Colour image of celebration for John Coventry's 40 years service to Museum of Victoria (now Museum Victoria). Included in the image from left to right are Pam and John Coventry, Len Chapman, Joyce Shaw, Arthur Neebois and Alan Beasley, standing in a park.

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

Six people standing in parkland with trees in the background. People included from left to right are: Pam and John Coventry, Len Chapman, Joyce Shaw, Arthur Neebois and Alan Beasley. Pam and John Coventry, Len Chapman and Alan Beasley all looking to the left of the image, Joyce Shaw looking at feet, Arthur Neebois almost looking straight at camera. Pam Coventry holding a bouquet of flowers and standing behind a table. John Coventry wearing blue cap, Len Chapman wearing sunglasses and Alan Beasley wearing prescription glasses.

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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