Barbara Murphy is one of a line of outstanding women leaders of the NSW Teachers Federation. She served as Deputy President, 1982-83, Senior Vice President, 1976-81, and executive member in 1975. For eight years, during a time of tremendous growth in the involvement and impact of women in Federation, Barbara was the only female presidential officer.
Commencing her teaching career in 1951, Barbara served in several schools, mainly in the primary area. She was an active rank-and-file member of the Women Teachers, Metropolitan Teachers and Assistant Principals and Deputies associations. She was foundation president of Middle Harbour Association from 1974. As a presidential officer, Barbara’s outstanding qualities and commitment to real unionism quickly became evident.
Her great strength of character was most evident during the raging debate over seniority in 1983 and at meetings of the NSW Labor Council.
As a senior officer, she travelled the length and breadth of NSW talking to teachers about many issues, earning their respect. Wherever she has gone and whatever she has done, Barbara has won considerable support for the great ideals for which Federation stands.
This is an edited version of an article in the 1983 Annual Report, when Barbara received Active Life Membership of Federation.