Dorothy Buckland-Fuller AM MBE

In 1974, Dorothy was the first woman to establish an Australian Migrant Women's Association.

Honour Roll

Dorothy Buckland-Fuller was born on 21 January 1922 in Port Said, Egypt, to Greek parents. She attended a Greek school in Egypt before going to the Lycee Francais Commercial, also in Port Said. She married three times and had one daughter.

In the late 1960s she studied for a Bachelor of Arts majoring in Sociology at the University of New South Wales and gained her Master of Arts in 1972. She was the first Greek woman sociologist in Australia. She then tutored and lectured in Sociology for many years while becoming active in the community trying to assist migrant workers as well as migrant woman and their children.

She was involved in the Women's Electoral Lobby in 1972. She secured funding through the International Women's Year to establish the Australian Migrant Women's Association in 1974, the first such association in Australia. Its aim was to bring together women from different ethnic communities as well as Australian-born feminists to exchange ideas and contacts.

Franca Arena was one of the women involved before she branched out to establish her own women's network in 1984. Arena and Dorothy were considered the 'matriarchs' of the migrant women's movement in New South Wales, which was the largest and best organised. In 1977, Dorothy was appointed a part-time Commissioner with the New South Wales Ethnic Affairs Commission, responsible for women's issues. She had also been a migrant health educator with the New South Wales Health Commission working at Infant Health Centres and schools (1972-76).

She made two documentaries in the 1970s on migrant children and migrant women. She has written numerous journal articles and conference papers on immigration, touching on the isolation of migrant women. In 1982, she said, "I believe in people; in the brotherhood of men; in 'global' economics, politics, etc.; in disarmament; in equality of opportunity for all people in Australia, regardless of sex or class; in working 'with' and not 'for' people; and in creating a better world for all children".