Dr. Michael MacLellan Tracey

BA Hons (ANU), PhD (ANU)

Archaeologist, Paleoanthropologist, Designer and Musicain

Personal Profile

Michael was born in 1945 in Cairns, North Queensland, the youngest son of John Robert Tracey, whose ancestors were pioneers on the Hodgkinson Goldfield and the tin mining fields of Irvinebank and Watsonville. John ‘Jack’ Tracey maintained a lifelong interest with coastal shipping. After fifty seven years with the company he became a director of Howard Smith Shipping Company. His mother, Kathleen MacLellan, born in Charters Towers, was a descendant of Scottish settlers on the Darling Downs.

 

1952 ~ 1962

Primary Education

In 1952 Michael attended St Columba’s School, Belgian Gardens, Townsville followed by secondary education at Our Lady’s Mount Christian Brothers College and Mount Carmel College, Charters Towers.

 

1963 ~ 1965

Trade Experience

Undertook an apprenticeship as an electrical fitter mechanic Townville.

 

1956 – 1966

Musical Career

Michael is an accomplished musician and singer. He has appeared in numerous productions and stage plays and during 1963-1964 played guitar with several instrumental groups in North Queensland. At the height of the British Rock & Roll and American ‘surfie’ phenomenon, Michael formed a guitar and brass ensemble, The Arctics. The popularity and success of this group was brought to a sudden halt by the Vietnam Conflict and the introduction of the National Service Ballot in Australia. Michael was conscripted for National Service in April 1966.

 

1966 ~ 1968

Military Service 

Served in the Royal Australian Engineers, Department of the Army, School of Military Engineering, as a Field Engineer. Michael was honourably discharged from the Army in 1968.

 

1968 ~ 1970

Industry Experience 

Appointed Town Planning Assistant, Botany Municipal Council, Mascot NSW to undertake the drafting and cartography of the Mascot Town Plan and Mascot Airport for NSW State Government appraisal; studied part time photography and fine art; Appointed sound technician and subsequently, cinema photographer for Baron Film Productions, Sydney.

 

1970 ~ 1973

Photography & Graphic Arts

Resigned from Botany Municipal Council to establish a commercial and industrial photographic agency in Sydney; Relocated to Townsville and was appointed Graphics Designer to the North Queensland Electricity Board’s [NQEB] Marketing and Public Relations Department.

 

1974 ~ 1977

Audio Visual

Promoted to Audiovisual Officer implementing NQEB’s television series, including set design, commercial production and monitoring audience response; Scripting and supervision of production of TV commercials, promotional and safety films; Sound recording, post production and media liaison for promotional and public relations activities, media presentations by the Chairman; Designed, supervised construction and commissioned NQEB’s internal audio recording facilities; Represented the Board at national seminars on the design of media services including the introduction of colour television to Australia.

 

1978 ~ 1985

Sculpture Exhibitions and Commissions

In 1978 Michael devoted his endeavours and artistic expression to sculpture. His finely detailed original works in steel depicted characters from Australia's history, traditional music, poetry and folklore. His inaugural exhibition, Our People, was held in September 1979 at the historical Charters Towers Stock Exchange building. The exhibition, presented by the National Trust of Australia (Qld), supported the heritage conservation of the Venus Battery erected in 1972 during the height of the North Queensland gold rush.

Three subsequent exhibitions were held in Queensland during 1980:

Heritage, School of Arts, Bowen;

Miner's Right, School of Arts, Herberton; and

Pioneers, School of Arts, Irvinebank.

 

1981

Pioneers London

Michael’s first international exhibition, Pioneers, presented at Queensland House, London, in 1981, was acclaimed by art critics in Britain and Australia. The exhibition was presented by the Agent-General for Queensland and opened by the much respected former Queensland Governor Col. Sir Henry Abel-Smith, before invited guests.

 

‘Mike Tracey’s Pioneers was presented and received in London with critical acclaim ...’ (The Age, Melbourne, September, 1981).

 

‘London Exhibition a Brilliant Success’ (Courier Mail, Brisbane, October 1981).

 

‘Sculptor Mike Tracey’s first overseas showing of work in London was opened by the much respected former Qld Governor Col. Sir Henry Abel-Smith. Australia’s largest company The Broken Hill Proprietary Company Limited along with H. H. Webb and Co Ltd, Melbourne, TAA, UK Protector Safety (UK) Limited and Diamond and Bort Pty Ltd. saw the potential of his works and assisted with the presentation of the exhibition. Undoubtedly the sponsor’s support has been justified’.

 

On Australia Day 1982, the touring exhibition of Mike Tracey's Australians opened at the Perc Tucker Regional Gallery, Townsville, Queensland. Showings followed at:

·        Mercedes House, Adelaide, Festival of Arts, South Australia;

·        Buckland Gallery, Ballarat, Victoria;

·        Rockhampton Art Gallery, Queensland;

·        Kelvin Grove Art College, Brisbane, Queensland

·        Nudgee College Art Festival, Brisbane, Queensland;

·        Dysart Civic Centre, Dysart, Queensland;

·        City Library, Mackay, Queensland;

·        Burdekin Cultural Centre, Ayr, Queensland.

 

Michael’s artwork is represented in Australian galleries and corporate and private collections throughout the world, including De Beers Diamonds, Johannesburg and Melbourne.

 

1980 ~ 1983

Sculptural Commissions

Between 1980 and 1986 Michael was awarded major public sculptural commissions including:

 

1980 Sculpture commissioned by the Country Music Festival Association, 'You're in Country Music City' Apex Park Charters Towers, Queensland. (steel)

 

1980 MIM Holdings Ltd. commissioned 'The Refiner' to mark the 21st year of operations of Copper Refineries Ltd. Civic Theatre, Townsville. (steel/copper)

 

1981 Irvinebank Centenary Plaque, commissioned by Associated Tin Smelters, Sydney, New South Wales. (tin)

 

1982 'The Find at Cope's Creek' commissioned by De Beers London commemorating the discovery of diamonds in Australia. (steel)

 

1982 ‘The Pioneers' commissioned the Queensland Cane Growers Council and the Ayr District Cane Growers Executive. The sculpture is presented in the Burdekin Cultural Centre, Queensland. (steel)

 

1983 'That's the News' commissioned by Queensland Newspapers Pty. Ltd., to commemorate their 50th year of operation. (steel)

 

1983

Churchill Fellowship

In 1983 Michael was awarded a Churchill Memorial Fellowship to undertake research into the use of laser technology for high precision sculpting and manufacturing high precision dies and moulds. Michael studied in England, Scotland, United States of America, China and New Zealand.

 

1985 ~ 1987

Sculptural, Medallion and Coinage Commissions

1985 ‘EDAQ Award for Excellence' commissioned by the Electrical Development Association of Queensland. This sculpture was presented annually for special achievement within the electrical industry. (copper nickel)

 

1986 ‘Australian of the Year' Commissioned by the National Australia Day Council to sculpt the awards for the Australian of the Year. (bronze)

 

1986 'Young Australian of the Year' commissioned by the National Australia Day Council to sculpt the awards for the Young Australian of the Year. (pewter)

 

1987 Commissioned by the Directors of CSR Limited to design and sculpt a medallion to commemorate 'The CSR Hinkler Air Race' presented to the Hon. Sir Joh Bjelke-Petersen, KCMG at the official opening of CSR House, Brisbane. (pewter

 

Commissions celebrating Australia’s Bicentennial

Michael was commissioned by the Royal Australian Mint and the Australian Bicentennial Authority to design the official medallion collection for the Australian Bicentenary including:

1986 ‘Australian Bicentennial Commemorative Medallion Series' Commissioned by the Royal Australian Mint and the Australian Bicentennial Authority to mark 200 years of European settlement. (Sterling silver - proof)

 

The 1988 Bicentennial Fifty Cent Coin

In 1983 Michael was invited by the Royal Australian Mint to submit designs for the Bicentennial Fifty Cent coin.  His design was selected from a short list of designers including the noted Stuart Devlin (London) and Michael Mezaros (Melbourne).

 

This was the first coin Michael had designed and included the making of the wax model and the plaster for the die making process. While his sculptures were free and unconstrained, coinage design required precision. Michael wanted the 1988 coin to reflect the free form of his sculptures, one of the primary points made by the Australian Bicentennial Authority when making the decision on the final design of the coin. Ships are fluid at sea and the ropes and rigging are free flowing.  A close inspection of the coin will show the ropes are ‘knotty’ in appearance and the hull and rigging of the vessel ‘ghostly’ in appearance. Michael’s initials are shown to the right of the ship’s rudder.

 

1986 'Tall Ships' and 'School' Medallions. Designs selected by the Australian Bicentennial Authority for the reverse of these medallions. (bronze)

 

1987 Australian Currency Bicentennial 50 Cents. Design selected the Royal Australian Mint and Australian Treasury. (gold, silver)

 

1987 ‘Australian Achiever Medallion' commissioned by the National Australia Day Council. (silver)

 

1987 Commissioned by the Monnaie de Paris (Paris Mint, France) to design and sculpt the plaster for the 'Franco- Australian Commemorative Medallion' on the occasion of the Australian Bicentenary. (silver & bronze editions)

 

1987 Bond International Pty. Ltd. commissioned the design for a Bicentennial Commemorative Tankard. (gold, silver)

 

1988 ~ 1991 Design Consultant to Perth Mint and GoldCorp, Western Australia

In 1988 Michael was retained by the Perth Mint and GoldCorp to design three years of platinum investment coinage. This commission included the proof and investment circulation of the Australian Koala. 'The Australian Platinum Koala', 1989, became the world’s largest selling and first international tradeable investment coin, and continues to hold this recognition. In the year of its release, sales of the Australian Koala platinum investment coinage exceeded the market prediction by 380,000 ounces.

 

Michael has had considerable experience in lecturing and teaching. He is a First Class target archer and holds an archery gold medal at a National Championships level and several local and state records. He is an accomplished musician.

 

1994

Academic and Professional Profile

In 1994 Michael graduated from the Department of Archaeology and Anthropology, The Faculties, Australian National University, Canberra. His dissertation was awarded first class Honours in Archaeology.

 

He completed his PhD in Archaeology and Palaeoanthropology at the School of Archaeology and Anthropology, Australian National University, Canberra. His doctorate was conferred in 2007.

 

Graduate Teaching Program (GTP) was selected for and completed in first year of PhD year research ANU Research Campus, Kioloa NSW at the Department of Archaeology and Anthropology The Faculties 1995. ANU. The GTP provides an opportunity for PhD students for training as tutors, demonstrators and lecturers.

 

Awards, Fellowship & Scholarships

1974 Winner of the Beenleigh Rotary Religious Art Award 'The Christ'.

 

1982 Life Member of The Queen Victoria Hospital Adelaide SA.

 

1983 Churchill Fellowship.

 

1984 Winning designs for the official medallion collection for the Australian Bicentenary commissioned by the Royal Australian Mint and the Australian Bicentennial Authority.

 

1985 Winning design for the 1988 Bicentennial fifty cent coin commissioned by the Royal Australian Mint and the Australian Bicentennial Authority.

 

1987 Winning design for the Franco-Australian commemorative medallion commissioned by the Monnaie de Paris, France.

 

1989 Elected as a full member of the Design Institute of Australia.

 

1990 Awarded the Best International Trade Coin by the International Numismatic Board and Krause Publications, London.

 

1995 Awarded first class Honours in Archaeology, ANU.

 

1996 Australian Postgraduate Award (PhD ANU).

 

2007 Conferred with Doctor of Philosephy Degree ANU.

 

2008 Winning design for Royal Queensland Historical Society Journal, Brisbane, Qld.

 

2007

Archaeological Guide

Archaeological guide with Colleague Chris Cater of Time Travel, Canberra on cultural heritage archaeological tour of Vietnam and Cambodia.

 

2008 Archaeological guide on cultural heritage archaeological tour of Tasmania and voyage on replica vessel 'Lady Nelson'.

 

2009 Archaeological guide on cultural heritage archaeological tour of Egypt and Jordan.

 

2010

Publication and Research

Publication of Research papers and bulletin articles. Commencement of research into the archaeology and history of allied bases on the eastern coast of Australian during World War II. Continued consultancy projects in New South Wales.

 

2011

Publication and Research

Publication of Research papers and bulletin articles. Continuation of research into the archaeology and history of allied bases on the eastern coast of Australian during World War II. Continued reserach into the QGS Douglas Mawson.

 

Memberships

·        Royal Historical Society of Queensland;

·        Australian Archaeological Institute at Athens;

·        Churchill Fellows Association;

·        Friends of the National Library of Australia;

·        Royal Australian Historical Society;

·        Sydney Maritime Museum;

·        Australian Institute for Maritime Archaeology;

·        Caboolture Warplane and Flight Heritage Museum Inc.

 

1995

Lecturing Experience

Eight week courses with weekly 2 ½ hour lectures and associated field trips taught at Stirling College, ACT.

 

Archaeology - An Introduction ~ March, May, July, October 1995.

Archaeology of the Evolution of the Hominids ~  May, July, October 1995

Archaeology of the Tool Maker ~ May 1995.

Archaeology of Western Religion ~ May 1995.

Archaeology of the Marine Environment ~ July 1995.

Archaeology of Colonial Australia ~ July 1995.

Archaeology of The March of Empire ~ October 1995.

 

Graduate Field Assistant and Demonstrator

Landscape Archaeology (B17) The Australian National University, 1 semester unit, demonstrating during field trips and guest lecturing.

 

Graduate Teaching Program

The Graduate School, The Australian National University, 1995.

 

Graduate Field Demonstrator Archaeology Field and Laboratory Methods (C4), The Australian National University, 1 semester unit. Supervision of excavation, material analysis and guest lecturing.

 

Tutor Prehistory 1112 Introduction to World Prehistory, 1 semester first year unit: acted as tutor, assisted with lectures and marked essays.

 

1996

Archaeology Lectures

Eight week courses with weekly 2 ½ hour lectures and associated field trips taught at Stirling College, ACT.

 

Archaeology - An Introduction ~ February 1996.

Archaeology of Colonial Australia ~ February, July 1996.

Archaeology of Legend -The Arthurian Legends ~ February 1996.

Archaeology of Migration ~ July 1996.

 

Eight-week courses with weekly 2 ½ hour lectures and associated field trips taught at Centre for Continuing Education, The Australian National University.

 

Archaeology an Introduction ~ July 1996, September 1997, March 1997.

An Introduction to Archaeology ~ July 1997.

The Archaeology of Arthur and Camelot ~ July 1997.

The Archaeology of Arthur and Camelot II ~ August 1997. March 1998.

In Search of Great Voyages I ~ September 1997, March 1998.

 

Eight-week courses with weekly 2 ½ hour lectures and associated field trips taught at Centre for Continuing Education, The Australian National University.

 

Archaeology of the Norsemen ~ March, August 2005.

Raiders and Traders ~ In Search of the Vikings ~ August 2005.

 

Four day public courses with field trips and lectures taught through the Centre for Continuing Education, The Australian National University, at the Edith and Joy London Field School, Kioloa, NSW and the Sydney University. This course has been taught seven times since 1998. It involves field tours of known archaeological sites on the south coast of New South Wales.  Practical field survey methods, map reading and excavation methods are taught. The excavation has been an ongoing project for five years.

 

Two hours lectures are presented during the field courses have included:

Archaeological Investigation, survey and excavations methods;

Human Evolution;

Archaeology of the Termeil and Kioloa Forests;

Archaeology of the establishment of Murramarang House;

Stone tools and stone tool making; (practical demonstration and participation are given and undertaken);

Aboriginal Occupation of Burra Lake and Murramarang;

Wooden Shipbuilding on the South Coast of New South Wales;

Archaeology of the Cowra Prisoner of War Camp;

The Enemy Within – The threat to Australia’s Security during World War II.

 

Conferences, Seminars and Public Lectures

 

The Causeway: An Archaeological Perspective - Guest speaker Annual General Meeting Australian Railway Historical Society, Canberra 17th May 1996.

 

The Global Positioning Satellite System; The Use of GPS for Field Survey, Historical Landscape Group, ANU, 11th June 1996.

 

No Water - No Gold; Hydrological technology in nineteenth century gold mining - an archaeological examination, Presented at Australian Historical Mining Association Annual Conference Melbourne July 1996.

 

Working the Hsin-Chin-Shan: Ailanthus Altissima The Tree of Heaven - Work in progress session. Australia’s Ever-Changing Forests III, Third National Conference on Australian Forest History, Jervis Bay, NSW 24-28 November 1996.

 

Archaeological Evidence for a Horse Drawn Tramway - A case study of the Bawley Point Sawmill System. Australia’s ever changing forests III, Third National Conference on Australian Forest History, Jervis Bay, NSW 24-28 November 1996.

 

Archaeological Aspects of the Bawley Point Sawmill NSW, presented at the combined annual conference Australasian Society for Historical Archaeology and the Australian Institute of Maritime Archaeology, Hobart, 22-25 October 1995.

 

Editorial

1996 Editor, Newsletter of the Australian Society of Historical Archaeology.

1997 - 1998 Editor of Journal of the Australian Mining History Association.

1997 - 1998 Assistant Editor, Australian Forest History Society Newsletter.

2007 - Assistant Editor, Bulletin of the Indo-Pacific Prehistory Association.

 

Honours Dissertation (see Michael Tracey BA Honours)

Tracey, M, A., 1994. When the Timber Cut Out’ - Archaeological Aspects of Timber Extraction Procedures and Shipbuilding in the Murramarang District, New South Wales. Thesis submitted as partial fulfilment for the Degree of Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in the Department of Archaeology and Anthropology, The Australian National University. Awarded First Class Honours.

 

Doctoral Thesis (see Michael Tracey Phd)

Tracey, M. M., 2007. Wooden Ships, Iron men and Stalwart Ladies: The TSS Douglas Mawson Saga, the School of Archaeology and Anthropology, Australian National University, Canberra, ACT. Conferred 2007

 

Papers (see Publications)

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