H.C. Coombs Lecture - 1993




In this address Janet Holmes a Court speaks about change – how to effect it; and how to bring about change that brings improvement of opportunities, that brings progress, that brings advancement for all without the process of bringing about that change resulting in damage for some.

Over three stories, she discusses her personal journey after the death of her husband; outlines the changes that have been introduced from Claremont Teachers College in 1902 to the amalgamation of the Colleges of Advanced Education to become Edith Cowan University and gives her interpretation of the changes that have been taking place over the previous 10 years or so.


About Janet Holmes a Court

Janet was educated at Perth Modern School and the University of Western Australia. She obtained a Bachelor of Science and a Diploma in Education. She taught at Perth Modern School and Governor Stirling High School and has been director of various family companies with diverse business interests while raising four children.

After the death of her husband in 1990, Mrs Holmes à Court took control of Heytesbury, one of Australia's largest private companies. She retained full ownership of the Heytesbury Group of companies until 2008 when her son, Peter Holmes à Court, assumed ownership, while she remained chair.

She was Pro-Chancellor of the University of Western Australia from 1990 to 1994, and a Senate member of both Murdoch University and the University of Western Australia.

She has been the chairperson of the Australian Children Television Foundation of the Black Swan Theatre Company (now the State Theatre Company) and has been appointed as a member of the board of the Reserve Bank of Australia. She has served on many varied boards over the years.

In 1995, Mrs Holmes a Court was appointed an Officer of the Order of Australia and promoted to a Companion of the Order of Australia in 2007 for services to business, to the advancement of Western Australia's musical and theatre culture, to the visual arts, and to the community.


The Encyclopedia of Women and Leadership in Twentieth-Century Australia. (2022, February). Holmes à Court, Janet (1943 - ). http://www.womenaustralia.info/leaders/biogs/WLE0657b.htm

Holmes a Court, J. (1993, October 27). Changes [Conference Presentation]. Herbert Cole Coombs Annual Lecture, WA, Australia.


Janet Holmes a Court - Changes

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