Emeritus Professor R.G. Ward was Professor of Human Geography at the ANU from 1971 to 1998, and Director of the Research School of Pacific and Asian Studies from 1980 to 1993.
He was Foundation Professor of Geography at the University of Papua New Guinea from 1967 to 1971. He has taught at University College London, and University of Auckland and is President of the Pacific Science Association. Professor Ward has been conducting research in the Pacific Islands since 1956, and has done fieldwork in Samoa, Fiji, Vanuatu and Papua New Guinea.
His books, as author or editor, include "Land Use and Population in Fiji", "American Activities in the Central Pacific, 1790-1870", "The Settlement of Polynesia: A Computer Simulation", "Man in the Pacific Islands", "South Pacific Agriculture: Choices and Constraints", "Land, Custom and Practice in the South Pacific", and "Samoa: Mapping the Diversity".
Professor Gerard Ward took these pictures when his ship stopped for a day in October 1956 at Niue whilst on his way to undertake field work in Western Samoa.
Professor Ward has commented on the visit: “One of the striking things about Niue was the upraised coral nature of the island. It is very difficult to cultivate and this is evident in the photographs PMB Photo 12_14 – 16. There is broken coral everywhere so parts of the land have very little soil and are unusable. These pictures show this, PMB Photo 12_26. Another feature is the lack of beaches, making access to the sea difficult and opportunities for fishing limited.”
This collection of photographs include streets and boat ramps around Alofi in Niue. The collection also includes images of local dwellings that use burnt lime plaster, village scenes, plantations, fishing techniques and outrigger canoes.