Valley’s great women – Honour roll marks special achievers

AN honour roll of Influential Women of the Derwent Valley has been launched celebrating the achievements of locals over many years.

A combined effort of New Norfolk Lions Club, the Historical Information Centre and members of the community, the inaugural list includes 82 names.

Launched last Wednesday for International Women’s Day, the list acknowledges all women of the Derwent Valley.

“From the women who moved their family to the hop grounds and small fruit farms to earn money for books and uniforms to send their children to school; the gardeners who grew the food for their families; and those women who nurtured good citizens; the women who served in the land army in Tasmania, who were employed at the Peg Factory, Willow Court, Cottage Hospital, sales assistants, teachers, admin staff,’’ a spokesperson said.

“These are all women who were born in or lived in the Derwent Valley and have influenced people and communities in our Valley, Australia or internationally.

“This list is the beginning of recognising the achievements of women in the Derwent Valley. It was not possible to list all of each woman’s achievements.

There are many facets to every woman.

“The list is open-ended and if you feel that someone has been omitted, and you want them to be included, or you want your name to be deleted, please contact a DV IWD group member.

“The list will be reviewed and expanded prior to International Women’s Day each year.’’

The names are as follows: *in alphabetical order*

  • Sarah Anson, New Norfolk businesswoman, Licensee of the Derwent Hotel from 1840-1841.
  • Betty Beament, Leader, Girl Guides, advocate and volunteer for Molesworth Community Hall.
  • Jewel Beresford, Gemmologist and current vice president of the Tasmanian Division of the Gemmological Association of Australia.
  • Meg Bignell, author, Welcome to Nowhere River, The Angry Women’s Choir and The Sparkle Pages
  • Mary Binks, former Mayor of Devonport, National Council of Women.
  • Ruth Binny, educator, local historian, chair of Derwent Valley Historical Information Centre.
  • Margaret Bird OAM, educator, advocate for women’s rights through Zonta International and for making communities more age friendly through the Tasmanian Council for the Aging.
  • Anne Bridger, New Norfolk businesswoman, first licensee of the Bush Inn Hotel, 1825.
  • Judy Bromfield OAM, educator and long serving Derwent Valley councillor.
  • Jackie Brown, educator 1995 Rural Woman of the Year.
  • Zelda Browning, teacher assistant for 40 years at Westerway Primary School.
  • Anne Burns, volunteer and president of the New Norfolk Junior Football Club.
  • Mona Cannan, educator and local historian.
  • Fiona Cardwell, businesswoman, former president of the Lions Club New Norfolk, long term volunteer
  • Sandra Carmichael, first female president of Lions Club New Norfolk, director of nursing at Corumbene Care.
  • Dorothy Cawthorn, New Norfolk businesswoman 1960s and 1970s.
  • Sally Coleman, president of New Norfolk District Football Club.
  • Gwen Cooper, director of nursing at the New Norfolk Hospital
  • Jessica Cosgrove, first female deputy mayor and acting mayor Derwent Valley Council.
  • Di Cowburn, educator and local historian.
  • Rita Cox, local historian and author.
  • Naree Crane, director of nursing at Corumbene Care.
  • Hilary Craw, New Norfolk businesswoman, Derwent Valley councillor and local historian.
  • Geraldine Davis OAM, nurse, sporting shooter and community worker.
  • Severine Demanet, New Norfolk businesswoman and co-owner of award winning restaurant.
  • Liz Derksen, New Norfolk businesswoman.
  • Nora Donnelly, Catholic Sister as St Brigid’s School and St Peter’s School.
  • Gwen Doolan, nursing administrator at Royal Derwent Hospital
  • Michelle Dracoulis, first female mayor of the Derwent Valley.
  • Patsy Duggan, educator St Brigid’s Catholic School.
  • Dana Faletic, 2004 and 2012 Olympian, rowing.
  • Sue Farley, educator, community volunteer, Vinnies, secretary of the Derwent Valley Rotary Club.
  • Dr Karla Fenton OAM, psychiatrist who completed 61 years in medical practice before retiring in 2016.
  • Kathy Foster educator and 1984 Olympian, basketball.
  • Sheila Fuller, night supervisor at the Royal Derwent Hospital
  • Dulcie Fyle OAM businesswoman, florist, fundraiser for children with disability.
  • Marg Gaby, first female president of the New Norfolk District Football Club.
  • Nellie Gilbert, educator at Moogara, Lachlan and New Norfolk state schools.
  • Pat Gillhesphey, community volunteer, treasurer Maydena Community Association.
  • Ngaire Glover, JP, joint initiator of the Derwent Valley Online Access Centre and long term volunteer.
  • Mavis Godfrey, Australian Olympic Support team in the 1960’s.
  • Betty Godfrey, first editor of the Derwent Valley Gazette (1953) and the Derwent Valley and Moonah News (1954.
  • Mollie Goss, New Norfolk businesswoman.
  • Pat Green, educator St Brigid’s Catholic School.
  • Rosina Hall, owner of the Plaza Cinema, New Norfolk.
  • Celia Hooker, nurse, Minister with the Anglican Church.
  • Kerry Hore, national and world rowing champions and first female rower to compete at four Olympic Games.
  • Betty Howell, editor of the Derwent Valley Gazette 1954-1969.
  • Nora Johnson, nursing administrator, Royal Derwent Hospital.
  • Wilhelmina Catherine Jeffery, artist (late 1800’s) specialising in Tasmanian ornithology and flora.
  • Kerry Kievit, president of the Lions Club of New Norfolk, Derwent Valley Citizen of the year 2022.
  • Betty King, first white woman to set food in Australia and last surviving female from the First Fleet (died 1856)
  • Muriel Knight, speech pathologist at the Royal Derwent Hospital.
  • Rebecca Lynd, 2017 Rural Woman of the Year, CEO Three Valley’s Food.
  • Margaret McMaster, long serving member of Corumbene Care and New Norfolk Hospital auxiliaries.
  • Kaye Menzie, JP and coordinator of Visitor Information Centre.
  • Bridget Mulligan, New Norfolk businesswoman in the 1850’s.
  • Jane Murphy, matron at New Norfolk District Hospital
  • Grace Pearcey, long term volunteer Lions Club New Norfolk.
  • Belle Pearson, educator and joint founder of Derwent Valley Concert Band.
  • Eileen Pegler, matron Royal Derwent Hospital and World War 2 veteran.
  • Lyn Plunkett, Minister with the Anglican Church.
  • Stella Potter, New Norfolk businesswoman, children’s clothing.
  • Rachel Power, Derwent Valley businesswoman, tourism.
  • June Purkis, nursing administrator Royal Derwent Hospital, New Norfolk Concert Band librarian.
  • Edna Gillem Reid, artist.
  • Dorothy Robinson OAM, first female councillor with the then New Norfolk Council, businesswoman.
  • Nicky Rouleston, businesswoman and mentor.
  • Anne Salt, educator and community volunteer.
  • Judith Sweet, author, columnist, television cook and convener of Slow Food Tasmania.
  • Brenda Triffitt, educator, gardener and community volunteer.
  • Jacquie Triffitt, psychologist, sportsperson, author.
  • Toni Tucker, advocate, Share the Dignity.
  • Sue Urbanc, artist and social worker.
  • Carol Volant, nurse matron at Corumbene, first coordinator of Children’s Services in the Derwent Valley.
  • Thelma Vollprecht OAM, nurse and fundraiser for children with disability.
  • Caroline Walker, first female general manager of the New Norfolk District Football Club.
  • Kate Warner AC, University law professor, first female Governor of Tasmania.
  • Fiona Weaver, Derwent Valley businesswoman, tourism.
  • Jacky Whitehead, former Derwent Valley Councillor.
  • Lola Wilton, long term volunteer Lions Club of New Norfolk Ladies Auxiliary.
  • Sally Wise OAM, 2019 Tasmanian Senior Australian of the Year, award winning author, cook.