Gwynneth Dickins

Gwynneth is one of the Faculty’s very connected alumni, who has met up with her particular group of friends every year since graduation. Her father (an Anglican Minister) had a degree from Cambridge and it was always assumed that she would go to University.

Gwynneth says “Being a girl was no problem, it was the money – in order to enrol and to live in Melbourne, I would need scholarships.” The process of entry was simple – as well as being awarded a Commonwealth Scholarship that covered the fees, she acquired a place at Janet Clarke Hall. Of the 33 students in her first year of B.Arch., only six were women. It is the four pictured here who have kept in constant contact ever since. Gwynneth says she never felt any sense of discrimination, then or later in the workforce.

After graduation, Gwynneth worked at Bates Smart McCutcheon and, once the family came along, she worked as a sole practitioner, based at home. There were many late nights when her children were young. One of her specialties was in planning office interiors, and she applied her instinct for organisation to remodelling domestic spaces as well. Once computers entered the professional life of an architect, Gwynneth lost some interest in the work, and the increasing complexity of planning applications and changing regulations meant she converted her favourite drawing board and T-square into tools of a different trade – pressing them into service for crafty and more domestic arts. Gwynneth regards her greatest achievement as combining work that she enjoyed with family life – also highly enjoyable.

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