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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Collie, Barbara (c. 1896 - 1970)

c. 1896
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia


Barbara Collie established the Collie Print Trust in 1967.


Barbara and her sister Catherine were daughters of Robert Collie, founder of the Collie printing ink company (later Collie Australia Ltd). Robert was of Scottish descent but born in Ireland. In 1857, at the age of four, he travelled with his family to Melbourne where his father took work as a farmer. Robert married Catherine Mary Atkins in 1881 and the pair had five children - three boys and two girls. Catherine Mary died in 1909 at the age of 47 when Barbara was just 13 years old and Catherine was 22. The sisters put aside opportunities for marriage in order to carry out family duties, and they cared for their father until his death in 1934 at the age of 82.

Philanthropic in her lifetime, Barbara donated the sculpture outside the Royal Women's Hospital in Carlton, Melbourne, to honour the work of the women's auxiliaries there. In 1967, seeking to perpetuate the memory of her father and brothers, she established the Collie Trust as part of the Barbara Collie Settlement with 100,000 ordinary 50 cent shares in the Collie printing business. Control of the trust was handed to the Trustees and Executors Agency Company, but Barbara's preference was for the money to be invested in the industry that had created the family wealth. The bequest deed was to fund technical education in graphic design equal to that available for printing students at the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology. Funds were distributed to the Melbourne School of Printing and Graphic Arts there, later the International Centre of Graphic Technology. Barbara left a second portion of her estate as a general charitable fund, with money to be donated to charitable organisations at the discretion of the trustees.

By 1980, the Collie Trust was disbursing $20,000 per annum, while a further $26,000 went to charitable organisations as per Barbara's directions. Catherine Collie also left her estate to charity, with $14,000 disbursed annually by 1980. In its current form, the Collie Trust offers a number of fellowships and scholarships and supports AGIdeas, an annual conference for graphic design students.

Barbara Lemon

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