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Communities, Sport and Recreation

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Marjorie Lorna Rooney MBE

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Marjorie Rooney

Awarded for service to Education and Training

Born: 23 December 1898

Died: 22 April 1983

Entered on roll: 2009


Marjorie was well respected and loved by former pupils, and could always put the right name to the girl. (Faith Layton, former Deputy Headmistress of Broadland House School)

Marjorie Lorna Rooney was born in Western Australia on 23 December 1898. She completed a Bachelor of Arts degree at the University of Western Australia at a time when very few women gained university qualifications. She went on to become Headmistress of the Girls’ High School in Claremont, WA.

Marjorie Rooney arrived in Tasmania in 1931 to take up the position of Headmistress, Broadland House in Launceston. Under Marjorie’s guidance, Broadland House grew from 70 to 400 girls and became a very successful school.

Marjorie and a small group of teachers ran the school and the boarding house. They were often on duty from 5.30am until 9.30pm. Marjorie Rooney had three meals a day with the boarders and read them excerpts from the morning paper over breakfast.

It has been said that Marjorie’s greatest quality was her ability to get on with everyone. She was genuinely interested in all those involved with the school. She had a reputation as a woman who was kind and understanding, with an appreciation of scholarship.

Marjorie’s involvement in her community was not restricted to the school. She was a member and President of the Soroptimists, a member of the State Executive Committee of the Girl Guides’ Association, President of the Northern Tasmanian Women’s Hockey Association, a member of the Headmasters’ and Headmistresses’ Association and a member of the committee of the Northern Auxiliary of Jane Franklin Hall.

Marjorie Rooney remained Headmistress of Broadland House for 30 years. In 1964, Marjorie was made a Member of the Order of the British Empire (civil division) for her contribution to education, in particular, her valued time as Headmistress of Broadland House. Marjorie Rooney died on 22 April 1983.

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