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Sara Dowse Sara Dowse i(A36247 works by) (a.k.a. Dale Sara Dowse)
Born: Established: 1938 Chicago, Illinois,
United States of America (USA),
Gender: Female
Arrived in Australia: 1958
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Sara Dowse was born in Chicago, USA, and studied Arts at the University of California after growing up in New York and Los Angeles. In 1958 she moved to Australia and later graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Sydney. She moved to Canberra in 1968 but her marriage with John Dowse broke up four years later, leaving her to raise her four children. In 1974 she joined the Prime Miminister's Department, and became the first Head of the Office of Women's Affairs.

In 1977, Dowse resigned from the public service and began her life as a full-time writer. In 1982 she drafted Towards Equality: The Australian Labor Party (ALP) and Women, the ALP's 1983 election policy on women. Her first novel, West Block (1983) contains five loosely connected stories that are based on her experience as a public servant. Most closely tied to her experience are the frustrations faced by the "femocrat" based in a women's affairs unit.

After 1983, Dowse has wrote several novels and a book for young adults. In 1988 she contributed to the collection Canberra Tales and was writer-in-residence in the Department of Communication and Studies at Curtin University of Technology. In 1989 she was writer-in-residence in the English Department of University College, the Australian Defence Force Academy, Canberra. She has been a member of Seven Writers, a Canberra women writer's group, a member of Women in Film and Television Network , a member of the Australian Society of Authors, a member of the Australian Writers Guild, a member of the Australian Capital Territory Arts Development Board, vice-president of Canberra PEN, treasurer of the Australian National Word Festival , treasurer of Writers Against Nuclear Arms and a reader of manuscripts for various publishing houses.

She has read her work in Canberra, Hobart, Sydney and Perth and participated in the 1982 Women And Arts Festival in Sydney, the 1984 Salamanca Festival in Hobart and the 1985, 1987 and 1989 Word Festivals in Canberra. Her novel, Sapphires (1994) is based on her experience as a Jewish woman, exploring the migration of her ancestors to America and her own migration to Australia. Her second novel, Silver City is based on a screenplay by Sophia Turkiewicz. She has written other material for television. In 1998, Dowse moved to Canada with her second husband where she edited a book of Canadian short stories, Reading the Peninsula: Stories of the Saanich Peninsula (2003). After nearly six years in Canada, Dowse returned to Australia.

Most Referenced Works


  • Dowse has also conducted many interviews with famous Australians, and edited the Majura Women's Group's "Home Grown Anthology" (1993).
  • Tape of an interview with Dowse by Ann Turner is held at ANL.

Personal Awards

1997 winner ACT Creative Arts Fellowship
1995 winner ACT Book Reviewer of the Year Award for a portfolio of reviews and review articles mainly in The Canberra Times.
1989 Australia Council Grants, Awards and Fellowships Literature Board Fellowship Category B

Awards for Works

y separately published work icon Sapphires Ringwood : Penguin , 1994 Z384033 1994 single work novel 'Evelyn Hazelwood is the descendant of the Kozminsky clan. Her grandmother fled as a child from Tsarist Russia to the American plains; Evelyn's own flight takes her to Sydney where she ekes out a puzzled existence as a television comedy writer. To her family she is a traveller, carrying with her the hope invested in daughters by their mothers across the generations.' (Publisher's blurb)
1995 winner Australian Capital Territory Book of the Year Award
Last amended 19 Dec 2014 11:57:38
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