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Weather News



Personal Notes
Mr. B. W. Newman, Deputy Director, Sydney
Mr. G. W. Mackey—Deputy Director, Perth
Mr. J. Johnston—Deputy Director, Hobart
Mr. A. J. Shields—Deputy Director, Brisbane
Mr. B. J. Retallack—Supervising Meteorologist, Training
Mr. J. Hogan—Deputy Director, Adelaide
Mr. F. Bell—Officer-in-Charge, Darwin
Mr. P. Ryan—Officer-in-Charge, Darwin
Bureau Profile #1
Dr. Kevin Spillane: The Quality of Tenacity
Taking the World View [John Zillman]
Fred Bell, the Pilot's Friend
Mildura's Harry Storer
Computers—New ADC [Ross Maine]
H. G. Bond
The Sky is the Limit [Bettye Macnicol / Jenny Hopwood]
Hobart Weather Birds [Judy Morris / Felicity James]
Professional Officers' Association Award to Henry [Phillpot]
New Assistant Director Facilities is Keith Henderson
Tasmania's New Regional Director [Ted Phillips]
New Head for ANMRC [Doug Gauntlett]
Tony Powell New Regional Director Victoria
Lynn Mitchell Takes Over the Reins in SA RO Fillerup!
Pat Sullivan New Regional Director, NSW
Bettye Dixon Heads Canberra Liaison Section
Dr Michael Manton Chief of BMRC
Graeme Furler, Regional Director South Australia
Ian Mason, Regional Director ACT
Regional Director Queensland [Rex Falls]
Don Linforth, STPM
Bob Brook, Asst Director (Observations)
Jim Arthur, Regional Director, Northern Territory
Neil Streten Appointed Deputy Director (Services)
Bill Downey, Assistant Director (Executive)
Antarctic Medal Winners
Agrometeorology's Leading Lady [Gloria Bedson]
Ken Wilson—Focus on the 'Big Picture'
Sue Barrell's 'Balancing Act'
Dr Geoff Love Appointed Deputy Director (Services)
Serendipity at 33,000ft: A Win for Metrology—Bruce Forgan's WMO Vaisala Award
Pressure's On for New NCC Head [Mary Voice]
Bob Leighton Wins AMOS Honor for Climate Studies



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Sue Barrell's 'Balancing Act'

No. 313 August 1996

Weather News asked Box Hill High School work experience student, Carolynn Smart, to look at Sue Barrell's busy life.

As a professional meteorologist, working on international climate coordination and climate change issues, Sue Barrell knows all about multitasking. Combining the rigors of a full-time career with the demands of family life, it becomes, as Sue says, "a real balancing act."

Sue was born in England and emigrated to New Zealand at the age of four. Raised with brothers and a sister and attending a public girls' school, Sue was always taught she could 'be what she wanted to be'. The encouragement of her teachers and a well-organised science program prompted Sue's love for science.

Sue gained her PhD at the Australian National University and joined the Bureau of Meteorology in 1980. The thought of being a woman entering this career never really posed a problem for her. Although she says "you'll always encounter someone who's prejudiced against women", there have been more benefits for her than setbacks, she says.

Sue's career in the Bureau has taken her through operational (NMC), support (OEB), research (R&D, BMRC) and systems (SPB) areas, leading to her current position. For the past few years her work has been largely project orientated. Some of the many projects that Sue has played a role in include the Cold Fronts Research Program, the Touchscreen display, the video 'Farming a Sunburnt Country', the initial AIFS specification and the BMRC review.

One of her most enjoyable projects was managing the Bureau's participation in the final phase of the Cold Fronts Project, in 1984.

People from the Bureau, CSIRO, Universities, the armed forces and other agencies worked together to develop a better understanding of the cold fronts that affect southern Australia. Sue had the dubious pleasure of assisting on a calibration flight. They flew along the coast only a few metres above the sea surface to calibrate air speed instruments, and just a few metres above the runway to calibrate the altimeter against the barometer at the met office. "I then understood why people only volunteer once for calibration flights", Sue said.

Organisations in Australian Science at Work - Bureau of Meteorology Research Centre; National Meteorological Centre (NMC)

People in Bright Sparcs - Barrell, Susan Lesley

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