Jan Woolley, who passed away in Sydney on Friday, August 28, has been remembered by former co-workers and students for the major role she played in the early years of Charles Sturt University.
She was a pivotal figure in the CSU community for many decades and was the Dean of Studies when Professor Cliff Blake was vice-chancellor.
Professor Blake remembers her contribution in the early years of the university, which was formed from a merge between the Riverina and Mitchell colleges.
"Those two colleges had development under the same public policies, so there was massive duplications when they came together," he explained.
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"Jan's most significant role was to help rationalise this duplication and as a result, free up resources that would go into the development of new courses at CSU.
"She was a very popular person, so she had already been fairly active in union affairs on the campus and she had a very persuasive personality. So she could get across to the staff, especially the Mitchell staff, the reforms we wanted to introduce with minimal disruption."
Former Head of Journalism at CSU and current ombudsman at SBS, Sally Begbie, remembers how Ms Woolley was a mentor to many staff and students at the university.
"She was particularly supportive of those students, who came from families who had never had a person go to university before," she said.
"She championed the underprivileged and encouraged students to grab hold of the benefits of education and lift themselves up. Lift, like she herself did. The kid from the bush who succeeded against all the odds."
Her former home on Blanford Street was also a social hub in Bathurst for many years.
"Her regular roast dinners fuelled epic and unforgettable conversations for many people from the university, the town and fellow ALP supporters," Ms Begbie said.
"Her wicked conversation and fierce intelligence cut through the craziness in the world."
She leaves behind her beloved partner of nearly fifty years, Associate Professor Judith Parker and their respective families.