Australian Federation of University Women

New South Wales

AFUW - NSW Incorporated is an association of women graduates from universities throughout the world



JUNE 2006


Greetings to all members.


The highlight since my last report was the AFUW 33rd Triennium Conference held in Canberra in April. AFUW-NSW was well represented with 20 plus members attending for some part of the four days.

It was intellectually stimulating and socially rewarding as we listened to excellent speakers, participated in discussions and met members from around Australia, as well as the International President, Griselda Kenyon and New Zealand President, Rae Duff.

More details will be published in Graduate Women and a selection of photos are available on the AFUW Inc Website. The result for me is that I am keen to attend more conferences and am already planning how to get to the New Zealand one being held in Wellington, 6-8 October.

Then of course there is the IFUW conference in Manchester 2007. It really brings home how we are part of a much larger organisation than our State or local branch.

And 2009! It was agreed at the Council Meeting that AFUW-NSW host the 34th AFUW Triennium Conference so we’ll be looking for input and support from all the branches to help make it a memorable experience for all.

Policy Resolutions

A full list of the resolutions passed at conference will be published in Graduate Women. It has been suggested that each branch select two resolutions to research, work on and monitor so that we can give the National President input when required. I encourage you to become involved in this initiative as it helps to make us aware of the valuable advocacy work AFUW engages in at the national level.

Vale Shirley

Members were shocked and saddened by the sudden death of our Vice-President and Public Officer, Shirley Manion. Shirley was a hard-working member of AFUW-NSW whose continual membership since 1952 is a testament to her commitment to the association. A longer tribute to Shirley appears later in the Newsletter. We miss her.

New Officers

We are grateful to Carol Quinn, member of Central Committee and Armidale Branch, who has accepted the role of Public Officer for AFUW-NSW. And subsequent to Mary Kane’s resignation from the role on the national body, Carol has been endorsed by National Council as AFUW Public Officer. Thanks and congratulations to Carol are in order.

I’m pleased to announce the role of Vice-President has been filled by our other ordinary member on Central Committee, Jane Baker, member of Inner West Branch. We welcome Jane to the Executive and are fortunate to have a person of Jane’s calibre to help guide our association

Statewide Tea

A project that we can all share in is the Statewide Tea endorsed by Central Committee. We’ve called it a ‘Tea’ but it can be any activity chosen by each branch to engage in on 2 November 2006. I encourage you all to participate and make the day memorable by knowing all members throughout NSW are sharing an activity on the same day. Criteria for the event are outlined on the next page.

President’s Seminar

Another initiative we are planning is to hold a networking function on the 18 August to which we invite alumni and scholarship officers from all the universities within NSW. The purpose is to meet and greet and to generate ideas on how the universities and AFUW-NSW can work together. This came about because of the need to develop stronger links to universities. A representative from each branch will be invited to attend and billeting will be offered for country members. A Central Committee meeting is scheduled for the next day 19 August. I would welcome feedback on this plan.

AMUNC 2006

The Asia Pacific Model United Nations Conference will be held at UWS Parramatta Campus in July and it is a valuable educational experience for all students who participate. Following the lead taken by AFUW(WA) we thought it would be a worthwhile endeavour to get involved as a way of promoting AFUW-NSW to universities and students.

CIR Bev Pavey and I met with the Secretary General, Lisa Dale. The outcome was we will provide 300 brochures for her to include in the attendees’ satchels and we would investigate ways to sponsor nine awards for excellent performance. Each award is a $40 subscription to the magazine Diplomat. The timing was right as City Branch were planning future awards and members agreed to provide $360 to cover the AMUNC awards this year.

Constitution Review

Please read the suggested revisions and make comments if you are interested to do so. The Committee chaired by Carol Quinn, has worked many hours to bring the revised constitution to you. My thanks again go to Carol and her team. Please read the suggested revisions and make comments if you are interested to do so. It is printed separately to enable discussion and note-making.

National Officers

Congratulations are in order to State Treasurer, ‘Tricia Blombery who has been endorsed as National Secretary for the 34th Triennium with the new President, Dr Jennifer Strauss from Victoria, and CIR, Dalma Jacobs from Queensland.

Nominations have been reopened for the positions of Treasurer and Registrar for the national body. If you are interested or know someone who would be, do let me know asap and we will arrange a nomination to be sent to Canberra. Please consider filling either one of these roles as you will benefit from the involvement.

Sophia Holland Lunch and Tempe Mann Award

It was a special occasion on 27 May when two Tempe Mann Awardees joined us for the Sophia Holland Lecture, one to deliver it and one to receive her award. Dr Susan Coulson, 2005 winner, shared her work on facial nerve paralysis with a very interested audience judging by the number of questions that followed her address. Susan is a very sensitive communicator and her power-point presentation illustrated very clearly the nature of the problems her patients present and their appreciation of how they can be helped.

A happy and grateful 2006 winner, Kate Anderson, was presented with her award being a certificate and cheque for $7,500.00 which will help fund her research work in Canada. Kate’s topic is identifying barriers to accessing kidney transplantation by particular patient groups with her special interest being equity for Indigenous Australians.

Annual General Meeting 14 October 2006

I am pleased to announce Southern Highlands Branch have kindly agreed to host the AGM. The meeting will be held at Dormie House, Moss Vale, where accommodation is also available. Access their web site for more details on accommodation - or phone 02 4868 1800. Serendipitously, it is when The Tulip Festival is held in this beautiful area, another reason why we should begin planning a visit.

Best wishes till next time.

Ivy Edwards


At the recent Central Committee meeting, the members voted to ask each branch to participate in a state wide activity to meet the following goals:

  1. To participate in a function for all branches in NSW
  2. To raise money for the AFUW-NSW Australia Day Award
  3. To generate publicity state wide about AFUW-NSW

Each branch is encouraged to participate and develop the activity to reflect its own ideas and goals. Please discuss this at your local branch meeting and let your representative know if your branch will participate. The particulars are noted below. The Executive committee will develop the criteria for the award and will bring those critiera to the next Central Committee meeting.

AFUW-NSW State wide Activity

Date: 2 November 2006
Theme: AFUW-NSW Australia Day Award
Place: Chosen by each branch
Time: Chosen by each branch
Cost: Chosen by each branch to cover costs and generate money to be donated to the AFUW-NSW Australia Day Award.

Each branch will decide how to organise its activity so that it will be successful and meet the goals. High teas, movie events, theatre parties, etc. are possible ideas. Publicity for the event will

  1. advertise the event locally,
  2. produce articles state wide about AFUW-NSW
  3. generate interest in the AFUW-NSW Australia Day Award.


Each Australia Day, the National Council of Women hosts an award day at which businesses and non-profit organisations provide a $1000 award to a female student. The sponsoring organisation chooses a University and a subject (i.e., law at the UNSW) and the specific faculty select the student. The criteria the faculty uses are:

  1. To be presented to a women of achievement, particularly in late undergraduate or postgraduate.
  2. To seek out deserving students, not necessarily the top student in the course
  3. To consider the student who is disadvantaged by illness, physical disability or financial need, but has demonstrated her ability to achieve good grades throughout her course.

The Central Committee has agreed previously to sponsor an award for the 2007 Australia Day Awards. AFUW-NSW needs to raise the $1000 for the award, the $60.00 lunch registration, and, if the student must travel, the travel costs.




All members are formally advised that the Annual General Meeting and Luncheon will take place on Saturday 14 October, 2006, from 11:00 am at Dormie House, Moss Vale.

The event will be hosted by the Southern Highlands Branch.

Please make a note of the date. Full details and directions with a formal reply slip will accompany the Annual Report posted to you in September.

Nominations for elected positions and notices of motions should be in the hands of the Secretary by the appropriate date. Only financial members will be eligible to vote.

Inquiries re Administrative matters: Stephanie Cunningham Secretary 6775 1941

Branch Reports for period 1 July 05 – 30 June 06:

Financial Reports– Treasurers will be advised accordingly by the State Treasurer.

Written Reports should be written in 3rd person and forwarded to Newsletter Editor by 1st September, 2006

Subscriptions for the membership year, 2006– 2007, are now due.

The appropriate renewal form is enclosed.

All subscriptions should be paid by 31st August, 2005 at the new rate.

The strength of our membership is vital to the long-term continuance of AFUW. Even if you cannot participate in regular activities, your subscription is a significant contribution to the well-being of the organisation.


NSW Peace Convenor, Pamela Lemoine writes:

Rosemary Everett, AFUW President and myself have just returned from a most enjoyable and informative visit to Manila in the Philippines. We were invited by the Philippines Association of University Women to attend the 7th Triennial Conference of the University Women of Asia (UWA). The theme was “Women as Agents of Change in International Peace Efforts”.

The paper presenters came from Australia (Rosemary), Costa Rica, India, Korea, Japan, Malaysia, Nepal, Philippines and Singapore. Also an e-mail from Phyllis Scott (IFUW Vice-President) was read concerning the lack of gender parity within the UN system.

The key note address was delivered by Ms Georgitta P. Puyat, President, National Committee for UNIFEM Philippines. There was a good presentation on VGIF from India. The conference commenced with a multi-racial prayer and there was much exchange of ideas and some song and dance over lunch and the TIP Chorale Society concluded a great conference.

The papers, often enhanced by a Powerpoint presentation, covered many aspects of peace. The abstracts and papers were ready to bring home with us, so any members who would like to read some are welcome to contact either of us. Photos were being taken all day so we will have a record. Our conference bags had many books and local interest pamphlets.

The hospitality was much appreciated – some of us were taken for a 10-course Chinese banquet, a tour of Manila and were taken back to the airport with several gifts.


While we are thinking of overseas travel, are you thinking of Manchester, England for a visit? Here is an opportunity with friends! CIR Beverley Pavey presents you with the details.

At the triennium conference IFUW President Griselda Kenyon told us a little more about the arrangements for the 2007 Conference in Manchester. It would be good if a group of us could go from NSW.

The IFUW Triennial Conference is held every three years, hosted each time by a different national affiliate. Recent Conferences have been held in Perth, Australia in 2004; Ottawa, Canada in 2001; Graz, Austria in 1998; Yokohama, Japan in 1995 and in Palo Alto, USA in 1992. The Conference offers interdisciplinary seminars and workshops, opportunities for networking and international friendship.

The British Federation of Women Graduates (BFWG) invites all IFUW members to come to Manchester, England, 10-16 August, 2007 for the 29th IFUW Conference and to celebrate BFWG's 100th Anniversary of its founding.

Manchester, in the centre of Britain, is the second largest city and has an International Airport. Manchester University is the venue with plenty of single rooms available on campus, and hotels nearby too. Buses run frequently into the city centre with its art galleries, shops, canal boats and thriving night life. Manchester is well placed for visits to beautiful countryside, literary and industrial heritage and stately homes, as well as to other parts of Britain. It has easy access to the Yorkshire Dales, the North York Moors, the Peak District, the Lake District, Wales, Scotland, the sea and many other rural areas of great beauty. There are frequent train and bus services to other cities eg London, Liverpool, York for private travel and tourism. So we hope that many members will stay to enjoy some of these delights.

Programme: The Conference will address the role of university educated women in helping all women achieve their full potential. Interdisciplinary seminars, interactive workshops and panel discussions will give women from all parts of the world opportunities to present research, to exchange ideas and to make suggestions for action to be effective agents for change in this process. Policy resolutions adopted at the Conference will set directions for future planning. The programme will include meetings of regional groups, a young members programme and a leadership training session. .

Further Information: Conference website –

For further information please contact the Local Arrangements Committee Enrolment forms are expected to be available by end 2006.

Hope to see you there.



At the first dinner meeting of the year Daisy Williams, the new Director of the Aboriginal Cultural Centre and Keeping Place in Armidale, spoke with us on her role within the organisation and the challenges faced. Daisy was a very dynamic speaker who addressed her topic with enthusiasm and realism. Her ambition is to provide the most effective Cultural Centre in Australia.

This will have a safe place to display Aboriginal art, relics and crafts for visitors to the Centre to view and enjoy and to promote Aboriginal culture by developing a series of programs, functions, facilities and celebrations to local, regional, national and international tourists.

Daisy, who is an Indian of Malaysian origin, has developed a statement of values to be achieved by the organisation as a whole which include: excelling in the delivery of all services; promoting Aboriginal culture to local, regional, national and international visitors; creating a good work environment for staff; involving the Aboriginal community, other Australian communities and the international community residing in Armidale in the realization of our mission; taking full responsibility for its performance and valuing clear, meaningful and concise communication with all stakeholders.

A number of realistic short term plans have been developed which focus on staff training to improve the quality of service offered, cut costs and increase commitment. In addition Ms Williams is developing a number of small exhibits depicting particular aspects of traditional Aboriginal life on the New England Tablelands. Included in this is the development of a Bush Tucker walk along which she aims to establish examples of all the food sources that were found in the area.

Ms Williams recognises that the success of the Centre depends on the professional development of her small staff. One could not help but feel at the end of her address, that her enthusiasm, attention to detail and recognition of the challenges ahead, that her time as Director of the Aboriginal Cultural Centre and Keeping Place will be one of progress and excitement.


The guest speaker at our AGM in June will be Mrs Mim Loomes. She has written a fascinating book on Canowindra Grossi, the original fish fossil found in the Canowindra district, and thus the “progenitor” of the Age of Fishes Museum.. Mim’s achievement is that she has been able to put into simple words the tremendous story of the happenings of three hundred and sixty million years ago.

It is a book worthy of a place in all our homes and I’m sure you will be entertained by Mim as she tells her story of how she came to write her book.

At our last meeting, we were gratified to be able to present our scholarship certificates and cheques to the recipients in person. Isobel Marr of Orange and a student of Kinross Wolaroi was the HSC winner.

The postgraduate scholarship went to Alicia Dawson of Bathurst. We are particularly pleased to be able to give this post graduate award. We hope our members realise that they are in a great measure responsible for this, by coming to our functions and/or contributing to our funds.

A donor friend said, “I still believe girls need help”. So please accept our most grateful thanks for all and any contributions.

Barbara Wright and Anne Holloway represented Central West at the Triennial Conference of AFUW in Canberra in April. Apart from hearing their reports, we consider such participation important in reminding us that we are part of a larger whole – federally and internationally.


The Branch continues to hold its meetings at venues in or close to the City and they have been well attended. The Petrea King Seminar was a great success. Although only a few AFUW members were able to attend, Petrea's talk aroused great interest in the general public. After her talk and during a pleasant lunch in one of the seminar rooms at the Mechanics School of Arts, she was kind enough to talk, on a personal level, to many people for some time. Members also made a trip to the Garden Island Fortifications, which was very informative.

At the May meeting held in the foyer of the Menzies Hotel we had several visitors interested in the work of the AFUW. We have decided to spread our funds more widely and this year will be giving awards to Tertiary Preparation Students at different TAFE colleges as well as donations to SAAP and a program, the Asia Pacific Model United Nations Conference held this year at the University of Western Sydney, Parramatta Campus.

In this regard we are sponsoring a series aimed at giving students experience to debate as though they were at the United Nations. Our award will recognise nine students for excellent performance during the conference. We are keeping in touch with the facilitator and will attend the closing ceremony.

Two of our members also attended a TAFE prizegiving at Ultimo and Meadowbank and gave an award on behalf of the City Branch. They reported that they were made very welcome and received many complimentary remarks on the support of the AFUW.

Some of our members attended the AFUW Inc 33rd Triennium Conference held in Canberra in April and they reported how enjoyable it was to meet branch members from other States and international visitors. Discussions on various aspects of the AFUW including ways of increasing our declining membership were very fruitful.

We are planning a meeting at the Hyde Park Barracks Restaurant in July. The Barracks are currently running an exhibition called Convicts: Sites of Punishment and any member that has an interest in our convict past is urged to attend. We count several historians among our membership and we are sure they will have something interesting to tell us.


The speaker at our Autumn Lunch meeting on March 6 was Gabrielle Upton, Deputy Chancellor of the University of New South Wales. Her topic was “Achieving Women” and she would herself seem to be an epitome of this title. With a most imposing curriculum vitae she has come to the role of Deputy Chancellor via a number of corporate positions.

What does the Deputy Chancellor do? Gabrielle told us how she consulted the Act on accepting this position but that it told her very little except to say she would be required to chair meetings in the absence of the Chancellor. She is automatically a member of every committee and board within the University but, of course, cannot attend all meetings. However, she tries to be present at as many as possible. The Academic Board is one she regularly attends as she describes this as the “engine house” of the University. She feels being a graduate of the University herself is an asset.

The position of Deputy Chancellor also has ceremonial functions such as the conferring of degrees which she told us she thoroughly enjoys. Then there is also a representative role in which she feels there is a duty to inform the wider community about university education. She is passionate about this and sees tertiary education as minimizing the differences within our society and maximizing those elements that bind us together. She said university learning is something no one can take from us once we have gained it and rather than being diminished by age it is enhanced by it.

Gabrielle went on to speak of some of the present difficulties facing universities. As we all know there has been a considerable decline in government funding during recent years and for the University of New South Wales less than 30% comes from this source. The University therefore has to make up the quota from other sources such as foreign student fees, income from research and donations and subsidies from corporate bodies.

The Australian government is demanding, quite rightly Gabrielle thinks, transparency in university accounting. However, there are many pressures on university administration today. For instance, there is increasing competition from overseas educational bodies. The University of New South Wales has initiated the setting up of a new campus in Singapore which will be in operation by 2007. This is a first of its kind for an Australian university.

The internationalization of the student body is a challenge for all Australian universities and students today demand different types of learning from that of the past and these require different teaching methods.

The role of leadership was the next subject Gabrielle explored with us. She elaborated on her own progress in this role. She was pleased to say that academic leadership of women was encouraged at the University of New South Wales. She pointed to a Task Force on Care recently set up to look at the balancing of work and family responsibilities. It not only relates to child care but includes health and care of the elderly and disabled.

In a recent report 25% of carers had reduced their working hours in order to fulfil their responsibilities to those for whom they cared. Many carers (1 in 4) were considering leaving the work force altogether. It is to be hoped that reforms suggested by the Task Force will be implemented and Gabrielle said it was gratifying to see that some large organizations have already shown interest and donated generously to them.

Gabrielle emphasized that one must love one’s job to be thoroughly successful in it and after her inspiring talk we were left in no doubt that this is how she feels in her role as Deputy Chancellor.


Our meetings so far this year have been an effort to find a way to avoid closure of the Branch. After our October meeting when Minna Shaw Smith talked to us about the history of the Branch we discussed how to keep it going. In March Ivy Edwards came to our meeting both as the new president and as an inspiration with her vision of where AFUW is heading.

Susan Coulson is one of our younger members so instead of a May meeting we have encouraged members to go to The Sophia Holland lunch to support her. We are also taking our school prize winner Chansoheavy (Sophie) Ngoeun from Fort St High School to the lunch so she can see a little of AFUW activities and meet as many members as possible. Sophie used her prize to help pay the fees to attend the Sydney University HSC course in Mind and Morality over the summer break. This gave her a taste of university before Year 12 and a ticket for the Fisher Library. Jane Baker and Minna Shaw Smith were able to attend the prize giving at Sydney Town Hall.

We plan to have our AGM on Friday July 21st. Unless there are nominations for Secretary and Treasurer the Branch will sadly have to close. The last committee meeting is at 2pm on July 1st 2006 so ANYONE prepared to serve please contact a member of the committee before then.

We have made donations to SAAP and Bina Roy and at the AGM will need to decide how to disperse our residual funds so for many reasons we hope for a good turnout.


Finding the “right” venue for our meetings has preoccupied the committee since February this year, and a survey distributed at the May meeting showed an overwhelming preference for the Bowral Country Club for dinner meeting, with its cosy fire and warm ambience. The culinary reputation of the Country Club is good among members who dine there regularly. We have found a new home.

At the March and May meetings we had two outstanding speakers. Lily Arthur informed us about what it can be like being a victim “of the system” as an under-aged, unwed mother. It was a very moving story. In May, Professor Julie Steele from Wollongong University, Innovative Biomechanics Research Laboratory, impressed us with her work on intelligent textiles as biofeedback systems. Lingerie (bras in particular) and sports support were highlighted in a Powerpoint presentation. It is not surprising that she was named Telstra Woman of the Year in 2005.

On 14th. October we look forward to welcoming the Central Committee and AFUW membership to Moss Vale for a delicious lunch at Dormie House, with a view of the golf course. The baronial dining room will become the venue for the A.G.M. and an interesting local speaker will entertain us. It promises to be a great meeting point.


It was a fairly miserable morning outside, but on Saturday, 27 May, Hunter Branch members were well entertained inside, at a Fundraising Morning-Tea at Jenny Bain’s - towards the continuing support of two girls in years 11 and 12 at St Joseph’s Secondary School in Dili, East Timor.

About forty members and their guests were welcomed by the president, Hilary Alexander. She thanked Jenny, her husband, Ross, and their children Alex and Marjorie for opening their home for this event. It takes a lot of planning and preparation to accommodate such numbers in a private home and the committee and members appreciated how much work had been put in. It is so much more personal to attend a function in a family home. As usual, our thanks to the committee for preparing an abundance of “goodies” for the morning-tea and for helping before and during it.

Jenny had organized musical items, with three young piano players and their teacher. The Nu Singers, comprising five mature women entertained us in great voice and harmony with two brackets of well known pieces. Jenny’s daughter, Marjorie, also sang two pieces. The last one, “I Dreamed a Dream”, from Les Miserables was very moving. Young friends of the family assisted in serving the morning-tea.

Just before people ate, Mary Kelly spoke about our relationship with St Joseph’s Secondary School in Dili. Mary taught there in a voluntary capacity for two months in 2003 and so has intimate knowledge of the school. Along with everyone we are concerned and saddened to hear what is happening in East Timor and particularly in Dili.

The school is being used to house refugees and it is impossible to predict when normal schooling will be able to start again. We heard from the Principal, Father Edu, just as the troubles began. He had selected two girls for us to support over the next two years. We hope that they will be able to return to their learning before too long.

There were a large number of lucky door and raffle ticket prizes. Thank you to all who contributed. The morning was very successful, both socially and financially, with over $900.00 raised.


Our Autumn lunch at the Greenwich Sailing Club on the 6th April was very successful. It attracted 80 members and friends who came to enjoy the comraderie and good food plus the privilege of listening to the internationally well -known speaker on nuclear issues, Dr. Helen Caldicott. Dr. Caldicott lectured us on the medical danger of exposure to radiation then went on to talk about the far-reaching and long-lasting effects of the Chernobyl disaster. She also spoke of radiation fallout from the French mid-Pacific atomic bomb tests in the early 70's and radioactive wastes still present at the Maralinga test site in central Australia. She stressed that in this present-day world with terrorism rife and more countries with nuclear capability, there exists new nuclear dangers for us all. She outlined for us the risks attached to building and operating a nuclear power plant in Australia.

Membership Contact Details Scholarships Diary Notes Newsletters Branches Home