Cumpston Research

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Amy Cumpston page 2 publications cont.

A review of Amy's poetry by Warwick Wynne


Australia, My Home - Amy MacGrath. Towerhouse Publications, 1991.

(ISBN 0 9591879 5 2, pb., 142 pp. $ - )


"What first struck me about these very different books is how their titles both exhibit a strong sense of positioning; in place and in public declarations of allegiance. ....... while McGrath's, 'Australia, My Home', positions the poet emotionally with a more public announcement of significances.


As the grand titles of her poems suggest ; 'Europe's vision of Australia', 'The Giant Pacific', 'The Desert Explorers', 'Sydney', 'Bicentennial of Australia's Discovery', MacGrath is interested in the larger picture. She leaves the reader no doubts as to where she stands in a book dedicated often to explorers like Giles, Cook and Sturt, eulogised here as 'men beyond the ordinary man', or as she writes of Giles:


The careless schoolroom should resound your fame

the lonely gravestone boast your proper legend -

'here lies a man who dared the fearful desert,

remember him, do homage to his fame.'


In fact, much of MacGrath's work here is a homage to people and places and history. There is homage too, to the language and rhythms of another time: 'O Noble Land'. The collection's sub-headings, 'Australia', 'Sydney, My City', 'Centennial Park' 'Australian Pilgrim' and 'The Lost Continent Found' sum up the kind of journey we encounter. We often meet the original inhabitants of this continent but they are mostly seen through guilt, 'I know the shame of my pillaging profit', or dismissed as already finished: 'We have extinguished black men who stood proud'. MacGrath's poems are often too wide-ranging for me. I prefer her more episodic and observational work. Nevertheless, the language and structures remain somewhat inflexible".


Copyright - Warrick Wynne.  This review originally appeared in The Australian Book Review.




  • International Music Theatre Forum (1977 : Sydney, N.S.W.) Proceedings of the International Music Theatre Forum held at the New South Wales Conservatorium of Music in Sydney from January 17-21, 1977 [sound recording] / recorded by Amy McGrath.  1977.

  • International Music Theatre Forum (1978 : Sydney, N.S.W.) Proceedings of the International Music Theatre Forum held at the Seymour Centre in Sydney from January 23-27, 1978 [sound recording] / recorded by Amy McGrath.  1978. Description: 13 sound tape reels (ca. 2,340 min.)  Description: 8 sound tape reels (ca. 2,880 min.)


  •  Baxter, Philip Sir, 1905-1989. Interview with Sir Philip Baxter, chemical engineer, Professor of Chemical Engineering, 1949-1953 then Vice-Chancellor of the University of


  • New South Wales, 1955-69 [sound recording] / interviewer, Amy McGrath.  1980. Description: 2 sound cassettes (105 min.) :     


  •  Bloomer, Olive. Olive Bloomer interviewed by Amy McGrath [sound recording].  1981. Description: 1 sound cassette.  


  • Winston, Dennis. Interview with Dennis Winston [sound recording] / interviewer, Amy McGrath.  1979 April 4. Description: 2 sound cassettes.  


  •  McGrath, Amy, 1921- The history of medical organisations in Australia / by Amy G. McGrath.  [Sydney] : Amy G. McGrath, 1974. Description: 590 leaves ;    


  •  McGrath, Amy, 1921- The history of medical organisation in Australia [microform] / by Amy G. McGrath.   Description: 1 microfilm reel


  •  McGrath, Amy, 1921- The history of medical organisation in Australia (microform) / by Amy G. McGrath.  Sydney, 1975. Description: 1 microfilm reel ; 35 mm.  


  •  McGrath, Frank, 1921- Interview with Judge Frank McGrath [sound recording] / interviewer, Amy McGrath.  1983 Jan. 29. Description: 4 cassettes (ca. 240 min.)


  • Cumpston, A. G. Interview with Dr Alan Cumpston [sound recording] / interviewer, Amy McGrath.  1982. Description: 2 sound cassettes (ca. 120 min.)  See details to the left




Record Id: 9263477 (Australian Library Collections) permalink

Author: McGrath, Amy, 1921-


The Library holds 3 cartons of Amy's Papers.


Summary: Personal papers, drafts of poems, play and prose works, including a biography of Dr. Cumpston, and theses for degrees of Bachelor of Arts and Master of Arts; papers relating to Dr. Cumpston c.1906-1950, papers relating to F. R. McGrath, including a thesis for Master of Arts degree, family papers 1906-1953 and pictorial material.


Biography: Mrs Frank Roland McGrath wrote under her maiden name as Amy Cumpston. Her father, Dr. J. H. Cumpston, 1880-19--, was Director-General of Health 1922-1945.


Access Conditions: MS. Material not to be issued without the permission of the Donor.


Record Id: 21213048 (Australian Library Collections) permalink

Author: Cumpston, A. G.


Title: Interview with Dr Alan Cumpston [sound recording] / interviewer, Amy McGrath.


Published: 1982.


Description: 2 sound cassettes (ca. 120 min.)


Summary: Cumpston talks about the various firms he has worked with since 1958 in the field of occupational health. He then discusses his father's influence on his decision to become a doctor; studying medicine at Sydney University; appointment as first doctor at Concord Military Hospital during WWII; medical work undertaken after the war and decision to go into the field of occupational health. Cumpston then provides examples of the work he has done in this field as well as listing the various health societies he helped set up in his role as Director. In 1975 he became the Director of Occupational Health in the Division of Occupational Health, Clean Air and Noise Abatement in the Health Dept of Western Australia.


Notes: Recorded on Nov. 10, 1982 in Canberra.


The HS Chapman Society is a non-political watchdog of the integrity of the Australian voting system - founded in 1996.


The Stolen Election 1987 according to Frank Hardy by Dr. Amy McGrath - an extensive account of the 1987 federal election - is available by phone: 02 9599 7915 or by e-mail: [email protected] Price: $20.00 plus postage $5.00.


Dr Amy McGrath OAM

Convenor and Researcher

H S Chapman Society Inc.

Inquiry into the conduct of the 2006 Victorian state election and matters related thereto

Melbourne - 28 August 2007



Dr Amy Gladys McGrath. I live at 1/49a Mutch Avenue,

Brighton-Le-Sands, New South Wales 2216.  I represent the H. S. Chapman Society. I am now merely a life

member. I retired as president in June.  My doctorate, if that is what you are asking, was in history, and I

have spent 13 years on the questions of how elections are run, I have written five and a half books

on the subject, I have been trained by people within the system and I think now I am fairly

proficient. Also, I started the UK Chapman Society in Britain with the national agents of the

Labour Party and conservative parties. It is still going and I go there every year and compare it

with the British system.

Daughter of JHL and Gladys Maeva Cumpston



Old Naney is delighted to hear that a branch of the Links of Empire has been formed in Canberra with Miss Mildred

McLaren as honorary secretary.  A secton of this branch has been formed at St Gabriel's Church of England School Canberra.  The following are the members included in this branch:


Sylvia Antill. Joan Hatfield, Roma Prowst Joy Nei, Jean Evans, Joyce Edwards, Amy Cumpston, Jean Sheaffe, Olive Robertson. Nancy Fletcher,

Eleanor Wildash,[and others]'


Argus (Melbourne, Vic.) Saturday 27 August 1932

WOMEN'S HOCKEY Kingston and Boronias Win Semi-Finals

The semi-finals of the Canberra Women's Hockey Association competition were played at the Acton

Ground on Saturday afternoon, when Hall lost to Boronias and Kingston defeated the Telopea School team

Goalhitters Kingston L McAppion (2,), E Clutton (2). Telopea

A Cumpston (3).

The Canberra Times  Monday 14 September 1936

LADY ISAACS' PRIZES Subject for 1938 Announced The J Secretary to the Council of the University College (Mr. Parker) yesterday announced the subject decided upon by the Council for the Lady Isaacs' Prize Essay in 1938.


At a time when inter-Imperial relations are being subjected to very Close scrutiny in view of possible threats to the economic, and political unity of the.Empire, this competition should provide an excellent stimulus for young. citizens of the Territory to enter upon an absorbing

study of vital interest to all. Australians. The subject announced is "Australia and its Future in Relation to its Fellow-Members of the British Commonwealth of Nations."

The award of the Lady Isaacs' Prizes is entrusted to the Council of the University College. A fund

was established last year, at the request of Sir Isaac and Lady Isaacs, but of the residue of moneys collected to make a presentation to them on their departure from Canberra at the close of Sir Isaac's term of office as Governor-General. Two prizes may be awarded each year, one for the best essay written by a schoolboy, the other for the best essay written by a schoolgirl, cf the

Territory, on some subject relating to "Australia and its Future." The 'first award of the Prizes was made early this year, the winners being Miss Amy G. Cumpston and Mr. Russell Kennard.


The Canberra Times Thursday 21 April 1938

Kookaburra receives $400,000  Monday, 02 April 2007


Peter Cousens CEO and Artistic director of Kookaburra, The National Musical Theatre Company, today announced a donation of $400,000 by the Amy McGrath Foundation to Kookaburra.


“This is a fantastic boost for our new musical theatre company” said Peter Cousens. “Amy and her foundation have been in talks with Kookaburra for several months and it great that their vision for Australian Theatre is in keeping with Kookaburra’s.”


Kookaburra, Australia's first and only National Musical Theatre Company, was launched in April 2006.  Kookaburra’s goal is to be a world leading producer, developer and advocate of musical theatre, and to affirm musical theatre's central role in the cultural and social life of Australia.  Kookaburra’s first production for their inaugural season PIPPIN opens this month on April 12 at the Sydney Theatre.


Dr Amy McGrath was founder of The Australian Theatre in the 1970’s. Based in Newtown, the group produced and performed many theatrical events and helped grow the talents of the Australian industry by supporting Australian playwrights, directors and performers. Dr McGrath also chaired outstanding International Theatre Forums including an historic Sydney Theatre event in 1977 where Musical Theatre Composers and Lyrists Alan Jay Lerner, Stephen Sondheim, Tim Rice and Harold Prince were bought together to discuss musical theatre. The sale of The Australian Theatre at Newtown generated the Amy McGrath Foundation, the board of which - Amy and Frank McGrath, Sally Hill and John Horder endeavoured to advance Australian theatre in all its forms.


“It was very fortuitous that Kookaburra came along as Peter Cousens and his team share the same objectives that we did in the 70’s” said Dr Amy McGrath. “Kookaburra’s aim to advance Australian Theatrical skills, Australian writing and educational programs can contribute at a level that can make a difference to all Australians.”

Amy and her husband Frank visited us in May 2010.  See the photos here.