Vale Ann Symonds AM
Originally published by Miranda Matters – Issue 11, May 2019
On 15 November 2018 Ann Symonds AM died in Sydney after a long illness. She had been instrumental in the establishment of the Miranda Project, providing initial funding for a scoping study. During and following her seventeen years as a member of the NSW Legislative Council, Ann had been a tireless and unflinching advocate for women and children, drug law reform, gun control and peace. She was the much-loved patron of SHINE for Kids and the Corrective Services NSW Mothers and Children’s (residential) Program. Her warmth, humour, energy and intelligence endeared her to the many people she worked with to achieve positive change.
Ann was chair of the Corrective Services NSW Women’s Advisory Council when she heard, through the then Principal Advisor for Women Deirdre Hyslop, now Program Director of the Miranda Project, about UK Women’s Centres that supported women to address their needs. For women in the criminal justice system, the centres had shown success in keeping women in the community, serving community-based sentences rather than jail terms. One of the key areas of activism for Ann was keeping women with their children, and that included keeping them out of prison. Through unfailing encouragement and some funding, she paved the way for the Miranda Project to come to fruition.
The Politics of Social Change Foundation has been set up by a group of women committed to redressing women’s inequality and disadvantage. To inspire others to become agents of progressive change we are writing the Ann’s story.
Read the introductory chapter of her tale at here
Researcher/author, Dr Hilary Golder, is currently reading reports and Ann’s parliamentary papers relevant to women in prison in preparation for the prisons chapter. Contact is welcomed from anyone who had contact with Ann in relation to her activism in this area. Information as well as donations are very warmly welcomed.
The Politics of Social Change Foundation has been accepted by the National Foundation of Australian Women (NFAW) as a preferred donor fund, meaning tax deductible donations can be made through a secure link on the NFAW website: www.nfaw.org/donate/ Highlight Politics of Social Change Foundation on the drop-down menu for donations. A tax-deductible receipt will be generated automatically.