Eve Gibson, December 2013, courtesy Ian Gibson

Eve made significant contributions to our understanding of the modern urban and planning histories of Darwin. She passed away in August 2014 following complications from emergency heart surgery.

She was born in Dublin, Ireland, and studied graphic design, working in London in the early 1960s then Spain to the early 1970s. She came to Australia in early 1972 and married Ian in December 1973. They enjoyed a peripatetic life as Ian progressed through his naval career in the ACT, Victoria and NSW. When he was posted to Darwin in late 1978, Eve started studying history at the Darwin Community College. This was interrupted when Ian was posted back to Nowra, NSW and then to London. In late 1983 they returned to Darwin and Eve resumed studies, at the University College of the Northern Territory, then part of the University of Queensland (UQ). Eve and Ian remained in Darwin after he left the navy in 1985, and continued her studies.

Eve subsequently gained her BA (UQ) in February 1989 and BA (Hons) (UQ) in May 1990. She was the author of many other publications on NT history. She was the first Honours graduate in History from the former University College. Bag-Huts, Bombs and Bureaucrats, based on her honours thesis, was published by the Historical Society of the Northern Territory in 1997. During the 1990s Eve commenced her PhD studies under Professor David Carment. After Ian retired in 2002 they moved to Bellerive in Hobart, where Eve continued her research and writing. She gained her PhD from Charles Darwin University two years later in October 2004. She subsequently transformed this into the monograph Beyond the Boundary which was also published by the Historical Society of the Northern Territory in 2011.

Eve served as a Councillor of the Historical Society of the Northern Territory and was co-founder of the Fannie Bay History and Heritage Society. She was an avid reader of history and the built environment and her interest in the houses of the local area of Bellerive led to a third book, Walks around Historic Bellerive, published by the Bellerive Historical Society.


Select bibliography

2011    Beyond the boundary: Fannie Bay 1869-2001, Historical Society of the Northern Territory, Darwin.

2010    Walks around historic Bellerive, Bellerive Historical Society, Bellerive.

2006    ‘Planning for people – or Profits for the Privileged’, in CL Miller and MM Roche (eds.) Past Matters: Proceedings of the 8th Australasian Urban History/Planning History Conference, Massey University, Wellington, February 2006, 147-156.

2003 ‘Beyond the Boundary: A history of the impact of planning and politics on the Darwin area of Fannie Bay 1869-2001’, PhD thesis, Charles Darwin University.

2002    ‘A loss for planning – a gain for heritage: post World War II planning for      Darwin’s Fannie Bay, in David Jones (ed.) 20th Century Heritage: Our Recent Cultural Legacy, Proceedings of the 2001 Australia ICOMOS National Conference, 28 November – I December 2001, University of Adelaide, 300-303.

2001   Through the Louvres: Post World War II planning for Fannie Bay in tropical Northern Australia, Planning History Bulletin, 23(1 and 2), 45-55. First presented as a paper at the 9th IPHS Conference, Helsinki,2000.

2000   ‘Planning in chains: The effects of speculation on planning ideals in Darwin 1869-2000’, in Christine Garnaut and Stephen Hamnett (eds.), Fifth Australian Urban/Planning History Conference: Conference Proceedings, Adelaide 13-15 April, University of South Australia, 201-211.

1999    ‘Development – or displacement?: The social and economic effects of development since the 1970s’, in Planning in the Hothouse, RAPI 27th National Congress, Darwin, 19-22 September, Darwin.

1998    A planner’s dream – a citizen’s nightmare: town planning for the tropical town of

Darwin 1937-1950, Australian Planner, 35(4), 192-196, An earlier version of the paper was published in Robert Freestone (ed.), The Twentieth Century Planning Experience, Proceedings of the 8th International Planning History Conference, 15-18 July, University of New South Wales, 243-248.

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1997     Bag-huts, Bombs and Bureaucrats: The History of the Impact of Town Planning and Land Acquisition on the Town and People of Darwin 1937-1950, Historical Society of the Northern Territory, Darwin.

1990-1996       24 entries in the Northern Territory Dictionary of Biography, Volumes 1-3, consolidated in David Carment et al (eds), Northern Territory University Press, Darwin, 2008.

1990    ‘Point Stuart: strategies for cultural heritage tourism’ (with David Carment), Historic Environment, 7 (3 and 4), 34-42. Paper presented at the Australia ICOMOS Conference on History, Architecture, Environment: Cultural Heritage and Tourism, Adelaide, 8-10 April.

1989    ‘The heritage resources of the Mary River Crossing, Point Stuart and Wildman River Reserves’ (with David Carment and Barbara McLaren), Conservation Commission of the Northern Territory, Darwin.

Robert Freestone, UNSW Australia

[with thanks to Ian Gibson, and the HSNT Newsletter, No 76, 2014]