Australian Women's Register

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Tellick, Peggy (1916 - 1992)

Adjudicator, Teacher and Theatre performance
Alternative Names
  • Tellick, Laura Margaret (also known as)


Laura Margaret Tellick (1916-1992) enjoyed a varied career. Her theatrical talent showed itself early. In 1922 the Newcastle Sun reported a 'fine entertainment' in St Peter's Hall Hamilton in which she was among those who 'ably supported' the stars of 'Soot and the Fairies'.[1]

She graduated BA DipEd in 1940 from the University of Melbourne and her involvement with the University continued long afterwards as she acted in and directed various theatrical productions with the Students' Annual Revue and later, the Tin Alley Players. She became their President, adjudicating in that capacity at the second Tasmanian Drama Festival in 1948.[2] Peggy Tellick combined theatrical work with teaching and at the time of her Tasmanian trip (having previously worked at a school in Eltham) was teaching French and gymnastics at Camberwell High School.

In the 1950s she took up journalism, writing in the Australian Women's Weekly a feature article she described as 'a theoretical drop of water engaged in wearing away a stony portion of top-management mentality':

The scarcity of women in public life in Australia could be due less to masculine domination than to feminine complacency. But I believe that, most of all, it is due to a strongly marked Australian characteristic - distrust of the unconventional. It is conventional for women to get married and concentrate on being wives and mothers. The woman who does not conform with this convention is therefore distrusted, persistently nudged back into what is felt should be her proper sphere.[3]

In the early 1970s she worked in public relations for the British Nylon Spinners (Australia) Pty Ltd (later Fibremakers Australia). In 1978 Peggy Tellick took a new position at the University of Wollongong where:

She was instrumental in laying the foundations for the good relations which the University still maintains with the local media. She rapidly became known as something of a campus character. Her career came to a sudden and untimely end when she suffered a massive stroke while attending a Christmas function in December 1979. Although severely physically disabled, Peggy lived in the Illawarra Retirement Trust Nursing Home at Towradgi until January 1992. Peggy endured the tedium of nursing home life with great courage and during this time she retained a remarkable memory and an acerbic wit.[4]

[1] 'Soot and the Fairies Fine Entertainment'. Newcastle Herald. 1 April 1922: 8.

[2] Mercury. 10 April 1948: page 4; 'Of Interest to Women: Melbourne Adjudicator for Drama Festival'. Examiner. Saturday 3 April 1948: 8.

[3] Peggy Tellick. 'No Room at the Top - for Women'. Australian Women's Weekly. 4 April 1962: 4.

[4] 'Obituaries: Peggy Tellick'. Wollongong Outlook: the University Alumni Magazine. Autumn 1992: 23.

Sources used to compile this entry: Flesch, Juliet, 40 Years 40 Women: Biographies of University of Melbourne Women, Published to Commemorate the 40th Anniversary of the International Year of Women, The University of Melbourne Library, 2015;

This entry is reproduced in its entirety from 40 Years 40 Women: Biographies of University of Melbourne Women with permission of Juliet Flesch and The University of Melbourne Library. Copyright remains with the author and the University of Melbourne, 2015.

Juliet Flesch

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