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26 Aug 19

Student opinion

Wesley Women of Influence formal dinner

On Monday, 12 August 2019, the dining hall was packed with Wesley’s current residents all eager for their first formal dinner since returning from the winter holiday break. We were graced with the presence of 5 influential women and proud Old Cols who attended tonight in light of 2019 marking 50 years of women living at Wesley College.

Libby Gleeson AM was a member of the first 11 women to join and live at Wesley in 1969 making Wesley the first ever co-educational college at the University of Sydney. Libby is a well renowned figure in Australian literature as a highly acclaimed author of books for teenagers and children, some of which our current freshers are familiar with having read throughout their primary and senior schooling.

Dr Anna Broinoswki was a fresher at Wesley in 1985. Anna is currently a Screen Arts lecturer at the University of Sydney and has had an award-winning career as a filmmaker and author of subversive political documentaries and books.

Joanne Gray was a fresher at Wesley in 1983. Joanne is currently the managing editor of The Australian Financial Review (AFR) after years of national and international experience in editor and writing roles with Bloomberg News in Switzerland, Asiamoney in Hong Kong as well as the Washington Correspondent for the AFR.

Her Honour Judge Penelope Wass SC was a fresher at Wesley in 1984. After a rewarding career at the New South Wales Bar involved in a range of civil and criminal practices, her honour was sworn in as a judge of the District Court of New South Wales in 2016.

The women spoke to the current student residents expressing their appreciation for Wesley as a home which allowed them to pursue their academic and career goals. They shared memorable moments from their time at college mentioning the strong bonds that formed lifelong friendships.

They entertained the students with their relatable experiences with the still prominent college traditions. With the serious issues surrounding sexism in the workplace during their time at university, the women acknowledged Wesley’s progressive culture and the treatment of women and men and discussed how they felt safe during their time at Wesley.

These very influential women spoke proudly and honestly of their time at Wesley as they recounted their wonderful stories from their college years. This formal dinner was a standout for the year, and for many, the best one so far!