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Biographical entry à Beckett, Ada Mary (1872 - 1948)

CBE

Born
18 May 1872
Adelaide, South Australia, Australia
Died
20 May 1948
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Occupation
Biologist and Educator
Alternative Names
  • Lambert, Ada Mary (maiden name)

Summary

Ada à Beckett was the second woman to graduate in science at the University of Melbourne (1895) and their first appointed female lecturer (1901). She began her science teaching career in 1893 and by 1900 had taught at seven schools. à Beckett had also taught and demonstrated at the Working Men's College and at the University of Melbourne. From 1903 to 1911 her career was suspended as she gave birth to and raised three children. Ada á Beckett returned to teaching and demonstrating in 1912, and was appointed the inaugural Head of Biology at Scotch College in 1921. She retired from that post in 1937. Throughout her career, à Beckett was heavily involved in the kindergarten movement and pre-school education. She was elected foundation vice-president (then president and life-president) of the Free Kindergarten Union of Victoria, made great contributions to the establishment of the Kindergarten Training College, Kew and founded the Australian Association for Pre-School Child Development. She was also member of many women's organisations including the National Council of Women and the Lyceum Club - a club for women graduates and those women who distinguished themselves in art, music, literature, philanthropy or public service.

Details

Events

1892 - 1893
Career position - Annie Grice Scholar at the University of Melbourne in Victoria
1893
Career position - Science Teacher at Merton Hall (later Melbourne Church of England Girl's Grammar School), Victoria
1893 - 1900
Career position - Teacher at several girls' schools in Melbourne and Geelong
1895
Education - Bachelor of Science (BSc) completed at the University of Melbourne
c. 1896 - 1897
Career position - Biology Demonstrator at the University of Melbourne
1897
Education - Master of Science (MSc) completed at the University of Melbourne
1898
Career position - Senior Demonstrator in Biology at the University of Melbourne
1898 - 1899
Career position - Botany Lecturer at the Working Men's College in Melbourne
1901
Career position - Demonstrator and Assistant Lecturer in Biology at the University of Melbourne
19 February 1903
Life event - Married Thomas Archibald à Beckett at Sandringham Presbyterian Church in Victoria
1908
Career position - Foundation Vice-President of Free Kindergarten Union of Victoria
1912 - 1920
Career position - Teacher, mainly at Melbourne Church of England Girls' Grammar School
c. 1915 - c. 1919
Career position - Biology Demonstrator at the University of Melbourne
1916
Career position - Helped establish the Kindergarten Training College in Kew, Victoria
1920 - 1923
Career position - Joint course designer and lecturer in physiology and hygiene at the Kindergarten Training College in Kew
1920 - 1939
Career position - President of the Free Kindergarten Union of Victoria
1921 - 1937
Career position - Head of the Biology Department at Scotch College, Victoria
1923 - 1926
Career position - Chair of the Janet Clarke Hall Committee, Victoria
1926 - 1928
Career position - President of the Lyceum Club
1926 - 1939
Career position - President of the Kindergarten Training College Council in Kew
1935
Award - Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE)
1936
Career position - Founder of the Australian Association for Pre-School Child Development
1937
Career position - Retired
1940 -
Career position - Life-President of the Free Kindergarten Union of Victoria
1942
Life event - Naming of kindergarten at Fisherman's Bend after her

Archival resources

The University of Melbourne Archives

  • Ada Mary A'Beckett - Records, 1872 - 1948; The University of Melbourne Archives. Details

Published resources

Encyclopedia of Australian Science Exhibitions

Books

  • a'Beckett, Ada, A Historical Sketch: the Growth and Development of the Free Kindergarten Movement in Victoria, Free Kindergarten Union, Melbourne, 1939, 19 pp. Details

Book Sections

  • a'Beckett, Ada, 'Introduction', in J. Cumpston and Christine Heinig (eds), Pre-School Centres in Australia: Building, Equipment and Programme, Commonwealth of Australia, Department of Health, Canberra, 1945, p. 232. Details
  • Marginson, Julie, 'à Beckett, Ada Mary (1872-1948)', in Bede Nairn and Geoffrey Serle (eds), Australian Dictionary of Biography, vol. 7, Melbourne University Press, Melbourne, 1979, pp. 4-5. Also available at http://adb.anu.edu.au/biography/a-beckett-ada-mary-4963. Details

Journal Articles

  • 'Obituary: Ada A'Beckett', Australian Journal of Science, vol. 11, no. 2, 1948, p. 56. Details

Online Resources

See also

  • Alexander, John A. (ed.), Who's Who in Australia 1944, vol. 12, The Herald and Weekly Times Ltd, Melbourne, 1944, 906 pp. Details

McCarthy, G.J.