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Information Sheet
Australian Women Scientists

Caroline Louisa Waring Atkinson (1834-1872)
Naturalist, Botanical Illustrator and Writer. Largely self-educated. A keen student of natural history and an accomplished botanical illustrator. She wrote 'A Voice in the Country' natural history series in the Sydney Morning Herald between 1861 and 1872 and was also published in the 'Horticultural Magazine'. Also provided Ferdinand von Mueller (Botanist and Naturalist) with plant specimens. She died during childbirth.

Nancy Burbidge (1912-1977)
Botanist. She was a systematic botanist and Curator of the Herbarium, CSIRO Division of Plant Industry 1946-73. Published Flora of Australia and several other books on Australian plants.

Suzanne Cory (1942- )
Biochemist and Molecular Oncologist. Prior to her appointment as Director of the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research (WEHI) in 1996, Cory was Joint Head of the Molecular Biology Unit with her husband, Jerry Adams, for eight years. She undertook three years of postdoctoral studies at the University of Geneva. The rest of her working life has been spent at WEHI.

Joan Ford (1918- )
Biologist. Ford was born in South Australia, educated at the University of Western Australia (BScHons 1940) and the University of Tasmania (PhD 1949). She was a Research Biologist with the Department of Physics, the University of Tasmania 1940-50.

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.

Jean Galbraith (1906- )
Naturalist and Botanical Collector. A prominent Victorian naturalist, Galbraith joined the Field Naturalists' Club of Victoria in 1923 and in 1970 was awarded their Australian Natural History Medallion. In 1950 she published Wildflowers of Victoria which, by 1970, had been published in three editions.

Elizabeth Gould (1804-1841) : British Natural History Artist. She visited Australia between 1838 and 1840 with her husband, John Gould, and completed a large number of drawings of Australian birds and mammals, many of which illustrated her husband's fourteen books on Australian birds and mammals.

Lorna Hayter (1897-?)
Agriculturalist. Hayter studied agriculture at the University of Sydney and then joined the NSW Department of Agriculture. Later she hosted a radio program for the ABC and was editor of The Land.

Dorothy Hill (1907-1997)
Geologist and Palaeontologist. Hill was Research Professor of Geology at the University of Queensland 1959-72. She has published widely on palaeontology, stratigraphy and geology. Hill was the first female Fellow of the Australian Academy of Science 1956, first Australian female elected to the Royal Society 1965, and first female President of the Australian Academy of Science in 1970.

Elizabeth Kenny (1880-1952)
Nurse and Health Administrator. Kenny developed a new treatment for poliomyelitis in the 1930s and established clinics in Brisbane with the backing of the state government. Unfortunately, opposition from the medical profession forced her to move to the USA in 1940, and it was there her treatment methods became widely acclaimed.

Pauline Ladiges (?-?)
Botanist. Ladiges was Professor and Head of the School of Botany at the University of Melbourne. She is a member of the Australian Biological Resources Study (ABRS) Advisory Committee and Deputy Chairman of the Board of the Royal Botanic Gardens.

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.

Annie Jean Macnamara (1899-1968)
Medical Scientist. Macnamara was a physician at the Melbourne Children's Hospital from 1923, a consultant and medical officer to the Poliomyelitis Committee of Victoria 1925-31, and a medical officer at Yooralla Hospital School for Crippled Children 1928-51. She worked with Macfarlane Burnet on polio research, and fought for the introduction of myxomatosis in Australia.

Florence Martin (1867-1957)
Physicist. Martin studied at the University of Sydney and undertook research with R. Threlfall between 1892-93 and 1896-98; they published several papers. She also worked at the Cavendish Laboratory, Cambridge University. In 1899, Martin ended her career in the field of physics when she retired to take care of her mother.

Georgiana Molloy (1805-1843)
Botanist. Molloy emigrated to Western Australia from England in 1830 and settled in Augusta. She collected and despatched seeds of local native plants to J. Mangles FRS, who then passed them to collectors in the UK. She was known for her detailed botanical descriptions.

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.

Olive Muriel Pink (1884-1975)
Anthropologist and Botanical Artist. Pink sketched many desert flowers around Alice Springs. She was responsible for the gazette of the twenty hectare Australian Arid Regions Flora Reserve in 1956. After her death it was renamed the Olive Pink Flora Reserve.

Doris Rivett (1896-1969)
Psychologist. Rivett lectured for a short time at the University of Sydney. With her sister, Elsie, she formed the free Children's Library and Crafts Club in 1922, and in 1934 they formed the Children's Library and Crafts Movement which, after their death, became the Creative Leisure Movement.

Ellis Rowan (1848-1922)
Botanical Artist and Botanical Collector. Rowan had no formal art training; however she was a successful Botanical Artist and painted many wildflowers in New Zealand and Queensland. In 1898 she published A Flower Hunter in Queensland and New Zealand. She sent specimens of rare plants to von Mueller, Director of the Melbourne Botanic Gardens. Rowan is best known for her Australian wild flower paintings. The Australian government bought 947 of them in 1923 and the collection is held at the National Library of Australia, together with a portrait of her by John Longstaff.

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.

Harriet Scott (1830-1907) and Helena Scott (1832-1910)
Naturalists and Artists. The sisters had considerable knowledge of Australian plants, animals and insects. Their paintings earned high praise from the Entomological Society, and they were elected as honorary members. Helena accompanied her husband, E. Forde, on a survey of the Darling River between Wentworth and Bourke and made a collection of fodder grasses and other flora.  

Emma Stone (1860-1902)
Medical Practitioner. Stone was the first female to register with the Medical Board of Victoria; this she did in 1890. She played a leading role in the establishment of the Queen Victoria Hospital, Melbourne, which was funded by a jubilee shilling fund appeal and officially opened in July 1899.

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 June1997
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