We note special achievements by women in politics, sport, academia, arts, etc.
Congratulations to The Honourable Quentin Bryce AD CVO on her previous appointment as Australia’s 25th Governor General. This is the first time that a woman has filled this highly respected post. We hope that women’s issues will see an improvement in the future.
We congratulate Australia’s first female Prime Minister who has taken her special place in history. Julia Gillard will always have WEL’s best wishes for her future.
The Life of Joan Kirner 1938-2015
Joan graduated from Melbourne University in 1958 and taught in Ballarat Girl’s Technical College, then in 1971 she became President of the Victorian Federation of State School Parents’ Clubs. She joined the Australian Labor Party in 1978, was elected to Victorian Parliament Legislative Council in 1982 as the member for Melbourne West,, appointed Minister for Conservation, Forests and Lands in 1985, then moved to the Legislative Assembly as member for Williamstown and Minister for Education in 1988. In February 1989, Joan was appointed Deputy Premier, then became Victoria’s first female Premier in 1990 after the resignation of John Cain and she held office for two years. After her retirement from politics she helped establish Emily’s List, an organisation that supports the election of progressive women and has succeeded with over 200 elected. (The Age, 2 June 2015)
Joan Kirner was named a Companion of the Order of Australia in 2012 for “eminent service to the Parliament of Victoria and to the community through conservation initiatives, contributions to gender equality, the development of education and training programs and the pursuit of civil rights and social inclusion”. Joan implemented one of the biggest reforms of the era: the Victorian Certificate of Education. It standardised the curriculum and judged students on their skills. Ultimately, it made schools fairer. (Daniel Andrews, Victorian Premier)
2018 Australia Day OAM Honour for Jozefa Sobski, NSW Committee Member, for significant service to women’s rights and migrant advocacy, higher education and skills based training.
The Australian Research Council has named two academics from the University of Melbourne as recipients of 2015 Laureate Fellowships, established in 2011 to promote women in research, as below.
Professor Leann Tilley, Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health Sciences, received the Georgina Sweet Australian Laureate Fellowship. She will develop a new cross-disciplinary program to measure, model and manipulate the cellular systems of the malaria parasite, the outcomes of which could mean the development of new ways to combat the disease in both livestock and humans.
Professor Anne Orford, Melbourne Law School, received the Kathleen Fitzpatrick Australian Laureate Fellowship. Her research will look at the legal issues involved in intervention by external actors in civil wars, drawing on recent examples in Iraq, Syria and Ukraine. The Melbourne Newsroom Digest, 24 June 2015
Our champion female jockey Michelle Payne won the Melbourne Cup horse race and told all the male chauvinists to “get stuffed“.
AFL W league women now play Aussie Rules football – congratulations.
The Southern Stars cricketers won The Ashes – WEL done!
Congratulations to the Australian Diamonds netballers for their third World Cup win.
A World Cup win for the sixth time – well done to our women cricketers.
Congratulations to three women awarded the 2012 L’Oreal Women in Science Fellowships – Read here.
Well done, basketballer Lauren Jackson, who carried the flag leading Australia at 2012 Olympics.
Congratulations to Professor Gillian Triggs, the President of our 2012 Human Rights Commission.
Congratulations to Anna Meares for winning her 10th World Championship for cycling.
The Nobel Peace Prize has been awarded to the Liberian President, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, a Liberian peace activist Leymah Gbowee and Tawakul Karman of Yemen for their work on women’s rights.
Congratulations to Elizabeth A. Alexander AM, the first female Chancellor of The University of Melbourne.
Obituaries: Five early and very active members of WEL Victoria, Shirley Sampson, Anne Gunter, Ruth Shnookal, Joyce Nicholson, Vivienne Brophy and Mary Owen, died recently and we mourn the passing of these very special WEL pioneers. Shirley was active in female education. Anne was central to WEL administration over many years. Ruth ran the WEL office at times and was very much involved in the movement for abortion rights and her husband was one of the doctors who opposed police corruption. Joyce was an active member who ran the WEL office for many years from her home. Vivienne was active in WEL and in a number of sports. Mary was very active in Industrial Relations. WEL remembered. We also note the passing of Prof. Carl Wood, who did so much for women and their babies. Joan Bielski AO feminist activist, social reformer, member of Women’s Electoral Lobby, founding member of Women into Politics, NSW Women in Education, the Community Justice Coalition, OWN, educator, colleague and dear friend passed away on Friday 17 August 2012 after a massive stroke. Joan you will be greatly missed.
Congratulations to Elizabeth Blackburn who shares the Nobel Prize. She is the first female Nobel Laureate after winning the Nobel Medicine Prize for finding a key molecular switch in cellular aging. Her outstanding achievements have been recognised through a new Fellowship from the National Health and Medical Research Council awarded to top female Research Fellows.
Congratulations to our own Samantha Stosur, US Open Tennis Champion, for a wonderful effort in New York where she was the toast of the town, and has returned home for more accolades.
Congratulations to Angela Betheras, winner of the 2011 Rural Industries Research and Development Corporation Rural Women’s Award. Angela is an alpaca producer and agritourism business operator from Darnum in West Gippsland.
Congratulations to Pamela Williams of The Australian, winner of the 2010 Walkey Award for Best Newspaper Feature Writing. This is the fifth Walkley Award for Pamela including the top prize, the Gold Walkley. Pamela is the daughter of Barbara Cameron, WEL Victoria website manager. Pamela was Editor-at-Large of the Australian Financial Review newspaper and is now with The Australian. And another Walkley in 2013 for Best Book “Killing Fairfax“. See photo.
Congratulations to Australian Diamonds Netball Team for a Silver Medal in the 2010 Commonwealth Games.
Congratulations to Lydia Lassila, Gold Medallist for ski jumping, her triumph at 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics.
Congratulations to Debbie Lee, who is the president and life member of the Victorian Women’s Football League. Debbie makes significant contributions to women’s football, she was last year’s Football Woman of the Year and holds a place of honour in the National Sport Museum. Women’s football is now played in many primary and secondary schools and Debbie encourages this via the Melbourne Football Club. Visit afl.com.au/womens. Congratulations also to Susan Alberiti who brought women’s football into reality and prominence in Victoria.
Congratulations to Wallaroos on winning the inaugural Women’s Rugby World Cup. March 2009.
We note with sadness that Nancy Bird Walton has died aged 93. Nancy was the first woman to gain a Flying Licence at the age of 17 after training by Kingsford Smith. She flew Air Ambulances in the outback for many years and, as a pioneer trailblazer contributed much to the aviation industry. The latest huge commercial jetliner A380 was named after her, in her honour.
Our Kerry! Congratulations to Kerry Lovering who was awarded an Order of Australia Medal in the 2008 Australia Day Honours for services to women and for her life of working for women. Click for The Age article about it all. Kerry is a long-time feminist, the Secretary of Women’s Electoral Lobby Victoria and a Past President of the League of Women Voters. After graduation, her career covers Director of the Women’s Bureau in the Commonwealth Department of Employment and Industrial Relations, Senior Research Fellow at the Institute of Family Studies, Senior Advisor in the Equal Employment Opportunity Bureau of the Commonwealth Public Service Board, Manager of Equal Employment Opportunity in the Victorian State Electricity Commission, Director of Equal Opportunity at Melbourne City Council and Review Officer at the WorkCover Corporation of South Australia.
A generous donation has been received by WEL Victoria from the National Tertiary Education Union on behalf of Sandra Caine, a member of the union and also a member of WEL Victoria. Many thanks.
Heart-felt congratulations to Gail Kelly for being the first female CEO of the Westpac Bank starting on 1 February 2008. She is the only woman CEO of a Top-20 Australian company.
WEL applauds Joan Kirner’s launch of the 2008 Victorian Women’s Honour Roll, singing “I am Woman“. The Women’s Affairs Minister, Jacinta Allan, says the roll celebrates the achievements of women from all walks of life. Included were swimming champ Brooke Hanson and actor/philanthropist Kerry Armstrong.