Margaret Wilcox

06/09/2011

 
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 If there’s a message I would give to people in the same situation, it is never give up, never lose hope.

Margaret Wilcox

When Margaret’s daughter Tanya was 3 years old, she was abducted by her Libyan father and taken into hiding. It took Margaret fourteen years of heartache, private investigators, lawyers, red tape, and determination to be able to hold her daughter in her arms once again. Her daughter was confused and hurt, so Margaret wrote a long love letter to her explaining the extraordinary lengths she went to in hope of finding her again. This love letter was published into a book and has been translated into 6 languages, and offers hope for those in a similar situation. There is unfortunately very little help once borders are crossed in this kind of situation, as it is deemed a personal, and not a criminal matter. Margaret used her book, Gone, to create an awareness of the problem with the hope that those responsible for the legislation governing these problems can be encouraged to look for a solution. 


Photographer: Diane Macdonald
Location: Sydney
 
 
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 Encouraging others – especially older women – to realise their potential as writers and researchers has been the most fulfilling aspect of my career.

 Professor Emerita Elizabeth Webby AM FAHA

Throughout her life, Elizabeth has helped give a voice to many women writers and researchers, encouraging their development and pursuit of their artistic or scholarly ambitions. She has mentored women for decades, influencing the ways they explore the human condition and opening their minds to new ways of thinking. Elizabeth taught at the University of Sydney for 32 years and from 1988 to 1999 was the editor of Southerly, Australian’s oldest literary quarterly. In 2004, she was appointed a Member of the Order of Australia for her service to the study, teaching and promotion of Australian literature, for her support of Australian authors and for fostering links between academic and general reading communities. Many Australian students and authors have been helped by Elizabeth’s calm support and gentle guidance, as well as her passion for the written word.

http://www.poetrylibrary.edu.au/
http://www.womenwritersnsw.org/

Photographer: Diane Macdonald
Location: Sydney
 
 
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Young women today have no idea of the sexism we had to face - wives could be legally beaten by their husbands, death duties imposed on widows would leave them homeless and penniless. Being sexually harrassed by strangers was a common event. Women were not allowed into some clubs and could not be served alcohol in public bars. A lot of this has changed, due to the valiant efforts of previous generations of women fighting for the right to be treated equally.

Hilarie Lindsay MBE OAM PhD (Syd.)

Hilarie became aware of sexist attitudes from an early age - her mother refused to agree to “obey” her husband in her wedding vows in 1917. Hilarie, herself, started the campaign to abolish death duties on a dead husband’s estate which nearly always left the widow homeless and penniless. She wrote prolifically to newspapers on the rights of women and the need to have more women in parliament - knowing that it was possible to change the status quo through writing to alert the general public of these injustices to women. She started writing seriously in the 1960s under a penname to protect her privacy but then later, as she started winning awards, she began using her real name and became a mentor for many women writers, as well as President of the Society of Women Writers. She was awarded the MBE, the Queen’s Jubilee Medal and the OAM for Services to Literature. On top of her recent PhD, she still works as a Director of her toy manufacturing company, a company she joined over 65 years ago. She was the first female president of any division of the Chamber of Manufacturers - breaking the glass ceiling. This was at the time when women members were not admitted to the Annual Dinner, so she had to fight for the right to attend as she was President of the Toy & Games Manufacturers Association of Australia (TAGMA).  Currently, she is working on a novel and has two more books in the pipeline. Among the many organisations she’s been invovled, Hilarie is a long standing member of Zonta International, an organistion which works to raise the status of women and girls worldwide. 

http://zonta.org.au/Zonta_in_Australia/Home_to_3_Districts_of_Zonta_International.html

Photographer: Diane Macdonald
Location: Sydney
 

Susanne Gervay OAM

18/07/2011

 
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I write so that whatever faces young people, be it bullying, migration, family conflict, cancer, disability, war, they can dance and life is OK. They can be all that they want to be. 

Susanne Gervay OAM

Susanne’s daily life is the promotion of literature, literacy, heritage through her writing, advocacy for social justice and the restoration of The Hughenden c1870s which today is a home for literature and the arts. As the daughter of post war refugees, the re-establishment of The Hughenden in Australian life, her writing and work in literacy, is a testament to those immigrants who found home in Australia. Susanne is commmited to the writing community where she is Chair of the Board of the NSW Writers’ Centre; Ambassador for Room to Read bringing literacy to the children of the developing world; Role Model for Books in Homes taking books to indigenous and disadvantaged children. As a specialist in child growth and development, writer and children’s author, her books give a voice to young people and open positive communication in families and in the community.
http://www.sgervay.com/
http://www.thehughenden.com.au/


Photographer: Diane Macdonald
Location: The Hughenden, Woollahra, Sydney