Thank You, June McBeth!

June McBeth retired this year after many years of dedicated service to the University of Melbourne. Since 2007, through many changes, June has been a constant, providing excellent support to staff and students in Classics & Archaeology, the Grimwade Centre, History, HPS, Jewish and Hebrew Studies, and Philosophy. June played an absolutely key role in keeping the School running smoothly for all these years. We all depended on her knowledge, efficiency, patience, kindness and humour. The office is not the same without June. We miss her.

We wish we could have given June a proper send-off in person; instead, we invited colleagues to send in their thanks and memories of June. Collected together, these tributes paint a vivid picture of just how central June’s presence was in our community. 


Dear June

It’s going to be hard for us to get our minds (and hearts) around the idea of you not being here. Since I first started at the University as a student in 2005, you’ve been a mainstay and a veritable walking encyclopedia of knowledge about how things work around here. I learned very quickly that if no one else seemed to know the answer to a question about the mechanisms of this place, I could always turn to you, because you would either know the answer already or you would know exactly who to ask. Over the past 16 years you’ve become a good friend and a familiar face, someone who I always enjoyed seeing and talking to – and I always loved laughing at your dry, witty humour! We’re all going to miss you, but I’m going to miss you terribly. Please drop in once in awhile to say hi!

All the best



However did you manage to be cheerful even when people (me!) were asking you the same dumb question for the umpteenth time? You were busy, always, and yet miraculously always seemed to be able to find the time to solve my problems, such as making room bookings when the system wouldn’t let me even though it wasn’t your job – over the years, so many examples. Do you have a secret time dilator that you could do all you did and not seem harried? (And now that you are retired, can I have it?)

With gratitude and good wishes for the future



Dear June

I’ve enjoyed our early-morning conversations, your recommendation of websites (the CBD falcons come to mind!), and your dry perspective on the University. I’ve been grateful for your professionalism and your support. My best wishes for the many adventures ahead.



Thank you for taking such good care of our repliCATS team. You were unfailingly kind and helpful. I don’t know how we would have managed starting up, furnishing our offices, or hosting our visitors without you. We’ve missed you every day since we returned to campus. You’ll always be our favourite.



Dear June

It is twenty years since we first met and I still have the card you signed in 2004 when I ‘retired’ from Physiotherapy. Little did I know that you would soon follow me to what became SHAPS. As well as being remarkably capable, you are one of the people who have helped to keep this institution human, and everyone’s gratitude is very sincere. I’m sure you will find retirement terrific. As you wrote in 2004, ‘All the best for the future. Thanks for your help.’

John Burke


It was a pleasure to work with you in SHAPS June, you always had an answer to my questions and also a question to rock my certainty. I have been thinking about the June McBeth memorial kitchen recently, I wonder if it will remain after the renovations in the Quad, the fact that it exists now is a tribute to your perseverance and good sense.

I can’t imagine the office without you, but at least you unpacked before you left — at least 3 times with the building moves.



June always made a trip to see office administration a fun event, even when it was a humdrum matter. All of us who have known her over the years miss her unflappable and pragmatic nature, and wish her all the best for the future.

Andrew Turner


I will be very sad to see June retire but wish her all the very best. June has been one of the very few constant presences since I started work at the University in 2004, back when Classics and Archaeology was part of the School of Art History, Cinema Studies and Archaeology. This meant a lot to me as a new staff member entering what seemed like a confusing academic landscape. June has always been there for us with her incredible institutional memory, kindness and kind words, quiet but efficient assistance, a friendly smile, and constant reassurance. This was also especially welcome when we joined the new school configuration (SHS, then SHAPS), which for me was traumatic. June has always been a calm and re-assuring presence in a turbulent sea where change became the new normal. She is someone who is completely dependable, always helpful, but more important has been the sense of security she has always given to us. Being an archaeologist working in the Mediterranean has meant traveling often, but it was always reassuring to know June was there to contact regarding a question, or to just give us a friendly word and a quick response. She has never let anyone down and frequently has gone out of our way to help solve any problems. It was reassuring to know that when I returned from a trip, hers would usually be the first face that I saw. She is irreplaceable. June is literally the face of our School, and she embodies the values we all aspire to.

Louise Hitchcock


The Grimwade Centre is immensely grateful to June McBeth for her friendship, collegiality, good humour, hard work and her long commitment to supporting her colleagues. There are so many times that we’ve asked June to help us at last minute, or outside of what we had already discussed and June has always helped out. From everyone at Grimwade Centre – June, we are wishing all the best for the future.



Dear June

You have been the one constant presence in the Discipline of History since I arrived in Melbourne in January 2000. A steadfast, consistently helpful, and quietly caring presence, you will be missed enormously by me. I hope that you enjoy your well-earned retirement!

With grateful thanks and warmest good wishes



We learned long ago there is no problem June can’t fix. Thanks so much for always going the extra mile for us, June! We don’t know what we’ll do without you – you’ll be sorely missed. Wishing you all the best for a well-deserved retirement full of fun and grandchildren!

François and Laura Schroeter


With warmest thanks and very best wishes for the future!



Many thanks for your support and help since the very day I arrived at Melbourne Uni! I wish you the best for the future!



Wot, no June!

Who am I going to banter with?

Life in SHAPS will never be quite the same.

I shall miss you, but I am sure that you are enjoying your new life without us.

All the very best June,

Kathryn (Smithies)


Dear June

Thank you for your support ever since I started at SHAPS nearly a decade ago. I will always remember your kindness and words of sympathy when I lost my mum and was struggling to help my dad.

With every good wish for your retirement and new endeavours

Faye (Chan)


Hi June

Even though we only physically worked together on campus before being sent home to work, you made me feel very welcome and could answer any question I had.  I enjoyed our morning chats and liked seeing your smiling face on Zoom meetings. Enjoy retirement and spending time doing what you want to do, whenever you want to do it.




Thank you, June.

I greatly appreciate all your assistance and support over the years. Always kind, friendly, generous and helpful.

Best wishes for the future

Andrew J.


Dear June

Thank you so much for all you have done for me over the past three years that I have been in Melbourne, and all you have done for SHAPS and the University over many more years as well! Your help and support have made all the difference in countless ways, and I shall always be grateful to you. Your selfless efforts, your patience, your sense of humour, and your good sense, indeed you yourself, are much missed!

All the very best and please keep in touch

Tim P.


Dear June

Thanks for taking care of our school so well for so long.

All the best for a happy and restful retirement

Kate (McGregor)


Thanks for your terrific work, June

Mike Arnold


Dear June

Thank you so much for everything that you have done for our school and for each of us individually.

I wish you and your family every happiness and the very best in this next stage in your life.


Hyun Jin


Dear June

I first met you when I started as a PhD student in SHAPS in 2013, and since then you have always been generous with your time, approachable, and just so incredibly helpful. Thank you! I wish you all the very best and hope you have a really great retirement ahead of you. We will miss you on level six ❤ (although we totally understand that you may not miss us noisy repliCATS folk back)

All the best

Fallon Mody


Dear June

Thank you for being such a great colleague. You knew this university inside and out and made a great contribution, only now that you’re gone do I realise the true enormity of your role and your knowledge of this process and IT platform filled establishment. You recognised and greeted by name just about anyone who walked into the school, from the mail staff to the building contractors, all of whom are surprised and saddened by your departure.

Enjoy this next chapter of life with your children and grandchildren whom you spoke about so lovingly about and come back to visit us soon.



Congratulations on your retirement June. Thank you for all your tireless work for the school, and for your many years of service to the university. I hope you enjoy spending more time with your family. We will miss you!

Kind regards

Kristian Camilleri


Dear June

You have always been there for any problem large or small, and you will be missed! Your calm mastery of all our queries and cheerful smile always made it a pleasure to go into the office. Enjoy a well-earned retirement.

Best wishes


Howdy June!

The world of SHAPS and my office are simply not going to be the same anymore with you no longer around to keep it all sane, safe and together! Already I have to climb over a mountain of books, cardboard boxes and papers to get to my dangerously untidy desk, which I now have to share with a growing army of bugs, and I also have grave concerns about being kept honest when I stand in need of it most! Furthermore, who is going to see to it that my kids are living the true Aussie way of life: as you well know, I have always stuck to many of my wayward Belgian ways, including an endless series of crafty ploys to steer them away from such things like Cricket and Aussie rules football. For the sake of all of us, I may well ask Margaret to frame a poster-size picture of you throwing that stern and admonishing look of yours and affix it to the walls of SHAPS Admin Central Command – the unthinkable alternative is chaos, anarchy and disrepair!!

Yours humbly if helplessly, Frederik


Thank you June for all your work keeping SHAPS up and running. Your kind and adept help assisting the HPA with all sorts of practicalities has been much appreciated!! Wishing you all the best, Paula (History Postgraduate Association Rep 2018–2019)

Paula Hendrikx


Thank you, June, for all of the help you offered me and my PhD student peers, from induction to advice and assistance for the HPA and everyday interactions you have always been generous, thorough and efficient. Wishing you all the best for retirement.

Best wishes

Bronwyn (History Postgraduate Association Rep 2019–2020)


Dear June

It’s been great working with you back in Fine Arts and then at SHAPS, I’ve really appreciated your honesty, hard work and camaraderie. I know you’ll be very much missed at SHAPS.

Wishing you all the best for your future projects,

Tim Ould


Dear June

I remember you during my time working in Art History, Cinema, Classics and Archaeology.

Your institutional knowledge was impressive.

You are really the heart of the organization, and I always loved and benefitted from your attention to detail and your level of service.

Brian O’Neill


June, thank you so much for making the ‘onboarding experience’ at the University so easy. That coupled with the fact that you literally helped me light up my office by delivering me a lamp, makes me feel so incredibly grateful to you. Though I’ve not been here long, I know that you were a rock for this School, and I also know that you will be missed by all of your colleagues and friends. Enjoy your retirement, and may it be long and full of joy!



Hi June,

it’s certainly not the same here in the office without you. No June’s Monday morning rants! Thank you for your company, good humour and your support in the good times and the not so good. Enjoy your well deserved retirement.



Dear June

Thanks so much for everything you’ve done for me over the last few years I’ve been here. We will all miss your steady hand and profound knowledge. I hope your retirement is filled with good times and easy living,




during my PhD you were nothing less than a rock of support. I knew I could always approach you with the most basic questions (many of which must have been extremely irritating!). Thank you for always being there and I wish you all the best for your retirement.

Kate Davison


Dear June

Thank you so much for all the countless times you helped me out in so many different ways; it’s really amazing how you managed to look after all of us so well. I feel as though I should also thank you on behalf of all the pot plants – they invariably looked so much healthier and happier after a stint in your care. I still have your possum picture on the back of my office door and it never fails to cheer me up.



Dear June

I’d like to add to the voices appreciating your contribution to SHAPS over the years. I really appreciated the fact that, no matter how busy you were, you always found time to listen and solve problems when I (and no doubt others) just turned up in the School office without a clear sense of what I needed. – I wish you all the best for your well deserved retirement!

Andrew (Inkpin)


Thanks for everything June. It was fantastic working with you over the years and the place won’t be the same without you! Enjoy the time with family and make sure you keep coming to the SHAPS Christmas parties!

Dan Halliday


Dear June

This greeting brings both gratitude and best wishes.

I feel that I’ve known you for many years and in various History Office locations since I returned to the University of Melbourne as a postgraduate candidate and then as a research associate in History.

You have always been so helpful and calm, efficient and knowledgeable on administrative procedures, and willing to deal promptly with the range of requests that greeted you constantly at the door of a busy office.

I wish you good health and happiness in the years ahead and well-earned opportunities for you to refresh long-time hobbies or take up new activities.

With warmest good wishes from Wendy (Dick)


Dear June

thank you for being a constant and supportive presence in the history department over a very long period. I was the beneficiary of your helpful assistance and advice on many occasions. Enjoy your retirement!

Best wishes

Rosemary Francis


Dear June

Thank you so much for your wisdom, patience and good humour throughout all the years we’ve known each other. You seemed unflappable, despite the weird and curly questions and requests I and others came up with. I guess you’d heard them all before!

With massive thanks June, and very warm wishes for the future

Marcelle Scott


Dear June

Thank you for everything over the time we’ve been working here together, you always smoothed the waters for me and got things sorted so well and I loved the laughs we had along the way. All the very best to you and your family and good luck for whatever comes next.
Very Best
Paul Carter



Dear June

You most certainly will be missed in SHAPS for your efficiency and your sense of humour! Thanks for all the help over the years.

I hope your retirement allows you to pursue all those other projects and spend time with your precious grandchildren.



Dear June

Thank you for being such a welcoming, helpful, thoughtful and practical colleague. Every time I walked into the office you made my day better — the school is not the same without you. May you have a happy and fulfilling retirement!



Good afternoon
I am pleased to welcome June McBeth to the School in our shared position of Administrative Assistant based in the front office in John Medley West. June will be working Monday through to Thursday.
June comes to us from AHCCA and will therefore be well known to our C&A colleagues. She previously worked in the School of Physiotherapy and at Monash Student Union.
Please introduce yourself to June when next passing the office.
Heather Fletcher

School Manager


Every time I passed the office from that day forward—from the Medley Building days through to our latest digs in Arts West—June was a constant: ever obliging, utterly dependable, always professional. My email outbox has hundreds and hundreds of messages to June over more than a decade and a half, covering just about any topic you might imagine: printer toner (in the days when printers had names like Bunyip and Dingo), timetables (from the days when we pasted them on our office door), equipment purchase, office cleaning, QOT surveys, Christmas parties, mail, office keys, fixing window hinges, managing RSVPs for a book launch. When I had problems with my mail, June had it sorted: “Dear Andrew, I am unsure who placed ‘Do not Bend’ mail in your pigeon hole – but it was not me. I will make a note of it for the future.” When the fridge on the 2nd floor broke down in 2012, in her inimitable way, June’s response was flawless, to the point, and ever constructive: “Sounds like it is stuffed – do not think maintenance would be interested – will enquire about a new one and advise – best June”. Thanks “June McBeth, Administration” for all the small things that made the big things so much easier.

Andy (May)