Australian Women's Register

An initiative of The National Foundation for Australian Women (NFAW) in conjunction with The University of Melbourne

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    Photograph of Frederika Steen, head of the Women's Desk, Department of Immigration and Ethinic Affairs, 1984-7, c. 1985, courtesy of Allen and Unwin.
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Steen, Frederika

Born
Netherlands
Occupation
Public servant and Refugee Advocate
Alternative Names
  • Steen, Freddie

Summary

A former Canberran of the Year (1984), and Centenary Medal winner, Frederika Steen has been actively involved in community, refugee, multicultural and human rights activities for thirty years. She retired from the Department of Immigration in 2001 after a distinguished career in settlement services and three years' service as the Chief Migration Officer, in the Australian Embassy in Germany. In 1984, in response to recommendations that where possible, federal government departments should establish women's units, the Department of Immigration and Ethnic Affairs established a Women's Desk. Frederika Steen was the inaugural head of the Women's Desk between 1984-87. Her major focus, while director of the women's desk, was to provide information and build up the confidence of migrant women to 'do it for themselves' and make demands on the system.

In 2006 she is a volunteer worker at the Romero Centre in Brisbane, a group of Australians supporting refugees on temporary visas.

Sources used to compile this entry: Sawer, Marian, 'Double Disadvantage: Migrant and Aboriginal Women', in Sisters in Suits: Women and Public Policy in Australia, Allen and Unwin, North Sydney, 1990, pp. 107-139.

Related entries

Women of Netherlands Heritage

Related Organisations

Archival resources

Private Hands (contact Australian Women's Archive Project)

  • Interview with Frederika Steen; Private Hands (contact Australian Women's Archive Project). Details

Digital resources

Title
Photograph of Frederika Steen, head of the Women's Desk, Department of Immigration and Ethinic Affairs, 1984-7
Type
Image
Date
c. 1985
Control
Frederika Steen
Publisher
Allen and Unwin

Details

Title
Photograph of Dorothy Buckland-Fuller
Type
Image
Date
c. 1985
Creator
Steen, Frederika
Publisher
Allen and Unwin

Details

Nikki Henningham

Site-wide information and acknowledgements

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

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ISSN 2207-3124