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Biographical entry Sprigg, Reginald Claude (1919 - 1994)


1 March 1919
Stansbury, South Australia, Australia
2 December 1994


Reginald Sprigg was a South Australian geologist who was interested in geological surveys, mining and conservation. In 1962 he formed Beach Petroleum, incorporating his former company Geosurveys of Australia Pty Ltd, a company which became international by the late 1960s. In 1968 he bought Arkaroola, a derelict pastoral lease and turned it into a wild life sanctuary and wilderness reserve. Sprigg was Foundation President of the Australian Petroleum Exploration Association and winner of their Lewis G. Weekes Inaugural Gold Medal, and at age 17 became the youngest Fellow of the Royal Society of South Australia. Sprigg was educated at the University of Adelaide where he took geology classes taught by Douglas Mawson (q.v.), who said that "Sprigg was his best ever student".



Career position - Master of Science (MSc) completed at the University of Adelaide
c. 1942 - c. 1945
Career position - War service in the Soils Department of the Waite Agricultural Institute and South Australian Department of Mines
1954 - 1960
Career position - Consultant to SANTOS
1954 - 1962
Career position - Geosurveys of Australia Pty Ltd established
Career position - Beach Petroleum NL established
1968 -
Career position - Arkaroola (Mount Painter) Pastoral lease obtained and a wild life sanctuary and wilderness reserve established
Award - Verco Medal received from the Royal Society of South Australia
Award - Officer of the Order of Australia (AO)

Published resources


  • Weidenbach, Kristin, Rock Star: the Story of Reg Sprigg, an Outback Legend, East Street Publications, Hindmarsh, S.A., 2008, 333 pp. Details

Book Sections

  • Turner, S. and Vickers-rich, Pat, 'Sprigg, Glaessner and Wade and the Discovery and International Recognition of the Ediacaran Fauna', in Wyse-Jackson, P. N. (ed.), Four Centuries of Geological Travel: the Search for Knowledge on Foot, Bicycle, Sledge and Camel, Geological Society, London, 2007, pp. 443-5. Details
  • Turner, Susan and Oldroyd, David, 'Reg Sprigg and the Discovery of the Ediacara Fauna in South Australia: Its Approach to the High Table Modern Paleontology', in Sepkoski, David and Ruse, Michael (eds), The Paleobiological Revolution: Essays on the Growth of Modern Paleontology., University of Chicago, Chicago & London, 2009, pp. 254-78. Details

Conference Papers

  • Turner, S. and Vickers-Rich, P, 'Reg Sprigg, Martin F. Glaessner, Mary Wade and the Ediacaran Fauna', in IGCP 493 Conference, Prato Workshop, Monash University Centre. August 30-31, 2004, 2004, p. 1. Details

Journal Articles

  • Cooper, Barry, 'Reg Sprigg (1919-1994): a legend in his own life time', The Australian Geologist, vol. 94, 1985, pp. 73-4. Details
  • McGowran, Brian, 'Scientific Accomplishments of Reginald Claude Sprigg', Transactions of the Royal Society of South Australia, vol. 137, 2013, pp. 1-52. Details
  • Sprigg, Reg C., 'The Adelaide Geosyncline: a Century of Controversy', Earth Sciences History, vol. 5, no. 1, 1986, pp. 66-83. Details

Online Resources

Rosanne Walker