HerStory Archive

O'SHANE, Patricia June

Also known as: Pat

Born: 19/6/1941

Aboriginal or Torrest Stait Islander: Yes

Special Achievements:

Pat O'Shane has many firsts to her name.  She was the first Aboriginal woman to become a school teacher in Queensland, the first Aboriginal woman to graduate in Law at an Australian university, the first Aboriginal woman to become a barrister, the first Aboriginal woman to head a government department (the New South Wales Department of Aboriginal Affairs, in 1981), the first Indigenous Australian to be appointed a magistrate for the local courts in New South Wales (1986) and the first woman ever to be appointed to the Metropolitan Water, Sewerage and Drainage Board.

Additional Information:

Pat has done a lot of work for mentally-ill people (for example she worked with the New South Wales Government on the Mental Health Act Review Committee as Patient's Advocate at Rozelle Hospital), has worked with the Office of Women's Affairs for the Federal Government, was the Chancellor of the University of New England and was awarded Medal of Australia (AM).


Resources

  • Image - Pat O'Shane

    Image courtesy of Pat O'Shane


  • References

    See Roberta Sykes' book, Murawina: Australian Women of High Achievement, Sydney : Doubleday, 1993, pages 65 and 69-73.