In 1892 the first Association of Women Graduates in Australia, Sydney University Women’s Association (SUWA), was founded by Louisa MacDonald the first Principal of The Women’s College of Sydney University. Louisa was their first President.
To commemorate 125 years of graduate women’s organisations in Australia, a commemorative booklet of the history was generously produced (at personal cost) by members Dr Jane Baker and Ms ‘Tricia Blombery, with a message included from GWI President Geeta Desai. All NSW members should have received a copy, please advise if you have not received your copy. More copies of this commemorative booklet are available to purchase if Branches are interested in maintaining copies for guest speakers’ gifts or to give to past members. Please contact Ms ‘Tricia Blombery, firstname.lastname@example.org
Louisa MacDonald was one of the two delegates from Australia at the first IFUW Conference in London in 1920 with Mildred Muscio (nee Fry). They were from the, by then named, Sydney University Women Graduates Association (SUWGA) and after this the first constitution of AFUW was drawn up and presented to IFUW (now GWI) in application for membership in 1922.
To mark this anniversary a lunch was held at The Women’s College attended by members of AFGW NSW including members of the recently elected 2017-18 Central Committee, Doreen Todd President, ‘Tricia Blombery Treasurer AFGW NSW and Secretary AFGW, Jane Baker Vice President AFGW NSW and President AFGW, Greta Recsei Vice President AFGW NSW, Shirley Randell CIR AFGW NSW, Wendy Michaels Education Convenor AFGW NSW and Merle Thompson Honorary Business Manager AFGW. Several new members attended as well as the President and Secretary of Sydney University Women’s Group, descendants of the University staff component of SUWA.
The group photo is on the stairs at the College under a recently acquired portrait of Louisa painted at about the time of her appointment and donated by family members. The other portrait is of Dame Quentin Bryce a more recent Principal of The Women’ College and from 2006-2014 the first and so far only woman Governor General of Australia (the Queen’s representative).