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Biographical entry Halligan, Gerald Harnett (1856 - 1942)


21 April 1856
Glebe, New South Wales, Australia
23 November 1942
Killara, New South Wales, Australia
Hydrographer and Civil engineer


Gerald Halligan worked for the New South Wales Department of Public Works from 1871 to 1918. He had many roles including chief surveyor in charge of all borings for harbour and bridge construction and inspecting engineer from 1911. Halligan was asked by the Royal Society of London to join their expedition to the Pacific atoll where he supervised the coral borings. His help was also sought after by the Tasmanian government on issues relating to sand drift on agricultural land. Even after his official retirement in 1918, Halligan continued to work, completing a hydrographical survey of Lake Eyre and producing many oceanographic maps for the Pan Pacific Science congresses held in 1923 and 1929. Halligan was also internationally recognized for his expertise in oceanography, especially in the areas or tides, currents and sand dune formation.



1871 - 1879
Career position - Assistant in the Department of Public Works in New South Wales
1880 - 1942
Career position - Member of the Royal Society of New South Wales
July 1889
Career position - Chief Supervisor of Harbours and Rivers Navigation Branch of the NSW Department of Public Works
1897 -
Career position - Member of the Linnean Society of New South Wales
Career position - Royal Society (London) expedition to the Pacific atoll of Funafuti on the Ellice Islands
Career position - Hydrographic Surveyor at the Department of Public Works, NSW
1900 - 1929
Career position - Fellow of the Geological Society of London (FGS)
Career position - Speaker at the Institution of Civil Engineers, London
1911 - 1918
Career position - Inspecting Engineer (Supervising Engineer) at the Department of Public Works in NSW
Career position - Advisor to the Tasmanian Government
Life event - Retired
Career position - Hydrographical examination of Lake Eyre, South Australia

Published resources

Book Sections

  • Evans, H. Vaughan, 'Halligan, Gerald Hartnett (1856-1942), Hydrographer and Civil Engineer' in Australian Dictionary of Biography, Bede Nairn and Geoffrey Serle, eds, vol. 9 (Melbourne: Melbourne University Press, 1983), p. 171. Details


Annette Alafaci