A brief history

The USQ Women's Network held its first meeting in December 1991. The dedicated women who organised this gathering saw this initiative as providing a forum that could address ideas and issues of interest to women within the University community. The first task of the broadly representative Executive Committee, which was elected in January 1992, was to set out a program of activities for the year. In doing so, the Executive attempted to address all the needs and interests regarded as most important by female staff, as well as allowing for women at USQ 'to meet, have fun, develop and support one another'. It resolved to:

  • organise monthly meetings and events with guest speakers
  • prepare and circulate a monthly newsletter
  • work through a number of sub-committees to ‘investigate issues and spearhead discussions'.

Then followed a brochure produced in the same year which outlined the purposes of the Women's Network as endeavouring to:

  • enable information sharing both informally and through seminar sessions
  • establish a network both informally and through the identification of key women/positions on campus
  • provide a consultative role to USQ management
  • encourage and enable greater female representation on key University committees
  • provide access to women willing to play the role of mentors in terms of career progression
  • encourage women in research and assist women in developing the necessary skills to do so
  • identify a spokesperson/group prepared to take issues arising from network meeting to senior management.

Key figures in the initial establishment of the group were the Equal Opportunity Officer, June Wilson; Dorothy Baker from the USQ Library; and Charmaine Ryan from the Business Faculty.

In the years that have followed, three very successful conferences were held bringing together women from the USQ campus and from the Toowoomba community.