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Biographical entry Wakefield, Norman Arthur (1918 - 1972)

28 November 1918
Romsey, Victoria, Australia
23 September 1972
Sherbrooke, Victoria, Australia
Naturalist and Teacher


Norman Wakefield was recognised as an authority on the flora of Gippsland. He was a teacher with the Victorian Department of Education for over 30 years, and looked on his postings to remote Gippsland schools as an opportunity to explore inaccessible parts of the region. His particular interest in pteridophytes resulted in the publication of the first comprehensive book on the ferns of southern Australia, The ferns of Victoria and Tasmania (1955). After moving to Melbourne in 1951 his attention shifted more to zoology. His discoveries included identifying a living mountain Pygmy Possum Burramys parvus, previously known only from fossils, and footprints over 355 million years old near the Genoa River, Victoria. Wakefield was an active member of the Field Naturalists Club of Victoria which awarded him the Australian Natural History Medallion in 1962. He deposited most of his plant collections, including the type specimens, in the National Herbarium of Victoria: the balance was donated by his widow.



Career position - Member, Field Naturalists Club of Victoria
1941 - 1945
Career position - Served with the Militia, Royal Australian Artillery and Australian Imperial Forces
1952 - 1957
Career position - Editor, Victorian naturalist
1956 - 1972
Award - Honorary Member, Field Naturalists Club of Victoria
1958 - 1964
Career position - Editor, Victorian naturalist
Education - BSc, University of Melbourne
Award - Australian Natural History Medallion, Field Naturalists Club of Victoria
Education - MSc, Monash University

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