Clare Burton lectures and scholarship

Since 1999 the ATN universities have combined with the Equal Opportunity for Women in the Workplace Agency and with state women's advisors to host the Clare Burton Memorial Lectures in each capital city.  These lectures commemorate the leading researcher, bureaucrat and academic Dr Clare Burton, who died in 1998. Dr Clare Burton was a strong advocate and activist for social change, particularly in the area of pay equity for women. Her academic work fed into policy and practical change in the workplace.

Clare Burton Memorial 2012 Lecture

For love...

Presented by Jane Caro and Catherine Fox

No matter whether it is paid or not, women’s work and their achievements are measured against a set of tenacious and traditional assumptions underpinned by the idea that women should be driven by love and selflessness in all they do, and not the recognition and rewards that drive men. Step out of line and show some career or financial ambition, or just a lack of suitable warmth, and women are quickly labelled pushy, greedy and bitchy.

It’s no coincidence that ‘having it all’ is still used to beat women around the head as they make further inroads to the world of paid work. The trade-off between a job and parenting is routinely represented as a choice for mothers not fathers, with women seen as just more susceptible to the tug on the heartstrings from family and the need to care. Only females, it seems, can provide the love that fuels a warm homelife - and the sweat, blood and tears of unpaid, under-valued labour.

Even in the workplace the balance tilts to love not money as the rationale women often find they are expected to exhibit or run the risk of being seen as aggressive and unfeminine. The few women who achieve the lofty heights of career success are usually portrayed as loving their job, particularly the people part, but not the trappings that come with it. Even with increasing numbers of women now in the role of sole or primary breadwinners, they must tread carefully when it comes to acknowledging money as a motivator. 

Building on the rich legacy of Clare Burton’s research and advocacy for women in the workforce, Caro and Fox will bring their own particular take on the idea of “For love…”. As authors of “The F Word: How we learned to swear by feminism” their approach blends decades of experience as workers, mothers and commentators with insights on how it actually feels to confront the confusing signals about being female at work, at home and in our society. 

Drawing on many years of working on the Corporate Woman column for the Financial Review, Fox will track the way the beliefs about what drives women and their ‘innate’ abilities overtly and covertly undermine their ability to be given a fair go in the workplace. And she will cover the growing gap between the myths about women – too quiet, too little ambition and resilience, not enough of them, driven by love and strong urges to tend home and hearth – and the evidence to the contrary (the topic of her latest book “7 Myths about women and work”).

As a social commentator and marketer, Caro will explore what the idea of doing it all for love means to women and their lives, their status and treatment. As always, her approach weaves together a take on the latest media trends, the zeitgeist and a sharp skewering of the accepted view of gender relations.

About our speakers

Jane Caro wears many hats; including author, lecturer, mentor, social commentator, columnist, workshop facilitator, speaker, mum, broadcaster and award winning advertising writer. The common thread running through her career is a delight in words and a talent for using them to connect with other people, a skill she developed and honed during her very successful 30 years as an advertising writer. Today, she runs her own communications consultancy and lectures in Advertising Creative at The School of Communication Arts at UWS. Jane has published four books; three non-fiction: ”The Stupid Country: How Australia is Dismantling Public Education” (New South 2007); “What makes a good school?” (New South 2012) both co-authored with Chris Bonnor; “The F Word: How we learned to swear by feminism” co-authored with Catherine Fox (New South, 2008); and a novel “Just a Girl” released in 2011.

Catherine Fox writes The Australian Financial Review’s weekly Corporate Woman column and is deputy editor of AFR Boss magazine. During a long career at the AFR she has written for and edited a number of sections of the newspaper and won several awards for journalism. She is the co-author of two books and is a regular speaker on workplace and gender issues. Catherine’s third book “7 Myths about Women and Work” was published this year (New South 2012). Her second, “The F Word - How we learned to swear by feminism” (New South) with Jane Caro, was published in 2008. The book she co-authored with Helen Trinca, “Better than Sex: How a Whole Generation Got Hooked on Work” (Random House) was shortlisted for the 2005 Blake Dawson Business Book of the Year award.

Event Details

Date: Tuesday 20 November 2012
Time:     5.30pm – 8.00pm (Doors open from 5.00pm).  Public lecture followed by a book signing, drinks and canapés
Venue:   University of South Australia – Allan Scott Auditorium, Second floor, Hawke Building, 50-60 North Terrace, Adelaide
Cost: Free
RSVP: Email - or Phone - 8302 7008 by Monday 12 November. Places are limited.

Supported by The Bob Hawke Prime Ministerial Centre at UniSA, and the Australian Technology Network of Universities, Women’s Executive Development Program.

CLICK HERE to access a podcast of the evening's proceedings & presentation.

Further information about the Clare Burton Lectures (including papers from past lectures and where available podcasts) can be found on the ATN WEXDEV site:

The Clare Burton Memorial Scholarship

The Clare Burton Memorial Scholarship commemorates Dr. Clare Burton, a leading researcher, public sector administrator, academic, consultant and writer on employment equity. The $10,000 scholarship provides funds to support post-graduate research into gender equity.

Further information about the Clare Burton Memorial Scholarship can be found at