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Jean Diamond Ray

Tasmanian Honour Roll of Women logo
Jean Ray

Awarded for service to community

Born: 9 March 1938

Entered on roll: 2019


“Setting up groups”

Jean Diamond Ray became the first female bursar in Tasmania when she was appointed Bursar at the Queenstown TAFE College, where she also tutored in accounting.

Jean emigrated from Scotland to North-West Tasmania and discovered the joy of learning as a trainee counsellor with the Marriage Council of Australia.

During the 1970s, Jean, an office assistant, became aware she could aspire to more challenging jobs and obtained a certificate of accounting at TAFE.

Accounting was an area mostly employing men. Jean eventually found employment in the community development area and worked with women and young unemployed people, where she gained skills helping local communities to set up their own groups. Setting up groups would continue through her career and into retirement.

When government funding ceased, Jean moved to Rosebery and worked as a mine clerk. In her spare time, she helped set up the Rosebery Neighbourhood Centre and volunteered as an Adult Education tutor.

When Jean moved to Queenstown, she set up the Community Youth Access Centre for the young unemployed, was a founding member of a new childcare centre, and of a family support unit in Zeehan that is now a Neighbourhood House.

Jean was an administrator for Women’s Health on the North-West Coast. She spent one year travelling the coast, spending time with local women for a research project and writing a report to the Minister of Health. While fulfilling the research project, Jean worked with committees and supported local women to set up groups and to assess needs, and she helped to access government funding.

Jean was Manager of the Wynyard Enterprise Centre, which was set up to assist people starting small businesses. She also tutored at Burnie TAFE and ran women’s classes in Waratah and Smithton and was also Registrar at Hellyer College in Burnie.

Jean is now a member of a Red Hat Group, which she also set up.

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