Australian Women's Register

An initiative of The National Foundation for Australian Women (NFAW) in conjunction with The University of Melbourne

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Hocking, Betty

Social justice advocate and Teacher


Betty, adopted as a baby, grew up in a dysfunctional home in a small country town in South Australia, and experienced difficult and stressful formative years. She later moved to Canberra, where she felt welfare was available to young people with problems of all kinds. In Canberra, Betty established a home for her rapidly growing family - in the space of two years, she went from having two children to six. Betty's many activities included setting up the first secretarial agency in Canberra, from her home.

When Robyn, a profoundly deaf daughter, was born, the family struggled to communicate with her. Robyn eventually trained to become a teacher, and became the first deaf teacher of the deaf in Tasmania.

Betty took an active role in social justice issues, including actively fighting for justice for Lindy Chamberlain and other victims of injustice. She was elected to the House of Assembly on the Family Team before ACT self-government. Now living in Queensland, in retirement, Betty is still championing causes for those who cannot fight for themselves.

Sources used to compile this entry: Information provided by Robyn Hipkiss.

Barbara Lemon

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