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Information Sheet
Australian Women Scientists

A'Beckett, Ada Mary (1872-1948)
Biologist and Educator. A'Beckett was a Demonstrator and Assistant Lecturer in Biology at the University of Melbourne from 1901. In later years she taught at schools, continued to work at the university, and was closely involved in the Kindergarten movement.

Natalie Constance Bowen Allen (1894- )
Physicist. Allen was a Demonstrator in Natural Philosophy (physics) at the University of Melbourne 1916-24. She was promoted to Senior Demonstrator between 1924-48, and then became a Lecturer 1948-54. Her research focused on X-rays, Beta rays and the crystal structure of Benzil.

Ida Alison Brown (1900- )
Palaeontologist. Brown was a Demonstrator at the University of Sydney 1922-26, and Macleay Fellow in Geology 1927-33. She became a Senior Lecturer in Palaeontology at the University of Sydney in 1935.

Adrienne Elizabeth Clarke (1938- )
Botanist and Molecular Biologist. Clarke, a scientist with the Plant Cell Biology Research Centre at the University of Melbourne from 1982, and received a Personal Chair in Botany at the University of Melbourne in 1985. She was Chair of CSIRO 1991-96 and became Lieutenant-Governor of Victoria in 1997.

Emily Caroline Creaghe (1861-1944)
Explorer. Creaghe was the only female member of Ernest Favenc's exploring party across Northern Australia in 1883.

Elsie Jean Dalyell (1881-1948)
Pathologist and Microbiologist. Dalyell was the first full-time female Demonstrator at the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, Sydney 1911-12. She studied and worked in Europe between 1912 and 1923 . On her return to Australia, Dalyell became a microbiologist with the Department of Public Health, Sydney, 1924-46.

Jane Ada Fletcher (?-?)
Ornithologist and Poet. Fletcher was the daughter of Price Fletcher, the 'Bush Naturalist' of Queensland. She published a number of books on nature and nature study, and broadcast on 7ZL Hobart and 3LO Melbourne. In 1934 she became the first female to lecture to the Royal Society of Tasmania.

Joan Freeman (1918- )
Nuclear Physicist. During the Second World War , she worked at CSIR Radiophysics Laboratory developing a 10 centimetre microwave radar set. Moved to the UK to study at the Cavendish Laboratory, Cambridge University, 1946-51. She worked for the British Atomic Energy Research Establishment for most her working life. In 1976 she became the first female to be awarded the British Institute of Physics' prestigious Rutherford Medal.

Mavis Freeman (?-?)
Bacteriologist and Biochemist. Freeman worked with Macfarlane Burnet during the 1930s and, with him, succeeded in identifiying the microbe responsible for Q fever. She served in the Australian Army Medical Corps during the Second World War and undertook research into safe methods for blood transfusion in malarial regions.

Ida Louisa Lee (1865-1943)
Geographer. Lee (later Marriott) approached geography from an historical perspective and reconstructed the exploration of Australia by the British, notably the Admiralty, through the study of logbooks, journals and lost charts found in British repositories.

Kathleen Rachel Makinson (1917- )
Physicist. Makinson (nee White) began working for the CSIRO Division of Textile Physics in 1953. She was a Visiting Scientist at the Cavendish Laboratory, Cambridge University 1961-63, and returned to CSIRO, eventually being promoted to Senior Principal Research Scientist 1971-77, Chief Research Scientist 1977-82, and finally Assistant Chief of Division between 1979-82.

Hanna Neumann (1914-1971)
Mathematician. Born in Germany, Neumann was Professor and Head of Department of Pure Mathematics, School of General Studies, Australian National University 1964-71.

Phyllis Mary Nicol (1903-1964)
Physicist. Nicol was a Demonstrator in Physics at the University of Sydney 1927-33, a tutor in physics at the Women's College 1934-45, and became a Lecturer in Physics 1946-64. With E. Booth, Nicol produced the book Physics: Fundamental Laws and Principles.

Amy Christine Rivett (1891-1962)
Medical Practitioner. Rivett was a disciple of Marie Stopes and advocated birth control; later she specialised in gynaecology. She and her brother Edward were partners in Brisbane in the 1920s and again in Sydney after the Second World War. Rivett was a Foundation Member of the Queensland Medical Women's Society. She also experimented in mental telepathy and extra-sensory perception.

Vicki Sara (?-?)
Endocrinologist. After seventeen years at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, Sara returned to Australia in 1993 as Head of the School of Life Science at Queensland University of Technology. In 1996 she became Dean of Science. Her research focus is in the area of growth hormones and foetal brain development.

Susan Serjeantson (1946- )
Human Geneticist. Serjeantson studied population and leprosy in Papua New Guinea, and worked with the Human Genetics group at the John Curtin School of Medical Research, Australian National University, from 1976. Her research focuses on inherited diseases and transplantation antigens, especially in Pacific peoples.

Beth Joan Mavis Tuffley (?-?)
Biochemist. Tuffley was at the University of Queensland doing postgraduate work in biochemistry when she was selected as the inaugural winner of the Royal Australian Chemical Institute Masson Award in 1941.

Helen Alma Newton Turner (1908-1995)
Geneticist. Turner was one of the world's leading authorities on sheep genetics and worked with the CSIRO for over forty years. Between 1956 and 1973, she was a Senior Principal Research Scientist in the Division of Animal Genetics and led the CSIRO sheep genetics research team. She was a prolific public communicator, and also conducted experiments on twinning in sheeps. Her work has helped to increase the quality of Australian wool.

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Published by the Australian Science Archives Project on ASAPWeb, 30 June 1997
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