Diversifying Portraiture 2017
The 2017 International Women’s Day event celebrated the following women:
First woman Secretary of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade First woman Australian Ambassador to the People’s Republic of China.
Frances Adamson graduated with a Bachelor of Economics in 1985, and was the first female captain of the Adelaide University Boat Club in 1984.
Her distinguished career has seen her as
- Representative to the Australian Commerce and Industry Office in Taipei (2001 – 2005),
- Deputy High Commissioner to the United Kingdom (2005 – 2008),
- Ambassador to the People’s Republic of China (2011 – 2015) and
- from 2016 Secretary of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.
Ms Adamson has served as Chief of Staff to the Honourable Stephen Smith, Minister for Foreign Affairs and Defence (2009 – 2010) and as International Adviser to the Australian Prime Minister the Honourable Malcolm Turnbull MP from November 2015.
1914 - 2006
Librarian, Barr Smith Library Benefactor to the University of Adelaide and cultural institutions.
Swedish born, Miss Andersen majored in history, politics and French, graduating BA in 1934. She worked at the Barr Smith Library from 1938 to1978, being in charge of the Reading Room, Readers’ Services Librarian and finally Information Services Librarian.
Miss Andersen introduced reader education to the Library in the early 1950s and was a familiar and much-admired figure in the Library and University community. She was a great reader, in English, Swedish, French, German, Italian and Spanish: biographies, poetry, novels, crime and journals. She left $976,000 for the Library and the Elder Conservatorium, and very generous bequests to the State Library, State Theatre Company, Art Gallery of South Australia, Musica Viva and the Australian Chamber Orchestra.
1871 - 1917
First woman academic at the University of Adelaide.
Educator and botanist, Ellen Benham graduated with a Bachelor of Science in 1892. She attended the Advanced School for Girls and after graduation, taught at girls’ schools in Adelaide and in the UK, undertaking education studies at Oxford.
She was appointed to give botany lectures at the University from 1901 to 1912. She reorganized the botany curriculum, extending the study of native flora and included field visits.
An advocate for women students, she was a foundation member of the Women Students’ Club (1909) and the Women Graduates’ Club (1914).
In 1912 she purchased Walford School, Malvern, which she directed until her death in 1917.
Dame Nancy Buttfield
1912 - 2005
First woman parliamentarian in South Australia.
Dame Nancy Buttfield studied psychology, music and logic at the University of Adelaide and later, economics.
A senator from 1955, she often had to fight against prejudice. The machinations of male Liberal Party colleagues saw her lose this position from mid 1965 until mid 1968. She regained her position and remained a senator until 1974.
She supported equal opportunities for women and was keenly interested in migration, foreign affairs and tourism, visiting many countries in the Asia-Pacific. In 1972, she became a Dame of the British Empire. She endowed the Dame Nancy Buttfield Biennial Prize for the Decorative Arts and established an outdoor recreation centre for youth.
Dr Maria Palotta-Chiarolli
Academic, author, consultant, activist
Founding Member of the Australian GLBTIQ Multicultural Council Inc
Maria Pallotta-Chiarolli graduated from the University with a BA, Dip Ed in 1980, MA (1992), and a PhD (UTS) in 2001. She has been a teacher, is a consultant for government, health and education sectors and Senior Lecturer in Social Diversity in Health and Education at Deakin University.
She works on cultural diversity and gender / sexual / family diversity. Her research and writing address academic audiences, young adults and general audiences and seeks to inform and validate cultural, sexual and gender diversities. Her first book, Someone You Know (1991) is described as Australia’s first AIDS biography and a moving documentary of the times. She received two Lambda Literary Awards in the US, in 2010 and 2011.
1896 - 1993
First Aboriginal student at the University of Adelaide Aboriginal community activist
A Ngarrindjeri woman, Olga Fudge was born at Point MacLeay. After some brief schooling she went out to domestic service, aged 13 years. Running away, she found work as a shearer’s cook.
She was the University’s first Indigenous student, taking singing lessons at the Elder Conservatorium in 1926 to 1927, but discontinued due to discrimination. Gaining an exemption certificate in 1943, she advocated on Aboriginal issues in the press and to the Aboriginal Protection Board. In 1956, she unsuccessfully sought to establish a city hostel for Indigenous students, housing many Aboriginal girls in her own home. The Olga Fudge Lodge for Aboriginal girls was established in 2006.
Carolyn Hewson FACID, AO
Advocate for gender equity in corporate Australia
Carolyn Hewson graduated with a Bachelor of Economics (Hons) in 1981, and holds an MA in Economics from Camrbidge. A former investment banker, she has extensive financial market, risk management and investment management expertise. She is a non-executive Director of BHP Billiton and Stockland Group.
She has served as a Director on the Boards of the Australian Gas Light Company, AGL Energy, AMP, BT Investment Management, CSR, SA Water, the Economic Development Board of South Australia and Westpac Banking Corporation.
She was a member of Australian Federal Government Financial Systems Inquiry (2014). She has served on boards of non-profit organisations, including the YWCA, the Australian Charities Fund Operations and the Neurosurgical Research Foundation.
Associate Professor Beryl Kimber OBE, FRAM, DAA
Leading international violinist
First woman Associate Professor, Elder Conservatorium
Ms Kimber is regarded as a towering figure in the Elder Conservatorium of Music’s long history, where she was Associate Professor of Violin from 1964 until 1998, and also taught at Sydney University. As one of Australia’s leading violinists and teachers she attracted some of the most gifted young violinists from around the country.
In 1945, aged 17, she won the ABC Instrumental and Vocal Competition and studied at the Royal Academy of Music, London under the tutelage of Frederick Grinke and Georges Enesco. In 1959 she won First Distinction at the Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow, awarded by Shostakovich. During her distinguished international performing career, she was soloist with every major British orchestra and performed at the Royal Albert and Festival Halls.
Ms Kimber was presented with a University of Adelaide Distinguished Alumni Award in 2008 in recognition of her outstanding career and contribution to music and the Elder Conservatorium.
Hon Anne Levy AO
First woman Presiding Officer of a House of Parliament in Australia
First Minister for the Status of Women in Australia
Anne Levy graduated from the University of Adelaide with a Bachelor of Science (Hons) in 1957 and gained her MSc in 1963. She was Senior Tutor in Genetics at the University from 1960 –1975. She was a member of the Abortion Law Reform Association from 1969, the Family Planning Association (1973 –1984) and in 1986 was awarded Australian Humanist of the Year.
A member of the South Australian Legislative Council 1975 to1997, she was the first woman President 1986 –1989.
Anne Levy was Minister for Arts, Local Government, State Supply, Consumer Affairs, and for the Status of Women in the Bannon /Arnold Governments. Her focus was on homosexual, rape and abortion law reform, euthanasia, and women’s rights. She was a member of University Council from 1975 to1996 and honorary French Consul from 2000 to 2005.
Veta Maghey FACE, OBE
1897 - 1970
Educator and Union Leader
A state ward, Veta Macghey trained as a school teacher, graduating from the University with a Bachelor of Arts in 1919, a Diploma of Economics and Political Science in 1923, and gained an MA in 1930.
A University blue for hockey, she represented the State eight times. In her youth she rode a motorcycle, creating a sensation.
Veta Macghey taught at metropolitan and country high schools, gaining senior roles from 1930. She was foundation headmistress at Adelaide Girls High School 1951 – 58, forging an influential academic school.
A strong advocate for women teachers and equal pay, she was editor for the South Australian Women Teachers’ Guild from 1942 and, as President from 1949, was crucial to the formation of a united teachers’ union.
NT Australian of the Year 2017;
Telstra Business Woman of the Year
and For Purpose and Social Enterprise Award Winner 2016;
CEO of the Ngaanyatjarra Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara (NPY) Women’s Council
After fifteen years in the Public Service and graduating with a BA in Aboriginal Studies and Public Administration from UniSA, Andrea Mason felt compelled to step out of her comfort zone and apply to do a Degree in Laws at the University of Adelaide in 1999, graduating with LLB in 2002.
Her plan was to use the degree as an instrument to influence social policy, laws and attitudes in Australia for the betterment of Indigenous empowerment, reconciliation, recognition and business. As CEO of NPY Women’s Council, she has had the environment to deliver much good across these areas.
In 2017 she was named the Alice Springs Town Council Centralian Citizen of the Year.
Elizabeth (Liz) Pryzibilla
Director, Centre for Professional and Continuing Education
Director, Women’s Professional Development Network (WPDN) and Mentoring Program
Ms Pryzibilla’s passion for lifelong learning and gender equity strongly influenced her work at the University.
She led the Centre for Professional and Continuing Education (PCE) through fifteen years of exceptional growth (1998 to 2012), opening the University to thousands in the community and developing in many a renewed love of learning and a pathway to higher education.
Her leadership during the formation of the Women’s Professional Development Network (WPDN) and Mentoring Program promoted the empowerment of university professional women to take control of their own careers, inspiring women through mentoring and modeling to overcome the personal and institutional barriers which prevented them reaching their full potential.
Mary Tenison Woods OBE, CBE
1893 - 1971
First woman to graduate in law at University of Adelaide
First woman admitted to the bar in South Australia
Headed the Office for the Status of Women at the United Nations
Mary Tenison Woods graduated from the University with a Bachelor in Laws in 1916, and was admitted to the Bar in 1917. She worked at the Children’s Court.
Her partners shunned her when she married in 1924 so she set up the first all-female legal practice with Dorothy Somerville in 1925.
Later divorced, she was a legal editor in Sydney, wrote on child welfare and juvenile delinquency and campaigned for the enlightened treatment of juvenile offenders.
On the NSW Child Welfare Advisory Council, she studied child welfare in Britain. She headed the Status of Women Office at the United Nations, NY (1950 to 1958), effecting the Conventions of the Political Rights of Women (1952) and the Nationality of Married Women (1957).