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

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Weekes, Hazel Claire (Claire) (1903 - 1990)


Medical practitioner and Broadcaster


Claire Weekes graduated from the University of Sydney with a BSc in 1926 and became a demonstrator in zoology at the university, where she was awarded a Macleay Fellowship. After study at University College London on a Rockefeller scholarship in 1929, she returned to Sydney to do a DSc on Placentation amongst reptiles, being the first woman to receive a DSc (in 1930) from the University of Sydney.

She then studied singing at the New South Wales Conservatorium and went to Europe in 1935 for further study. Sadly, the reaction of her voice to varying climatic conditions made a singing career impossible, so she returned to Sydney, where she opened a travel agency and wrote a guidebook.

In 1945 she graduated MB with honours from the University of Sydney and went into general practice at Bondi. She then went on to specialize in the treatment of nervous ills and was at some stage a physician at the Rachel Forster Hospital for Women and Children in Sydney. In 1962 she published her book Self Help for your Nerves and later lectured on the BBC. She became famous for her methods of treatment of anxiety neuroses, using tapes and long playing records.

She was appointed MBE - Member of The Order of the British Empire (Civil) - 30 December 1978 for medicine.

Sources used to compile this entry: Medical Directory of Australia 1970, p.863, and 'The Women's College - History: Famous Past Students: Hazel Weekes ',

Anne Heywood

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