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In 1855 Charles Todd arrived in the young colony of South  Australia.  He was 28 and his mind was full of the new  sciences and technologies that were changing life in 19th  century Europe.  He had trained with the best at Greenwich  in England and in Australia he was presented with a ‘blank  canvas’ to implement his many ideas. Until recently, he was best, and to many, only known for his  work with the Overland Telegraph.  Though this was a  tremendous feat of management, its two years are but a  short part of this man’s 50 year contribution to our national  heritage.  However, lesser known is the fact he worked with  similar bright people in his own colony and the others on  the continent to establish the foundations of astronomy.  meteorology, electrical engineering, time keeping,  surveying, telegraphy and an efficient postal system.  He was also influential in the establishment of many social  and intellectual institutions of the Colony including two of  South Australia’s universities, its Museum, the State Library,  the Art Gallery and two churches.  His work extended to a  national level and it influenced some key issues at  Federation.   In many ways, Todd could stand with us as one of our  contemporaries - he was deeply involved in building and  running the infrastructure of a science and technology  obsessed society like ours.  He would also be a familiar  figure to the legion of MBA’s dotted throughout our  enterprises.  Todd’s story is replete with examples of his  capacity to think strategically, while dealing with the tactical  issues of running bureaucracies, networking, managing  resources and providing the leadership required to achieve  visionary outcomes for Australia. Any senior civil servant  who survived the administrations of 22 Premiers and  completed 50 years of public service with his envious  reputation fully intact could run a Masters course or two in a  modern business school. What makes Todd really endearing to his researchers and  biographers is his affability. Though it’s tempting to dismiss  reports of his employees’ admiration for their leader,  attributing this to the rose coloured hue of fond memories, it  is impossible to ignore the many flattering reports found in  news articles of his day.  There is no doubt that the  Adelaide Newspaper of record, the South Australian  Register, was enthralled with the man in his latter years  with many favourable reports of his activities. By the time of  his death in late January 1910, he was a national treasure.  But even at that final point, the measure of the man was his  request that his funeral cortege was not to proceed down  King William Street as was the tradition, since this would  disturb the rhythm of the city.  Instead, mourners proceeded  directly to North Road Cemetery with minimal disturbance  to the daily endeavours of his fellow citizens. 
Consisting of members from six science and technology  socities in South Australia, the group formed in 2012 to  mount the Sir Charles Todd Symposium.  The Symposium  marked a gathering of Todd family descendants in Adeliade.  Covering astronomy, meteorology, electrical engineering,  surveying, telecommunications and the postal system,  Symposium speakers recognised the importance of Todd in  establishing each of their disciplines.  However, no one had  a comprehensive view of this pioneer and the Symposium  was the first known attempt to bring the main treads of the  story together.  The Symposium attracted a sellout audience of 150 “Todd-o-  philes” and was a great success for speakers and audience  alike. Realising that there was an even more comprehensive  story to reveal, the speakers continued their collaboration.   The first vehicle for this work was the creation of a mobile  app aimed at the general public. An attendee of the  Symposium (Roger Edmonds) donated his expertise in  online education systems to support the work.  The app was  launched in May 2014 at the Royal Institute Australia  (RiAus), fittingly on the 125 anniversary of Todd’s accession  to the original Royal Institute in England.  The third major endeavour of the Research Group now  occupies it with the ongoing construction of an online  research centre, containing copious reference material for  those interested in the professional and civic life of Charles  Todd. In the fullness of time this centre is expected to  contain upwards of 3,000 documents. All documents go  through a review process to ensure their veracity before  inclusion in the database.  A find-and-retrieve tool is  available to identify documents relevant to specified search  criteria.  In parallel with the online research presence, this website  has been created to act as an entry point to all the work of  the Committee members relating to Sir Charles Todd. DISCLAIMER  The full story of Charles Todd has is a story waiting to be  told.  The Research Group is aware that they will not see its  full expanse, thus, this website and its links do not detail the  final and authoritative account.   
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Charles Todd Research Group
Who was Charles Todd?