Val Street was born in England and came to Australia in 1963. She holds a M.Sc. from the University of Oregon, and has worked with the Outward Bound Movement and the Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme.
For the six years prior to her appointment in 1981 as Principal of Women’s College she was coordinator of the Community Education Program at Abbotsleigh School. Over the period of her tenure at College, Miss Street felt that residents’ attitudes and expectations had changed significantly. In 1990 she noted retrospectively that, as a result of changing times, “students had become more conservative and are aware that they need to succeed to survive. They still lead a good social life but are generally more self-disciplined.” As Principal Miss Street concentrated her efforts on the scholarships program, on promoting College ties with the University, and on reporting trends in women’s attitudes to higher education to the Ministry of Education. She was Principal during the College’s Centenary celebrations in 1989, and helped to establish the Women’s College Foundation to administer scholarships. She has a scholarship named after her in acknowledgement of her services to the College, and is remembered as an extremely energetic and enthusiastic Principal.
After her tenure as Principal she set up a specialist education consultancy to address the problem of student access to knowledge about tertiary course options. In the 1980s she was a member of the University Senate, on several University Committees (including the Medical Ethics Committee) and was a member and Honorary Associate of the Faculty of Education.