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Breaking glass ceilings at the Australian Museum

By: Patricia Egan, Category: Science, Date: 27 Jan 2014

Appointed in 1972, Dame Leonie Kramer AC, DBE, was the first female trustee of the Australian Museum.

Breaking glass ceilings at the Australian Museum

 © Australian Museum

Dame Leonie Kramer, AC, DBE has served on the boards of numerous corporations and cultural institutions during her many years of community service. Rarely mentioned are the 5 years she served as a Trustee on the Board of the Australian Museum.

On 8 February 1972 the Australian Museum Trust minutes record:

“Nominated Dr. K.  L. Sutherland, seconded by Mr W. H. Maze that Professor Leonie Judith Kramer B.A. (Melbourne) D. Phil. (Oxford) F.A.H.A. Professor of Australian Literature, the University of Sydney, be elected to the Board of Trustees, carried unanimously”.

What is not recorded is that Dame Leonie was the first female trustee at the Museum – an unacknowledged, yet highly significant moment!

Dame Leonie’s regular participation in the strategic management of the Museum was greatly appreciated and her special skills were particularly valuable to the National Photographic Index of Australian Wildlife Book Publishing Project where she served as the Literary Honorary Consultant. Dame Leonie retired as a Trustee in April 1978 but not before a second woman, Carol Serventy, joined the Board in November 1976.