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  • Writer's pictureNatasha at Jacari

Alumni Q&A with Sarah Curtis

We've been interviewing our alumni and hearing their memories of their time volunteering with Jacari.

1. When were you involved with Jacari?

In 1956 I founded Jacari with Anthony Smith and was its first Chair. (My name then was Sarah Myers.) I was also President of the OU Liberal Club (Michaelmas Term 1956). I was at that time the only woman Chair of a political club in the University.

2. What kind of activities were you involved in as a Jacari member?

Our aim was to raise funds to bring a black South African to the University. Apartheid was at its height and opportunities for university education were few for young black people.

3. What are you doing now?

I am retired now after a career in journalism, beginning on The Times (1959-61: I was the second woman to be appointed to the reporting staff). I was a Youth and Family Court Chairman in Inner London, a member of the Lord Chancellor's Advisory Committee for appointing magistrates, author of books on youth offending and editor of the Wyatt Journals. I became a Board Member for the UK Committee for Unicef (1971-84) and vice-chairman of their education committee (1976-84).

4. How has your involvement with Jacari influenced you later in life?

My involvement as Co-Founder and first Chairman of Jacari when I was a student at Oxford University must have influenced my lifelong commitment to champion opportunities for the young who are in need or trouble: for example, my campaigning for reforms in the judicial system for children and young people in this country.

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