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Gwynneth Vaughan Buchanan

1886 - 1945.

University of Melbourne Archives, UMA/1/1553

Gwynneth Buchanan was born in Sydney in 1886 and raised in Melbourne. She graduated from the University of Melbourne in 1908 with first class honours in science, winning a scholarship in biology. Research into the embryology of Australian marsupials, partly completed at University College London, won her a D.Sc. in 1916. She extended this research into the study of human embryology, and also wrote a text-book, Elements of Animal Morphology, which was used in schools and universities for many years. After some years of teaching at the Prebyterian Ladies College she was appointed in 1921 as a lecturer in Zoology at the University of Melbourne.

Dr Buchanan was active in the Victorian Women Graduates’ Association, becoming its president in 1934-35, and a delegate to the conferences of the International Federation of University Women in Oslo in 1924, and in Cracow in 1936. She was a founder of the University Women’s college, one of its first governors, and a council member until 1945. She was also president of the Lyceum Club, and president of both the University Women’s Hockey Club and the Victorian Women’s Hockey Association.

This short biography is drawn from the much longer account by Cecily Close published in the Australian Dictionary of Biography and accessible here.

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