Christine Armstrong was swimming with friends off a beach in New South Wales on Thursday when she was attacked by the shark - which is thought to have been about four metres in size.
According to Leanne Barnes, a local council worker, Mrs Armstrong would meet with friends every morning to swim to the wharf and back.
On this particular occasion Christine had turned back from the group and was on her own when she was attacked by the shark.
The 63-year-old had been swimming at the beach for 14 years and was a keen member of the local surf club, where she was a trainer for many years.
'Swimming brought her much joy and many friends,' said her family. 'She will be sadly missed by all who loved her, especially by Rob, her husband of 44 years.'
Despite shark sitings being common off the Australian coast, there has only been 47 fatal shark attacks in the past century.
However, fatal shark attacks have been on the rise recently, and just earlier this week Police recovered the remains of a 38-year-old man who had been diving in Perth. His body had shark bites, though it is unclear if this was the cause of his death.
Australia recently implemented a shark cull on the Western Australian coastline following a spate of deaths between 2010 and 2013. Baited hooks have been set near popular beaches in an effort to draw the sharks away from swimmers.
For every human killed by a shark, humans kill approximately two million sharks.