Jean Stuart was born in the 1930s, trained as a teacher, became head teacher of a public school and lectured in a Teachers College.
When she retired, she renovated derelict houses and re-sold them. The last of these ventures was the former Caledonian Hotel, which had long been occupied and trashed by squatters. This ambitious renovation became Jean’s home, headquarters of the Pyrmont Community Group, and the foundation for Jean’s third career as community activist.
A charismatic figure, Jean mobilised and organised residents in defence of services and facilities. She was an effective leader in creating and animating Interim Park. Other campaigns involving PCG include Waterfront Park West, Save Union Square, Jones Bay Wharf, Annandale School Hall, and Pirrama Park.
PCG and Jean are a vital link between the protesters of the 1990s and the community groups that emerged after “urban renewal”.