Vale Alice Beauchamp – A Lane Cove Legend, Activist and Advocate

    Alice Beauchamp recently passed away at the age of 94. She was an incredibly well-known local citizen involved with many community organisations. She leaves behind her son David and daughter Toni and her grandson Danny. Until a year ago, Alice lived independently in her own home in Lane Cove.

    Toni Beauchgap told ITC that Alice’s experience as a young refugee escaping the Holocaust influenced her life and values. Values that she has passed on to her children. Toni is involved in social work and social policy implementation.

    A Refugee

    In 2018 Alice’s story was featured on Amnesty International (Australian Branch) website.

    The article recounted Alice’s escape from NAZI Germany and how she found her way to Australia.

    An extract is below:

    “As a young girl, Alice Beauchamp became a refugee when she had to flee Nazi Germany. Today she lives in Sydney and has spent her life promoting human rights. Story as told to Annika Flensburg.

    “Our relatives all thought my father was mad when he said we had to flee Germany in the 1930s. He was the only one who saw what was happening.

    My parents were very worried about the persecution and were concentrating on how we could emigrate, what they should do with their lives. They were learning three languages, English, Spanish and Hebrew, because we didn’t know where we would be able to go.

    I still remember being in my uncle’s store in Mannheim, when the Nazis stormed in and called him a filthy Jew. I screamed, ‘He’s not dirty!’ My mother put her hand over my mouth and rushed me out to the closest sweet shop – anything to shut me up. She was terrified they would do something to us. But I couldn’t let them call my uncle dirty, could I? Later, the Nazis closed the store and my uncle, and his family went into hiding. Eventually they were found and killed. It was a scary time.”

    You can read the article in full here.

    A Fighter

    In 2018 Alice was featured in a Sydney Morning Herald article about private versus public use at the Greenwich Baths. You can read the article here (it is paywalled).


    A Lane Cove Supporter

    Alice was at the forefront when Lane Cove Council was facing amalgamation, fighting for Lane Cove. Lane Cove Council had a healthy surplus that would be swallowed up by other in debt councils, and she was afraid Lane Cove would not retain its identity. She was quoted in the North Shore Times:

    “The merged entity would be “far too huge for any feeling of connectedness and, I think, for efficient administration,” said Alice Beauchamp of Lane Cove. Ms Beauchamp, a 58-year resident of Lane Cove, struggled to comprehend how her new council borders could stretch from Parramatta to Ku-ring-gai to Hornsby.”

    An Active Supporter of Indigenous Rights

    Lane Cove Residents for Reconciliation (LCRR) was founded in Lane Cove in 1997.

    Alice Beauchamp was a long-time member of LCRR and a staunch and active supporter of Indigenous Rights.

    In 1997, LCRR, in partnership with Faith Wieland, Cultural Officer @ Lane Cove Council, founded the first ‘Children’s Voices for Reconciliation’- which was recently held in the Lane Cove Plaza for the 25th time.

    Alice Beauchamp helped to organise this important event, initially featuring children from Redfern PS and Lane Cove PS … and more and more local schools have participated over the years.

    The photo below shows Alice in the forefront of the LCRR Committee’s Street Stall in Lane Cove Plaza in Feb 1998.

    Alice was also involved with many other local organisations, such as the Lane Cove Bushland and Conservation Society and The Lane Cove Coal and Gas Alliance.

    Local Government

    Alice was a strong supporter of local government. She regularly attended many Lane Cove Council meetings and spoke at the public forum.

    Three current councillors posted the following tributes to Alice:

    Mayor Andrew Zbik

    “Always appreciated Alice’s honest advice and guidance. I knew she always had good motivations, and I learnt a lot from her.”

    Councillor Bridget Kennedy

    “Alice was small but punched way above her weight. She was passionate about community and politics. I first met Alice through the Lane Cove Bushland Society many years ago, and over the years, she provided me with much advice and words of wisdom. She wasn’t backward in saying what she thought (generally with a laugh or a smile on her face); she could be naughty and fiery but always driven by the best intentions. She encouraged me to stand for council, and it was an honour to have her support. I think she would have been so happy with the result of the current elections.” (See our cover photo – Councillor Kennedy is with Alice Beauchamp)

    Merri Southwood

    “I had the pleasure of visiting Alice in the past few weeks. She was excited by the gift of a new laptop, was busting to get on with her emails and was engaged, as ever, with things political—what an inspirational woman. And, Alice, we will so miss your presence at Council meetings. Only you could deliver a strong message and make us chuckle at the same time.”

    Finally, Alice was a HUGE supporter of In the Cove. Whenever she saw ITC, she would say – “keep going – you are shining a spotlight on so many issues that are usually swept under the carpet”.

    We will miss you, Alice!!



    1. Thank you for your wonderful tribute to Alice Beauchamp. She was a a very special person who devoted much of her life in Lane Cove to actively supporting progressive social issues, both humanitarian and environmental. She was inspirational for many people who knew her as well as being wickedly witty and a caring friend to those close to her. Susan O’Neill

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