Catherine Money, interviewed by Tom Spurling and Terry Healy, 8 December 2021

By Helen WolffMarch 30th, 2022

Catherine Money was Group Manager of CSIRO Textile and Fibre Technology’s Leather Research Centre at Clayton. In 2001, she was appointed Officer-in-Charge, CSIRO Leather Research Centre.

Edited transcript (PDF – 858 KB)

Interview summary

Catherine Money was born in Melbourne on 18 August 1940. In the first part of the interview Catherine recalls growing up during the war in Balwyn where her father was a young barrister working as the secretary of the Australian Defence Committee. She talks about her time in isolation with scarlet fever at the Fairfield Infectious Diseases Hospital, her early education at the progressive Preshil school, and her primary and secondary education at Fintona Girls School. Her family encouraged her interest in science.

Catherine then discusses her time at the University of Melbourne, her growing interest in biochemistry and her decision to do her Master’s degree at UoM. She talks about her family decision to go to London for her husband to complete his teacher education and her research work at a London hospital.

She returned to Melbourne and very quickly secured an Experimental Officer position at the CSIRO Division of Protein Chemistry. She emphasises the importance of the support of her Chief, Gordon Lennox in her early days in the Division and especially when she started her family.

In the later parts of the interview Catherine discusses her very productive interactions with the leather industry and the way that CSIRO’s approach to industrial research changed in the course of her career.


Interview recorded at Swinburne University of Technology (Hawthorn campus) on 8 December 2021 as part of the CSIRO History Project.


Copyright owned by Swinburne University of Technology and CSIRO. Some re-use permitted (Creative Commons BY-NC-ND)

Related information

Lee, T. (2022) The woman who changed the leather industry forever still working at age 82. ABC Landline, 12 February 2022.