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Corporate entry Meteorological Branch/Bureau (1907 - 1955)

Commonwealth of Australia

1 January 1907
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
20 June 1955
Meteorology and Advisory or regulatory body
Reference No
CA 215
Legal Status
Agency of the Commonwealth of Australia
Melbourne, Victoria


The Meteorological Branch/Bureau was established under the authority of the Meteorology Act 1906 by formally bringing together the individual Colonial/State Meteorological Services that had existed prior to that time. It commenced operation as a Commonwealth agency on 1 January 1908. H. A. Hunt was appointed Commonwealth Meteorologist and took up the position on 1 January 1907. The Commonwealth Meteorologist's duties included: taking and recording meteorological observations; forecasting weather; the issue of storm warnings; the display of weather, flood, frost, and cold wave signals; and, distribution of meteorological information. At the time he was appointed the position was in the Postmaster-General's Department. However by 21 June 1907 positions within Meteorology were advertised with the Department of Home Affairs. Following the repeal of the Meteorology Act 1906, the Bureau was formally re-established, under the charge of the Director of Meteorology, by the Meteorology Act 1955.


 1907 - 1955 Meteorological Branch/Bureau
       1955 - Commonwealth Bureau of Meteorology

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Published resources


  • Australia. Bureau of Meteorology, A Century of Science and Service: the Australian Bureau of Meteorology 1908-2008 (Melbourne: Bureau of Meteorology, 2008), 15 pp. Details
  • Bureau of Meteorology, Australia's Role in International Meteorology - IMO-WMO Centenary 1973-1973 (Melbourne: Bureau of Meteorology, 1973). Details
  • Bureau of Meteorology, The Bureau of Meteorology 1908-1983 (Canberra: AGPS, 1983), 11 pp. Details
  • Day, David, Weather watchers: 100 years of the Bureau of Meteorology (Carlton, Vic.: Melbourne University Press, 2007), 530 pp. Details
  • Gardner, J., Stormy Weather: a History of Research in the Bureau of Meteorology, Metarch Papers No. 11 (Bureau of Meteorology, 1997). Details
  • Gibbs, W. J., A mini-history of meteorology in Australia (Melbourne: Australian Meteorological and Oceanographic Society, 1996). Details
  • Gibbs, W. J., A Very Special Family: Memories of the Bureau of Meteorology 1946 to 1962, Metarch Papers No. 13 (Bureau of Meteorology, 1999). Details
  • Lillywhite, J., My Early Years in the Bureau of Meteorology: the Formation of the Frosterley Club, Metarch Papers No. 4 (Bureau of Meteorology, 1992). Details
  • Zillman, John W., A Hundred Years of Science and Service (Melbourne: Bureau of Meteorology, 2001), 20 pp, Details

Book Sections

  • Gibbs, W. J., 'A mini-history of meteorology in Australia' in Windows on Meteorology: Australian Perspective, Webb, Eric K., ed. (Melbourne: CSIRO Publishing, 1997), pp. 81-104. Details

Journal Articles

  • 'Dr (W.J.) Bill Gibbs, Director, Bureau of Meteorology, 1962-1978', Bulletin of the Australian Meteorological and Oceanographic Society, 11 (4) (1998), 78-82. Details
  • Bond, H. G., 'A Tradition of Meteorology', Weather News, 127 (February 1967) (1967), 1. Details
  • Cameron, A. M., 'Australian Meteorology', Sydney University Magazine, 1 (1878). Details
  • Gentilli, J., 'A History of Meteorological and Climatological Studies in Australia', University Studies in History, 5 (1967), 54-88. Details
  • Gibbs, W. J., 'A Perspective of Australian Meteorology - 1939-1978', Australian Meteorological Magazine, 30 (1982), 3-17. Details
  • Gibbs, W. J., 'Seventy-fifth Anniversary of the Australian Bureau of Meteorology', World Meteorological Organization Bulletin, 32 (1983), 309-313. Details
  • Morgan, Helen, 'Bill Gibbs and the Origins of Australian Meteorology', Australasian Science, 22 (6) (2001), 46. Details
  • Todd, C., 'A Review of Meteorological Work in Australia', Australasian Association for Advancement of Science, v (1893), 246-270. Details


Resource Sections

See also

  • Antarctic Meteorology. Proceedings of the Symposium Held in Melbourne, February, 1959 (Melbourne: Pergamon Press, 1959). Details
  • Gibbs, W. J., 'Meteorology at Heard and Macquarie Islands', The Meteorological magazine, 79 (1950), 168-70. Details
  • Gibbs, W. J., The Origins of Australian Meteorology, Metarch Papers No. 12 (Bureau of Meteorology, 1998). Details
  • Gibbs, W. J., 'The Origins of Australian Meteorology', in Federation and Meteorology, 2001, Details
  • Home, R. W. and Livingston, K. T., 'Science and Technology in the Story of Australian Federation: the Case of Meteorology, 1876-1908', Historical Records of Australian Science, 10 (2) (1994), 109-127. Details
  • Colonial Observatories and Observations: Meteorology and Geophysics: Proceedings of a Conference held at St. Mary's College, University of Durham, 8-10 April, 1994 edited by Kenworthy, Joan M. and Walker, J. Malcolm (Durham: Department of Geography, University of Durham in collaboration with Royal Meteorological Society, 1997). Details
  • Lillywhite, J., 'My Early Years in the Bureau of Meteorology: the Formation of the Frosterley Club', in Federation and Meteorology, 2001, Details
  • Marvin, U. B., 'Historic Advances in Meteoritics in Australia and Antarctica', in Useful and Curious Geological Enquiries Beyond the World: Pacific-Asia Historical Themes: The 19th International INHIGEO Symposium, Sydney, Australia, 4-8 July, 1994 edited by D. F. Branagan and G. H. McNally (Sydney: International Commission on the History of Geological Sciences, 1994), pp. 52-58.. Details
  • Moloney, T., 'Agrometeorology's Leading Lady', Weather News, 304 (August 1993) (1993), 20-21. Details
  • Russell, H.C., 'Astronomical and Meteorological Workers in New South Wales, 1778-1860', Australasian Association for Advancement of Science, 1 (1888), 45-94. Details
  • Webb, Eric K. ed., Windows on Meteorology: Australian Perspective (Melbourne: CSIRO Publishing, 1997), 342 pp. Details
  • Zou, Jingmeng, 'Australia-China Cooperation in Meteorology', Australian Physicist, 26 (10) (1989), 235-240. Details

A. Smith & H. Morgan