Merle Thompson joined the then NSW Association of University Women Graduates in 1968 as a young graduate and participated in the Hunter Branch for 18 months. On returning to Sydney as branches met in business hours she became a silent member for over 10 years until Blue Mountains Branch was formed.
For over 30 years Merle was employed in the NSW Public Service as a vocational counsellor then in administration and policy with a focus on equity in education. After retiring fairly early Merle’s existing commitments to AFGW as well as Polio NSW and the Australian Plants Society increased considerably and continue. In 2000 she became National Registrar assuming the role six months early and served two terms of three years plus an additional few months. In 2009 she returned to that role, having served as a proxy in between times, then in 2012 took on the new position of Hon Business Manager in which she continued until the SGM in April 2019.