​Hilary Silbert

1966 Collegian


After leaving school, I qualified as a Health and Physical Education teacher. Up until the age of 21, I competed in athletics, winning the Kornhauser Trophy for outstanding female athlete at the Victorian Jewish Championships in 1968. I was named George Cohen Sportsman of the Year in 1968 and represented Australia in the International Maccabi Games in Israel in athletics, 1969.

My experience in sports and being reared in a household where protocol and ceremony was important has been a great background for what has evolved into my own events management consultancy.

I was the inaugural sports administrator for the Independent Girls' Schools Sports Association between 1984 and '87, extension officer at UWA from 1987-92 and then became the first manager of corporate events at Edith Cowan University.

At the time the university wasn't proud of the name and I walked in thinking, 'who the heck was Edith Cowan anyway?' This started my interest in her.

Edith Cowan became Australia's first women politician in 1921, aged 60, married with five children. Her mother died in childbirth when Edith was six and her father was accused of murder and hanged when she was 17.

The belief that she has been neglected in the history of this country lead me to the creation of the Edith Dircksey Cowan Commemoration.

I am a second-generation member of St Catherine's College Council and the Senate at the University of Western Australia. I am also a member of Graduate Women (WA) and was Convenor of the 90th anniversary celebrations.

I started learning fencing in 2004 and was trained as a director of tournaments then invited to be chair of the organising committee for the WA International Fencing Tournament from 2005-10 inclusive. In 2005 I was recipient of the award for "Outstanding Innovation" from the Australian Fencing Federation.

My advice to others is to have good mentors and positive, encouraging people in your life. Feel you can do anything and change careers, believe in yourself.

On MLC: I remember, as Captain of MLC Athletics Team, competing in the last event of the Interschool carnival. MLC and St Hilda's received the baton together, in the final leg of the relay and the last event. I was that final runner and placed first, which altered the results of the carnival.