University of Melbourne Magazine

Family tradition of study at Melbourne

Jennie Vaughan has a strong family connection with the University, her grandfather and son studied Medicine, her father studied Law, mother and husband Science, son Agricultural Science and daughter Veterinary Science.  

“It seemed a good thing to do, to go to university, and there was only one in Melbourne,” she says.

“Only one of our four children didn’t study at the University of Melbourne, he went to Dookie College and became a real farmer!” 

Other than family ties, Mrs Vaughan remains associated with life at Melbourne through a variety of ways, her husband – Dr Geoffrey Vaughan – is a member of the Chancellor’s Circle and she has many friends and sporting connections.                       

At the Golden Alumni Celebration event in October, Mrs Vaughan says the venue of Wilson Hall was fitting for such a commemorative occasion and the atmosphere on the day was most enjoyable.

“It was great to meet up with some old friends and hear the presentations from the Chancellor and distinguished alumni Dr James Guest and Professor Adrienne Clarke.

Returning to Parkville ignited special memories for Mrs Vaughan who says her most fond recollections include College life at Janet Clarke Hall, starting a Masters Degree and meeting her husband.

“I remember my favourite place on campus was the System Garden at the Department of Agriculture (now Land and Environment).     

“My favourite lecturer by far was Nancy Millis. We became close friends and kept in touch over the years. I saw her in respite just before she died and sadly I attended Nancy’s memorial service at the Melbourne University Staff Club earlier this year.”

 After completing a Bachelor’s Degree, Mrs Vaughan started a Master’s Degree in Agriculture in 1957 but terminated because of an opportunity to travel to Europe during the late 50s.

On returning to Australia she worked in the Victorian Department of Agriculture and left the workforce in 1960 to raise four children. She continued to work as a biology teacher and then became a Councillor for the Shire of Berwick before moving to the United States where her husband was a visiting professor.  

Back in Australia Mrs Vaughan completed a Dip Ed at the University in 1974 and then worked as a biology teacher at Thornbury High School until 1989. She now volunteers in the Herbarium at the Royal Botanic Gardens. 

Jennie Vaughan
1953 to 1956: GDipEd (1974), BAGrSC (1956)

Jennie Vaughan
1953 to 1956: GDipEd (1974), BAGrSC (1956)