At the beginning of 1970 I had more or less finished my University of Sydney PhD on hillslope form and landslides in a chunk of New Zealand hill country. I was unsure what I wanted to work on next but I was pretty sure it wasn’t landslides and hillslopes. I joined the academic staff at Macquarie University, also in Sydney. In August 1970 I went to an ANZAAS conference in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea, gave an excruciatingly boring paper on hillslope form and caught up with Colin Pain, an old mate from my undergraduate days at the University of Auckland.

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