Brookes, Helen May (1917-)

Also known as
Brookes, Helen (1917-)
Brookes, Helen (1917-2008)
Brookes, Helen May (1917-2008)
Field of activity
Entomologist; Artist
NLA Persistent Identifier
https://nla.gov.au/nla.party-765079

Biographies

Helen Brookes was born in Melbourne and moved several times before settling in Adelaide in 1929. She started her working career at the Waite Institute with Dr Davidson. Later Brookes became a technical assistant and eventually senior lecturer as a systematic entomologist. Following her retirement, in 1982, she presented her insect collection to the Australian National Insect Collection in Canberra. Brookes was a member of the Lyceum and Minerva Clubs. In 1999, Year of the Older Person, Brookes was invited to a symposium in Canberra as an outstanding older woman scientist.

View the full record at Australian Women's Register

Helen Brookes was one of South Australia's top entomologists. Due to the depression and later her work commitments, she never completed any formal tertiary studies in the field. Instead, Brookes was trained 'on the job', initially starting out as a Laboratory Assistant in the fledgling Department of Entomology at the Waite Agricultural Research Institute (1936). She remained with the institute for almost fifty years, receiving numerous promotions along the way: in 1942 Brookes became the Institute's first female Technical Assistant, in 1964 was given a lecturing role and in 1976 was appointed to the top position of Senior Systemic Entomologist. At first her duties were broad and varied, but as she proved herself she was given specific projects to work on. In 1940 she helped translate from Latin into English the only book written about Australian grasshoppers and during the war years was engaged in identifying and illustrating wheat-associated pests. Her illustrations were published directly in the and used on posters delivered to wheat farmers. Later her work dealt with a range of pests including field crickets and Coccoidea - an insect superfamily that includes scale insects and mealy bugs. Coccoidea became her area of expertise and she gained international recognition in the field. She donated her large specimen collection to the Australian National Insect Collection in Canberra upon her retirement (1982). Throughout her career Helen Brookes wrote several important works and made many key contributions to the field. She was a member of the Royal Society of South Australia and a founding member of the Australian Entomological Society.

  • Career position - Laboratory Assistant at Waite Agricultural Research Institute in South Australia
  • Career position - Technical Assistant at Waite Agricultural Research Institute
  • Career position - Member of the Royal Society of South Australia
  • Career position - Assistant Systemic Entomologist at Waite Agricultural Research Institute
  • Career position - Systemic Entomologist and Lecturer at Waite Agricultural Research Institute
  • Career position - Foundation member of the Australian Entomological Society
  • Career position - Study leave to the British Museum in London (ten months)
  • Career position - Senior Systemic Entomologist at Waite Agricultural Research Institute
  • Career position - Study and research leave in Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Japan and London

View the full record at Encyclopedia of Australian Science

Related people and organisations

Resources for Helen May Brookes

Selected resources (5)

Australian Women's Register

  1. Brookes, Helen May
    Published: National Foundation for Australian Women
    Series: IspartOf The Australian Women's Register
  2. Interview with Helen Brookes [sound recording] Interviewer: Lois Mander-Jones
    [1 cassette tape : 29 November 2001]
    Series: State Library of South Australia
    33 minutes Helen Brookes was born in Melbourne in 1917. She talks about how her family moved several times before settling in Adelaide in 1929, her schooling, starting work at the Waite Institute with Dr Davidson, identification of insects, became a technical assistant and eventually senior lecturer status as a systematic entomologist, retirement in 1982, papers which she has written, insect collection presented to the Australian National Insect Collection in Canberra, member of the Lyceum Club for 20 years, Minerva Club, and in the 1999 Year of the Older Person being invited to a symposium in Canberra as an outstanding older woman scientist.
    SRG 438/29/64

Encyclopedia of Australian Science

  1. Brookes, Helen
    Published: The University of Melbourne eScholarship Research Centre
    Series: Encyclopedia of Australian Science
  2. Helen May Brookes (3.11.1917 - 1.1.2008)
    Gullan, P.J. And Williams, D.J.
    Published: 2010
    Series: Entomologia Hellenica, 19, 170-172
  3. Where are the Women in Australian Science?
    McCarthy, Gavan; Morgan, Helen; Smith, Ailie; van den Bosch, Alan
    Published: Australian Science and Technology Heritage Centre, 2003

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  1. Bates, Daisy (1863-1951)
    Anthropologist; Journalist
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  2. Lyceum Club Adelaide Incorporated (1922-)
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Pictures, photos, objects

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  1. Interview with Helen Brookes and Coralie Li / Interviewer: Brian Dickey
    Brookes, Helen May, 1917-2008
    [ Sound : 1995 ]
    At State Library S Aust
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  2. Talk by Tony Brooks
    Brooks, Tony
    [ Sound : 2002 ]
    At State Library S Aust
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  3. Not pretty enough : the unlikely triumph of Helen Gurley Brown / Gerri Hirshey
    Hirshey, Gerri
    [ Book, Audio book : 2016-2017 ]
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  4. Public Lecture. First of All / Tony Brooks
    Brooks, Tony
    [ Sound : 2004 ]
    At State Library S Aust
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  1. UNCLAIMED MONEYS ACT, 1917.
    Government Gazette of the State of New South Wales (Sydney, NSW : 1901 - 2001) Friday 28 March 1952 [Issue No.69] p 1083

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    ... (7007) The Treasury, New South Wales, Sydney, 27th March, 1952. UNCLAIMED MONEYS ACT, 1917. THE ... , J. ... May, J. Mohr, G. ... Maddigan, J. Marchian, J. ... ... Machie, W * Morris, F Mascot, S Morris ... 63618 words
    • Text last corrected on 5 March 2016 by james2012
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  2. UNCLAIMED MONEYS ACT, 1917.
    Government Gazette of the State of New South Wales (Sydney, NSW : 1901 - 2001) Thursday 29 March 1934 [Issue No.56] p 1405

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    ... (980) The Treasury, New South Wales, Sydney, 26th March, 1934, UNCLAIMED MONEYS ACT, 1917. IT is ... requirements of the Unclaimed Moneys Act, 1917. B. S. STEVENS, Colonial Treasurer. Name of owner ■ on books ... 17594 words
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    Government Gazette of the State of New South Wales (Sydney, NSW : 1901 - 2001) Friday 29 March 1935 [Issue No.66] p 1357

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  4. THURSDAY, MAY 5
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    Morwell Advertiser (Morwell, Vic. : 1888 - 1954) Friday 24 January 1902 p 4 Article
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