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MacLeod, Barbara Denise (1929 - 2000)

AM

Born
15 February 1929
Bunbury, Western Australia
Died
9 January 2000
Mollymook, New South Wales, Australia
Occupation
Servicewoman

Summary

Former primary school teacher Barbara MacLeod joined the Women's Royal Australian Naval Service in 1954. During her service she served in every Australian state except Western Australia. In 1976 MacLeod became the first woman officer of any service to attend the Australian Administrative Staff College (AASC). Three years later she was the first woman naval officer of Captain's rank to be posted to a male Captain's position. In 1982 MacLeod became an Honorary Aide-de-Camp (ADC) to Queen Elizabeth. She was the first Australian woman to be appointed as an ADC, a post which had to be relinquished on her retirement. On 9 June 1975 Naval Officer Barbara MacLeod became a Member of the Order of Australia. She was also awarded the Queen's Silver Jubilee Medal (1977) and the National Medal (1977) and Bar (1979).

Details

Events

1950
Graduated from the Western Australian Teachers College
1951 - 1953
Primary school teacher in Western Australia
November 1953
Joined the Women's Royal Australian Naval Service (WRANS) as a Direct Entry Officer Candidate
January 1954
Commenced Officer Training Course
24 May 1954
Commissioned as a probationary Third Officer
30 June 1958
Promoted to Second Officer
30 June 1962
Promoted to First Officer
November 1963
Advised on the setting up of the Wrans' quarters at HMAS Albatross, the naval air station at Nowra, NSW
1970
First woman sent by Defence to the Australian Administrative Staff College
1971 - 1973
Command WRANS officer to flag officer commanding East Australian Area
30 June 1972
Promoted to Chief Officer
April 1973 - 1979
Appointed Director of the WRANS
1975
Foundation member of the Australian Naval Institute
1975 - 1978
Vice-president of the Australian Naval Institute
9 June 1975
Appointed a member in the Military Divisions of the Order of Australia
1976
Completed Advance Course at the Australian Administrative Staff College (AASC)
1977
Awarded the Queen's Silver Jubilee Medal
14 July 1977
Awarded the National Medal
1979 - 1984
Appointed Director of Navy Industrial policy and responsible for policy on housing, leave and pay
29 June 1979
Awarded Bar for the National Medal
1982
Appointed Aide-de-Camp to Queen Elizabeth and required to attend Royal functions whenever the Queen was in Australia

Sources used to compile this entry: Cohn, Lawrence (ed.), Requiem for a Wran : New South Wales Ex-Wrans Association, Antelope Press, Doncaster, Vic., 2003, 95 pp. pps 81-82.; Fenton Huie, Shirley, Ships belles : the story of the Women's Royal Australian Naval Service in war and peace 1941-1985, Watermark Press, Balmain, N.S.W., 2000, 341 pp. pps 265-267.; Lofthouse, Andrea (ed.), Who's Who of Australian Women, Methuen Australia, North Ryde (NSW), 1982, 504 pp. p. 302..

Related entries

Related Organisations

  • Women's Royal Australian Naval Service (WRANS) (1941 - 1984)

    At the time of her retirement, Captain MacLeod had become the highest-ranking woman in the Navy, achieving a status - the closest any woman in any of the Services had come - to flag rank. In the Navy this is Commodore or Rear Admiral

    Date: 1953 - 1984

Archival resources

National Library of Australia Newspaper Microcopy Reading Room

  • [Biographical cuttings on Barbara MacLeod, former Chief Officer, WRANS]; National Library of Australia Newspaper Microcopy Reading Room. Details

Anne Heywood

Site-wide information and acknowledgements

National Foundation for Australian Women The University of Melbourne, eScholarship Research Centre

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