Colour image of a group of people listening to speaker, Alan Beasley, during the celebration marking 40 years service to Museum of Victoria (now Museum Victoria) by John Coventry. Some of the at least 17 people present were Alan McEvoy, David Holloway, Betty and Alan Argo, and Mike Trainer.

John Coventry joined the National Museum of Victoria (now Museum Victoria) in 1954 to become Curator of Herpetology and was a colleague of Hope Macpherson. Hope attended the celebration of John's 40 years of service.

Description of Content

Colour image of at least 17 people mostly sitting, some standing listening to a speaker with interest and enjoyment. Person closest to camera is a male wearing blue check shirt and sunglasses. Next two gentleman sitting along from him are wearing hats and prescription glasses. Standing to the right of the image is a gentleman with arms crossed, wearing light coloured trousers, dark blue shirt and prescription glasses. In park with trees in the background.

Physical Description

Colour image.


The Hope (Macpherson) Black Collection is a significant addition to Museum Victoria's working lives collection, it reveals the journey of a woman from depression era Melbourne and illustrates the power of education. It also reveals the often discriminatory policies in place in Victoria before the equal opportunity developments of the late 20th century. In balance though it also exposes the somewhat free expression possible for empowered women in this period. Hope Macpherson clearly states that in her day to day work she never felt discrimination and believes she was given great opportunity to pursue her career and aspirations. However, on analysis her role was often shaped by her gender and its perceived strengths and weaknesses; she was dissuaded from applying to become a taxidermist as it was 'an unsuitable job for a woman', although part of the first group of female scientists allowed to travel to Macquarie Island they were not permitted to camp on land with the male crew for fear of inciting passions. And finally after a distinguished career she was forced to resign her tenure as Australia's first female Curator when she married late in life, as a consequence of the Marriage bar.

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