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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Downing, Jean Olive (1923 - )

Born
22 December 1923
Dubbo, New South Wales, Australia
Occupation
Businesswoman, Local government councillor, Political candidate and Social worker
Alternative Names
  • MacGregor, Jean Olive (maiden name)
  • Norman, Jean Olive (former married name)

Summary

Jean Downing stood as a candidate for the Australian Labor Party in the Legislative Assembly seat of Doncaster at the Victorian state election, which was held on 5 May 1979. She was also a candidate in the 1977 Federal election for the seat of Diamond Valley. In 1978 she was elected as a councillor to the Eltham Shire Council and served a three year term.

Details

Jean Downing was educated at public primary schools in New South Wales and Victoria before completing her secondary education at Presbyterian Ladies' College (PLC) in Melbourne in 1939. In 1946 she completed her tertiary education at the University of Melbourne with a Bachelor of Arts and Diploma of Social Studies. She was the first appointee as a Social Worker to the Children's Court Psychiatric clinic in Melbourne.

In 1947 she married Arthur Howard Norman and had five sons and two daughters, including two sets of twins. After Howard Norman's death in 1959 she assumed responsibilty for managing the family firm, Norman Bros. Pty Ltd until 1978.

In 1965 she married Richard Ivan Downing Professor of Economics at the University of Melbourne. They had a daughter.

After 1976 she returned to Social Work with appointments at the Heidelberg Repatriation Hospital, the International Social Service, the Austin Hospital and the Department of Social Security.

In 1978 she was elected to the Eltham Shire Council and served a three year term.

Her voluntary appointments included serving on the Councils of the University of Melbourne, (1983-87) PLC, Coburg State College, College of the Arts, Eltham High School, Equal Opportunity Advisory (1983) and the Board of Social Studies at the University of Melbourne.

She is a member of the Lyceum Club and the Catalysts.

Related entries

Archival resources

National Library of Australia, Oral History and Folklore Collection

  • Jean Downing interviewed by Susan Marsden [sound recording], ORAL TRC 5949; National Library of Australia, Oral History and Folklore Collection. Details

Rosemary Francis

Site-wide information and acknowledgements

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

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