Penny Tripcony was born in Brisbane in 1942 and moved to Melbourne in the mid-1960s. She completed a Bachelor of Arts degree at the University of Melbourne in 1975, and a Diploma of Education the following year.
As the administrator of the Aboriginal Cooperative Ltd in Melbourne, she was instrumental in establishing the Aboriginal Housing Board of Victoria and several other Aboriginal organisations. In the early 1980s she was a Research Officer with the Board before becoming superintendent of Victorian Aboriginal Education Services. She was involved with many community-based Aboriginal organisations in Victoria, and tutored in the Aboriginal Community Organisation course at the Swinburne Institute of Technology.
In 1989, Tripcony returned to Brisbane to become Principal Policy Officer (Aboriginal and Torres Strait islander Education) with the state Department of Education. She was also a member of the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies Project.
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Australian Women's Register