Mervyn Davis commenced A Catalogue of Botanical Collectors and Delineators in 1955. She was elected first individual member and delegate for Australia to the International Federation of Landscape Architects in 1959, a position she held for ten years. Davis was the first woman elected a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Parks and Recreation in 1964, and in 1969 she was elected as the first Fellow of the Australian Institute of Landscape Architects.
On 14 June 1980, Mervyn Davis was appointed a Member of the British Empire for her work in the public service.
The daughter of Frank Dawson and Ida (née Bell) Davis, Mervyn Davis served with the Women's Auxiliary Australian Air Force during World War II. Following the war she commenced a Commonwealth Reconstruction Training Scheme (CRTS) course at Burnley Horticultural College, Victoria. Davis graduated dux of the course in 1946. She was appointed technical assistant in the herbarium at the Melbourne and then the Adelaide Botanic Gardens. During 1956 to 1957, Davis studied under Brian Hackett at Durham University England, and gained a Postgraduate Diploma in Landscape Design. In 1957 she was awarded the first Fellowship of the International Agricultural Study Centre, Wageningen University, Netherlands, in Landscape Design and Allied subjects.
Davis was employed as a landscape architect with Buchan, Laird and Buchan Architects and Engineers, Melbourne, from 1959 to 1961. She initiated moves to establish the Australian Institute of Landscape Architects. In 1969 she became the body's first fellow and in 1980 she was appointed a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE). Davis worked as a private consultant before being employed as a landscape architect with the Commonwealth Department of Housing and Construction in 1963. Her work included landscape developments at the airports of Perth, Launceston, Canberra, Melbourne and Hobart. She retired from the department in 1980.
In her retirement Davis continued working with Dr Jim Willis and Daphne Pearson on the catalogue of Australian Botanists and others who have contributed to the Collections and recording of plants in Australia.
1942 - 1945
War Service with the Women's Auxiliary Australian Air Force
1951 - 1956
Technical Assistant at the Royal Melbourne Botanic Gardens and National Herbarium Victoria
1956 - 1957
Post Graduate Diploma in Landscape Design, Durham University, England
First Fellow of the International Agricultural Study Centre Wageningen University Netherlands in Landscape Design and allied subjects
1959 - 1969
Australian Delegate to the International Federation of Landscape Architects
Initiated moves to establish Australian Institute of Landscape Architects
1963 - 1980
Full-time employee of the Commonwealth Department, Central Office, Melbourne
First woman Fellow of the Australian Institute of Parks and Recreation
First Fellow of the Australian Institute of Landscape Architects
View the full record at
Australian Women's Register