Griffith Archive’s latest digital exhibition shines the spotlight on one of the truly remarkable pioneers from Griffith University’s historyOrtrun Zuber-Skerritt. 

Ortrun’s teaching career began in her home country of Germany, but during a visit to the Gold Coast she fell in love with Australia and made the bold decision to emigrate. This was no small undertaking: a single mother to a young son, she was leaving behind the support of her family as well as a tenured teaching position. Yet Ortrun’s determination, which would continue to serve her throughout the many hardships of her academic career in Australiawas unyielding. She found employment as a high school teacher, then a position at the University of Queensland and soon completed her first doctoral thesis, launching her academic career. 

In 1974, Ortrun joined Griffith as our first female academic. 

Ortrun’s story spans continents and years of adversity, with her achievements surpassing academia and extending into the development of leadership programs around the world.  

You can discover her incredible story at Griffith Archive.