Hope Black

The most rewarding part of my career was working at the museum, imparting an understanding of, and a love of, science to people.

Honour Roll

Hope Black has had many ground-breaking achievements as a woman in science.

She was the first female curator at the National Museum of Victoria (now Museum Victoria), and in later years was the first woman to be appointed Curator Emeritus of Museum Victoria.

Hope established marine biological surveys in Port Phillip Bay through the museum and led the first group of women to go to Antarctica as part of a research expedition.

She pioneered involving the broader community in the life of the museum by establishing a volunteer program, utilising community groups and developing a biology course for blind children.

Recently, Hope's personal papers have been acquired by the State Heritage Collection, Museum Victoria.

In a demonstration of how much has changed for women in employment, Hope was required to resign from the Victorian Public Service in 1965, as married women were excluded from employment in the service at that time. She then retrained as a science teacher, passing on her love of science to girls for 13 years.

Hope has made a lasting contribution in the fields of malacology (the study of molluscs) and marine ecology. Her research and survey work remain critical to the management of Victoria's marine environment, and she is highly regarded for this work.