Barbara Mackay-Cruise

Barbara Mackay-Cruise, younger daughter of Noel and Lillian Lamidey, was brought up in rustic Canberra where (in 1942) Noel became Secretary of the Aliens Classification and Advisory Committee. After the War, the family moved to London, where Noel was Chief Migration Officer, initiating and managing the assisted migration scheme. High Commissioner Beasley persistently opposed this appointment: as both worked in Australia House, this relationship demanded all of Noel’s tact and finesse. Meanwhile Barbara emerged from her schooling as a spirited, adventurous optimist. She worked as a purser on P&O liners, until she married and returned to Australia.

After her childhood among eminent people, Barbara was plunged, abruptly, into life as a single mother. Undaunted, she applied her social talents and networking flair to raising funds for charities, including the Australian Cancer Research Foundation, of which she was executive officer. She came to Pyrmont as one of the first residents in Jacksons Landing, and campaigned to turn this new development into a lively society, persuading the developer (Lend Lease) to organise and fund social events including the first Jacksons Landing Christmas Concerts. She was awarded an AM in 2016 for significant service.

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Sources

  • Barbara Mackay-Cruise, Immigrants and spies: my father, my memories