‘But you’re a woman!’: The pioneering barrister who kicked in the door.

Published by

Malcolm Brown – Sydney Morning Herald – November 8, 2022


JANET COOMBS: August 16, 1932 – September 24, 2022

When Janet Coombs, a junior barrister, applied at the St Patrick’s College seminary at Manly to do a course on Canon Law, the director said: “But you’re a woman!” To which Coombs replied: “I know that. Can I do a course in Canon law?”

She got into the course, the first woman to do so, though as her brother Jim later commented, she had to “kick in the door to do it”. But her trailblazing, as in other areas of her life, had a longer-term effect. Several years later, the college opened its door to women, to wit about a dozen nuns, to do a course in theology.

Full-text Article: https://www.smh.com.au/national/but-you-re-a-woman-the-pioneering-barrister-who-kicked-in-the-door-20221101-p5bumf.html

Janet Coombs