ANU is well known for its unique character. Part of this is a warm,egalitarian ‘Australianness’ but it can also manifest as the ‘blokey’ culture of an institution that is numerically and visibly male in its academic and governance profiles. ANU Inspiring Women is a project animated by the idea that the ANU is also constituted by immense female talent. Not only that of world-class female scholars and teachers, but also by the women who create our institutional DNA as administrators and service providers.

This project, culminating in the book you are reading, acknowledges ANU women – from professors to café proprietors – who were nominated by their peers as being inspirational in developing and sustaining our institutional culture and reputation.

From more than 40 nominations received we selected 24 women to tell us about their intellectual or work passions, career paths and turning points, sources of inspiration and work-life balance.* We also took their photographs.

In words and pictures the profiles in the following pages aim to turn around the perception of a gendered ANU by actually celebrating and foregrounding women as an institutional resource – both in research and teaching terms, but also as custodians of a welcoming ANU culture.

This project was conceived by Veronica Taylor, Director of the School of Regulation, Justice and Diplomacy, and was funded by the ANU Gender Institute, thanks to a specific additional grant supported by the Vice Chancellor from the ANU Division of Human Resources.

An immense thank you to Karen Downing for managing the project with the support of a steering committee including Kim Rubenstein, Veronica Taylor, Catriona Jackson, Head of ANU Communication and External Liaison Office and Inge Saris, Manager, ANU Diversity and Inclusion Unit.

Capturing the passion and commitment of the women in words were our writers, Cheryl Jones, Kate Smith, Garry Sturgess, Casey Hamilton, Stephen Green, Kylie Evans and James Giggacher. Capturing the outer inspiration of the women was our photographer Penny Bradfield. Even the women who were uneasy about standing in front of a camera were delighted with their portraits. And in the process, Penny also captured the beauty and diversity of the ANU campus.

Thanks also to the staff at ANU Marketing Office who prepared the artwork and Q Print who have printed this book.

Finally, I have thoroughly enjoyed the role of Inaugural Convenor of the ANU Gender Institute and this book production is among its great contributions in its first two years of operation. I encourage you to go and look at the ANU Gender Institute website. You can then read more about the other inspirational women in that initial pool of 40 and more broadly about the important work the Institute is doing here at ANU and beyond.

Professor Kim Rubenstein,
Inaugural Convenor (2011-2012),
ANU Gender Institute


* Please note that the members of the Gender Institute Management Committee, women in Chancelry, as well as those on the ANU Inspiring Women Project Committee, who were nominated by their peers were excluded from consideration to be profiled in this project.

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