8 March 2022


From industry pioneers to life saving inventions, women have been changing the face of Australian innovation for over a century.

Did you know...

Two of our first ever female patent examiners – Helen Taylor and Anita Walters, were among the very first women to work in the IP field.
Helen Taylor started working as a temporary examiner of patents in November 1950. After that she went on to become a patent attorney with Starfield & Taylor in Sydney in the 1970s and went on to work in Britain. She later returned to Sydney and became a consultant with Shelston Walters.
Anita Walters worked in patent examination and became the first female supervising examiner in the early 1970s before she retired in the mid 1970s.

Self-made millionaire Helena Rubinstein created the first publicly listed global cosmetics corporation, filing her now famous VALAZE trade mark with the newly formed National Patent Office in January 1907. 
Helena may not be the first woman to file a trade mark, but owning registration number 3544 put her right toward the top of what would have been a very short list of women owners 115 years ago.

Elizabeth Blackburn is an Australian scientist who changed the world as we know it when in 1984, she and her co-scientist, Carol Greider, discovered the telomerase. It is the protective cap at the ends of eukaryotic chromosomes that prevent it from damage—this discovery has significantly impacted cancer and aging research.

In 1999, Perth-based plastic surgeon Professor Fiona Wood patented her spray-on skin technique which involves taking a small patch of healthy skin and using it to grow new skin cells in a laboratory. Fiona's spray-on skin technique played a key role in treating burns victims from the 2002 Bali bombings, and Fiona and her team are credited with saving the lives of 28 people.

Sally Dominguez invented her most well-known innovation the Rainwater Hog, a rainwater tank which could be used in either horizontal or vertical orientation. Previously, rainwater collection and storage systems were quite large and expensive, but Dominguez's modular design allows for a far more accessible and customizable solution for homes, businesses, and schools.