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Ann Macaulay Cameron (1939–1998)

by Janine Haig

Ann Cameron and Bob Endean, 1989

Ann Cameron and Bob Endean, 1989

University of Queensland Archives, S909 p5585.6

Ann Macaulay Cameron, a Prefect at Fairholme in 1957, shared inspiring words in her Senior Year, which were published in the College Magazine. Ann went on to become a significant Zoologist, and an expert in marine toxicology.

Ann graduated with first class honours from UQ in 1963 and PhD in 1969. She was possibly the first Fairholme Old Girl to graduate PhD, and championed the way for many more.

“What have women done with the power they demanded and won with the franchise? Materially they have achieved wonders, in the democracies, at least. The housewife’s daily routine need no longer be a drudgery, and nearly all professions recognise career women in their ranks. This is a freedom of occupation and work, which should be improving understanding among the nations and strengthening hopes of universal freedom for the individual.

At home, brother and sisters are taught by their mothers that all things must be shared; that no one is allowed to grab and keep something that doesn’t belong to him; and that squabbles with playmates make everybody unhappy. Thus a mother teaches her children how to live with those among whom destiny places them. Obviously, the success of her teaching is measured by the degree to which those children, as adults, contribute to the happiness of the community.

The world is a large family. It has many mothers. But because those mothers have not effectively spoken as one, we struggle, reined in by the curb bits of ignorance, prejudice and fear. Education for girls is still ridiculed by those too near-sighted and unthinking to understand what education really is. How many women have inadequately equipped to teach their children simply because their own parents had said “Oh, she is only a girl, why send her to school? She’ll just get married and bring up a family, anyway.” Isn’t it the very fact that she will bring up a family, and have the responsibility of educating children in their formative years, that demands the education of women? Shouldn’t those entrusted with the guidance of the first questionings of children’s minds be those whom it is most necessary to educate?

Enlightened societies are beginning to realise this. Attempts are being made to bring elementary education to women of under developed areas, and better schools are priority targets in most countries. But such a limited programme is not enough. Universal education of women will save mankind, for women are the guardians of the race. Let every girl therefore be educated to the extent of her capabilities, and let every mother who did not enjoy more than primary schooling fight for a better education for her own children; for only when the women of all nations are educated and articulated and speak with universal authority in condemnation of suffering and pain, will man reach to the future with hope.” – A.M. Cameron, Fairholme Magazine, 1957.

Dr Ann Cameron died on October 17, 1998 after battling a long illness. She was just 59 years old, yet managed to achieve so much.

Ann was a University Honorary research associate in zoology and marine ecotoxicologist, and a noted advocate and public commentator on issues surrounding the Great Barrier Reef. She was part of the team that alerted the Government to the crown-of-thorns and its threat to the reef.

Dr Cameron was appointed a demonstrator in the University’s Zoology Department in 1961, a senior tutor in 1973, a lecturer in 1973 and senior lecturer in 1983. She was the Great-Granddaughter of Mrs Margaret Anne Cameron, the original owner of ‘Fairholme’.

Original Publication

Additional Resources

Citation details

Janine Haig, 'Cameron, Ann Macaulay (1939–1998)', People Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 1 October 2023.

© Copyright People Australia, 2012