Page 1



VOLUME 30 # 1















FROM THE CHAIR Ms Lucinda Warren


























FROM THE SENIOR STUDENT The 2014 Student Club is anticipating another fantastic and successful year at Women’s. Dubbing 2014 the ‘Golden Year’ at the first Formal Dinner, the rest of the College community has met this proposal with great enthusiasm and excitement. The first Student Club meeting drafted the following goals:

Creating a sustainable Scholarship Program: With increasing demands on scholarships, a way to continuously replenish funds has been enacted through a philanthropic ‘Pay it Forward’ initiative.

To create an even more vibrant and active College community, where all students can be involved: As a result of last year’s Student Club survey, students reported they would like more in-house events within Women’s, which are currently being planned.

Ensuring students receive real benefit from their Student Club fees: Various suggestions have been put forward by the students to assist the Club in making equitable and effective decisions to enhance current students’ experiences of College life.

To promote an interconnected College community on multiple platforms and outlets: In an increasingly technology dependent world, we would like girls at Women’s to become engaged with social media and use it in an appropriate and productive way to strengthen the reputation and profile of the College.

Forming stronger relations between the Women’s College and other University Colleges around Australia and the world: Creating strong working relations with University Colleges across Australia is a beneficial and unique initiative of the Women’s College. These relations can inspire ideas, boosts our College profile and fosters student friendships and connections across distances. This year we endeavour to look into the option of organising a connection with another Women’s College overseas (perhaps a sorority).

Greater focus on capturing memories of the College experience: Some of the best years of one’s life are at College and this year’s Student Club aims to capture some of those memories in a DVD recording that can be held as a keepsake forever.

Greater assistance and structures provided by the Student Club for the streamlined functioning of committees and events.

These points highlight the exciting initiatives and events that create such a vibrant College community. I am truly honoured to represent this amazing College and all the students who live here and will do everything I can to make this College the best it can be. The College year is well underway, with success recorded already in Palladian Solo Vocal, Oration and Rosebowl Netball, and I am excited to see what the coming months bring! Rebecca Holdt

PAY- I T- F O R W A R D I N I T I AT I V E Good ideas have a way of catching hold at Women’s College. After a discussion with fellow students about how to enhance scholarship funds to make College more accessible to a diverse range of young women, 2013 Senior Student Alisha King came up with a brilliant innovation: the Pay-It-Forward initiative. The concept is simple, but the gesture has the potential to create a self-sustaining scholarship fund at Women’s College. The initiative involves current and former holders of College scholarships donating funds back to College to the value of their own scholarships and bursaries – “paying forward” into a fund for future students in need. “Nurturing a culture of giving makes you feel as though you’re part of something much bigger, and gives a sense of a community and belonging,” says Alisha. “There’s something really lovely about current and past students joining together to help future students. It completes the cycle – paying forward to give other girls opportunities they THE WOMEN’S COLLEGE MAGAZINE

may not otherwise be able to access.” It also makes economic sense: “If we had in the future all recipients of the Pay-ItForward scholarship contributing back to their scholarships annually for continuing students, we’d have a self-sustaining form of support.” At the end of last year Alisha and incoming 2014 Senior Student Rebecca Holdt met with all the extant scholarship holders to discuss the concept and test the idea. “The response was overwhelmingly positive: students felt happy to ‘pay back’ their scholarships on their own terms, when their jobs and their working lives allowed them to.” In the coming year Alisha and Rebecca – both of whom have pledged to pay their own scholarships forward – will be writing to former scholarship holders to inform them of the initiative and their potential involvement in it. Another great example of student philanthropic leadership at Women’s. VOLUME 30 / NUMBER 1


FROM THE CHAIR While The Women’s College has regularly been acknowledged for its highly functional Council, in light of developments in governance practice over recent years Council felt it was timely to undertake an external review of its functions and effectiveness as a governing body. It contracted Board Matters to conduct an on-line survey and one-on-one interviews with Council members and senior management in order to prepare a Themes Paper to inform future governance planning for the College. Some of the key observations included: • The Council is comprised of people who are very proud to be associated with the College and have a great deal of affection and concern for its well-being; • There is a very strong combination of relevant skills, experience, networks and background; and • There is an evident commitment to genuine governance improvement, building on the many positive aspects of Council’s operation to date. As a result of the Report, the Council has formed a new Governance Committee to work through the recommendations for improvement. This Committee joins the other Council Committees focussed on: Finance, Building and Development, Marketing and Philanthropy, and Scholarships and Fellows. During the process, Board Matters also noted a high level of consistency in views across Council regarding the opportunities, risks and strategic priorities for the College. On Saturday 5 April, Council and senior management devoted time to reviewing the outcomes of the past Strategic Plan (2008-2013) with a view to challenging the key tenets underpinning that Plan and devising a new Strategic Framework to guide the initiatives and work of management for the next four to five years. The session was externally facilitated by Christina Franklin and I am pleased to report to our College community that the strategic priorities in forming the new Plan are: scholarship, leadership, philanthropy and environment. These are very exciting times for our College and I look forward to up-dating you further as details develop. Sadly, one of our long serving Councillors, Mr Dick Persson AM, retired from the Council at the March meeting. Dick was appointed in 2001 and has been a strong supporter and advocate for the College during his twelve years of service. He noted with pride his advocacy for Indigenous scholarships and his contributions to the Marketing Committee. We sincerely thank him for his contributions and wish him well in the future, knowing he will remain interested in and supportive of the College. Finally, under the Women’s College Act 1902, elections are held biennially for half of the Council membership and Council members are elected for a period of four years. This year sees the conclusion of the current four year term for: Camille Blackburn, Jennifer Davidson, Virginia Dowd, Elizabeth Elliott AM and Mary Walker. More details about the election process and eligibility to nominate and vote will be forthcoming over the next few months. Ms Lucinda Warren




F R O M T H E P R I N C I PA L The students at the Women’s College take their fund-raising and community service responsibilities very seriously. Commencing in O-Week with a donation of funds to Keeping Watch, followed by volunteering for the UN Women International Women’s Day breakfast, establishing a connection with the YWCA to mentor other young women and running a very successful charity cake auction for Ronald MacDonald House (Randwick) at a recent Formal Dinner, their philanthropic leadership is consistently evident. At a recent Australian Institute of Company Directors seminar on philanthropic challenges in the not-for-profit sector, the message given repeatedly by the presenters was the need for organisations to establish and promote a mindset of philanthropic leadership. In an institution such as The Women’s College—which receives no funding from the government, university or other public sources—it is imperative that every member of our extensive community: Council, staff, students, alumnae, parents, friends, and members of our related networks, consider developing their connection to the College through a philanthropic gesture. It is not the amount that matters most, but rather the volume of donors who give regularly that strengthens our sustainability, supports our students, connects our community deeply to the future of this unique College and contributes to our developing reputation as a leader in philanthropy in all its forms. For our alumnae living in the USA, we have a unique membership which allows philanthropic US$ donations to be tax deductible. The Women’s College is a member of AISUSA and donations may be made to that Foundation with an instruction that the quantum be granted to our College to progress key projects to benefit our students. AISUSA will be hosting functions in New York and San Francisco later this year and invitations for our American alumnae will be forthcoming. On-line donations for our USA alumnae can be made by visiting: http://www. This issue of The Women’s College magazine profiles a number of philanthropic gestures, projects and events, as well as including our latest donation card. We are well on the way to achieving our goal of philanthropic leadership with the continued assistance of our community. Thank you. Special Council Meeting, 2014 Strategic Planning Workshop


Dr Amanda Bell



Psychology Honours student Felicity Kiln receives the Janet Elspeth Crawford Prize at the 2014 Chancellor’s Dinner


Average AAMs by Uni Year (Undergraduates, 2006 - 2013) 80 78 76

Women’s College has a reputation for academic excellence which is well deserved: the College has promoted scholarship for over 120 years and continues to nurture the academic life of its 280 students through a variety of programs and the inspiration provided by its diverse community of high-achieving women. Over the last decade more than one third of students at Women’s have completed each University year with a Distinction average (75%) or higher across all of their results. In 2013, 98 students hit this benchmark: 35% of the cohort. In addition, the College average of all student results has just hovered below a Distinction for the past decade. This year the average ATAR (entrance score) of the 90-strong fresher group was an impressive 94.3.

2013 College Dux Rachael Kwa (Bachelor of Music Performance) AAM: 90.3 THE WOMEN’S COLLEGE MAGAZINE

74 72 70 68 66

Figure 1: Annual Average Mean of College results by University Year (2006 - 2013)

64 62 60 2006






1st year average AAMs

2nd year average AAMs

4th year and above average AAMs

All undergraduate students average AAMs

While strong entrance scores are a good marker for future success, our statistics show that first-year results typically start out at a pass average and rise over time as students master their University studies, rising steadily in third and fourth year (see Figure 1). A number of factors influence this consistently high attainment by our students. As well as an impressive line-up of weekly Formal Dinner speakers and a strong culture of academic peer mentoring, the College has an extensive tutorial


3rd year average AAMs

program assisting students with their studies in all faculty and degree areas. The College’s Senior Common Room provides a dedicated scholarly space to senior and postgraduate students, and the guidance provided by Resident Assistants and Academic Assistants (for first years) ensures that students are well supported while they are at University. And of course, living on campus in close proximity to University facilities is an added advantage. Recognising the benefits of College for academic performance, students continue to choose to stay at Women’s into their fourth year and beyond, and their positions as academic role models to the younger students are highly valued by the whole community. Felicity Kiln, winner of the Janet Elspeth Crawford Prize for the highest honours result in 2013, notes the part College played in her first-class honours result: “Being at College for honours was really important. There is a lot of support in so many different ways from staff, Resident Assistants and friends – people look out for you if you’re particularly stressed and there’s always someone around to listen and lend support.” Felicity is in the process of submitting a research article from her psychology honours thesis for publication, and plans to use her $3500 prize money for travel later this year before returning to Sydney – and possibly to Women’s – to undertake a Masters of Clinical Psychology.




C H A N C E L LO R ’ S DINNER Women’s College welcomed University of Sydney Chancellor Ms Belinda Hutchinson AM and members of the University Senate, academic staff and supporters of Women’s to the College on 7 April for the annual Chancellor’s Dinner. As well as showcasing the College’s scholarly achievements over the past year with the award of academic prizes and scholarships, the Chancellor’s Dinner recognises the importance of the College and the University in shaping the philanthropic, cultural, sporting and scholarly pursuits of students. Women’s College students Lindsay Scott, Nicola Alroe and Rebecca Holdt paid tribute to the College and the University with toasts to both institutions. To read these speeches, please visit

Students and academics gather in the College foyer before the Chancellor’s Dinner

Before presenting the academic prizes for almost one hundred students who received a distinction average or above in their University studies last year, Ms Hutchinson responded to the students’ toasts by posing the challenging question: “Where do you think is the best place in the world to be a woman?” Her comments focussed on Australia’s performance in the Global Gender Gap Report, a study conducted annually by the World Economic Forum which measures the relative gaps between women and men across four major areas – health, education, the economy and politics. While Australia performs well in education, it is lagging behind in many other rankings. At the conclusion of her speech Ms Hutchinson challenged the Women’s College students, stating: “As you leave your university life behind, and continue a fine tradition of Australian women being among the most educated in the world, think about how you can make a personal contribution to narrowing our nation’s unacceptable gender gap.”

G R ACE FR A ZER ENTR A N C E AWA R D Three first-year students have been awarded the coveted Grace Frazer Entrance Award at Women’s College this year. Pictured here, Ruby Curtis (Economics/Law), Natalie Buckett (Arts/Law) and Yoo Jin Jung (Advanced Medical Science/MBBS) entered College on an entrance score of 99.95 – the highest possible score awarded in NSW. One of the first prizes for academic merit endowed to the College, the Grace Frazer Entrance Award was established in 1892 by Mrs Charles Burton Fairfax in honour of her sister Grace Frazer. The Award is given annually to the student entering College as “the best matriculant.” Today it is given to the student, or students, with the highest ATAR or University Entrance score.




C O R P O R AT E PA R T N E R S H I P S Women’s College continues to expand its corporate partnerships to assist students with their professional development and profile. In 2013 a strong relationship was established with Bank of America Merrill Lynch (BAML). The bank dedicated staff and resources to running a bespoke Employability Workshop for twelve selected senior Women’s College students in their Sydney Head Office in May, and in August, Katherine Mackie, Country Staffing Manager and Vice President of Global Human Resources at Merrill Lynch, presented some of the key concepts of the Employability Workshop to a larger audience of fifty students as part of the College’s annual Professional Leadership Program. BAML generously hosted cocktails for Women’s College mentors and mentees at their spectacular Sydney offices

in November and plans are in place for students to attend a special LEAD networking event this year in May. LEAD (Leadership, Education, Advocacy and Development) for Women is a BAML employee network dedicated to promoting professional women’s development to help grow, attract and retain successful women throughout Bank of America globally. Richard Alcock, Managing Director of Investment Banking at BAML in Sydney says of the bank’s relationship with the College: “We are proud to partner with the Sydney Women’s College and to provide support to its students as they prepare to secure graduate roles in today’s competitive market. We look forward to a long term and enduring relationship with the College.” The College extends its thanks to BAML for its generous donations of time, expertise and resources for the benefit of our budding young professional women as part of this valuable partnership. The College has developed a number of corporate partnerships to date, some of which are mentioned in other articles in this magazine. Any organisations interested in discussing partnership opportunities are invited to contact the editor. ⊳ Mentoring drinks at BAML (L to R): Sarah McGarry (Deputy Principal, Redlands), Katherine Mackie, Richard Alcock, Amanda Bell, and Adrienne Bloom, Managing Director Corporate Banking BAML.

LEADERSHIP AND P R O F E S S I O N A L D E V E LO P M E N T Each year students at Women’s College are invited to participate in a special program for aspiring and emerging leaders, to help enhance students’ leadership and professional skills through a series of interactive workshops. The program, which attracts more than fifty students annually, runs across four Saturdays each August, and culminates in the University and College Open Day on the last Saturday in the month, when students involved in the program put their new skills into action in a practical way by assisting with the running of this important showcase event for College. Sessions in the August leadership program include BAML’s Employability Workshop, covering the range of skills needed for entering the graduate market, and a workshop on personal branding by Emily Kucukalic of Brand New You. This year’s program is expanding to cover Financial Literacy, with a specially tailored session by Westpac Women’s Markets, and professional voice coaching by Lucy Cornell of Voice Coach. Lucy’s approach includes specialised techniques for women to manage high stakes communications and claim their voice in the workplace and the boardroom. In addition, alumna Kerryn GAMBLE (1996-97) will present a workshop on DISC1 profiling, a personal assessment tool helping students to identify their preferred modes of working, and to activate their leadership and employment strengths. 1


DISC stands for dominance, influence, steadiness and conscientiousness



CAREER D E V E LO P M E N T THROUGH INTERNSHIPS A new bespoke internship program is being launched this year at Women’s College as part of the commitment to enhancing our students’ professional development. In many ways interning is a natural next step from the successes of the College’s mentoring program, which pairs students with a professional mentor in their field of career interest. In recent years a number of students have secured internships through specialised advice from their professional mentors and opportunities arising at their mentors’ parent companies. Fourth-year Commerce Liberal Studies student Dani Lotzof recently commented that the meetings with her College mentor were enormously helpful in helping her secure an internship with a large corporate. “We often met before a big internship interview and she helped me prepare responses. It was also very lucky she worked in the company and division I was applying to.” After interning over summer, Dani was offered a graduate position in that company. Similarly, Hai Wen Lee, a fourth-year Commerce Law student, noted: “I always met up with my mentor before an internship interview or assessment centre. Being able to go through and rehearse answers really helped me, especially since my mentor has experience being an interviewer.” In addition to valuable practical advice and support heading into corporate internships and graduate applications, several mentors have taken on their mentees as interns. Boutique art gallery Sullivan + Strumpf and film PR company NixCo have taken four Women’s College student mentees as interns in recent years. Three of these internships have led to full-time or part-time paid positions in those organisations. Sullivan + Strumpf have recently advertised another internship position for interested students at Women’s College, during which the successful applicant will work on the launch of the gallery’s new website, as well as with their artists and forthcoming exhibitions. Gallery Manager Hannah Sharpe says: “we have always found the Women’s College students to be absolutely wonderful and at the gallery we understand the importance of ensuring that the intern finds the experience valuable and enjoyable. We always look to cater to their areas of interest.” Another internship currently on offer is with investment bank Credit Suisse, which has funded a winter internship for a Women’s College student for the past four years. Building on these connections and past successes, the College is now looking to grow its internship opportunities for current students, and is working with several of its corporate partners and other organisations to expand its offerings more formally this year. While unpaid internships have come under media scrutiny in recent years, particularly in the US, interning is still a known track for gaining a graduate position and entering the job market. The College’s experience through the mentoring program strongly suggests that a bespoke


Hai Wen Lee and Danielle Lotzof: pursuing their internships this year internship program—that is, one brokered by the College—with strong institutional ties, an agreed framework with carefully articulated educational, experiential and professional goals, and links forged through alumnae, mentors and corporate partners can greatly enhance the potential for successful internship experiences and enhanced employment outcomes. If you are interested in discussing internship possibilities in your company or organisation, please contact the Vice Principal, Dr Tiffany Donnelly, Internships may be short or long term, paid or unpaid.




For chemistry honours student Elisabeth Tondl, summer vacation was spent quite literally recharging her batteries. Libby spent a month at the end of last year on exchange at the University of Nanjing working with a research group using catalysis – the process of speeding up chemical reactions – to maximise the efficiency of rechargeable lithium ion batteries. “Materials chemistry has enormous commercial potential and government resources are being pumped in,” notes Libby. “China is keen to get its research and development base on par with the rest of the world.” Using a solid state nuclear magnetic resonance spectrometer, only a few of which exist in Australia, Libby’s time in the lab involved experimenting with cathode materials to make batteries discharge more quickly and recharge more effectively. Libby says the exchange has fuelled her interest in further research collaboration in an international context: “The trip really capped off my undergraduate experience: I was given a lot of independence in the lab to do what I thought best, and a lot of guidance to balance that, and it pushed me to apply what I learnt in my degree. It also gave me experience using state-ofthe-art equipment I’d never seen before. It’s really set me up for my honours year.” Libby’s 2014 honours project builds on existing research aimed at developing a drug for metastatic prostate cancer. Her supervisor, Professor Trevor Hambley, Dean of Science at the University of Sydney, is at the forefront of Australian research into designer drugs. This time around, Libby will spend her time in the lab making a non-radioactive model for the eventual actual (radioactive) drug – a potential PhD project for Libby in the future.

INSIGHT DUBAI In March 2014 third-year Advanced Science student Rosemary Stewart and second-year International and Global Studies student Honey Abbott attended Insight Dubai, an annual student conference hosted by Dubai Women’s College. The conference brought together sixty students from colleges in the Women’s Education Worldwide network, and paired them with Dubai Women’s College students for five days of cultural exchange focussed on developing global awareness, intercultural understanding and leadership skills. Topics under discussion ranged from Arabic governance to human trafficking, Sharia law and child custody. Rosie and Honey say their understanding of the Arab world was greatly enhanced by the conference, but their interactions with the local Emirati students were perhaps even more enlightening: “Their religion dictates their culture, ideas and laws – even their perceptions of the West. Having the freedom to choose what we want to do with our lives is a huge privilege which doesn’t happen everywhere for women. There’s enormous wealth in the Emirates and the students we met had a lot more freedom than we had anticipated, but their freedom is localised, and as young women they don’t have the freedom to travel.” The conference also included field trips to some of Dubai’s most spectacular sites including the Shaikh Zayed Grand Mosque and Burj Khalifa, the tallest building in the world. A desert safari with a cavalcade of four-wheel drives was a particular highlight as part of the cultural awareness program. THE WOMEN’S COLLEGE MAGAZINE




Women’s College students sightseeing in the spectacular Himalayas

In late December 2013 Dean of Students Elizabeth Palmer and thirteen Women’s College students travelled to Nepal to undertake a three-week community service project with the Mitrataa Foundation in Kathmandu. Mitrataa – which means “friendship” in Nepalese – is a charity run by alumna Rebecca Ordish (STEELE: 1993-95), an intellectual property lawyer who founded the organisation in 2000 to provide educational opportunities for Nepali children in need. Women’s College students spent time volunteering at the Mitrataa Hostel, home to thirty children living away from their families largely because they have been victims of child trafficking. The children, many of whom are girls, are given tutoring and academic help and attend local schools. Mitrataa provides sponsorship for education, textbooks and boarding fees, as well as running outreach programs for rural girls which assist them through secondary and tertiary schooling. The Foundation also teaches English to women in Kathmandu.

Rebecca Ordish and students at the Mitrataa Hostel

In 2013 the students travelling to Mitrataa raised $16,000 to donate to the Foundation through a variety of philanthropic and fundraising initiatives. The College hopes this international service opportunity for our students will continue to occur annually and evolve according to Bec’s needs to ensure the best assistance and programs are provided for the Mitraata children in the future.

As part of their work at Mitrataa our students designed and delivered three workshops: a session tackling global issues, a creativity workshop, and a mock United Nations Assembly. Second-year Science/Arts student and Mitrataa organiser Zaina Ahmed remarked: “the students at the hostel had been through so much hardship but they were so giving and resilient, engaged and determined, and bright and passionate about their future and their country. Bec doesn’t put any restraints on their ambition. She’s such an inspiration to the kids and consciously promotes their ambitions and dreams. She is totally involved with every level of the organisation: as well as administering and fundraising she also gives classes and encourages the older girls to take responsibility and help with running Mitrataa. Her work is really empowering them to succeed.” Rebecca’s work in Nepal was recognised with a Women’s College Young Alumnae Award in 2011. She was also named Rotary Inspirational Woman of the Year 2013 (NSW & ACT) for her work at Mitrataa, and she continues to run her own Intellectual Property Consultancy in addition to her work at the Foundation.




R E S TO R I N G LO U I S A In late November 2013 the oil on canvas portrait of Louisa Macdonald, first Principal of Women’s College, was removed from its usual place above the dais in the College Dining Hall, and taken to art conservator David Stein’s studio in Darlinghurst for restoration and conservation. Louisa’s likeness was painted by portraitist James Peter Quinn and presented to College “by the past & present students and friends of Louisa Macdonald.”1 Quinn (1869-1951) was a renowned Australian artist who had trained under Frederick McCubbin in Melbourne and at the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris. By 1904 he was a regular exhibitor at the London Royal Academy of Arts. Documents in the College archives reveal that the portrait was commissioned by the College in 1919, the year Louisa retired from her twenty-seven year term as Principal and returned to London. In November that year Quinn wrote to the College agreeing on a sum of £220 to paint Louisa’s portrait, stating that “the price of frame, freight, insurance etc., will sum into a good deal”, and suggesting that Miss Macdonald might like to call at his studio and see his work.2 Louisa sat for the portrait sometime in the early 1920s; late in 1923 College Council minutes record that “Miss Macdonald[’s] portrait unframed had been delivered at the College, a charge of £7.15.4 being due to the Agents.”3 The painting was insured for £300. The portrait depicts Louisa at about age sixty five seated in an upholstered Victorian armchair dressed in academic gown, her glasses fixed on a long ribbon around her neck and her hands gently crossed in her lap. Her face wears a mild, halfsmiling expression and her brow bears the furrows of deep thought and lends her a gravitas befitting the retired pioneer of women’s higher education. Apart from Louisa’s white blouse and little gold neck brooch the painting has a dark, muted palette, popular with the Royal Academician style of portraiture of the period. In order to achieve this muted effect in the painting Quinn used bitumen on the canvas; its translucent quality was commonly employed as a rapid and inexpensive way of working up a glaze. Louisa’s framed portrait was hung above High Table in the College Dining Hall in 1924,4 and over its ninety-year lifespan it sustained some damage and suffered the ravages of age. Quinn’s use of bitumen as a medium meant that the painting had developed shrinkage and drying cracks over time. There was a small tear in the canvas near Louisa’s left hand and several Mylar patches on the back of the canvas showed evidence of an earlier attempt at restoration. In addition, the portrait sustained smoke damage and narrowly avoided destruction during a fire in the Dining Hall in 1989.5 Over the 2013-2014 summer break Louisa underwent cosmetic and structural work by the conservator. The surface of the canvas was cleaned of old varnish, dirt and grime, and by a slow and painstaking process carefully stripped back to its original paint layer. The painting was then adhered to a

new inert polyester canvas with a reversible adhesive. This special lining ensures the portrait is stable structurally and helps contain its age and stress cracks. The lined canvas was then re-stretched, its cracks retouched, and the painting varnished. Louisa’s beautiful frame has also been given special attention. Itself a work of art in gilded plaster with acanthus leaf decoration, the frame has been sensitively refreshed by specialist framer Charles Hewitt. Its original water and oil gilding has been cleaned, lost plaster ornamentation replaced and lost gilding patched and burnished to match the original patina of the rest of the frame. In restoring the frame Charles noted an interesting anachronism: Louisa’s frame appeared to date to a much earlier period than the painting. Recycling frames was a common practice in the 1920s and the refined, delicate casting of the decoration suggests a frame of the 1860s or 1870s. Archival sources confirm that both an old and a newly made frame were considered by Council – the matter being left in the hands of Miss Fairfax, who consulted Professor Wilkinson, the eminent Professor of Architecture at the University, in the decision.6 To preserve Louisa’s portrait from further damage it now hangs just outside the entrance to the Dining Hall, named in her honour the Louisa Macdonald Commemoration Hall in 1924.7 A new board commemorating the Principals of Women’s College (generously donated by the College Alumnae Committee) now occupies the space she has vacated above the dais, but Louisa will continue to preside over her Dining Hall, keeping a watchful and benevolent eye over the community of scholars as they enter in their academic gowns for Formal Dinner on Monday evenings. The College is deeply grateful for the generosity of the following donors who assisted in the restoration of this important piece of College heritage. The College would not have been able to restore the painting without direct assistance from our community. Thank you. DONORS: Mrs Jeanette Beaumont Mrs Jane Dawson Dr Paul Donnelly Justice Henric Nicholas QC Mrs Angela Nordlinger Ms Lynn Rainbow Reid The Women’s College Alumnae Committee


Plaque fixed on Quinn’s painting of Louisa Macdonald. Letter to College from James Quinn, 4 Nov 1919. Women’s College Archives. Women’s College Council Minutes, Vol 1, 14 November 1923, p.424. 4 1924 Women’s College Calendar 5 Quotation for restoration of smoke damage to the Macdonald portrait. College archives. Insurance papers for 1989 fire, Box 164, File 10. 6 Women’s College Council Minutes, Vol 1, 14 November 1923, p.424-5, p428. 7 The Foundation Stone for the new Louisa Macdonald Commemorative Hall was laid 11 April 1924 and the Hall was inaugurated 8 September 1924 on the occasion of the annual Old Students Dinner. 1924 Women’s College Calendar. 2 3




Conservator David Stein and Principal Amanda Bell discussing the conservation of the painting

COUNTING TIME College life has a melodious new ring to it. Late in 2013 the grand clock which has stood silent for several decades in the College Dining Hall returned from a restorative break at antiquarian clock repairers, Parker Time. The clock’s pretty pierced brass hands were cleaned, its movement serviced and the mechanism dismantled and reassembled. While it has no maker’s mark, restorer Carl Parker notes that the clock is a White Painted Dial English Long Case Clock – typical of English provincial clocks of the period 1875-1900. A small plaque on the casing of the clock notes that it was donated to College in 1964 by Vera IrwinSmith, a science student who was at Women’s College 1913-14. Vera graduated in 1916 with Honours in Botany and Zoology; she was the first woman to be made Macleay Fellow


of the Linnean Society of NSW and in 1920 was appointed representative of the University Senate on the board of directors of Manning House (College Magazine Nov 1920 p8). She spent much of her career undertaking biological research in Australia and Cambridge, England (Canberra Times 7 Aug 1964). Vera’s donation is a wonderful tribute to her time at College exactly one century ago and her philanthropic gesture – with a bit of regular winding – will continue to mark mealtimes in the College Dining Hall for generations to come. With special thanks to budding horologist and St Paul’s College mathematics student, Henry McMahon, who brought his belief that the clock could be encouraged to chime again to the notice of the Principal.



FORMAL DINNER SERIES INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY: ANNA BLIGH Former Queensland Premier The Hon Anna Bligh was the special guest speaker at Formal Dinner for International Women’s Day on 10 March. Ms Bligh delighted students with her approachability and her informal style. Her speech covered her education and early career path, touched on political life and motherhood, and discussed her recent appointment as CEO of the World Young Women’s Christian Association (YWCA) New South Wales. She pointed out the similarities and synergies between the YWCA and The Women’s College – both institutions created in the nineteenth century to improve the lives of women in Australia. Ms Bligh acknowledged the philanthropic foundations of the College, and encouraged students to consider volunteering in the YWCA’s many programs – a suggestion our charity convenors have eagerly taken up.

WINTER OLYMPIAN: LAVINIA CHRYSTAL Wearing her green and yellow Olympic blazer in place of her academic gown, former Women’s College student (2008-11) and Olympic skier Lavinia Chrystal addressed students at Formal Dinner on 31 March. Lavinia recently returned from the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, where she competed in the Slalom and Giant Slalom events, placing in the top thirty in both competitions. Along with her personal insights into Olympic competition, the Athletes’ Village and the breathtaking experience of representing her country on the Olympic slopes, Lavinia spoke fondly of her time at Women’s College, her friendships and her final year as a Resident Assistant. Lavinia holds a Bachelor of Political, Economic and Social Science from the University of Sydney and is currently undertaking a Masters in International Management at the Sydney Business School. She is pictured with Danielle Lotzof at Formal Dinner.

SEMESTER ONE FORMAL DINNER SPEAKERS INCLUDE: Clare Burgess, Former Senior Student, Lawyer Antonina Gentile, Visiting Fellow Università degli Studi di Milano Katrina Glover, Credit Suisse Investment Banking Rebecca Holdt, Senior Student Women’s College 2014


Belinda Hutchinson AM, Chancellor University of Sydney Sanford Schram, Visiting Fellow US Studies Centre Toner Stevenson, Manager Sydney Observatory



VIOLIN HONOURS Violinist Anne-Marie JOHNSON (2009-12) has been named the 2014 recipient of the prestigious Dorcas McClean Travelling Scholarship. One of Australia’s most significant development prizes for Australian violinists aged 25 years and younger, Anne-Marie will receive a $40,000 bursary to be used for overseas study. Anne-Marie was awarded the scholarship after the final round of judging at a gala concert at the Melbourne Recital Hall in April, where she performed Elgar’s Violin Concerto in B minor, Op.61. Anne-Marie completed her Bachelor of Music Performance studies at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music in 2012. She was the recipient of The Women’s College Music Scholarship in 2009-2011 and a Women’s College Scholarship in 2012, as well as receiving prizes for her outstanding academic performance in each year of her degree. This year Anne-Marie will continue her studies at the Australian National Academy of Music in Melbourne, honing her technique in a performancebased music program before tackling the audition circuit. Over the past year she has been touring regional Victoria, Queensland and Western Australia with the Australian Chamber Orchestra as part of their emerging artists training program. Despite her busy schedule Anne-Marie says she is still missing her time at Women’s College: “the staff and students were always so supportive of the amount of practice I wanted to get done. I also found it really helpful being around non-music students. It helped keep my perspective.” While winning the scholarship was a huge thrill, Anne-Marie says the highlight was playing her concerto with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra at the final. “My parents are both in the orchestra and I was onstage with sixty almost family members. There was so much encouragement backstage and it was such a special experience to be playing with them.” Anne-Marie plans to use the Dorcas McClean Scholarship to embark on a Masters program abroad.

DECADE OF LEADERSHIP The UBS Young Women’s Leadership Academy (YWLA) has just notched up the tenth year of its benchmark leadership program for Year Eleven students. Supported by UBS and hosted annually by Women’s College, the program brings together fifty emerging leaders from government schools in NSW, the ACT and Victoria for a week of discussion and leadership training, including sessions on goal setting and motivation, impact and attitude, and a day at UBS Sydney Head Office with visits to the trading floor and an opportunity to meet staff informally during refreshments. Women’s College Principal Dr Amanda Bell said she was greatly impressed by the young women selected for this year’s Academy: “They have all the hallmarks of becoming tremendous contributors and leaders. They are engaged, optimistic and keen to learn from both the guest presenters and our own exceptional College student mentors.” In addition to having a Women’s College student mentor for the week, students were assisted by teacher coordinator, Women’s College Dean of Students Elizabeth Palmer and student coordinator, second-year


Capturing the spirit of Women’s: UBS YWLA students on graduation night International and Global Studies student Julia Keyworth. YWLA participants spoke with student leaders at College, lent their support to a Rosebowl netball game, and attended sessions with the Principal, Vice Principal and Director of Marketing. Participant Jess Skinner from Rose Bay Secondary College remarked at the conclusion of the week: “Women’s is a gorgeous place and I feel privileged to have spent the week there. It was an honour to have such successful women speaking to us and encouraging us to achieve great things.” Matthew Grounds, UBS Chief Executive Officer Australasia, endorsed the longstanding success of the program, saying: “Already in its 10th year, our Young Women’s Leadership Academy, has given more than 500 prospective leaders the opportunity to dream beyond their experience and aspire to reach the top. While there is still clearly much work to do to address the gender imbalance currently experienced in the corporate boardroom, we hope these Academies go a little way to encourage a change.”



A LU M N A E CO M M IT TEE R EP O RT One of the greatest pleasures of my role as President of the Alumnae is being updated on the current goings-on at College – the Rosebowl and Palladian triumphs, the illustrious academic success of current students, and the many and varied paths that they are forging for themselves. Our students continue to distinguish themselves amongst their university peers in all fields in which they involve themselves. This is hardly surprising when I think of those who have come before them. One of Women’s greatest strengths is the women who have called the College home over the past one hundred and twenty-two years. Women’s women have not only gone on to hold positions of public power and influence in political and other fields after their university careers, but to achieve quietly in science and technology, the arts, sports and

nearly every professional field imaginable. It is in this context that we prepare to hold the 5th Alumnae Awards this year, an event held every second year in the College calendar. Nominees in three categories – an open award, a young alumna award for those former students under forty, and a community award – will be recognised for their unique and valuable contributions to their various fields. For the first time this year the awards will be judged by two of the College’s Honorary Fellows, Stephen Harrison AO and Janet McCredie AM. They face a difficult task, given the calibre of our nominees. The Awards will be presented by former winner Professor Margaret Burgess AO at a dinner to be held at College on 26 May. I am particularly pleased that current students will be in attendance at the awards, and hope that the awards serve them as a reminder of the myriad of possibilities that lie ahead for them beyond Women’s. I look forward to updating the College community with news of our winners. Tori Edwards, President

A LU M N A E AWA R DS 20 14 Alumnae will be honoured at the biennial Alumnae Awards Dinner on 26 May 2014. The Alumnae Awards aim to reflect women’s leadership, vision, creativity, innovation and initiative, recognising the achievements and service of alumnae in their professions, community, arts, sport or family life. Awards will be given in the following categories: The Women’s College Alumna Award, the Young Alumna Award (aged under 40 years), and the Alumna Community Achievement Award.

Photo: SMH

2014 NOMINEES: Sally Crossing (FLETCHER: 1963-65): After a career in banking, consulting and senior government roles in Australia and abroad, Sally has worked in cancer consumer advocacy. She founded the Breast Cancer Action Group and Cancer Voices NSW, and her activism on behalf of cancer sufferers has been instrumental in improving cancer diagnosis, treatment and research in NSW and beyond.

Victoria GORMAN (2000-01): In addition to her work as a Program Manager at Apple, Victoria is a marathon swimmer and fundraiser, using the physical challenges of long-distance ocean swims to raise money for Multiple Sclerosis. She has swum many challenging straits in Australia and internationally, and in 2012 was the twenty-second Australian female to swim the English Channel.

Elizabeth DENNIS (1961-64): Elizabeth is an internationally recognised life scientist and one of the distinguished scientists at the CSIRO, where she has worked since the 1970s. She is leader of the Plant Molecular Biology Laboratory, where her group remains at the forefront of research into molecular biology and genomics, in issues crucial to international food sustainability.

Leanne ROBINSON (1999-2001): Leanne is Head of the Vector Borne Diseases Unit at the Papua New Guinea Institute of Medical Research. Her research has focussed on the acquisition of clinical immunity to malaria in infants, children and pregnant women, and she coordinates research initiatives to develop evidencebased control programs for vector-borne diseases in PNG.

Ursula Dubosarsky (COLEMAN: 1980-81): Ursula is a writer of books for children and young adults. She has published more than forty novels and illustrated books, winning the NSW Premier’s Literary Award five times for her achievements, as well as numerous other literary awards. Her work to promote the accessibility of language and literacy for children has been a constant in her career.

Christine Weston (FREEBAIRN: 1987-89): Utilising her marketing background, Christine’s work in rural regeneration has reinvigorated the fragile rural town of Cumnock and her Rentafarmhouse project and animalsonbikes tourist sculpture trail are seen as models for struggling rural communities, helping them to repopulate and build sustainable business opportunities.














1. Singapore High Tea (standing left to right): Bernice CHIA, Fenhui CHEN, Amy Ridgway (CHAFFEY). Seated: Tiffany JUNEE, Georgia CARTER, Joy ALBERT / 2. 1961 Freshers at their annual reunion weekend in Merimbula in February 2014. Standing (left to right): Felicity Siro (ROBINSON), Barbara Day (SIPPE), Carolyn Moore (MILLER), Anne Mackay (KNOWLES), Sandra McCuaig (GOWRIE-SMITH) Angela Nordlinger (COOKSON). Sitting: Alex BUNE, Elizabeth Mamchak (WHEELER), Ros Gordon (NEILD). / 3. Alumnae High Tea 3 May / 4. Roslyn Jehne (BROADBENT), Jessica Hunter (Alumnae Scholarship holder), Victoria EDWARDS / 5. Elizabeth Spillane (grandmother of current student Malia Emberson-Lafoa’i) and Sheila Henderson (ANSCHAU) / 6. Clea GRACE, Nhi-y PHAM, Libby BROUGHTON, Elizabeth CAMPBELL, Lauren DAWSON / 7. College musicians Annabelle Carter and Rachael Kwa / 8. High Tea in Main Common Room / 9. Jacqueline HICKS, Carolyn GAVEL, Stephanie Edwards (PRATLEY), Laura Hamilton (FRAGIACOMO) THE WOMEN’S COLLEGE MAGAZINE



VA L E Claudia (Jane) WALTON LLB, BTh, MIntBus&L, FAICD (BAILEY: 1975-78) Jane was employed as a solicitor with Windeyer Dive & Co before working for the Law Society and in private practice. The values instilled by her country upbringing, her compassion, communication skills and interest in ethics in the law, led to her involvement with St James Church in King Street, Sydney. She became a founding member of the St James’ Ethics Centre, completed degrees in Theology and International Business and Law and became a fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors (AICD). Jane married solicitor (now SC) Matthew Walton and had two children, James and Edwina.

10 September 2013 Jane was born in Narrandera in 1956, the third of five children. She was a talkative, outspoken child and at school excelled in debating, public speaking, piano, singing and drawing. The quality of her voice and vivacious personality saw her land the starring role as Anna in The King and I in her fourth year at Narrandera High School. Jane was Dux in her final year; she came to Women’s College in 1975 to study law. Jane was serious about her studies whilst enjoying an exuberant social life at College. She was shop co-ordinator in her third year and was elected to House Committee in her fourth year. Jane loved College life and gained lasting friendships, achieved well academically and enjoyed wonderful experiences with people from many backgrounds. In recent years she participated in the College’s professional mentoring program.

Jane established her own corporate governance consulting business and was a frequent lecturer at the AICD, the College of Law, the Australian Graduate School of Management Executive Program, Chartered Secretaries Australia and for the University of Melbourne’s Juris Doctor course, as well as advising government and corporate organisations on corporate governance, ethical and culture issues. She was a fierce and tireless advocate for the encouragement of ethical behaviour, the improvement of corporate governance culture in Australia and the advancement of the position of women in that male dominated sector. She often challenged the status quo and encouraged groups and individuals to consider different perspectives. Jane’s energy and ideas were boundless. Deborah Brand (BAILEY: 1976-79)

Margaret Enid CHRISTIAN BVSc FRCVS OAM (1938-43) 14 July 2012 “Peg,” as Margaret was universally known, was born in Sydney and grew up at Walgrove, a pastoral property on the Yass River. She had an affinity with animals from a young age and was reputed to have ridden a horse before she could walk. Peg was a boarder at Abottsleigh and gained entry to Sydney University and Women’s College, graduating from Veterinary Science in 1943, the twelfth woman to do so. Her dream was to return to work at Walgrove beside her father but it was unrealised because of his early death and her mother’s refusal to believe a young woman could run a property. Her professional life was one of small animal practice. With her veterinary husband, Alan Banks, and a young family she went to Alice Springs and opened the first small animal practice in the Northern Territory. This pioneering step was THE WOMEN’S COLLEGE MAGAZINE

subsequently recognised by Peg’s induction into the National Pioneer Women’s Hall of Fame. In 1951 Peg moved to Adelaide and practised for many years from Lower Mitcham. Identifying a lack of veterinary knowledge about Australian marsupials, Peg contributed to the development of specific milks for rearing the young and early experiments to manage their diseases. Her success in rearing and caring for these animals led to her own sitting room becoming overcrowded with joeys, baby wombats, possums and many other species. She set out to attract a network of carers to take on her babies. This work together with her contributions to the Girl Guide movement and service to the community was recognised with the award of a Medal of the Order of Australia. Peg provided veterinary services to Cleveland Wildlife Park, the RSPCA Dogs’ Home, the Adelaide Zoo and the Girl Guide Association’s animal sanctuary at Douglas Scrub. Peg was given Honorary Life Membership of the RSPCA in 1985 and was awarded the Belle Bruce Reid Medal for Outstanding Women Veterinary Science Graduates in 2006. Peg was proud of the part she played in conserving Australia’s fauna and flora. Anna Ross (Peg’s daughter)



Marjorie JACOBS AO BA MA (1933-35) 12 July 2013 Marjorie Jacobs was born at home in Gordon in 1915, the eldest of four children. She was educated at Ravenswood School for Girls and SCEGGS. Marjorie entered Women’s College in 1933, graduating with a BA in 1936 with first class honours and the university medal in history one of the many prizes and scholarships that she won as a student. In 1941 she was awarded an MA for a thesis on German colonialism in the Pacific, and again won the university medal. Marjorie joined the University’s History Department as an assistant lecturer in 1938, beginning a forty-year connection which was broken only by her wartime secondment to the US Army. She worked within G2 Intelligence in Sydney and Brisbane, documenting the setting up of the USA Services of Supply, and writing a history of the US Army in the Far East. In

1945, Marjorie rejoined the Department of History as a tenured lecturer and in 1969 was appointed the University’s first female professor of history. Marjorie taught a broad range of subjects and pioneered a historical method course which became an integral part of the department’s curriculum for honours students. However, Marjorie’s most significant and lasting intellectual contribution was in the field of Asian History. She was one of the first historians to recognise the importance of geopolitical changes in the Asia-Pacific region after the Second World War. In 1988 she was made an Officer of the Order of Australia ‘for services to education, particularly in the field of Indian history’. On her retirement in 1980 Marjorie was made Emeritus Professor of History, but her life as an historian continued. From 1984 to 1997 she was active in the Royal Australian Historical Society as a councillor and honorary archivist. She was made a Fellow in 1990. Marjorie was a dedicated teacher and a mentor to many, particularly women, students. Those of us lucky enough to be her students will forever remember her for exacting standards, warm heart and subtly subversive sense of humour. She inspired us all. Merilyn BRYCE (1964-65)

Marjorie ROUSE BSc DipEd (1933-35) 25 August 2013 Marjorie Rouse was born in 1914 in Waratah, now a suburb of Newcastle, the eldest of three daughters. She graduated from Newcastle Girls High School in 1932 as captain and dux. She took first place in history in the Leaving Certificate, and fourth place in the state overall. She received a scholarship to study a Diploma of Education and Bachelor of Science at the University of Sydney, and live at Women’s College. At university Marjorie was the only woman in her year completing a science degree. After graduating she worked as a science teacher at Wollongong High School. In 1939 she became a student dietician at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital. Between 1942 and 1943, Marjorie was a dietician in the Industrial Welfare Division of the Commonwealth Department of Labour National Service. She was awarded the British Council Scholarship for Nutrition, which paid for her to go to England to research nutrition from 1944 to 1946. In 1947 Marjorie wrote to the federal government in a bid to improve the nutrition of Australians. She felt that Australian society, and particularly women, should be educated through the Department of Health and the Department of Education.


That year, she was appointed state nutrition officer for the Department of Health in Hobart. In 1949, she became head of home science at the Department of Technical Education (now TAFE) in Sydney, where she remained for 21 years. She developed the Science Diploma in Food Nutrition. In 1958, after declining a professorship in home science at the University of Otago, New Zealand, Marjorie was awarded the Carnegie Scholarship and travelled in Canada and the US researching the higher education of women. Marjorie was a pioneer in the field of diet and nutrition, and she was never one to hide her views on matters pertaining to her field. In 1962 she was invited to speak at the Country Women’s Association conference. The association was hoping to establish a degree in home science for women at the University of NSW but Marjorie felt it was most likely the association came to regret her appearance, as she strongly opposed the degree, believing that it would further restrict the career prospects of women by minimising their roles to the household. Source: Sydney Morning Herald



BOOK REVIEWS My Dearest Ellen: Letters from ‘Mrs Rolf Boldrewood’ to Ellen Foreman 1851 – 1905 by Pacita Alexander (MOORE: 1952-55), Oaks Historical Society, 2013.

My Dearest Ellen, a small book written by Pacita Alexander, was launched at The Women’s College by Colleen Morris in February 2014. It is based on a series of letters from Mrs (Margaret) Rolf Boldrewood to Ellen Foreman, Pacita’s great great aunt, found in an old tin box at Ellensville, the Moore family home. Extracts from the diaries of Ellen Foreman (Moore) and Margaret Browne (Riley), whose husband Thomas used the pseudonym Rolf Boldrewood in writing Robbery Under Arms, were also used. Together they depict the social life and customs of the time and give us glimpses into the lives of two pioneer women in the nineteenth century. Social visits between Denham Court and Raby brought about the long lasting friendship of the two women, even though Ellen was twenty years older than Margaret. In the letters, comments are made about the gardens of the large houses visited, such as Camden Park and Bishopscourt at Darling Point, with lists of plant species and comments about social visits to neighbouring properties. Margaret and her husband moved house a number of times, first around New South Wales, then in Melbourne, Victoria. Each time Margaret set up or re-organised and landscaped the gardens. In 1893, Margaret published The Flower Garden in Australia, the first gardening book by a woman to be published in Australia. She used her husband’s pseudonym, calling herself ‘Mrs Rolf Boldrewood’. A great deal of research has gone into finding photos or paintings (e.g. by Conrad Martens) of the original nineteenthcentury houses, with contemporary depictions and extracts from diaries and account books of related family members held in the Mitchell Library. Pacita has given us a fascinating insight into women’s lives in the nineteenth century. Janet Flint (PHIPPARD: 1953-55) and Robin Marsden (BROWN: 1953-56). Janet and Robin are friends and College contemporaries of the author. Janet is also Honorary Librarian at The Women’s College. THE WOMEN’S COLLEGE MAGAZINE

Empire of scholars: universities, networks and the British academic world 1850-1939 by Tamson Pietsch*, Manchester University Press, 2013. Empire of scholars is published by Manchester University Press in its ‘Studies in Imperialism’ series, founded upon the conviction that ‘imperialism as a cultural phenomenon had as significant an effect on the dominant as on the subordinate societies’. Based on extensive research in Australia, New Zealand, Canada, South Africa and Britain, and concentrating on its oldest secular Englishspeaking institutions, Tamson Pietsch examines the intellectual geography of the British empire, not as places coloured red on the map, but as personal relationships and networks that bound together, encouraged and advanced the lives and institutions of the scholars on whom the sun never set. Substituting the term ‘settler’ for ‘colonial’ when referring to universities and scholars, the suggestion is dispelled that for Australia, New Zealand and Canada at least, there was any question of cultural imposition or subordination. Instead these were peoples who saw themselves as independent members of a wider British community and who, by virtue of their shared language, forms of knowledge and institutions, could live comfortably with both. Within twenty to thirty years of their foundation, the settler universities were undergoing extensive change, open to more students (including women) and expanding their curricula to embrace the professions. At a time of rapid development in scientific knowledge and with improved communications and transport, it was in the 1880s that settler scholars began to form patterns of personal interconnectedness that would last for more than fifty years, until they were made redundant by new forms of university administration, financing and shifts in world power. While well-resourced research libraries, travelling scholarships and study leave helped to combat the effect of distance for settler scholars, it was personal networks and trust that played a critical role in finding the right professors who would be the key players in their departments and universities. Looking to Britain to help find such talent, selectors were assisted by academics who had themselves moved continents in the course of their careers, and who provided a rich pool of knowledge of colonial conditions and of potential candidates, more reliable than any testimonials. In a system of exchange and reciprocity worthy of anthropological analysis, it was friendships and personal knowledge that articulated the British academic world.



In World War I the bonds held fast, as settler scientists made a massive contribution to the war effort and, after the war, reasserted the values and friendships of an earlier era. But by the 1920s-1930s American philanthropy began to exert pressure for change, while the influx of refugee scholars from Europe altered the landscape of influence that had once been dominated by the connectedness of empire. This book provides a new perspective from which to view the history of university intellectual life while, at a local level, providing fascinating details of the global influence of many of the University of Sydney’s founding fathers. And although women inevitably feature little in this time period, the insights provided by Empire of scholars are rich food for thought in looking at those institutions, such as the Women’s College, that did employ academic women and examining the networks that they employed to find the right woman for the job. Rosemary Annable Rosemary is an historian and former honorary archivist at The Women’s College. Her numerous publications include three volumes of the Women’s College Biographical Register, covering the period 1892 to 1968. *Tamson Pietsch is Senior Teaching Fellow at The Women’s College.

Sibyl Volume 2* The second volume of Sibyl re-affirms the breadth of academic life within that much-loved institution of learning, The Women’s College. The diversity of subjects represented in the journal goes some way towards indicating the variety of disciplinary pursuits occupying the College’s undergraduates this year, and as such is probably no bad representation of Australian intellectual life today. Reprinted for the first time with this volume is the playscript of A Mask, written and produced in honour of the College’s twenty-first birthday in the early part of the twentieth century. On first glance, it is the strangeness of the play that strikes us: it seems to suggest an unknowable past of Edwardian ladies whose lives and concerns have nothing in common with ours, lives we cannot begin to imagine. The masque itself is a Renaissance genre, very fashionable in the neo-Elizabethan vogue before World War I, and pageants were internationally popular. References in the script to Helen of Troy (and thus Marlowe’s Faustus) and Lucretia (the heroine of Shakespeare’s The Rape of Lucrece), and the tongue-in-cheek use of words like ‘malison’ (archaic, ‘a curse’) also reflect this. Louisa Macdonald, along with other leading Sydney intellectuals, was a member of the influential Shakespeare Society of NSW, and THE WOMEN’S COLLEGE MAGAZINE

it is typical of Macdonald that she would commission such a piece. The fact that notorious bohemian poets Brennan and Brereton obliged, however, demonstrates how avant garde and controversial women’s higher education, and the Women’s College in particular, continued to be. A Mask presents various views of women: the mythological, the historical and the fictional; those still well-known and those forgotten; those celebrated by history and those condemned by it; those the College’s students might be exhorted to emulate, and those whose examples serve only as warnings. In its movement from the Sibyl, Helen and Penelope of Ancient Greek myth to the present time of the play and the achievements of Marie Curie, the play offers a narrative of women’s progress from battle-prize to scientist which suited the rhetoric of first wave feminists like Macdonald. The articles in this volume, however, complicate this version of history. Two of the articles, by Eleanor Barz and Emma Campbell, reflect on political movements now identified as feminist which arose out of the European Enlightenment of the eighteenth century: the matriarchal, utopian vision of the upper class Sarah Scott in Millenium Hall, and the radical women of the French revolution like the so-called Tricoteuses, the working-class women who helped bring on the first French Republic. Scott’s novel was neglected and forgotten until two centuries after its first publication. Olympe de Gouges, author of the Declaration of the Rights of Woman and [female] Citizen, was ultimately guillotined as a counter-revolutionary. These essays suggest that gains made by and for women are never final, but that every generation must re-fight these battles. Nicole Burger’s article on Women’s History also cautions us not to assume that women in the past were necessarily oppressed because of their gender, and re-emphasises the truth that gender itself, as a social construct, is always historically contingent. The complexity and ambiguity with which these articles engage is also reflected in essays by Lindsay Scott, Elisabeth Tondl, Katherine Miller and Zaina Rayan Ahmed. In writing about subjects as various as art history, police training methods, American foreign aid and Australian immigration, these authors stress the unhelpfulness of reductive assumptions or easy answers, and argue for deeper investigations, more intensive thought, and the responsibility to consider multiple perspectives in a wide range of fields. This is not relativism, but—it is hoped—the beginnings of true wisdom. If I may venture to make a sibylline prophecy, it augurs well for the future of the Women’s College, and of our global community. Olivia Murphy Dr Olivia MURPHY (2001-04) is a former Teaching Fellow at The Women’s College. She is now Lecturer in English at Murdoch University. *Sibyl is the College’s academic journal. Copies available on request.





The College community extends congratulations to Kate McCLYMONT (1977-78) for her election as a Fellow of the University of Sydney Senate. Kate’s four year term on Senate began on 1 December 2013. Kate graduated from the University of Sydney in 1981 with a BA (Hons) in English Literature. She has had a distinguished and award winning career as an investigative journalist and is well known for her work at the Sydney Morning Herald. Kate joins a number of Women’s College alumnae who have been on Senate, most recently including Robin FITZSIMONS MB BS BSc (Med) Phd (Syd) FRACP (1968-72) and Jane SPRING BEc LLB MPA (198587), who both just completed their terms. Senate positions are voluntary and on behalf of the College community, we extend our thanks to Robin, Jane and Kate for their dedicated service to the University.

Our sincere thanks to all who supported the College in the second half of 2013. This list acknowledges the generous and diverse range of philanthropic support received from our donors. No matter how small or large, each gift and gesture makes a difference to our students—current and future.

IT IS AN HONOUR Order of Australia Honours were granted on Australia Day to Women’s College alumna Professor Christine BENNETT (1975) and former Council Building and Development Committee Chair, Louise Cox.

1 July – 31 December, 2013

Alliance Catering

Tiffanny Junee


Jane Keir

Katherine Archer

Alisha King

Mulan Ashwin

Lilian Kirk

Marian Baird

Amelia Lai

Bank of America Merrill Lynch

Alan Landis

Ruth Barry

Isobel Lang

Mary Barton

Anna Lorigan

Jeanette Beaumont

Patricia Luhrs

Camille Blackburn

Anne MacLeod Karinch

Loren Bridge

Robert Maker

Juliet Burridge

Janet McCredie

Julian Campbell

Jenna Mewburn

Rosemary Campbell

Wendy Miller

Janice Chapman

Stephanie Moffitt

Cynthia Coleman

Kate Murray

Dawn Cook

Margaret Murray

Lesley Cunningham

Henric Nicholas

Dean of the School of Medicine at the University of Notre Dame in Sydney, Professor Bennett was made an Officer in the Order of Australia (AO) for “distinguished service to medicine and healthcare leadership, as a clinician, researcher and educator, particularly in the fields of child and family health and social policy.” Ms Cox, an eminent architect and former President of the International Union of Architects, was awarded her AO for “distinguished service to architecture as a practitioner through executive roles with international professional organisations, and to architectural education and heritage conservation.”

Jennifer Davidson

Peter Nolan

Jane Dawson

Rosemary Page

Pauline Deakins

Elizabeth Palmer

Virginia Dowd

Richard Persson

Stella Downer

Tamson Pietsch

Gwenneth Downes

Serena Porges

Andreas Economides

Lynn Rainbow Reid

Victoria Edwards

Ken Sandy

Elizabeth Elliot

Peter Scudds

Sarah RAMWELL (2004-06) has been named Qantas Australian Woman of the Year UK for 2014. A Corporate Social Responsibility lawyer for Reed Smith LLP in London, Sarah’s award recognises her pro bono work focusing on diversity in corporate life, and her dedication to women’s rights across the globe. Sarah has been involved in projects as diverse as earthquake relief in Haiti and establishing a women’s shelter in East London. In addition, Sarah is studying part-time for a Master’s degree in Sustainability Leadership at the University of Cambridge.

Julie Evans

Margaret Seale

Olma Gan

Wai Kee Sin

Carolyn Gavel

Jane Sparke

Samantha Gavel

John Stanbury

Julia Gilmour

Sarah Stewart

Joan Gowdie

Ruth Thompson

Fred Grimwade

Nicole Tooby

Valerie Grogan

Leo Tutt

Murray Guest


Victoria Harper

Antonia Waddy

Christine Hayhoe

Mary Walker

Lindy Henderson

Lucinda Warren

Rebecca Holdt

Margaret Young

College extends its warmest congratulations to Christine, Louise and Sarah. THE WOMEN’S COLLEGE MAGAZINE

Sarah Hudspeth-Stevenson VOLUME 30 / NUMBER 1













1. Pick the winners: Palladian Solo Vocal 2014 / 2. BAML Mentors’ drinks: Emma Campbell, Amanda Green, Felicity Kiln / 3. Chancellor’s Dinner: Amanda Bell, Chancellor Belinda Hutchinson, Prof Marian Baird / 4. Mentors’ Drinks: Sally Walkom and Jaimie Lovell / 5. Rowing Team / 6. Info Day: Kate Jordan / 7. Mentors’ Drinks: Julia Gilmour and Jane Neale / 8. Formal Dinner: Toner Stevenson, Hilary Knowles, Amelia Eames, Hannah Jaques, Lucy Thawley / 9. Mentors’ Drinks: Gee Castle, Anna Lorigan, Jacqui Hellstern, Katherine Mackie / 10. O-Week Leaders: Amy Yelland, Amelia Sweeney, Penny Sheehan, Rebecca Holdt, Anna Lorrigan, Martha James / 11. Swimming Tweet / 12. O-Week RAs: Alisha King, Claire Paterson, Dani Cook THE WOMEN’S COLLEGE MAGAZINE



POSTAL: The University of Sydney NSW 2006 LOCATION: 15 Carillon Ave Newtown NSW 2042 PHONE: +61 2 9517 5000 EMAIL: TWITTER: @WomensColl

EDITOR: Dr Tiffany Donnelly PUBLISHER: Tiffanny Junee PHOTOGRAPHY: Sugarlove Pictures, staff, students and alumnae of the College PRINTING & DESIGN: One Creative COVER: The Hon Anna Bligh with Indigenous students at Women’s College: Emily Johnson, Chloe Wighton, Nioka Tyson, Rhys Munns, Jade Davis

The Women's College Magazine Autumn 2014  
The Women's College Magazine Autumn 2014  

For Alumnae and friends of the Women's College