𝗨𝗻𝗶𝗼𝗻 𝗮𝗹𝘂𝗺 𝗿𝗲𝗰𝗼𝗴𝗻𝗶𝘀𝗲𝗱 𝘄𝗶𝘁𝗵 𝗢𝗿𝗱𝗲𝗿 𝗼𝗳 𝗔𝘂𝘀𝘁𝗿𝗮𝗹𝗶𝗮
Union High alumnus Beryl Hesketh (née Rubidge) was recently honoured when she was appointed a Member (AM) of the Order of Australia by the Governor-General of Australia in the Queen’s 2021 Birthday Honours List.
This was in recognition of Beryl’s significant service to Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) education and to the field of Organisational Psychology. This is a prestigious achievement for Beryl.
Beryl, the youngest of six children, grew up on the farm Zoetvlei in the Richmond district. In her matric year (1965) she was appointed Head Girl as well as Head of Herby Arnott House. She was a talented sportswoman: she played in the first tennis and hockey teams and represented the Eastern Province in both sports.
After leaving UHS, Beryl spent 1966 in the USA on a Rotary Exchange Scholarship. Thereafter she completed a BSocSc degree at UCT, during which time she was Head Student of Fulller Hall. She went on to complete a first-class Honours degree in Psychology at UCT in 1971.
Beryl and her husband, Tim, emigrated to New Zealand in 1972 where, while working, she completed a Master’s Degree in Psychology, with distinction, at the Victoria University of Wellington. In 1976 she was appointed as a lecturer in Psychology at Massey University and, while on the staff, she completed her PhD in Psychology.
She and Tim moved to Sydney, Australia in 1985 and, for the next 25 years, Beryl enjoyed an illustrious career teaching at a range of universities in Sydney. During this time she wrote numerous papers for international journals, supervised many Masters and PhD students and received awards for her work in Psychology. She held the positions of Professor of Psychology at Macquarie University, Professor and Dean of Science and Pro Vice-Chancellor at the University of Sydney and Executive Dean, Health and Science at Western Sydney University.
She retired in 2010 after a remarkable career in academia. Beryl and Tim now move between their home in Sydney and their retreat in the Blue Mountains. They enjoy hiking, cycling and mountaineering.
They made the trip to Graaff-Reinet in 2015 to attend Beryl’s 50th school reunion – and even found the time to climb Kompasberg!
Beryl has often reflected on the opportunities that UHS provided her and she remains enormously grateful to the then-principal, Herby Arnott, who, she says, was a simply excellent mathematics teacher, providing her with the numeracy she needed for her research and other roles.
• Congratulations on this momentous achievement Beryl! The Union community is exceptionally proud of all you have accomplished!