Your biography submission assesses your biography research and writing skills.
You will demonstrate your understanding of the skills involved in researching and writing.i. Your entry should include a summary of the subject’s life, and a reference list of at least three sources that you have drawn on in composing your biography.
Word Length: 1000 words, not including references.
Humans of Toowoomba includes a style guide. Your submission must follow this style guide exactly.
You must use Harvard AGPS referencing style for your biography.
You must choose a person who has made a significance or from the history of the Austrlian town called toowoomba and write a biography about them. The following people have been taken:
Annand, James Douglas (1875 – 1952)
Armstrong, William Archibald (1830-1907)
Bennett, Donald Clifford Tyndall (1910 – 1986)
Berghofer, Clive (1935 – )
Chauvel, Harry George (1865 – 1945)
Cockle, Ralph James (1935-2015)
Crist, Alice Guerin (1876 – 1941)
Cunningham, Allan (1791 – 1839)
Curran, Margaret (1887 – )
Davis, Arthur Hoey (1868-1935)
Elliott, John (1951–)
Evans, George Essex (1863 -1909)
Fadden, Arthur (1894 – 1973)
Featherstone, Sydney (Don) (1902 – 1984)
French, John Alexander (1914 – 1942)
Gann, Jason (1971 – )
Geileskey, Debra (unknown-)
Glennie, Benjamin (1812 – 1900)
Groom, William Henry (1833 – 1901)
Hilder, Jesse jewhurst (1881-1916)
Jeffreys, Gina (1968–)
Kenny, Sister Elizabeth (1880-1952)
Marks, James (1834 – 1915) TF
Marks, James (1834 – 1915) FM
McCafferty, John Francis “Jack” (1914-1999)
Miller, Ann Marie (1906 – ?)
Miller, Emma (1839 – 1917)
Multuggerah, “King Moppy Jo” (unknown-c.1846)
O’Brien, Ellen (1858-1924)
O’Brien, Thomas Patrick (1892 – 1969)
Perkins, Patrick (1838 1901)
Pike, Glenville (1925-2011)
Porter, Peter (1929-2010)
Praeger, Cheryl (1948–)
Robinson, Nellie Elizabeth (1915-1992)
Rowbotham, Charles (1858-1950)
Rush, Geoffrey (1951 – )
Tait, Essex (1918-2008)
Taylor, James (1820-1895)
Tovell, Timothy (1878-1966)
This style guide is a brief outline of how entries for the Humans of Toowoomba wiki must be formatted.
If you have a query that is not covered by these guidelines, please post it in the FAQ/Help Forum, or the current weekly workshop forum.
Your page title should be the full name of your subject, and their dates of birth and death, formatted as follows:
Surname, First Name/s (Year of Birth – Year of Death)
eg: Pike, Glenville (1925-2011)
Where the date of either birth or death is approximate, the date should be preceded by c. (eg: c.1925).
Where the date of birth or death is not known, ‘unknown’ should be entered (eg: unknown-1985).
Where the subject is still living, no year of death is required. A double-dash should follow the year of birth. (eg: 1985–)
Body of Entry
The body of your entry should be written in clear, accessible prose. The body of your entry must not exceed 1000 words.
The wiki has a standard font type and size: these should not be altered.
Contemporary Australian Standard English spelling and grammar should be used throughout the entry.
In-text citations, including indirect quotations, from your sources should be referenced using the Harvard AGPS referencing guide.
The opening sentence of your entry should adhere as closely as possible to the following structure:
[name of subject and dates of birth and death], [profession/s], was born on [date of birth in the format day, month, year] in [City, State], son of [father’s full name] and his wife, [mother’s married name, where applicable], nee [mother’s maiden surname, where applicable], [immigration details, where applicable, ie: where family immigrated from, and in what year].
eg: Glenville Pike (1925-2011), author and journalist, was born on 11 September, 1925, in Toowoomba, Queensland, son of Captain Charlie Pike and his wife, the poet Effie Pike, nee Francis, who had emigrated to Australia from New Zealand in 1912.
Entries should be written in linear, chronological order, with the final paragraph detailing the place and date of the subject’s death, or current place of residence and/or occupation. Authors should avoid, as much as is practicable, personal opinion, sticking instead to verifiable facts: dates, times, places, people and events.
Each entry may include a single image of the subject, where one is available and is not copyright restricted. The image should be positioned at the top of the page, on the right-hand side of the text, and should be no more than 250 pixels wide.
A list of sources used in researching the subject must be included with each entry. A minimum of three sources must be provided to support each entry. The heading for this list should be ‘Sources’ (in bold, with a capital letter). Sources should be listed in alphabetical order, by author surname, and be formatted in accordance with the Harvard AGPS referencing guide.
The tags for your entry should include, at a minimum, the subject’s full name, the subject’s year of birth, the subject’s year of death, the subject’s professional occupations (eg: painter, journalist, dairy farmer)
Example of a biography work in progress:
Pike, Glenville (1925-2011)
Glenville Pike, 1938by Nike Sulway (and the whole group of writers enrolled in this course!)
Glenville Pike (1925-2011), author and journalist, was born on 11 September, 1925, in Toowoomba, Queensland, son of Captain Charlie Pike and his wife, the poet Effie Pike, nee Francis, who had emigrated to Australia from New Zealand in 1912.
His early years were spent in Toowoomba and Sydney. In 1932, at the height of the depression, the family (Glenville, his parents, and his mother’s cousin, Dorothy) moved to North Queensland. [ED: North Queensland is a pretty big/vague space – can we be more specific? What town or region in NQ?]
Glenville was primarily educated by Dorothy. Under her tutelage, he started writing at age 11 and was only 12 years old when he published his first story. [ED: Important to mention the context of this first publication? eg: That it was a family paper and published in a children’s section?]
Pike was fascinated by the history of Northern Queensland, actively studying these stories from age 18, making the pursuit and preservation of this history his life’s work. [ED: Was this part of his education with Dorothy, or later self-education? What evidence is there for this claim?]
In July 1947, Pike took over the column ‘On the Track’ in the North Queensland Register. He changed the column’s name to ‘Around the Campfire’, but continued the former editor’s tradition of using a pen name, adopting the pseudonym Sundowner. According to the North Queensland Register, “The column continues to this day–a journalistic feat which would have few equals in the history of Australian journalism.” (21 May 2011, n.p.)
From 1972 [ED: Big jump in time here: what happened between 1932 and 1972?] until his death, Pike wrote 26 books detailing the pioneering history of Northern Australia. From “the building to the railway over the coastal mountains behind Cairns” [ED: Citation Needed], to the gold rush. From the Cape York drovers, to the plight of his beloved Aboriginal people; Pike delineated every aspect of life in The Territory.
He preferred his pilgrimages to be the old-fashioned kind [ED: A big vague – what is meant by this? How factual is this observation – remember we’re aiming for an emphasis on facts, not judgements or opinions here smile], suggesting that the sense of adventure had disappeared with the advent of more comfortable, modern modes of transport and “too many good roads” [ED: Citation needed] in a 2007 interview with Eugenie Navarre [ED: This interview, if cited, needs to be added to the list of sources].
His accounts of early European contact and subsequent relations with Aboriginal people reveal Indigenous resistance, which has largely been denied in Australian history. Pike’s (1978) accounts bring to light the violent frontier conflict, which began when pastoralists invaded the traditional hunting grounds and sacred sites of Indigenous people. [ED: The second sentence here is much more appropriate in terms of tone than the first: can we start with what’s now the second sentence? Move from evidence (when? where?) and then carefully make any supported broader claims? – much better! Thank you!]
However, despite his obvious empathy for the hardships faced by the Aboriginal people of Cape York Pike’s writing also typically reflects the standard colonial tone of the times, when Aboriginal people were still widely regarded as flora and fauna, with his casual references to “primitive races” (Rothwell 2015, n.p.). [ED: What is the relevance of this information to Pike’s work and/or life? This needs to be more clearly stated smile Although I personally agree that this is a valid criticism of Pike’s biases, a biography of this type is neither a hagiography nor a hatchet job; instead, the aim is to be as objective and dispassionate/unbiased as possible, which includes not making critical assessments of his politics]
Pike was credited with starting his own magazines twice within his life. [ED: When?]
Pike received numerous awards including the 1972 Jessie Litchfield Award for Literature, the 1976 Foxwood Award for Pioneers Country, the 2000 Order of Australia Medal and the 2005 Cairns Historical Society S.E. Stephens History Award. His Order of Australia Medal was awarded for “service to the preservation and recording of the history of the pioneers of the Northern Territory and North Queensland as a writer and publisher” [ED: citation/s needed. As a summary over many years, perhaps this is in the wrong spot and needs to be towards the end of the article].
Pike did not have an innate ‘editor’s instinct’ [ED: Is this a quotation? From where?],instead he’d repeat himself frequently, however he was very captivating in the comprehensive descriptions he would give of places and events. [ED: This is largely opinion, unless backed up with quotations it is probably not appropriate in this type of biography. Either reframe in less subjective terms, or cut?]
His life as a child was solitary and overshadowed by his mother’s possessiveness but thankfully he formed a close and loving bond with his aunt Dorothy. [ED: Not in chronological order. Language quite subjective (eg: thankfully). Would be improved if fleshed out/combined with other similar pieces of information in a less subjective tone.]
Pike joined the Seventh Day Adventist Church after the passing of his mother [ED: When?],as it was only then did he feel truly free from her apron strings [ED: Use of metaphoric language not appropriate in formal context — how do we know how he felt? Either support with quotation, or reframe].During his time with the church he met an American woman and fell in love for the first time at the age of 55.
According to The Australian, with his new wife Carolyne needing to explain sex to him on their wedding night, the difficulties which faced Pike on his honeymoon eventually proved to be insurmountable for them both and they divorced 5 years later in 1985. Eventually Pike remarried in happier circumstances and settled onto his property at Mareeba.
In 2001, Pike published Unsung heroes of the Queensland wilderness: Pioneering our remote Far North, 1870-1914 that brought his passion for local colonial history to a modern audience. Pike characteristically places an emphasis on the lesser known figures and everyday people that contributed to Northern Queenslands diverse history and the book serves. Original copies of the book are somewhat rare and sell on Amazon for 150USD.
In 2008, Glenville was informed that his health was failing, so he created a portfolio of ‘Around the campfire’ articles so that his readers could continue reading his work after his death. [ED: This information is included in the next paragraph – the repetition is unnecessary – combine/delete duplication]
Glenville Pike passed away inMareeba Hospital on 4 May 2011, surrounded by friends but with no living relatives. By the time of his death, Glenville Pike had been involved with the publication of around 45 books, about half of which he had written and researched himself, and half he had edited. According to the North Queensland Register, he also left behind, “a portfolio of articles to be published weekly for as long as possible after his death” (21 May 2011, n.p.).
Austlit n.d. ‘Glenville Pike’ viewed 15 June 2015,
It’s An Honour ‘Medal of The Order Of Australia’ viewed 28 July 2015,
North Queensland Register 2011 ‘Farewell to a Register Icon’, 21 May, viewed 15 June 2015, http://www.northqueenslandregister.com.au/news/agriculture/agribusiness/general-news/farewell-to-a-register-icon/2168504.aspx.
Pike, Glenville 1981, The Golden Days, Pinevale Publications, Mareeba, Queensland.
Pike, Glenville 1977, Pioneer’s Country, Pike, Mareeba, Queensland.
Pike, Glenville 1978, Queensland Frontier, Rigby, Adelaide, South Australia.
Rothwell, Nicholas 2015 ‘Glenville Pike’s books preserve pioneering past of northern Australia’, The Australian 27 June, viewed 15 June 2015,
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