Stories of Australian Women

WomanGoingPlaces interviews women 50+ and hears remarkable stories about their careers, accomplishments and experiences. We also ask them, as Australian women, what are their 5 favourite places to visit in Australia.

Patricia McPherson – Becoming Sister Pat (Part 2)

In 1966, Fitzroy Crossing in the Kimberley region of Western Australia had the highest Indigenous infant mortality rate and number of hospital admissions in the entire state. Patricia McPherson, a young nurse, was tasked with reducing this rate.

Extraordinarily, within 3 years, she succeeded in almost eliminating Indigenous infant mortality in the region.

Pat did this by driving daily out to the Indigenous camps attached to the vast cattle stations and treating people from the tailgate of her car.

Pat pioneered and established the Itinerant Child Care Service in the West Kimberley. It became a template for public health nursing services to other remote areas of Western Australia.

In 1970, Patricia McPherson received the British Empire Medal for her pioneering work in the Fitzroy River region.
July 18, 2024/by Augustine Zycher

Patricia McPherson – ‘Sister Pat’ A Legend Of A Nurse

In 1963, 25 year-old nurse, Patricia McPherson, crossed Australia’s vast continent from her home in pastoral Gippsland in Victoria to arrive at Fitzroy Crossing, a tiny remote settlement in the centre of Western Australia’s rugged Kimberley region.

Nurse McPherson became ‘Sister Pat’, a legend of a nurse who pioneered itinerant nursing and transformed the delivery of health services to a vast region of Australia’s outback, and set the template for public health nursing that was adopted statewide.

Pat McPherson’s story is one of exceptional service and far-reaching achievements.

But it’s also a story of great adventure. It is a remarkable Australian story.
June 5, 2024/by Rosalie Zycher

WomanGoingPlaces interviews Professor Kim Rubenstein

Professor Kim Rubenstein has become a popular guest on programs such as Q&A because she clearly articulates how the Australian Constitution impacts on the most important issues we face as a nation and as individuals. So when she announced in August the she had formed her own political party, Kim For Canberra, and would run for the Senate, her candidacy was welcomed by many. 

WomanGoingPlaces has a special interest in spotlighting the stories of Australian women aged 50+ and so we interviewed Professor Rubenstein recently on her candidacy, goals and vision.
September 19, 2021/by Augustine Zycher

Michelle Garnaut – My Top 5 Places in Australia

For centuries, empires, governments and global companies have vied with each other in displays of wealth, grandeur and power along the Bund in Shanghai. For close to a quarter of a century, one Australian woman has maintained her position on the Bund with no power other than the power of her reputation.

Michelle Garnaut, CEO of the M Restaurant Group, has established restaurants and lounges that have pioneered independent fine dining in both China and Hong Kong.
December 9, 2017/by Augustine Zycher

Rosie Batty AO – My Top 5 Places in Australia

Rosie Batty made Australia listen.

Her son, Luke aged 11, was with his father playing cricket in the park when his father walked over to him and killed him.
In expressing her personal grief, Rosie compelled us to see that family violence was our business. She made us see that the plight of thousands of women and children could one day be our plight, or that of someone close to us.
September 11, 2017/by Augustine Zycher

Maureen Wheeler – My Top 5 Places In Australia

Maureen Wheeler AO is a pioneer of landmark enterprises in both travel and in the cultural life of Melbourne.

She was the co-founder, with her husband Tony, of Lonely Planet books - guides as indispensable to travellers as their backpacks or suitcases.
Maureen was also the co-founder of the Wheeler Centre in Melbourne. This centre for books, writing and ideas played a critical role in Melbourne achieving its status as a UNESCO designated City of Literature.
April 21, 2017/by Augustine Zycher

Fabian Dattner – My Top 5 Places in Australia

" You have to have a beard to be a leader in Antarctica." It was this statement that sparked the indignation and the imagination of Fabian Dattner and led to an unprecedented expedition of 75 women scientists to Antarctica.
February 17, 2017/by Augustine Zycher

Maestro Simone Young – My Top 5 Places in Australia

Maestro Simone Young AM is one of the world’s great opera and concert orchestra conductors. She has been called a ‘superconductor’, a conductor whose elegance and power, strength and sensitivity on the podium inspire her orchestra. She is a highly esteemed interpreter of the works of Wagner and Strauss, Mahler, Bruckner and Brahms, as well as those of contemporary composers.
July 4, 2016/by Rosalie Zycher

Polixeni Papapetrou – My Top 5 Places in Australia

When photographic artist Polixeni Papapetrou chose her 5 favourite places to visit in Australia, they were not just travel destinations. They were landscapes that captured her imagination and inspired her to transform them into her art. Dramatically beautiful, they are insightful and unsettling works.
July 3, 2016/by Augustine Zycher

Professor Marcia Langton AO – My Top 5 Places in Australia

Professor Marcia Langton AM is an anthropologist and geographer and holds the Foundation Chair of Australian Indigenous Studies at the University of Melbourne. She is a strong Indigenous leader with an unwavering commitment to achieve justice for her people.
May 27, 2016/by Augustine Zycher

Janette Jeffrey – My Top 5 Places in Australia

Janette Jeffrey has broken 7 World Records as a Masters Swimmer from 2015 -2016.
She also holds 9 National records in freestyle and breaststroke in her age group 65-69 years. That's just in the swimming pool.
In ocean swims she was the female wInner of the Cousins Travel Open Water 'Ocean' swim series 2016/17 in 60-69 age group. She has won her age group of the prestigious Lorne Pier to Pub race nine times.
But her picture made no front pages, and you have probably never heard of her.
If young sportswomen have great difficulty getting any coverage in mainstream media, it is almost impossible for older women competing in Masters events to do so.
December 2, 2015/by Augustine Zycher

Professor Gillian Triggs – My Top 5 Places in Australia

Gillian Triggs, Chair of Justice Connect, won enormous respect for her courage and fortitude in defence of human rights in her previous position as President of the Australian Human Rights Commission. This despite being subjected to unprecedented attacks and pressure from government ministers and their representatives.

Professor Triggs was catapulted into national headlines when she released a report on children in immigration detention. Tony Abbott, the then Prime Minister, Attorney-General George Brandis, and the then Immigration Minister Scott Morrison declared that the report was biased, that they had lost confidence in her and that she should resign.
November 13, 2015/by Augustine Zycher

Anne Summers – My Top 5 Places in Australia

Anne Summers AO can be described as someone who is always in the vanguard as a feminist, journalist, author, editor and publisher.

Now that the issue of domestic violence is on the national agenda, we recall that 41 years ago, Anne Summers lead the charge into an abandoned building in Sydney and co-founded Elsie, the first women’s refuge in Australia.
October 30, 2015/by Augustine Zycher

Renata Singer – My Top 5 Places in Australia

“ There are no signposts for women as they get older, “ says Renata Singer, author of the newly published book ‘Older and Bolder Life after 60 ’.

Throughout their lives, women have followed all the usual signposts - going to school, university, entering a profession, having a job, getting married, having children, often going back to work. But when they hit their 60s, this generation of women enters unknown territory. Retirement, isolation, and babysitting the grandchildren, are not attractive signposts for them.
October 14, 2015/by Augustine Zycher

Kathy Lette – My Top 5 Places In Australia

Kathy Lette epitomizes smart and sassy. Her razor sharp wit…
September 10, 2015/by Rosalie Zycher

Layne Beachley – My Top 5 Places in Australia

Layne Beachley was awarded the Order of Australia in 2015 and…
July 4, 2015/by Augustine Zycher

Olivia Newton-John – My Top 5 Places in Australia

We mourn the passing of Olivia. She was a personal friend. She…
May 14, 2015/by Rosalie Zycher

Anna Goldsworthy – My Top 5 Places in Australia

Anna Goldsworthy is an acclaimed solo pianist, memoirist, playwright, and librettist.
She has performed widely, particularly at festivals in Australia and throughout the world. As a chamber player, she is a founding member of the celebrated Seraphim Trio.
Her two memoirs, 'Piano Lessons' and 'Welcome to your New Life', have been widely acclaimed.
April 29, 2015/by Rosalie Zycher

Di Morrissey – My Top 5 Places in Australia

Di Morrissey is one of Australia’s most successful writers. She has written 23 best-selling novels and 2 children’s books. Each of her novels is anchored in a particular place that inspires her writing.
February 10, 2015/by Augustine Zycher

Maggie Beer – My Top 5 Places in Australia

Maggie Beer is an outstanding figure on the Australian culinary scene and was recognised on a postage stamp of Australia Post Australian Legends. She is known for her beautiful and accessible cooking using fresh, seasonal produce sourced locally.
December 7, 2014/by Augustine Zycher

Tracey Spicer – My Top 5 Places in Australia

When Tracey Spicer issued a call in October 2017 on Twitter for people to contact her if they had been subjected to workplace harassment and assault, she was astonished by the response.
More than 1,500 people contacted her with their #MeToo stories. Tracey then in 2018 spearheaded the establishment of Now Australia with the aim of raising funds to provide counselling and legal support to victims of workplace abuse.
November 17, 2014/by Augustine Zycher