Commendation – Victorian Community History Awards 2020
Breaking New Ground by Associate Professor Helen Billman-Jacobe and Dr Ann Westmore, follows the lives and careers of fourteen of the first female agricultural scientists to spend a residential year at Dookie Agricultural College in central Victoria during their studies at the University of Melbourne. The biographies draw on interviews with the women and media coverage of their attendance. Intriguingly, they also draw upon answers given to a survey completed by these (then young) women in the mid-1960s in which they told of their pathways intro agricultural science, and their career expectations and aspirations.
The women featured in the book are Nancy Millis, Pat Howard (Scales), Liz Burnet (Dexter), Peg Webb Ware (Lade), Gwen Hotton, Mary Cook (Dixon), Katherine Neal (de Pury), Barbara Hall, Vyrna Smith (Beilharz), Judith Yuncken (Lumb), Liz Shallard (Kerry), Joan Powling, Andrea Wilcox (Lindsay) and Enid Johnson (Woodside).
Associate Professor Helen Billman-Jacobe is a microbiologist in the Faculty of Veterinary and Agricultural Science at the University of Melbourne. Her scientific research is focused on animal health and agriculture. She also has a keen interest in biography and history of science.
Ann Westmore is an award-winning author specialising in science, medicine and their histories. She has a BSc, MSc and PhD from the University of Melbourne where is an Honorary Fellow in the School of Population and Global Health. She has a long-standing interest in the land and with her husband runs a small farm raising Angus beef cattle.