Vale Eve Sheehan

A committed pacifist and unionist

Life Member Eve Sheehan passed away on June 1.

She joined Federation as a student while at Sydney Teachers College. In her oral history she reminisced that she and her future husband attended dances at the Federation building in Phillip Street — entrance fee one shilling.

From early in her career Eve was an active unionist. She was encouraged by her principal at Harcourt, Don Taylor, to become an activist, attending meetings at the assembly hall to support the rights of married women to remain in the teaching service and for pay and promotion equality for women. She first became Federation Representative while teaching at Ryde Infants.

Eve resigned from teaching to raise her family and returned to teaching in 1972 following the death of her husband. She went on to teach at Homebush Infants and Summer Hill Infants before joining the staff at Turramurra Infants.

As a member of Hornsby Teachers Association Eve attended Annual Conference and Council for 10 years from 1976. She became president of Hornsby TA in 1977 and held the position until 1985, ensuring a succession of leadership before retiring from teaching in 1986. Eve was very proud of the fact that Hornsby TA had more women Councillors than men.

Eve was a member of the Board of Management of the Teachers Health Society, a Director of the Teachers Club and sat on a number of committees promoting the importance of classroom teaching in the primary area.

In her Life Membership tribute, Edgar Hill wrote, “Eve, a committed pacifist and unionist, will be missed by Hornsby Teachers Association”.

This obituary is based on the article honouring Eve’s Federation Life Membership in the 1985 annual report plus the transcript of her interview for Federation’s Oral History Project.