Groves, Murray Charles

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Authorized form of name

Groves, Murray Charles

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Other form(s) of name

  • Professor Murray Groves

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Description area

Dates of existence

1926 - 2011


Murray Charles Groves was born on 24 August 1926 in Melbourne. Groves spent two years in Port Moresby, where he worked as a judge's assistant in the Supreme Court of Papua New Guinea and taught English classes in Hanuabada, in the Western Motu villages on Port Moresby Harbour. He returned to Melbourne in 1949 to complete a degree in History and Literature with first class honours. From 1950-1952 he taught in History at the University of Melbourne. In 1956 Groves completed his PhD thesis titled “The Motu and the modern world” from the University of Oxford. He then joined the Australian National University, where he was a research fellow in the Department of Pacific History 1956-1959. In 1959 he was appointed senior lecturer in Social Anthropology (becoming an associate professor in 1964) at the University of Auckland. From 1960 to 1965 he was editor of the Journal of the Polynesian Society. He left Auckland in 1965 to take up the foundation Chair of Sociology at the University of Singapore. From mid-1969 until his retirement in 1988, Groves was Chair of the Department of Sociology, University of Hong Kong. In mid-1992, he spent four months working on Motu research at the ANU and moved permanently to Canberra in 1994 as a Visiting Fellow in the Department of Anthropology, Research School of Pacific and Asian Studies. He died on 5 May 2011 in Canberra.


Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea

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Functions, occupations and activities

academic; anthropologist; researcher

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Dates of creation, revision and deletion

Entered from deposit description on 15 May 2012




Jack Golson, “Murray Charles Groves 24 August 1926 - 5 May 2011,” Journal of the Polynesian Society, The, v.120, no.2, 2011, p.109-112
National Library of Australia
Obituary by Jack Golson, Sydney Morning Herald, (accessed 15 May 2012)

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