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Jones, Timothy Geoffrey (Tim) (1922–2007)

by David Carment

Tim Jones, who died in Canberra on 25 July 2007, was a long-standing Historical Society of the Northern Territory member who made important contributions to the Territory’s history.

He was born in Sydney and educated there and in Canberra. In 1939 he joined the Commonwealth Public Service where, except for three years in the Royal Australian Air Force during the Second World War, he worked until his retirement. After the war he married, had three children and graduated as a Bachelor of Commerce from the University of Melbourne. In 1956 he was appointed Public Service Inspector for the Northern Territory. Between then and 1968 he travelled widely throughout the Territory, developing interests that would later be reflected in his histories. He retired as Regional Director for the Australian Capital Territory in 1987.

His fascination with the Northern Territory never left him. He published two books, Pegging the Northern Territory: A History of Mining in the Northern Territory, 1870-1946 (1987) and The Chinese in the Northern Territory (1990), which recently appeared in its third edition. He also wrote numerous articles on Territory history. As the prominent Australian mining historian Peter Bell commented, his books ‘were pioneering overview works in fields where not much of substance had been written before’ and ‘he saw Territory history through an experienced public servant’s eye, which is quite different from an academic perspective’.

I was fortunate to have many dealings with Tim over a long period. I always found him a complete gentleman who was extraordinarily generous with his time and in sharing his knowledge. He is going to be greatly missed.

Original publication

  • Newsletter (Historical Society of the N.T of Australia), 2007

Additional Resources

Citation details

David Carment, 'Jones, Timothy Geoffrey (Tim) (1922–2007)', Obituaries Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 7 August 2020.

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