ANU Inspiring Women


This project acknowledges ANU women who were nominated by their peers as being inspirational in developing and sustaining our institutional culture and reputation.


More than 40 women were nominated in 2012 by the peers as ANU Inspiring Women. Meet these women and find out why their colleagues find them inspirational.

Balancing the books behind academic pursuit

Kate Bisshop-Witting: A self-described ‘invisible but always available’ administrator ensures schools hum efficiently and creatively.

A double life

A professor of economics relaxes by writing successful novels

Everyone needs to hear ‘you can do it’

This ground-breaking social researcher and teacher has shown that for ideas to flourish, they must be thoroughly interrogated and patiently nurtured

Think big in small moments

A sociologist inspired by ordinary people doing extraordinary things

Really important and a lot of fun

A woman in science and engineering can improve the world and enjoy doing it

New wave woman

An endowed chair professor of Korean studies offers some insights on how listening to the past can help women rewrite the future

Quiet defiance

An Indigenous health project officer who always meets a challenge

The importance of quality early education

Nurturing confident children and easing working parent stress

From programmer to professor via motherhood

Proof that there are many paths to success for a determined woman

An overflowing cup of optimism

A popular café proprietor inspires the university community with her courage

In pursuit of two goals

An award-winning astronomer who needs both career and family

Marketing manager on a mission

A life and work motivated by issues of equity

A happenstance of opportunities

A passionate teacher believes in the continuing relevance of the Classics

Law don wants students to change the world

A trail-blazing academic urges her students to get active in law reform

Design and discovery

A cutting edge immunologist with a passion for the creativity of medical research

Getting a job a hard slog after break

The difficulties of returning to work after being a stay-at-home parent

Room in her heart

The head of a residential hall creates a gentle and accepting environment for students new to Canberra

A profound interest in possibilities for people and ideas

An manager looks back on her career with quiet contentment and ahead with great optimism

The gendered world of science

A chemist and physicist sees science as an unduly gendered kind of world – but that need not be the case

Passion, hard work, obstinacy, family understanding

Essential ingredients in the success of the first woman professor in computer science at ANU

Women face new glass ceiling

A feminist legal scholar warns that gains made by women in the law and legal profession could be under threat

From chaperoned schoolgirl to gender specialist and policy activist

A demographer’s remarkable journey through difficult cultural territory

No stranger to controversy

A varied career was motivated by immigration policy and the plight of refugees

The other side of the world

An administrator describes how she has balanced work, family and study since arriving in Australia as a refugee

Purchase a copy of this book

Printed copies of the book ANU Inspiring Women are available for $25 each from the ANU Coop either in the store or online.

Updated:  7 November 2012/Responsible Officer:  Convenor, Gender Institute/Page Contact:  Web manager, Gender Institute