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Awarded for service to the Community, service to Human Rights
Entered on roll: 2005
Born in Bulli, New South Wales, Anne O’Byrne was educated in Sydney. She trained and worked at the Royal Alexandra Hospital for Children at Camperdown from 1949 until 1961 and was Foundation Charge Sister responsible for the Cardiac Intensive Care Unit.
She came to Tasmania after marrying Senator Justin O’Byrne (later President of the Senate) in 1961 and had three children, two daughters and a son.
Anne has been at the forefront of women’s organisations in Launceston since the early 1960s. She has served as President of the Penguin Club (1964) and National Council of Women (1977-78), and President and Vice President of Zonta (1993-96 and 1996-98). She was the Foundation President of the Launceston Community Hostel (1977-85) and a member of the Hostel Management Committee until its closure.
Anne’s involvement in health administration has included being a member of the Launceston General Hospital Board (1968-71), Northern Regional Health Board (1987-94) and Queen Victoria Hospital Board (1976-87). As Chair of the Northern Regional Health Board, Anne played a major role in the establishment of the Clifford Craig Medical Research Foundation.
Anne’s interest in politics and women’s issues is also reflected in her membership of the Women’s Electoral Lobby since 1971, her contribution to the National Women’s Consultative Council as Deputy Convenor (1986-88) and Convenor (1988-89) and her time as a Board Member of the National Foundation of Women (1999-2001). Anne was secretary of the Labor Women’s Branch (1968), foundation secretary of the Australian Labor Party Sisterhood (1968-71) and Vice-President of the Tasmanian Branch of the ALP (1983-85). Anne helped to establish the Launceston Women’s Shelter in 1973.
Anne is President of the Friends of the ABC Tasmania, a member of the Launceston Refugee Support Group and the Australian Women’s Archives Project.
Anne’s service to her community and the State were recognised in 2001 when she received a Centenary Medal and was named a Member of the Order of Australia.