Joseph Hefetz Gentilli was a key figure in Australian climatology and an equally capable geographer. Gentilli migrated to Australia as a war refugee in 1939 and soon gained employment as a lecturer in statistics at the University of Western Australia (1940). He remained at the University for over fifty years and was founder of its Department of Geography. Gentilli was one of the first to report on the Northwest Cloudbands which originate over the Indian Ocean and occasionally blow across Australia, sometimes bringing with them widespread rain and storms to the south. He also made some of the earliest studies of Western Australia's climate records looking for evidence of changes which may have influenced an increase in soil salinity (1952) and in 1977 was part of a world panel of climatologists who examined the phenomenon of climate change and its possible impacts. Joseph Gentilli published widely, in four different languages, and received many honours and awards including an appointment as a Commander Officer of the Order of Australia (AO). He was also involved in many professional scientific bodies, was President of the Geographical Society of Western Australia and a Fellow of the Royal Meteorological Society (FRMetS) and the Royal Geographical Society (FRGS).
Education - Doctorate in Political Science completed at the University of Venice Economics Institute in Italy
Career position - Junior Lecturer in Geography at the University of Florence
Life event - Evaded military service by disappearing 'over the mountains' and court-martialled on his return
Career position - Lecturer of Statistics (part-time) at the University of Western Australia
Life event - Migrated to Australia (Fremantle, Western Australia)
Career position - Lecturer in Economics at the University of Western Australia
Career position - Lectured in Geography and introduced Economic Geography to the University of Western Australia
Award - Grand Officer of the Order of Merit of the Italian Republic
Career position - Retired and appointed Honorary Research Fellow at the University of Western Australia
Education - Honorary Doctor of Science (DSc) received from the University of Western Australia
Award - Honorary Life Member of the Institute of Australian Geographers
Award - John Lewis Gold Medal received from the Royal Geographical Society of Australasia
Award - Officer of the Order of Australia (AO)
Award - Griffith Taylor Medal received from the Institute of Australian Geographers
Career position - Keynote Speaker at the Australia New Zealand Climate Forum in Perth
Sunday Times (Perth, WA : 1902 - 1954) Sunday 24 August 1913 p 1 Article
... already stated, the par-ties did not live happily together. In January, 1912 the husband deserted his wife ... between them ix not known, but shortly afterwards .Law-rence Gentilli', an attendant at the Old Men'* Home ...
The Daily News (Perth, WA : 1882 - 1950) Friday 10 October 1913 p 12 Article
... went to j live with, bis aunt at Leederville. He obtained work at the Claremont -Sho-w j Grounds, and ... blood on her throat, and ran away. -A young man named Gentilli, who was in the vicinity, rushed over to ...