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Awarded for service to the Community
Born: 21 July 1943 Died: 26 July 2014
Entered on roll: 2009
Margaret Jean Colville was born in Victoria on 21 July 1943. She met her husband Jim at a Melbourne church, where he was a Minister in training and Margaret a member of the choir. They moved to Tasmania in 1967. They have four children.
Margaret has long been committed to her community. Her involvement became even more focused after the birth of her third child who has Down syndrome. Her drive for services and support for parents of children with Down syndrome led her to establish Towers Incorporated, a multifunctional service for people with special needs; Toy Town, a toy library for children with disabilities; and the Down Syndrome Association of Tasmania.
Margaret is a strong advocate for people with special needs. For many years, doctors referred parents of newly born Down syndrome babies to meet with Margaret. She passed her skills onto others who continue this work today.
In 1973, Margaret assisted her husband Jim when he founded Colony 47. She held office both nationally and locally with the Australian Association of Special Education and Down Syndrome Association. She also was President of the Hobart Zonta Club.
Margaret served on the Guardianship and Administration Board of Tasmania for ten years, before being appointed Deputy Public Guardian in the Office of the Public Guardian in 1998, a position she still holds. She brings to the role her supportive and warm personality as well as her immense insight into the needs of those with special needs.
Margaret, with her husband, has also spent ten years restoring their historic home ‘Bangalor’ in Bagdad. The cottage and gardens are often visited by community groups for fundraising purposes.
Margaret was named as a Member of the Order of Australia in 2002 for her service to people with disabilities, particularly through Towers Incorporated, Toy Town: Toy and Equipment Library and the Down Syndrome Association of Tasmania.