Sara Dowse

Sara Dowse migrated to Australia from the United States in 1958. In 1974 she became the inaugural head of the Office of Women’s Affairs in the prime minister’s department.

The department featured in her first novel, West Block (Penguin, 1983). She has published four other novels and just completed another, set in British Palestine. West Block will be reissued by For Pity’s Sake in 2020.


Travelling with Mary

GR OnlineIt was the year of Australia’s Bicentenary when I first met Mary Durack. My memory is unclear, but I think it was at the Katherine Susannah Prichard house, the heart of Western Australia’s writing community. She would have been seventy-five – younger than I am now; a smallish woman with hair coloured coppery brown...

A Femocrat’s Story, 1970s Style

GR OnlineIN APRIL 1973, five months after Gough Whitlam was elected prime minister, a woman I admired for the talks she gave on women's liberation became his women's adviser.  Elizabeth Reid had been one of ten on the short list....


MemoirTHE PASSAGE FROM the small island city of Victoria to Vancouver across the Strait of Georgia was a ferry ride of nearly two hours. The British Columbia Ferry was a leviathan of a ship, its carrying capacity impressive. The...

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