News

A positive framework of inspiring women


15 June 2012

(L-R) Elizabeth Elliott, Elizabeth Webby and Hilarie Lindsay are some of the inspiring women in this exhibition that are connected to the University of Sydney. [Images: Diane Macdonald]
(L-R) Elizabeth Elliott, Elizabeth Webby and Hilarie Lindsay are some of the inspiring women in this exhibition that are connected to the University of Sydney. [Images: Diane Macdonald]

A number of University of Sydney women are featured in a photographic project that documents 50 inspiring women who have had a positive impact on the community.

The project is the brainchild of Sydney College of the Arts graduate Diane Macdonald, who came up with the idea when she needed to create a major work as a master's student in the SCA's Graduate School.

Her subjects include former or current University of Sydney staff and students: paediatrician Professor Elizabeth Elliott; the distinguished Australian literature expert Elizabeth Webby; women's rights activist Hilarie Lindsay; fundraiser Jo Davison; media identity and volunteer Julie McCrossin; security expert Dr Leanne Piggott; and Annie Crawford, the founder of Can Too, which raises funds for cancer research.

The seed for the project started 11 years ago when Macdonald was an expatriate living in Malaysia, she explains. She befriended a woman who, as a fellow foreigner, couldn't work, and so decided to raise money for a special needs school instead.

"I was always a little awed that someone could set out to change the lives of people she had never known, and in the long run create such positive meaningful change for people who weren't able to do it for themselves, for whatever reason," Diane says.

"I was curious to meet more people that were doing this kind of work."

Diane's first subjects were people she knew and admired, and she then asked each of them for recommendations of other women they admired.

"My hope in the end is that these portraits reflect the generosity of their spirit and the strength of their convictions."

The photographs were exhibited earlier this month at the Women's College at the University of Sydney. They can now be seen online at the website Positively Remarkable Women, where each image is accompanied by a short story about the inspiring woman captured in the frame.


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Media enquiries: Kath Kenny, 0478 303 173, 02 9351 1584, kath.kenny@sydney.edu.au