During the Second World War, ‘Tea Ladies’ were employed throughout the United Kingdom (UK). Their purpose? To boost efficiency and morale in workplaces that were contributing to the war effort.

Tea Ladies worked across all types of businesses and industries—even serving military units based in the UK.   Their positive impact in the workplace was so successful that Tea Ladies became commonplace in businesses throughout the UK long after the War had ended.

The impact of Tea Ladies extended to our shores, and Griffith University was one of many Australian organisations to employ a Tea Lady post-war. At the beginning of the University’s development, the administrative home of Griffith University bounced around Brisbane, with one home based in Toowong.  It was here that our university had its very own Tea Lady—affectionately known as ‘Mrs T’ (Mrs Taubner).

Mrs T was a valued member of staff and her positive impact was felt by all those who worked with her. At one point during her employment with Griffith, Mrs T was hospitalised due to poor health and updates on her progress were shared in the staff newsletter (the Great Griffith Gazette). Many staff sent gifts, cards and letters. Several staff even called Mrs T at the hospital to offer their support.

Unfortunately, when our administration and Library both moved premises to be much nearer our Nathan campus, the commute from Toowong to Salisbury made it impractical for the elderly and much-loved Mrs T to continue her role. Today, Griffith Library honours Mrs T for her valued contribution to our university.

Explore the history of Griffith University on the Griffith Archive website.