Students at the University of Sydney

Early women students

Winifred Haughton Lipscomb (later Herbert)

Winifred Haughton Lipscomb (later Herbert) graduated Bachelor of Arts in 1913 and Bachelor of Economics in 1916, one of the first two women students admitted to the Department of Economics and Commerce in 1913.


Her early years

Winifred Haughton Lipscomb was eldest daughter of Benjamin Lipscomb, solicitor. His first wife, Elizabeth Somerville Ward, died in 1873 aged 32, three years after their marriage; his second wife was Phoebe Gertrude Maunsell.

Her father died in 1913, her mother in 1934.

Winifred had a younger sister and two brothers.

Her student days at the University of Sydney

Winifred Lipscomb matriculated and was admitted to the Faculty of Arts in 1910 at the University of Sydney. In second year in 1911, Winifred was an evening student, and was Second Year Representative on the University Women Evening Students' Association, which was formed on 12 April 1911 to promote social relations among Women Evening Students, past and present, and to further the interests of Evening Students. She was Honorary Secretary of the University Women Evening Students' Association in 1912, and graduated Bachelor of Arts in 1913.

The same year Winifred enrolled in the Department of Economics and Commerce, one of the first two women students admitted. She won Professor Irvine's Prize for Economics I, with a High Distinction in Economics I, Distinctions in Business Principles and Practice, and Economic Geography. She was also enrolled in the Diploma of Education Students. She gained a Distinction in Economics II in her second year in 1914, served as President of the University Women Evening Students Association in 1914 and 1915, and graduated Bachelor of Economics with Third Class Honours in 1916.

Her career

Winifred married Horace Walter Herbert on 27 December 1918 at Mosman; they had both graduated Bachelor of Economics from the University of Sydney in 1916. They moved to Brisbane where Herbert became Assistant Manager then Manager for Queensland of the Union Trustee Company of Australia. He was also President of the Taxpayers Association of Queensland.

After her marriage, Winifred Herbert raised three children, carried out a busy social life with her husband and and was involved in of social, philanthropic and community work, in particular in relation to women's issues, the war effort and the Brisbane Symphony Orchestra.

  • She was President of the Lyceum Club from 1938 to 1940 and was involved with the National Council of Women (NCW), e.g. representing the Lyceum Club on the Brisbane Council of the NCW, and as broadcasting convenor, arranging for talks over a Brisbane station by representatives of women's organisations and interesting visitors to Queensland in 1948.
  • She was Vice-President then President of the ladies' committee of the Brisbane Symphony Orchestra (BSO) and initiated the formation of a Queensland branch of the Council for the Encouragement of Music and the Arts in 1940.
  • She was a member of the Committee for the Letters From Home Association in 1940, and involved in activities for the war effort given by the organisations she belonged to.
Winifred Herbert in 1938

Winifred Herbert in 1938, image from 'The Courier Mail', 4 June 1938, National Library of Australila.


One of her children was Dorothy Herbert, who became a pilot and a doctor. For her service to rural medicine through the Royal Flying Doctor Service, and to aviation through the Australian Women Pilot's Association - of which she was a founding member - Dr Dorothy Herbert became a Member of the Order of Australia in 1999.


Information sources
  • National Library of Australia historic newspapers
  • The University of Sydney Calendar archive