Robyn A Duncan


Robyn A Duncan



I was born in Newcastle to parents who were socially aware. I believe our mother was a feminist even though she would not have described herself as such. My sister and I were encouraged to achieve our potential and assist others on the way.

I dabbled on the edges of politics in my late teens and early twenties but was very discouraged by the attitudes of the “old men” I encountered.

After completing university studies and experiencing a failed marriage I discovered the Australian Federation of Business and Professional Women. It was among these like-minded women I felt at home and considered I may be able to make a difference.

I continue to be a member of BPW after 37 years, and held various positions at the Territory/State and National levels. I am especially proud of the period when I was Vice President External Policy from 1987 to 1989. During this 2½ years I co-ordinated 34 submissions to Government, Senate enquiries, Government Agencies, Business and Union peak bodies. The topics covered employment, education and training; women in business; women’s heath, child abuse, rural women, care, taxation, equal pay and conditions and ageing to name a few.

We had to be patient to see changes but eventually working with other like-minded groups we opened the door a little.

During my public service career, I worked as an Equal Employment Officer in the former National Capital Development Commission and Department of Defence where I believe incremental changes were made.

Even in retirement I am still part of the BPW membership monitoring equal pay and conditions.

And the fight continues!



'I have always admired Robyn's clean, tidy, no-nonsense attitude and have tried to convey it by painting her crisply and carefully.  The care Robyn puts into her handiworks is evident in the care she put into the limited palate of the clothes she wore on the day I drew her; black, white and pink, with the pink echoed in her choice of lipstick.  I have painted the background dark brilliant blue as in my mind I have always associated that colour with BPW.