Rachel (Rae) Edwards (Watson)

1943 Collegian


Born in Cottesloe, the Great Depression meant we had to move to Bamboo Creek, east of Marble Bar, where my father owned a gold mine. Later, as a weekly boarder at the school, I was an all round champion athlete who won school colours in all five sports played, also attaining the position of Captain of Athens, School Prefect, Captain of the School and a member of School Council. I forged lifelong friendships and loved the contact with the other students.

I went on to become a Qualified Pharmacist and attended the WA College of Pharmacy. At that time there were few women in the profession. I held office as the President of the Pharmacists' Guild among other achievements. In 1949 my first child was born. At that time I had been working for Sir Frank Gibson in Fremantle.

In 1968 I entered into a partnership with a dear friend who owned a pharmacy and together we worked in the business until I bought it two years later. I continued to work there for another 20 years.

Later, as a member of the Woman's Pharmacist Association, I also helped to raise money for ambulances for Princess Margaret Hospital as well as guide dogs.

I am a committed member of the Soroptimist Club in Fremantle and this led to an interest in the Zonta House Refuge Association. I enjoyed my work with these groups, which established my lifelong commitment to community service. I was with Zonta House for two decades as a committed volunteer and also served on the management committee. I am also a member of the Parents and Friends committee at Wesley College.

I was published in the Who's Who of Australian Women for my achievements. I have been regarded as an early pioneer of women in professional life in WA, a position I am proud to have earned.

My three children and five grandchildren and six great grandchildren have been a great pleasure to me in my life as a professional woman, whereby I have tried to balance my career and my family along with a very strong commitment to community service. I am a life long learner; and I am still swimming in my late 80s.