Leonard Rodway


Leonard Rodway with friends in a fern gully, 1910 (AOT, PH30/1/3622)

Leonard Rodway (18531936), London-trained dentist, arrived in Hobart in 1880. He helped establish Tasmania's first Dentists Act (1884), and practised in Hobart until 1923, acting as honorary dental surgeon at Hobart General Hospital, 18901922. Two sons became dentists, his daughter Florence Rodway an artist.

Chiefly remembered for his contributions to the study of Tasmanian botany, Rodway was honorary government botanist, 18961932. His The Tasmanian Flora (1903) became a standard reference for forty years. He was the University's first lecturer in botany (192329); the Director of the Royal Tasmanian Botanical Gardens (192832), and founder of the Tasmanian Herbarium (192832). A popular leader of the Tasmanian Field Naturalists Club from 1904, Rodway was closely associated with Tasmania's first scenic reserves. He was also a driving force behind the Tasmanian Forest League (191220).

Further reading: M Hurburgh, The Royal Tasmanian Botanical Gardens, 18181986, Hobart, [1986]; E Marks, 'History of dentistry in Tasmania', Newsletter of the Australian Dental Association Tasmanian Branch 9/5, 2001.

Ann Elias