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Photographs supplied by Arthur Garland

The plaque commemorates Dr John Greenhill, who was a leading Australian and international astronomer who died in 2014. The Greenhill Observatory was named in his honour. 

There is no public access to this monument.

A memorial plaque dedicated to a leading Australian and international astronomer has been unveiled at the Greenhill Observatory. Her Excellency Professor The Honourable Kate Warner AM was joined at Wednesday's ceremony (3 February 2016) by University of Tasmania Vice-Chancellor Professor Peter Rathjen, School of Physical Sciences staff and donors for the unveiling of the plaque to the late Dr John Greenhill.

Dr Greenhill was a pioneer of X-ray astronomy in Australia and the Greenhill Observatory at Bisdee Tier in the Southern Midlands, opened in 2013, was named after him. The driving force behind the establishment of the optical observatory, he was an eminent researcher and member of staff in the School of Mathematics and Physics at the University of Tasmania.

"Dr Greenhill was associated with the University for 50 years and well beyond retirement his research output was equal to that of our leading current staff members," Professor Rathjen said. His outstanding post-retirement contribution to astronomy and to the University was recognised with the bestowal of the Vice-Chancellor's Award in 2012 for voluntary position holders. Her Excellency paid tribute to "a great scholar, researcher, family man and community member".

The memorial, which reflects Dr Greenhill's three main passions – astronomy, sailing and his love of nature and the environment - was designed and built by one of his close friends and a colleague, Dr Tony Sprent AM. Central to the observatory is the state-of-the-art Harlingten telescope. Telescope donor Caisey Harlingten travelled from his home near Norwich in the UK to attend the memorial dedication.

Dr Greenhill died in September 2014. The dedication was attended by his wife Julia and daughters Lisa and Susie.
UTAS, 4 February 2016. 


Address:Bisdee Tier, Spring Hill , Greenhill Observatory, Jericho, 7030
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -42.430955
Long: 147.287817
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
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Monument Type:Plaque
Monument Theme:People


Actual Monument Dedication Date:Sunday 3rd July, 2016
Front Inscription

John Gilbert Greenhill
1933 - 2014

I'll remember you sea-eyed, salt-skinned, on watch in mid-ocean, genoa poled before the wind,
phosphorescence - the sea a mirror to the sky - and the light of those stars,
those drifting constellations you taught me to name, you learned to navigate by.

I'll remember you laughing, your arms around your sea-shell eyed wife,
windy smile, your music, the fire's humming warmth, working late into the night,
skin still carrying the lingering memory of the sun.

I'll think of your courage, your clarity, your weariness with the world and ability to change things,
change people, your patience with my own welling heart sewn in briny stiching on my sleeve.

I'll remember you leading us into mountains, always questioning, teaching tracing rivers, the pace of your walking, pausing for orchids, for insects,
your gaze shifting from politics, exo-planets to your grandchildern`s giggling, 
the freckled constellations on a pardalote`s wing.

I'll see you now in salt-spray, the aurora`s shivering light.
I'll remember you smiling, your dives from the bow,
your surfacing in clear water, under clear sky.

Susie Greenhill 2014

Source: MA
Monument details supplied by Monument Australia - www.monumentaustralia.org.au