• Entry type: Person
  • Entry ID: AWE4743

Rutnam, Romaine

(1947 – ) Romaine Rutnam
  • Born 1 January, 1947, Sri Lanka
  • Occupation Public servant, Trade unionist


Romaine Rutnam was born in Sri Lanka (then Ceylon) in 1947. She immigrated to Australia in 1969, where she has made a significant contribution to Australian public and community life.

Romaine Rutnam enjoyed a career in the public service that extended across three decades and three states and territories, in Sydney, Canberra, Wollongong and Melbourne. She has also been active in the trade union movement on behalf of her public sector colleagues. She contributed to the formation of the Wollongong Workers’ Research Centre.

Since establishing a small charitable foundation, The Romaine Rutnam Serendipity Endowment within The Perpetual Foundation Endowment Fund, in 2002, Romaine has been able to assist a variety of organisations. These include Australia21, the Community Environment Network, National Aboriginal and Islander Skills Association (NAISDA)and, most recently, the International Women’s Development Agency and the Central Coast Conservatorium – the latter to establish a scholarship for music tuition for an Aboriginal student.

Published resources

  • Resource
  • Edited Book
    • Significant women of the Central Coast 2007: women who have made a difference, Hardy, Margaret, 2007
    • Celebrations: Sinhalese and other Sri Lankan women in Canberra: testimonies and memories, Karunarathna, Badra Kamal and Thishanka Karunarathna, 2007

Archival resources

  • NULL
    • Romaine Rutnam website

Digital resources

Related entries

  • Related Organisations
    • National Foundation for Australian Women (1989 - )