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The Dictionary of Australasian Biography/Skene, Alexander John

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Skene, Alexander John, M.A., J.P., last Surveyor-General of Victoria, son of Major Alexander Skene and Elizabeth (Anderson) his wife, was born at Aberdeen in 1820 and graduated M.A. at the University there in 1838. He arrived in Victoria in 1839, and in 1843 was appointed Surveyor to the District Council of Grant, becoming a Government Surveyor in 1848. Five years later he was placed in charge of the District Survey Office at Geelong and in 1854 was appointed Surveyor of the colony under patent. Three years afterwards Mr. Skene was specially employed to report on the nature and capability of the land of the colony, and in 1862 was transferred to Melbourne. He was appointed Acting Surveyor-General in 1868, and on the retirement of Mr. Ligar, in 1869, was promoted to the Surveyor-Generalship, in connection with which he for some years acted as Land Tax Commissioner. Mr. Skene retired from the public service in June 1886 after thirty-eight years of unbroken service, but was reappointed Land Tax Commissioner in 1887. Mr. Skene, who was married at Heidelberg, Vict., on August 31st, 1842, to Miss Catherine Williamson, was appointed a J.P. in 1865.