenous communities in Australia and Papua New Guinea. This collection mainly contains material on the Australian Indigenous communities of central and north-west Australia including Alice Springs, Willowra, Yuendumu, Numbulwar, Mount Allan, and the Kimberley.
Elspeth Young’s collection was deposited with AIATSIS Library by the executor of Young’s estate, in November 2002. The collection comprised numbered boxes of papers, and accompanying slides, photographic prints and negatives. All material had been listed and given a reference number by Jocelyn Davies prior to it being deposited with the Library [listing on Library file]. AIATSIS Library has since rehoused and renumbered the collection by ‘series’, while maintaining the original arrangement of the folders and the items within them.
The slides, photographic prints and negatives [Jocelyn Davies reference numbers 1-18, 22-40] that accompanied the papers were transferred to AIATSIS Audiovisual Archives in September 2004. To access any of this audiovisual material contact the Audiovisual Archives Program
Elspeth Anne Young was born in Auchterarder, Scotland on 25 August 1940. In her first year at university she studied pure mathematics but in the following year, switched to geography. She graduated from the University of Edinburgh with MA (Honours) in Geography in 1963.
After completing a Diploma of Education at the University of Edinburgh in 1964, Young taught geography and mathematics at the Dollar Academy, a senior school in Clackmannanshire, Scotland. Following four years at the Dollar Academy she taught mathematics at St Francis Girls High School, Port of Spain, Trinidad.
In 1969 Young returned to a position in Scotland lecturing in economic geography at the Edinburgh College of Commerce. In late 1971 she was appointed Research Assistant and Tutor in the Geography Department of the University in Port Moresby where she later enrolled as a staff candidate for a post-graduate degree. Young was awarded an MA in geography for her thesis on ‘Population mobility in the Kainantu area’ in 1974.
Young gained an Australian National University post-graduate scholarship, and for her thesis, ‘Simbu and New Ireland migration’ she was awarded a PhD in human geography in 1977. On graduation she was appointment as Research Fellow in the ‘Aboriginal component in the Australian economy project’ led by Fred Fisk in the Development Studies Centre, ANU. In 1978, while working with Fisk, Young began a study of the newly established Aboriginal-owned pastoral enterprise at Willowra station, north of Alice Springs. Thus began her interest in Aboriginal land management from which she became one of the most influential champions of the Aboriginal English term ‘Caring for Country’.
Subsequently, Young became the first geographer to have worked on Northern Territory land claims, contributing to the successful claims to Ti Tree and Mt Allen (1980-85).
While Research Fellow in Demography, ANU, (1980-1981) and Senior Research Fellow (1982-1985) in the North Australia Research Unit of the ANU in Darwin, Young contributed to the East Kimberley Impact Assessment Project led by Nugget Coombs (Young 1988), and a study on Aboriginal mobility (Young and Doohan, 1989).
In 1983, Young made the first of many research trips to Canada. She finally returned to Canberra in 1985 joining the Department of Geography and Oceanography at the newly-established University College, University of New South Wales, Australian Defence Force Academy (1985-1994), where she became Associate-Professor.
In 1994 she returned to the ANU as Reader (1994-2002) and Director (1994-1999) of the Graduate Studies in Environmental Management and Development Program at ANU.
Young was a Council Member of the Institute of Australian Geographers (1987-1992); editor of Australian Geographical Studies (1989-1992); holder of the IAG Professional Services Award for 1998; Member and then Chair of the National Committee for Geography; Treasurer and member of the Executive Committee of the Federation of Australian Social Science Organisations; and Chair of the Australian Antarctic Naming and Medals Committee.
Elspeth Young died in England on 10 August 2002.
Ref: Obituary, Australian Geographical Studies, March 2003, vol.41, no.1, pp85-90
Important: Before you click on the link to the catalogue entries below for other works by Young please read our sensitivity message.
The Institute also holds other works by Elspeth Young .
Series 1 Field diaries, 1978-89
This series contains Young’s handwritten field notes written in shorthand notebooks.
Mount Allan is a pastoral station 240 kilometres north-west of Alice Springs. The lease was purchased by Aborigines in 1976 and so became open to claim under the Aboriginal Land Rights (Northern Territory) Act. In 1979 the Central Land Council lodged a land claim on behalf of the Walpiri and Anmatyerre traditional owners. The Aboriginal Land Commissioner Kearney heard the evidence in 1982 and in March 1985 his report recommended the bulk of the land claim be granted. This decision was later the subject of legal action by the Northern Territory Government consequently it was not until 1988 that the Minister was able to proceed with the grant.
This series includes Young’s correspondence, seminar paper, research (and interview) notes, and financial statements compiled during the period she was involved with the Mount Allan land claim. Folder 2 holds copies of the actual land claim, 1981.
Access to most of these folders is open for reading and a reasonable portion can be copied for private study and research and/ or published with acknowledgement [R1 C1b]. The exceptions are Folders 3 and genealogical charts in Folder 9 that have closed access. Principal’s permission is required for reading, copying and quotation [A3b B1].
This series includes photocopies of a submission for funding, correspondence, reports of meetings, budget papers, maps, and handwritten genealogies and notes relating to the Aboriginal owned pastoral stations of Bow River and Doon Doon (formerly known as Dunham River) in the east Kimberleys, Western Australia.
The papers refer to the purchase and the running of Bow River Station by Warmun later called the Julwulinypany Aboriginal Community, and the Doon Doon Station (incorporating Glen Hill lease) by the Woolah Aboriginal Community.
This series includes copies of programmes and notes for training courses, questionnaires and interview notes, tables showing population and employment data, photographic prints of building construction, reports, hand written field notes, and reference material particularly relating to the administration of stores in Aboriginal communities.
This series includes mainly carbon copies of patrol officer census reports for a variety of Central Australian stations. The reports can list, though not always, persons under their European and Aboriginal names, skin group, sex, tribe, residence, year of birth, place of birth, name of mother and father, identifying mark's, source of information, education, relationships, children, and occupation.
The reports have been arranged alphabetically by station name. Folio size reports (Folder 1) are located in the Manuscript Plan Cabinet.
Closed access. Principal’s permission is required for reading, copying and quotation [A3b B1].
This series includes handwritten notes, official budget papers and newspaper clippings on financial position of the Willowra Pastoral Company and Willowra Community, and in particular the Willowra store. There are also notes on the social makeup of the community, sources of income, community attitudes to education, correspondence, newsletters, and a photocopy of an article entitled ‘Myths and other realities of Aboriginal education’, by Jim Wafer.
This series includes photocopies of correspondence, reports, minutes of meetings, internal minutes, financial statements, genealogies, population data, maps, and handwritten notes collected and/or written by Elspeth Young for her research into a project on the contribution of Aborigines to the North Australian cattle industry, and the Ti Tree land claim. A copy of the Ti Tree Land Claim Book is located in Folder 8.
Access to most of these folders is open for reading and a reasonable portion may be copied for private study and research and/published with acknowledgement [R1 C1b]. The exception is Folder 8 that has closed access – Principal’s permission is required for reading, copying and quotation [A3b B1].
This series includes genealogical charts, handwritten notes, maps, and data from interviews possibly collected for a mobility study by Elspeth Young and Kim Doohan. Indigenous communities studied include Finke, Ernabella, Willowra and Mount Allan.
Access to most of these folders is open for reading and a reasonable portion may be copied for private study and research and/published with acknowledgement [R1 C1b]. The exceptions are Folder 3 and chart in Manuscript Plan Cabinet that have closed access. Principal’s permission is required for reading, copying and quotation [A3b B1].
This series includes handwritten notes on the finances, employment, housing, population, transport and the economy in general on the Numbulwar community in the Northern Territory, by Elspeth Young; photocopies of journal articles and other research material; and draft paper entitled ‘Numbulwar: from mission station to Aboriginal community’, by Young with associated correspondence.
This series comprises a selection of published articles in journals and newsletters, written by or about, Elspeth Young
One folder that includes the following items:-
‘Whatever we do let’s not overwork the computer’, by Elspeth Young, Identity, vol.3, no.10, October 1979, pp.14-15;
‘Detailed analysis of how development affects indigenous peoples’, review article of Young’s book entitled Third world in the First, by Catherine Fletcher, ANU Reporter, 19 September 1995;
‘Dr Elspeth Young. Studies of the Third World within the First’, by Liz Tynan, ANU Reporter, 28 June 1995, pp.9,11;
‘In search of a more sustainable society’, review article by Elspeth Young of book entitled Human ecology, human economy, eds, Mark Diesendorf and Clive Hamilton, ANU Reporter, 12 March 1997, p.7;
‘Shared experiences: interactions of Aboriginal peoples and 'outsiders'’, by Elspeth Young, n.d.;
‘Sustainable development planning for Aboriginal communities’, by Elspeth Young and Helen Ross, Australian Aboriginal studies, no. 1, 1993, pp.91-92;
‘Managing the land: land and Aboriginal community development in Australia’, by Elspeth Young in Indigenous land rights in Commonwealth countries, pp. 218-229;
‘Striving for equity: Aboriginal socioeconomic transformation and development in the 1980s’, by Elspeth Young, Geoforum, vol. 19, no. 3, 1988, pp.295-306;
‘Aborigines, land and society’, by Elspeth Young, Australian geographical issues, Melbourne, Longman Cheshire Pty Ltd, 1993;
‘Using the Aboriginal range lands: 'insider' realities and 'outsider' perceptions’, by Elspeth Young and Helen Ross, [Rangel, J. 16 (2) 1994, pp.184-97];
‘Mabo: an inspiration for Australian land management, by Helen Ross, Elspeth Young and Lynette Liddle, Australian journal of environmental management, vol. 1, no. 1, July 1994, pp. 24-41;
‘Striving for development of sustainability’, by Elspeth Young, Australian Development Studies Centre (ANU) Briefing paper, no. 47, April 1997, pp.1-4;
‘First peoples’, by Elspeth Young, Globel issues, vol. 3 no. 4, 1997, pp1-3; and
‘Reconciliation or exclusion? Integrating indigenous and non-indigenous land management concepts for Australia’s Native Title era’, by Elspeth Young, Asia Pacific viewpoint, vol. 40, no.2, August 1999, pp.159-171
Finding Aid compiled by J.E. Kirkham, October 2004