Yvonne Rate was educated at The University of Western Australia where she graduated with the degrees of Master of Education in 1978 and Master of Philosophy in Women’s Studies in 1989.
In 1967 Yvonne was appointed to Churchlands Senior High School where she taught physical education and maths before moving to the tertiary sector in 1969 when she was appointed to Claremont Teachers’ College. In the following year she moved to Secondary Teachers’ College, (later Edith Cowan University), where she remained until 1989. During that time, Yvonne taught in the areas of Physical and Health Education and Women’s Studies.
From 1989 to 1993 she was the Executive Director of the Women’s Sport Foundation of Western Australia where she was responsible for policy development, advocacy and the promotion of women’s sport. Yvonne has had a significant influence on sport and the role of women in sport through her involvement in State and National committees.
Yvonne has been involved in sports administration and has undertaken leadership roles with many of these organisations. From 1995 to 2000 Yvonne was the chair of The Western Australian Sport and Recreation Council and the chair of the Community Sport and Recreation Facilities Fund Committee which was responsible for the distribution of $10 million annually. Yvonne was a Commissioner with the Australian Sports Commission and chaired the Active Australia Alliance from 1997 to 2000. She was a Board member of the Western Australian Health Promotion Foundation, known as Healthway, from 1995 to 2001. She chaired the Physical Education Studies Committee of the Curriculum Council of Western Australia from 2002 to 2003.
She was first selected to represent Western Australia as a netball player in 1963 and in 1967 was appointed Captain of the team, a position that she held for the next six years. In 1969, she captained the Australian netball team that toured New Zealand. Yvonne was a Board member of Netball Australia from 1994 to 2002. For several years she chaired the management team for the Perth Orioles in the National Netball League.
In 2003 Yvonne was appointed a Member in the General Division of the Order of Australia for services to sport, particularly netball, as an administrator with a range of committees and councils, and as a coach and player.
Yvonne was Head of College at St Catherine’s College, a residential college for women at The University of Western Australia from 1994 until 2003. She left that position in October 2003 to take up the role of Principal of The Women’s College within The University of Sydney.
Yvonne is married to Dr Rodney Rate and has two adult children, Angela and Simon, who live in Perth.
Yvonne is a member of Concord Golf Club. She is President of the Sydney University Division of St John Ambulance Australia (NSW). She is a member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and Women Chiefs of Enterprise.
She and her husband Rodney live in the Principal’s flat with their two dogs, Monty and Lizzie.