Lake Cathie resident Dr Noeline Kyle carved a career in higher education after returning to study as a mature age student.
The Emeritus Professor has been appointed a Member (AM) of the Order of Australia in recognition of her significant service to history, and to higher education, as a researcher, author and educator, and through advisory roles for arts funding programs.
Dr Kyle said she was absolutely gobsmacked.
She said it was important to ensure the honour highlighted not just her work but also the work of local history societies and family history societies.
Dr Kyle, who grew up in the Upper Macleay, went “back to school” in 1975, enrolled in the University of Newcastle, won scholarships, completed honours and a PhD in women’s history.
She started her academic career in 1984 as a limited-term lecturer and achieved promotion to Associate Professor in 1989.
She was appointed Foundation Professor and Head, School of Cultural and Policy Studies, Queensland University of Technology from January 1992 from 2001.
In that position, Dr Kyle led an active group of researchers who had a strong commitment to gender equity, social justice and action and advocacy at community and national levels.
Dr Kyle has an established reputation in the fields of education policy, history, biography, memoir and women’s history. She has a special interest in the development of links between the processes of history in the community and the profession.
Dr Kyle, since retirement from university teaching, has worked to support family and local history and is an enthusiastic volunteer at local museums and family history societies.
She continues to support the profession of history through her writing, publications and continuing research into local, family and women’s history.
“I’ve always been interested in 19th century women’s lives and women’s professions. Many of them, unless they were single, had their carers later in life after their children grew up,” Dr Kyle said.
Dr Kyle is the vice-president of the Macleay River Historical Society and facilitates a writing family history group for Port Macquarie Historical Society.