Eileen Good: The first of a long lineage of high-achievers

Eileen Good (1893 - 1986)

While BE—150 provides an opportunity to focus on the excellence and achievement of the staff, students and practitioners who have gone before us – it is also a chance to have serious discussions about the work of embracing a strong diversity and inclusion agenda. We have many role models to draw inspiration from in this endeavour.

The first woman to graduate – Eileen Good – within our discipline provides an exemplar. In 1920, she became the first woman to graduate with the Diploma of Architecture from the University, and only the 13th candidate overall. She was only the third woman to enrol in the course.

Following graduation, Good went on to work for architect F. Louis Klingender for six months. She then established herself as a sole practitioner, specialising in domestic architecture. She was the first female member of the Royal Victorian Institute of Architects when elected in 1920.

Eileen Good
Eileen Good, Charles Bush portrait 1957, University of Melbourne Art Collection

Good continued her association with the University after graduation. In 1924 she was employed as the first female and only full-time academic staff member in the School of Architecture at the University of Melbourne, making her the first woman to teach in an architecture school in Australia. In 1949 Eileen was appointed to the position of lecturer, and she continued to work at the University of Melbourne until her retirement in 1962.

Good is the first in a long lineage of high-achieving female graduates within our built environment community. There are so many more – Ellison Harvie, Cynthea Teague and Phyllis Murphy to name but a few – all blazing a trail for us to follow within our disciplines.