Friday, December 25, 2009

Australian Women 2009 Highlights

From the Herald Sun:
MARY MacKILLOP: The Roman Catholic Church recognised her as a saint after the Vatican accepted that two medical miracles in the 1990s were attributable to her. Born in Melbourne in 1842, she dedicated her life to social work and educating the poor. She was once excommunicated for insubordination.

ANNA BLIGH: Labor's successor to Peter Beattie had something to thank for the Bjelke-Petersen years. She was first drawn to politics as a uni student watching police clobber right-to-march demonstrators. "I grew up in a time when people regarded Queensland as backward," she said. "Who would have thought we would be the first state in Australia to elect a female premier?"

KRISTINA KENEALLY: The first female premier in NSW also became part of the first all-female leadership team in Australian political history, with CARMEL TEBBUTT remaining as deputy premier. But she was installed by the party power brokers, not the voters, and has inherited a government in serious if not terminal decline. Defeated premier Nathan Rees said whoever replaced him would be a "puppet" of the back-room power brokers.

ELIZABETH BLACKBURN: Deserves more fame than she is likely to get in an age of short attention spans and reality TV, though her work may help unravel the mysteries of ageing and cancer. She is examining how genes remain intact through repeated cell division, thanks to things called telomeres. They're the end caps on DNA which prevent fraying, as she says, a bit like plastic tips on shoelaces.

JULIE GOODWIN: NSW mother of four Julie Goodwin became Australia's first MasterChef. Everyone fond of eating - that's most of us - should hope she achieves her ambition to serve good, unpretentious food in a cosy little restaurant. "I just want it to be a warm and welcoming place that people love to be in," she said. "And when they leave, I want them to feel like they've been loved."

JUDY MORAN: The woman whose husband and two sons were murdered in Melbourne's gangland wars was herself charged with murdering her brother-in-law, Desmond "Tuppence" Moran.

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