1924 - 2008.
Philippa McCall died in May 2008, before just before the award of a bursary in her honour.
She left Graduate Women Victoria a major bequest, which is used to fund an annual scholarship in her honour. These details about her life were taken from the eulogy at her
funeral on 30 May 2008.
Philippa McCall was born in Melbourne on the 17th May 1924, to John James McCall and
Constance Margaret McCall (nee Wilson). John McCall was a Catholic and, though Constance was a Protestant, she raised the girls as Catholics according to their father’s wishes. John was an army officer and his career caused the family to move to Adelaide and
Sydney during Philippa's childhood. Her only sibling, Anne, was born while they lived in
Randwick, when Philippa was eight years old. The family later returned to Melbourne, living
firstly in Malvern and then at 96 Park St, South Yarra, where Philippa resided for the
remainder of her life.
Their father was absent from home during the war, due to his military service and, like much
of his generation affected by the horrors of the two wars, he returned home somewhat withdrawn and troubled. Philippa helped her mother care for her father until he passed away
in 1955. Philippa remembered her father and his fellow-service-men through participating in
Anzac Day activities each year. She also cared for her mother through her long illness until
she passed away in the mid 70s.
At the end of the war, Philippa completed a Bachelor of Arts at the University of Melbourne,
and she retained her connection to the University and the Australian Federation of University
Women Victoria (now Graduate Women Victoria) throughout her life, leaving major bequests
to each in her will. After graduation, Philippa took a working holiday to England where she
engaged in a variety of occupations from bus-conducting to school-teaching. When she
returned to Australia, Philippa joined the telephony team in the Postmaster General’s
Department where she spent her whole career, working with the rapidly changing technology introduced during that period.
Although she never married, nor had children, Philippa treated her friends as family and had
a very full and active life. She was adventurous in her choice of holidays, which included bush-walking in Tasmania and hitchhiking with a group of friends to Darwin in the 50s. She
served in many clubs and societies, including the Melbourne Camera Club and the senior
Citizens Club of South Yarra. She was a long term patron of U3A. Philippa was fervent in her support of causes, including the preservation of local architecture and environment
She loved cats and included a major bequest to the Cat Protection Society of Victoria in her
will. The organisations that battle the diseases of aging that she suffered in recent years were the other beneficiaries of her generosity, with additional major legacies going to The Cancer Council of Victoria, The National Heart Foundation of Australia (Victorian Division) and Arthritis Victoria. She is buried in her father’s grave in Melbourne Cemetery.