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Hynes, Sarah (1859 - 1938)

OBE

Born
30 September 1859
Danzig, Prussia, Germany
Died
27 May 1938
Randwick, New South Wales, Australia
Occupation
Botanist, Public servant and Teacher
Alternative Names
  • Hynes, Sally (preferred name)

Summary

Sarah Hynes was the first woman to hold a government appointment in science in New South Wales. In 1934 she was appointed Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE).

Details

Sarah Hynes was born in Danzig, Prussia and lived in England until migrating to Australia with her family in 1884, when her father became managing director of the Australasian Steam Navigation Co.

She was educated at Edinburgh Ladies' College, London, and at Chichester College, Sussex. She received a botanical certificate from South Kensington Museum, Science and Art Department.

After travelling to Australia, she enrolled at the University of Sydney and graduated in 1891 with a Bachelor of Arts and a major in botany. In 1892 she became the first woman to join the Linnean Society of New South Wales, which promotes the cultivation and study of the science of natural history.

She began her career in sciecne as a teacher at Sydney Technical College in 1897. In 1898 she was offered a position as botanical assistant at the Sydney Technological (Powerhouse) Museum, thereby becoming the first woman to hold a government appointment in science in New South Wales. She later transferred to the herbarium at the Botanic Gardens but clashed with her male superior, ultimately leading her to transfer to the Department of Public Instruction in 1910.

In 1913 she returned to teaching, first at Cleveland Street then at Petersham High Schools, seeing out her career in 1923 at St George Girls' High School.

In 1934 she was appointed an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE).

Sources used to compile this entry: Hooker, Claire, 'Hynes, Sarah (1859-1938)', in Australian Dictionary of Biography Online, Australian National University, 2006, http://www.adb.online.anu.edu.au/biogs/AS10242b.htm.

Isobelle Barrett Meyering

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