Professor Lyndurst Falkiner Giblin

Professor Lyndhurst F. Giblin
William Dobell (artist), Professor Lyndhurst F. Giblin, 1945, oil on board, 88.2 x 81.2 cm. Reg. no. 1945.0001, commissioned by the Commerce Graduates Association, 1945. The University of Melbourne Art Collection. Reproduced with permission from the Sir William Dobell Foundation. A print may be found on the north wall of the Upper Ground level of the Giblin Eunson Library.


Born in Hobart in 1872, Giblin studied at University College, London, and King's College, Cambridge. After coming down from Cambridge, this versatile man pursued a number of diverse activities, including prospecting for gold in North British Columbia, before settling once more in Hobart, where he involved himself in State politics, holding the seat of Denison for Labor.

Commerce was established at the University of Melbourne, with Douglas Berry Copland, formerly the Professor of Commerce in Tasmania, being appointed to the chair. This was followed in 1927 by the creation of the Ritchie Chair of Economics, a research chair established originally in the Faculty of Arts through the generosity of R.W.Ritchie of Penshurst in memory of his son Captain W.B.Ritchie killed in World War 1. The inaugural incumbent of this chair in 1930 was Professor Lyndhurst Falkiner Giblin.

He fought in the First World War, receiving the Distinguished Service Order in 1918. He was appointed Tasmanian Government Statistician in 1919; in 1924 he helped to form the Economic Society of Australia and New Zealand.

Giblin took up the chair in Economics at the University of Melbourne in 1930 and held this chair until 1940 when he became chairman of the wartime Financial and Economic Committee. He won renown in the fields such as Federal finance, tariff policy, and employment analysis, among others. When he died in 1951, the library of the Faculty of Economics and Commerce was named in commemoration of him (and King's College, which had elected him to an honorary fellowship in 1938, established a studentship in his name).

Further reading:

Stuart Macintyre "Giblin, Lyndhurst Falkiner" The Oxford Companion to Australian History. Ed. Graeme Davison, John Hirst and Stuart Macintyre. Oxford University Press, 2001. Oxford Reference Online. Oxford University Press.

William Coleman “Lyndhurst Falkiner Giblin” The companion to Tasmanian History. Ed. Alison Alexander. Centre for Tasmanian Historical Studies, University of Tasmania. c2006.