Women's Studies Program, Faculty of Arts

Identity area

Type of entity

University unit

Authorized form of name

Women's Studies Program, Faculty of Arts

Parallel form(s) of name

Standardized form(s) of name according to other rules

Other form(s) of name

  • Centre for Women's Studies

Identifiers for corporate bodies

Description area

Dates of existence

1976 - 2000


The Women’s Studies Program was established at the Australian National University in 1976 as a result of activism applied by students connected to the Women's Liberation movement. Dr Ann Curthoys was appointed as a Lecturing Fellow to develop and teach the course as a full-year single unit. A second course was added in 1978, and Susan Magarey took over as lecturer. In 1984, Dr Dorothy Broom (Department of Sociology) was appointed lecturer and convenor of the program. Dr Jill Julius Matthews (Department of History) was also appointed lecturer in 1984, becoming convenor in 1987, a role which alternated between them. In September 1995 the Program was reviewed by the University Council and designated the Centre for Women’s Studies, with Matthews as Director. Dr Jan Jindy Pettman (Department of Political Science) was appointed Director and Reader from the beginning of 1997 and at this time, there were four lecturers: Dr Jill Matthews, Dr Rosanne Kennedy, Dr Fiona Paisley and Dr E Wilson. In July 2000, the Centre for Women's Studies was abolished in a general reorganisation of the Faculty of Arts. In 2001, the 25th anniversary of the Women’s Studies Program was celebrated with a seminar featuring current and former staff including Ann Curthoys, Susan Magarey and Liz O’Brien.


Legal status

Functions, occupations and activities

teaching and learning

Mandates/sources of authority

Internal structures/genealogy

General context

Relationships area

Access points area


Control area

Authority record identifier

Institution identifier

Rules and/or conventions used


Level of detail

Dates of creation, revision and deletion

Entered from deposit description on 14 August 2012, updated 16 Jan 2017




ANU Archives: Records of the Women’s Studies Program, ANUA 22 and 102
ANU Archives: Records of Professor Jill Matthews, ANUA 424
ANU Archives: Council minutes, 1995-2000, ANUA 198
ANU annual reports, calendars and staff lists
A Curthoys, ‘Women’s Studies at the Australian National University: The early years’, Australian Feminist Studies, 13:27 (1998) 75-80.
JJ Matthews and D Broom, ‘Orphans of the storm: The attrition of the ANU women’s studies program’, Australian Universities’ Review, 34:2 (1991) 12-14.

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