- Honour Roll
Born in Ballarat, community activist Ruth Crow spent her life devoted to creating a better society. Her vision was for a society that offered strong support to women and children – a society which planned for a better quality of life, was environmentally clean, more just, democratic and peaceful.
Following the death of her husband Maurie in 1988, Ruth started establishing a living archive that could be freely accessible to all. The Crow Collection, consisting of papers, letters, community newspapers and photographs that chronicle Ruth and Maurie's work from the 1930s, is now housed in the library at Victoria University.
Ruth's passion for helping others had its origins when she was a child growing up in the Great Depression. She received a scholarship to Emily McPherson College where she graduated with distinctions. However, she was unable to finish the final year of unpaid hospital work that was required for her to qualify as a dietician. Instead Ruth found work as a waitress, cook and tearoom manager.
In 1945, as the mother of two children, she began training for social work at The University of Melbourne, later teaching domestic science and home economics in secondary schools.
Her interest in the debilitating effects of malnutrition on families was the basis for her research into the relationship between health, food and income. Ruth remained staunch to the ideals of nutrition and health until her death.
She worked tirelessly for the community, fostering the establishment of community services and advocating for public transport. Her guiding principle was the well known phrase "think globally, act locally and then think globally again”. Ruth was made a Member of the Order of Australia in 1993 for her services to the community.
Reviewed 25 May 2022