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Communities, Sport and Recreation

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Mary Hill OAM

Tasmanian Honour Roll of Women logo
Mary Hill

Awarded for service to Education and Training

Born: 1924

Entered on roll: 2007


Mary Hill was born in Devonport and trained as a teacher.

Mary is known by many for her enthusiastic and determined approach to the education of girls as Headmistress of Broadland House from 1967 to 1977. She has worked constantly to ensure girls receive opportunities to further their academic studies.

Through the Girl Guide movement Mary has made an enormous contribution to the development of young women, both in Tasmania and internationally. From 1946-52, she was a Guide Captain in Devonport. In 1948, she gained her Outdoor Camper’s Licence, allowing her to take young Guides camping. In 1959, she earned the Guide Training Diploma that allowed her to assist and assess trainers at all levels of Guiding. Her various training roles have provided a vehicle for Mary to share her knowledge, skills and experience.

Mary has held a diverse range of volunteer positions within the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts (WAGGGS), including as the WAGGGS Commissioner for Training in Nigeria (1963-64); training positions in England, Scotland, Ireland, Sweden and Finland (1964-65); and a six-year period as a member of the WAGGGS Asia Pacific Committee which saw her work in 17 countries in the Asia Pacific region. Mary was awarded the highest WAGGGS honour, the Silver Fish Award, in 1985.

Mary’s mentoring and training role is not limited to young leaders. She is a friend and mentor to many women throughout the State, many of whom she has nurtured since their early days as Guides. The wealth of experience her international roles has provided has allowed Mary to encourage Tasmanian women to take on roles at a national and international level.

Mary also has worked quietly in her local community through adult literacy programs. Her patience, guidance and love of language have provided many people with literacy and numeracy skills they never believed possible. She spends hours preparing for her adult students and is proud of their achievements.

Mary has also been active in promoting Seniors Week, encouraging a range of groups in the North-West to hold events. In 2003 the then Premier, Jim Bacon, presented Mary with a certificate of appreciation for her enthusiasm in recruiting organisations to hold Seniors Week events.

Mary grew up in a time where the roles of women were specific and, in many respects, limited. She defied those limitations and took on the challenge to excel as an individual and active member of her community. In doing so, Mary has contributed to break down the barriers for women as leaders and responsible and valuable citizens, at a local, national and international level.

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