Joan Hopkins

Joan Hopkins

B. 1909 D. 1990

Graduated St Margaret’s 1927

Photo courtesy of The Cathedral School of St Anne & St James, Townsville

In her final year at St Margaret’s in 1927, Joan Hopkins was Prefect and Dux of the school. After graduating, she went on to study Science receiving a BA and MA, an incredible feat for a woman in the thirties.

Joan was a member of the Queensland Prickly Pear Board, responsible for the introduction of a biological control agent, the Cactoblastis stem-boring moth, to Queensland in order to eradicate the invasive prickly pear plant species.

Joan spent 16 years as a science teacher at St Anne’s in Townsville, a school also founded by the Sisters of the Society of the Sacred Advent. She was passionate about preserving the natural environment and, determined to instil this within her students, would coordinate regular field trips to explore the flora and fauna of the local area. Also a guardian of the school’s lagoon, she would lead regular clean outs to remove the algae and toads and maintain the health of the lagoon’s ecosystem.

In honour of Joan’s commitment and enthusiasm for science education, in 1998 St Anne’s named the new Science laboratories the Joan Hopkins Science Building in her honour.

Joan was recognised with an MBE for her community services and educational activities and was also granted life membership of the Wildlife Preservation Society of Queensland.