Browse Entries

Use Trove to find more resources by/about this Biographical entry

  • Trove

Biographical entry Meston, Archibald Lawrence (1890 - 1951)

5 June 1890
Launceston, Tasmania, Australia
21 December 1951
Glenorchy, Tasmania, Australia
Anthropologist, Historian and Educator


Archibald Meston began his professional career as a primary school teacher then moved into secondary teaching and eventually became government education officer in charge of high schools. Through this latter role, he greatly changed the face of education in Tasmania. Apart from teaching, Meston's other main interests were in the anthropology and history of Tasmania. He wrote numerous books and articles in the field and was a trustee of the Launceston Library Board and the Tasmanian Museum. His two biggest contributions to Tasmanian anthropology were the discovery of rock carvings in Mount Cameron West (1933) and the large-scale shell midden excavation in South Cave, Rocky Cape. Meston was also an activist for the conservation of Tasmania's natural bush and his efforts helped establish the Cradle Mountain Reserve.



1906 - 1908
Education - Teacher training at the Teachers' College in Hobart
c. 1909 - c. 1914
Career position - Primary School Teacher at various schools in Tasmania including ones in Battery Point, Queenstown and Gormanston
Career position - Promoted to secondary school teaching
Education - Bachelor of Arts (BA) completed at the University of Tasmania
1921 -
Career position - Member of the Royal Society of Tasmania
Education - Master of Arts (MA) completed at the University of Tasmania
1929 - 1932
Career position - Headmaster of Devonport High School
1932 - c. 1938
Career position - Headmaster of Launceston High School
Career position - Discovered and described rock carvings at Mount Cameron West, Tasmania
Career position - A Junior History of Australia commissioned and published by Oxford University Press
1938 -
Career position - Government Education Officer for Hobart then Education Officer for High Schools
1944 -
Career position - Member of the Tasmanian Schools Board

Published resources

Book Sections

  • Plomley, N. J. B., 'Meston, Archibald Lawrence (1890-1951), educationist, historian and anthropology' in Australian Dictionary of Biography, Bede Nairn and Geoffrey Serle, eds, vol. 10 (Melbourne: Melbourne University Press, 1986), pp. 489-490. Details


McCarthy, G.J.