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Awarded for service to the Community
Entered on roll: 2007
Described as a fun person with boundless energy, Dame Marjorie Parker made an outstanding and indelible contribution to the Launceston community. Her selfless charity and social work across Northern Tasmania, in particular Launceston, helped lay the foundations for many charities and organisations that continue to assist the community today.
Marjorie was a radio announcer for women’s interests with Radio 7EX for 28 years from 1941 to 1969. She was a great publicity agent for women’s organisations such as the National Council of Women and the Soroptimists. She also co-ordinated other 7EX initiatives. The 7EX Children’s Fair was inaugurated in 1948. Marjorie took on the task of organising the fair and carried this work on until 1977. During this time, more than $500,000 was raised which benefited more than 33 charitable organisations.
In 1961, Marjorie initiated Meals on Wheels in Tasmania. The Launceston General Hospital and many volunteers provided support. This is a service very much valued by the Launceston community today.
Marjorie was a founding member of the Soroptimist International of Launceston. She was President from 1951-52. She also edited the Tasmanian Soroptimist magazine from 1954.
Marjorie was a great supporter of the National Council of Women (NCW) Launceston and was made a Life Member in 1974 in recognition of more than 31 years of devoted service to the organisation. She was also a Vice President of the National Council of Women of Australia.
Marjorie was the founder and President for 28 years of Launceston’s first crèche, which has since been named in her honour.
Marjorie was involved in a plethora of organisations and held a number of important positions, including: Northern Regional President of the Australian Red Cross Society of Tasmania (1965-68), member of the State Executive of the Tasmanian Division of the Miss Australia Quest (1964-71), founding member and Public Relations Officer of the Good Neighbour Council (1964-70), Public Relations Adviser for the Girl Guides (1954-68), Vice President of the United Nations Association Launceston (1964-68) and Life Member and President (1973-76) of the Victoria League Launceston. In 1970, Marjorie became the first woman to be elected Australian President of the Royal Commonwealth Society, and in 1973 the Society for the Care of Crippled Children made Marjorie a Life Member.
Marjorie also worked for 28 years with the Launceston General Hospital Auxiliary.
Marjorie was honoured with an MBE in 1950 and an OBE in 1970 and was granted the ‘Freedom of the City’ by the City of Launceston in 1984. In 1976, she was appointed to the Order of the British Empire – Dames Commander for distinguished community service. She regarded this as an honour not just for herself but also for those who worked with her.
Dame Marjorie Parker died in 1991. Following her death, the Soroptimists created a fund for a scholarship in her memory. She was inducted into the Launceston Hall of Fame in 2007.