Vale Dr Vera Deacon OAM

Vera, 10 March 2016

Vera Frances
19.07.1926 – 17.05.2021

Passed away peacefully at
The Mater Hospital, Newcastle.
Beloved wife of the late Stanley Deacon;
mother to Daria and Deborah; grandmother
to Ben; sister to Audrey, Marcia, Phyllis,
Margaret, Norman and Ronnie;
partner to Malcolm Bailey.

Passionate about Newcastle’s history and
a committed social and environmental activist
in both Sydney and Newcastle,
her passing leaves a huge hole in the heart of
her family and the wider community.

Memorial Service to be held at 2.30pm Thursday
June 3rd at Pettigrew Family Funerals
7 Murray Dwyer Circuit, Mayfield West.

In lieu of flowers please consider a donation to
The Vera Deacon Regional History Fund at the
University of Newcastle.

Dear Living Histories Friends and Colleagues,

Our University of Newcastle’s great benefactor and champion, Dr Vera Deacon OAM, passed away yesterday afternoon at the Mater Hospital aged 94 years.

Since the early 2000s she has supported our projects, and employed many of our students and volunteers giving them a great boost, which we greatly appreciate. See the scope of achievements here:

If you could pass the news onto your friends and colleagues, that would be greatly appreciated.

We last saw Vera at the Mater on Saturday morning, she had been admitted after having a fall at home. She was in very fine spirits, talking and making jokes, remembering her mother’s words that put her in her place when she was uppity.

We took her a couple of beautiful little cakes from the Mayfield patisserie, a chocolate éclair, and a lemon meringue, and gobbled them down without taking a breath. So she really enjoyed them.

Christian Breton’s beautiful little cakes from his Mayfield Patisserie

She was funny, and self-deprecating as usual, and giving her fellow ward inmates great laughs.

She’s had a great life, and it was a beautiful honour to be a part of it.

Here’s the film Glenn and Tony (from Carnivore Films) recently made on Vera, it captures her beautifully.


Best wishes, and our sincere condolences to her family, friends, and the many many people throughout the community that knew and loved her.

Gionni Di Gravio, OAM
University Archivist, and Chair, Hunter Living Histories

Vera Deacon 1926-2021 Newcastle Herald Front Page, 19th May 2021


Vera Deacon 1926-2021 Newcastle Herald, Pages 10-11, 19th May 2021.

3 thoughts on “Vale Dr Vera Deacon OAM

  1. Wonderful wonderful documentary about a wonderful woman. I feel so privileged to have known her and just to have met her has been a memorable experience!!!

  2. Vera was such a Legend, it is hard to imagine the place without her. If anybody wants to read more, then get a copy of Depression Down Under edited by Len Fox, pp. 95-119. In fact, read the whole bloody book! We all owe it to her to keep the flame of social justice burning in this area.

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