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Nita Dobbie

In a time when a woman’s work was mostly in the home, Nita Dobbie was making her mark in the world of standards.

Following in the footsteps of the aunt who raised her (the notable Nita Kibble), she forged ahead in a lifelong career in librarianship, marking a 33-year career with the Standards Association of Australia, now known today as Standards Australia.

Nita Dobbie was educated at Methodist Ladies College, Burwood and the International Correspondence Schools of London. Ms Dobbie also held a Certificate in Freelance Journalism.[1]

Ms Dobbie gained employment as librarian and research officer at the Standards Association of Australia.

From 1938 – 1972, Ms Dobbie was a steadfast employee, with tribute paid to her for “coping extremely well in keeping order among its burgeoning holdings during the [second world] war, and for long afterwards.” [2]

The Standards Association of Australia Bulletin noted in October 1939 that “Day after day the Standards Librarian is besieged with requests for information by firms who are forced to establish new manufactures. The telephone keeps up a relentless bombardment of queries for different standards.”[3]

In her time at the Standards Association of Australia, Ms Dobbie mentored four different assistants, with one, Lorna Smart, succeeding her upon retirement.

In her will, Nita Dobbie established two awards; the Nita B. Kibble Literary Awards for Women Writers in memory of her aunt, which recognises work of established Australian female authors, and the Nita May Dobbie Literary Award, recognising the first published work of an Australian female writer.

[1] Who's who in Australian Libraries, Library Association of Australia, p26

[2] Engine of Change, p346

[3] Engine of Change, p63