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Biographical entry Tunney, John Thomas (1870 - 1929)

11 October 1870
Kojonup, Western Australia, Australia
10 June 1929
Kojonup, Western Australia, Australia


John Tunney worked as a collector for the Western Australian Museum 1895-1906. He collected throughout Western Australia and in 1902-1903 made a collecting trip to the Northern Territory for Lord Rothschild of the Tring Museum. G.M. Mathews (q.v.) named a number of species after him.


Born Kojonup, Western Australia, 11 October 1870. Died Kojonup, 10 June 1929. Educated Albany. Messenger, Kojonup Post Office; construction gang erecting the overland telegraph between Albany and Eucla; survey party for an English land company in the south-west of Western Australia; mining survey company in the Coolgardie, Norseman and Ravensthorpe districts; natural history collector for the Western Australian Museum 1895-1906; farming, Kojonup until his death.

Tunney's date of birth has been amended to 11 October 1870, as it appears on his birth certificate. His date of birth has been stated as being 11 October 1871 in a number of publications, including newspaper obituaries, since his death in 1929.

Archival resources

Western Australian Museum

  • John T. Tunney - Records, 1897 - 1910; Western Australian Museum. Details

Published resources


  • Whittell, H. M., The Literature of Australian Birds: a History and a Bibliography of Australian Ornithology, Patterson Brokensha, Perth, 1954. Details

Book Sections

  • Chadwick, Ross, '"Your Obedient Servant": the John Tunney Collection at the Western Australian Museum', in Peterson, Nicolas, Allen, Lindy and Hamby, Louise (eds), The Makers and Making of Indigenous Australian Museum Collections, Melbourne University Press, Carlton, 2008, pp. 255-77. Details

Journal Articles

  • Storr, G. M., 'J. T. Tunney's Itinerary in Northern Australia 1901-1903', Emu, vol. 66, no. 1, 1966, pp. 59-65. Details

Newspaper Articles

Online Resources

McCarthy, G.J.