Jul 31, 2023
It is with deep sadness that Union Aid Abroad acknowledges the death of Betty Hounslow in Sydney on July 27.
Betty had served on the board of Union Aid Abroad since 2018, as our organisation’s expert appointee, advising on development. She made an enormous contribution to our organisation during that time, bringing critical and strategic thinking to decision-making, policy discussions and programming challenges.
She did this with a deep commitment to our organisation, and to our values of solidarity, partnership, accountability, movement building, equality and justice.
Prior to retirement, Betty held the position as deputy director of the Fred Hollows Foundation and she held the position of vice president of the Australian Council For International Development (ACFID) board from 2009 to 2012. Before working in international development. Betty had a long career in Australian community development in women’s refuges, community legal centres, and as the executive director of the Australian Council Of Social Service (ACOSS) during the 1990s period.
Betty was also known as a tenacious advocate for the rights of refugees and asylum seekers, including serving on the board of the Asylum Seekers Centre of NSW. Betty spent her whole life being an activist for LGBTQI+ rights and is acknowledged as a pioneer for human rights in Australia, as one of the 78’ers who organised Sydney’s first Mardi Gras. She was a lifelong trade unionist and social justice advocate and had been appointed as a Member of the Order of Australia (AM).
We will remember Betty for her generosity, her warm heart and her fighting spirit.

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