Frances O'Sullivan


Vice Chancellor Deakin University 12 March 2004.Office of the Vice Chancellor and President

Professor Sally Walker

On behalf of the Deakin University community I write to express my deepest sympathy following the recent death of your wife, Ms Frances O'Sullivan Smith.

Frances was first associated with Deakin University as a mature age student in 1983. Soon after completing her degree in literature and journalism, Frances was employed at Deakin in the then Institute of Distance Education. She was appointed to the position of editor in October 1987. Frances was a highly respected member of staff who made a valuable contribution to Learning Services and also to the wider University as a member of Council.

Those with whom Frances worked remember her as a highly organised, conscientious and very capable editor who was meticulous in her attention to detail and who was always looking for ways to improve work processes and communication. She was thoroughly committed to the preparation of high quality learning resources for students.

Frances was a very a warm, caring and understanding person who actively worked to maintain and increase staff morale amongst the editorial team. Fellow editors speak with admiration of the efforts Frances made to welcome new staff to the unit and to the University. Frances's social skills will also be very sorely missed she organised the 'boston bun club' morning tea group within Learning Services and was the life of many other social events.


Frances also made an important contribution to the union movement. She began by being a member of the Deakin University General Staff Association and later became a member and president of the Victorian and Australian College and University Staff Association. Frances was involved in the amalgamation of unions which created the National Tertiary Education Union (NTEU) and played a very constructive role in this difficult process. She was an inaugural member of the Deakin committee of the NTEU and was a member of the national Council of the NTEU. She also served on the General Staff Award Restructuring Consultative Committee which addressed the employment conditions of general staff in universities.


At the local level, Frances held the position of secretary of the Geelong sub branch of the NTEU at Deakin for more than seven years. In doing so, Frances played a key role in the operation of the union at the University it was Frances who ensured that meetings took place, that issues were placed on the agenda and that action was taken as a result.

 Frances will be fondly remembered and very sadly missed at the University. Please also accept my personal sympathy at this time of loss to you and your family.

 Yours sincerely

 Sally Watkins

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