Women Who Left a Legacy
The University of Adelaide acknowledges that information relating to the personal details of donors has been accessed/obtained predominantly from public sources including the Australian Dictionary of Biography, the Encyclopaedia of Australian Science, the Australian Law Library, The Register, The Advertiser, the University of Adelaide Library, the University of Adelaide ‘Impact’, the University of Adelaide ‘Adelaidean’ and the University of Adelaide ‘Lumen’.
Dame Roma Mitchell
A Legal Pioneer
Dame Roma Mitchell was destined to become one of Australia's most accomplished lawyers the day she set foot on the University of Adelaide campus. She excelled in her law studies, completing her course in four years instead of five and graduating in 1934 with the David Murray Scholarship Award for the most brilliant student.
Dame Roma was a woman of many firsts: the first female Queen’s Counsel, Supreme Court Judge and Governor of South Australia. She was also the first Chairperson of a Human Rights Commission in Australia and nearly 50 years after graduating from the University of Adelaide, she returned as Chancellor, adding ‘first female Chancellor in Australia’ to her list of accomplishments.
When Dame Roma died in 2000 she left a generous bequest to the University. The University established the Dame Roma Mitchell Chair of Law in her honour.
A Legacy of Support for Women and Music
Mrs Doris West graduated from the University of Adelaide with a degree of Bachelor of Arts in 1921. She was particularly concerned with the interests of women graduates, both nationally and internationally. She was a keen music lover and frequently attended Elder Hall concerts.
When Doris died in 1990, she left a bequest of approximately $750,000 to the University.
Doris' legacy enabled the establishment of the "Doris West Postgraduate Scholarships for Women", which provides opportunities to high-achieving female students across all disciplines at the University.
Doris' legacy also supports the Elder Hall Lunchtime Concert series, keeping admission prices for the concerts to a minimum and maintaining the extraordinary quality of artists and concerts. The popularity and prestige of this series plays a vital role in representing the University of Adelaide to the wider community.
A Life Changing Legacy
Veronika Sacco's life story was a remarkable one. Despite excelling at school in her native country and mastering seven languages, Veronika's early days in Australia were character-building, to say the least. Newly divorced and with a young child to support, she was forced to walk the streets of western Sydney lugging suitcases of soap which she sold door to door.
Through sheer will, intelligence and a head for finances, Veronika put herself through university and gained an accountancy qualification, which paved the way for a stimulating career and opened many other doors - to culture, music, art and business.
Veronika died in 2010, aged 94.
Education changed Veronika's life. In death, her legacy is making a difference to countless others.
Veronika's will left a generous sum to the Florey Medical Research Foundation, in honour of the University of Adelaide's most famous alumnus - Howard Florey.
Kerstin Lillemor Andersen
A life of books, music and travel
Kerstin Lillemor Andersen had a long affiliation with the University of Adelaide – first as a graduate earning her Bachelor of Arts degree in 1934, then as an employee of Barr Smith Library for over 40 years.
Known as "Miss Andersen" in the library and Lillemor to her friends, she was remembered by some as a stern staff member but by others as a lifelong, faithful and adventurous friend.
Lillemor was also extremely generous and left half of her estate to the Barr Smith Library and the Elder Conservatorium – ensuring others would continue to enjoy the things she had been most passionate about during her life. Her bequest enabled the purchase of numerous reference works in art and architecture and supports orchestral concerts at the Elder Conservatorium.
A Legacy of Support for Students of Veterinary Science
When Audrey Abbie heard that a Veterinary School was to be opened on the University's Roseworthy Campus - giving South Australian students the chance to study Veterinary Science without moving interstate for the first time - she was keen to provide financial support.
In 2008, Audrey made a substantial gift to create a prize for the Dux of the Veterinary School, giving one lucky student each year a helping hand as they begin their career. The Prize was first awarded in 2010, and will be supported by Audrey's generous gift in perpetuity.
In 2000, Audrey also donated funds to the University to establish an undergraduate scholarship for Indigenous students undertaking the Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery, in memory of her husband, the late Emeritus Professor Andrew Arthur Abbie, Elder Professor of Anatomy and Histology at the University of Adelaide from 1945 to 1970.
Dr Ruby Davy
Australia's First Female Doctor of Music
When Ruby died in 1954, she left a bequest of £300 to the University to found a prize for the composition of music (UTR1.56). The residual funds of her estate were used to buy the complete works of Beethoven and Mozart for the Conservatorium Library.
Born in Salisbury in 1883, Ruby Davy was a shy child, who demonstrated early musical prodigy and went on to become Australia's first woman Doctor of Music. By the age of 13, Ruby was already teaching 27 of her own pupils at her mother's Salisbury School of Music.
Ruby began studying at the Elder Conservatorium of Music in 1904 at the age of 20, gaining in the same year the University's Associate of Music.
Ruby was the first Conservatorium student to take composition as a principal subject. Ruby graduated in 1907 and continued to teach music at the Salisbury School of Music and from a studio at Allan's Music Shop in Rundle Street, in addition to performing and accompanying other artists.
For more information
08 8313 5804