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Barbara Jennings

Barbara Jennings is a tenacious, creative and tireless worker on behalf of women, addressing the social, political and economic challenges they face.

Honour Roll

Willing to take on any role, Barbara is an inspirational leader who has ignited and unified broad coalitions on behalf of major infrastructure projects involving the Royal Women's Hospital and the Queen Victoria Hospital.

She was also in the forefront of campaigns through the 1980s to tackle discrimination in education, workforce participation and equal pay for equal work. Barbara has been recognised for showing amazing resourcefulness, leadership and ingenuity spearheading the three-year campaign to save the Royal Women's Hospital from demolition and downgrading in 1993. Barbara became the spokesperson and coordinator for the Eyes on the Women's campaign to raise community awareness of the importance of a specialist hospital for women's health.

"Coalitions with broad agreement on common goals are one of the most effective ways to effect social change," Barbara said. The success of the Eyes on the Women's campaign meant that the Royal Women's Hospital was saved to celebrate its 150th anniversary in September 2006 and is now looking forward to the completion of its new hospital building in mid-2008, next to the Royal Melbourne Hospital in Parkville.

Barbara was also instrumental in the campaign to preserve a core part of the Queen Victoria Hospital in Lonsdale Street after plans were announced to demolish the buildings and relocate its health services to the Monash Medical Centre.

"I was only one of many women fighting like mad to stop it being demolished. We had a long campaign including a huge public meeting of around 2000 women." "It was clear that women wanted the building to be a women's centre, which could house organisations and be a credible, effective advocate for women's issues," she said.