The woman who would end her career by being Chairman of two major international companies in Australia came from humble beginnings.
Elizabeth Bryan AM described herself as having "stumbled luckily" into her education at the Australian National University as "a very green 18 year old" from Coonabarabran.
"It was an opportunity to experience the full tenor of university life, and it was a very formative one for me," Elizabeth said.
"It's left me with appreciations of things and a way of looking at things that I've carried through my whole career."
Studying Economics at a time when the discipline was part of the College, Elizabeth was one of only three women in a class of 400. After graduating with a Bachelor of Arts in 1968, however, and being launched into the world, she said that she wasn't very aware of the gender issue.
"What I did was to look for a job, and then to look for the next interesting job, which was usually just slightly up there, and the next one and the next one," she said.
Her career trajectory led her to become the first woman to run a large financial institution in Australia when she was appointed to manage the New South Wales State Super and Investment Management Corporation in 1992. She later became the Chief Executive Officer of Deutsche Asset Management and served as a director of Westpac Banking Corporation and a large number of other Australian public, private and government-owned companies.
As of 2017, she is Chairman of the Virgin Australia Group and the Insurance Australia Group, and considers herself to be at the end of her career. She said upon being awarded the 2017 Alumni of the Year Award that the ANU started her off, and for that, she's very grateful.
"I was very privileged to go to ANU," she said.
"Like most things in my life, it wasn't planned, it wasn't plotted - it just worked."