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Ada Mary à Beckett, née Lambert

1872 - 1948.


Ada Lambert was born in 1872 in Norwood, South Australia, and educated at the Adelaide Advanced School for Girls. She graduated from the University of Melbourne in 1897 with an M.Sc. in biology. While studying she lived in Trinity College Hostel, later Janet Clark Hall. She was a founding member of the Victorian Women Graduates’ Association, and in 1926 she was vice-president of the association. In 1923-26 and 1928 she chaired the Janet Clarke Hall Committee.


From 1893 Ada Lambert taught science at a number of girls schools in Melbourne and Geelong, and from 1898 she demonstrated and periodically lectured in biology at the University of Melbourne. She married in 1903 but resumed teaching in 1912 after the birth of her third son. From 1921- 1937 she taught biology full-time at Scotch College.


Ada Lambert/à Beckett is best remembered today for her work with the kindergarten movement and the education of preschool children. She was also active in the National Council of Women, the Lyceum Club, and the Victoria League.


This short biography is drawn from the much fuller account by Julie Marginson in the Australian Dictionary of Biography, which can be accessed here.

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