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Kathleen Sherrard, née McInerney

1898-1975.


Kathleen McInerney was born in 1898 in North Carlton, Melbourne. She graduated with honours in Geology from the University of Melbourne (M.Sc. 1921), joined the university staff as a demonstrator, and rose to be assistant-lecturer in Geology. In 1927 she completed six months of research on crytallography at the University of Cambridge. In 1928 she married Howard Sherrard, a civil engineer. After her marriage she persevered with her research, making important discoveries in the field of graptolites (extinct marine fossils). Her two children sometimes accompanied her on field trips. She also helped establish the Australian Association of Scientific Workers in 1939, including scientists who like herself did not hold academic positions. After her death the fossil Monograptus sherrardae was named in honour of her pioneering work in the study of graptolites.


Kathleen McInerney was the founding honorary secretary of the Victorian Women Graduates’ Association, holding the position from 1920-1923. From 1928-1938 she was honorary secretary of the Australian Federation of University Women, and for many years she was an active member of the International Federation of University Women.


This brief biography is drawn from Rachel Grahame’s much fuller account in the Australian Dictionary of Biography, which can be accessed here.

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