Vale Rosalind (Ros) Strong AM

It is with great sadness that Zonta Club of Sydney members heard on the weekend that our wonderful friend, mentor and long time club member, Ros Strong AM has passed away after a period of illness.

Ros joined the Zonta Club of Sydney in 1980 and was President of the club in 1993. She was well known for her compassion and generosity, and was a champion of many of Zonta’s projects, particularly in recent years in our involvement in the Keeping Women out of Prison (KWooP) coalition. Ros was the Vice Patron (and previously the Chair) of the Sydney Community Foundation, the not-for-profit, public philanthropic fund and both Zonta Club of Sydney and the Sydney Community Foundation are part of the KWOOP coalition, along with other organisations.

Ros served as Chair of numerous not-for-profit and non-government organisations, including UNIFEM Australia, the Asthma Foundation of NSW, the University of Sydney Union Foundation and Museums and Galleries NSW. She also served on the Board of many organisations, including the NSW Board of Adult and Community Education.

She was a wonderful public speaker, and our club was fortunate enough to have her speak at our International Women’s Day breakfast in 2021 about her work with UNIFEM.

Her career spanned 35 years in the NSW Public Sector, retiring as the Director of the Heritage Office in 2002. Her previous position was the Assistant Director General, Employment and Training Co-ordination. Earlier she worked in school education, and particularly in migrant and multicultural education.

Ros will be missed by all who knew her. On a personal note I recall when I first joined the club five years ago Ros was a kind and friendly face.  I was amazed she remembered what I had mentioned at a previous meeting about a job interview when she asked me if I had been successful – she was able to set you at ease in any situation. Her presence, her intelligence and her passion for empowering women, including education for all, have no doubt impacted many across the Zonta world. Certainly at our club her loss is deeply felt, and we will miss both her and her husband Tony, who passed away earlier in the year.

Guest speaker Ros Strong with her husband Tony at Zonta Club of Sydney International Women’s Day Breakfast 2021
Ros with Angeline


  1. A kind, thoughtful, passionate individual with impeccable professional credentials. What a wonderful and kind woman Ros Strong was and how very lucky we were to have her as a member of Zonta !!! Vale Ros. My thoughts are with Ros and Tony’s family. Regards, Olivia Sarah-Le Lacheur and my family.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I had the privilege of working with Ros in school education where she was a loyal and professional colleague. It was from this connection that she introduced me to the benefits of membership in the newly established Zonta Club of Botany Bay of which I was to be a Charter Member and I’m still here, nearly 30 years later! Apart from Zonta, when I met up with her and Tony, we loved to share our recent experiences of opera and travel adventures – they touched the hearts of many and enriched so many lives. Vale Ros. Bronlyn and Gary Schoer

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  3. Sad to hear of the passing of Ros Strong. She was a wonderful person and a supporter of our teachers at Ashcroft High School. She recognised and acknowledged those who had the ability to move forward in their careers. A special Deputy Principal!
    It was a pleasure to work with Ros and she will be missed by many people. Condolences to her family and friends. Pam Shiels. ❤️🙏

    Liked by 1 person

  4. With many others I was very sad to hear of the recent death of Ros Strong and also of Tony Strong some weeks earlier. I knew Ros from 1996 when she was appointed as the Director of the newly created NSW Heritage Office. Shortly afterwards she was joined by Hazel Hawke as Chair of the NSW Heritage Council. Ros’s career until then was in education so the appointment came to her as some surprise. Ros was an exceptional person and this has often been commented on by others. Her years at the Heritage Office 1996-2002 witnessed the biggest boost ever for the heritage of the state and hopefully will long be remembered. What is not always known is her incredible kindness to those she came in contact with and this is something which I witnessed many times. As so often happens she and Tony were a team and again no surprise to anyone who knew them both. She had many sayings including one she attributed to her father’s words from Shakespeare – What’s Past is Prologue. In Ros’s case I very much hope that her Past will be Prologue. Dennis McManus PSM, Retired NSW Senior Heritage Officer 1981-2006.

    Liked by 1 person

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