Jean Robertson

Biography of Jean Robertson

Jean Robertson
Jean Robertson

Jean Macdonald Robertson (d 1974) was a graduate of the University who played an important role in the development of training in social work in the Far East.

After graduating MA in 1929, Robertson worked as a social worker for the University Settlement in Anderston and in Lancashire before going to the University of Melbourne as a field work supervisor. She worked in munitions factories in Australia during the Second World War, returned briefly to Britain and was then appointed Director of Field Work at the University of Wellington's School of Social Science in 1949. In 1952, she took charge of social training at the University of Malaya and worked there for fifteen years, training social workers from all parts of the Far East. She was subsequently appointed Professor of Social Work at the University of Hong Kong.

Robertson was made a CBE in 1966, and in 1967 was awarded an honorary Doctor of Laws from the University of Singapore. She returned to Britain in 1972 but died two years later in a car accident in France.


Jean Robertson
Social Worker

Born 31 March 1908.
Died 4 November 1974.
University Link: Alumnus
GU Degree: MA, 1929;
Occupation categories: social workers
Record last updated: 3rd Apr 2013

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  • Alumnus

There is 1 comment available.

Posted by ms jane miller at 8:05:28 on 11 October 2011

I am researching the origins of social work at the University of Melbourne Australia. Jean Robertson was recruited as fieldwork tutor, arriving on the Ormonde in Melbourne on a May 1939. Her salary was 300 pounds per year rising to 350 and her fare to Australia was paid by the Board of Social Studies. By July that year she was acting director of training due to the director's illness. Thi s was a temporary situation. She did work in munitions factories but in a social work/personnel role not as a munitions worker. Does anyone have a photo of her?