8th February, 2017
The Victorian Women’s Trust recently launched a ground-breaking fund that will support initiatives focused on the safety of regional and rural women.
The Robyn Mason Sub-Fund is named after one of Australia’s most passionate feminists; a social worker and academic whose work contributed meaningfully to improving the lives and citizenship of women living outside metropolitan boundaries.
Sadly, Robyn’s life was cut short in October 2016 after a battle with cancer and she is greatly mourned by her family, colleagues and many friends, but her legacy continues through the Sub-Fund.
All of Robyn’s life centred around her concept of a just society from her first job as a teacher at Alice Springs High School, where the majority of pupils were Aboriginal children, to her work training and supporting foster carers in Victoria’s central highlands area, then as a volunteer community worker in Tonga, later as a counsellor with Ballarat’s CASA (Centre Against Sexual Assault) to finally her academic work in the field of social work.
At the launch of the Robyn Mason Sub-Fund at Loreto College Ballarat, where Robyn was a student, Catherine King, the Federal Member for Ballarat, talked about Robyn’s wise counsel and guidance when Catherine was a young social worker. Robyn later went on to spearhead a fundraising and friend’s group which helped to propel Catherine into parliament and continued to support her after her election.
“Robyn Mason was, by any stretch of the imagination, a remarkable woman,” said VWT Executive Director, Mary Crooks AO.
“She never wavered from her deep commitment to her crucial life values – civility, respect for others, justice, truthfulness and genuineness.”
“The Victorian Women’s Trust is extremely grateful to Robyn for her significant gift which has endowed the first sub-fund of our charitable arm, the Dugdale Trust for Women & Girls, named after Henrietta Dugdale a pioneering advocate for the rights of women in Australia.”
“From the late 1860s onwards, Henrietta fearlessly campaigned for women’s suffrage, and publicly challenged its opponents. She was outspoken, had progressive ideals and enormous moral courage in a time when women struggled to be heard. In her own words, she tirelessly ‘…advocated the moral right of women to her share in political power’”.
“Robyn’s life and work truly reflect the values of Henrietta Dugdale and we hope that many people will support the Robyn Mason Sub-Fund so that we can continue her great achievements and commitment to making the world a fairer place.”