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Kathleen (Betty) White

Tasmanian Honour Roll of Women logo
Betty White

Awarded for community service

Born: 27 July 1917 – Hobart, Tasmania
Died: 10 December 2017

Entered on roll: 2017


“Philanthropic community supporter”

No matter where Betty White  lived she endeavoured to make a difference to her community, both professionally and personally.

Betty was a multiple Certificate nurse. She trained in Melbourne and worked in the UK and at the Royal Melbourne and Royal Hobart Hospitals.

In the late 1950s, following her marriage and birth of her first child, Betty moved to Oatlands, where she saw the need for a pre-school. She negotiated with the Education Department for land and door-knocked the town looking for volunteer labour to build one.

From 1965 Betty was the school health sister for the Bothwell, Green Ponds and Oatlands Municipalities, a position she extended to include a community welfare role. Betty was also Patron of the Kempton Primary School for over 20 years, donating encouragement prizes each year.

During the 1970’s and 80’s, Betty was Secretary for the Kempton Gymkhana, fundraising to purchase land for the community. She also supported the Bothwell District Riding Club for a similar time period.

When Betty’s husband Errol developed dementia in the early 1980’s, she became involved with the establishment of the Alzheimers, Dementia and Related Disorders Society (ADARDS),  holding the position of Secretary and fundraising for the building of their facility at Flagstaff Gully.

While nursing her husband at home, Betty became aware of others in a similar situation, struggling to care for the elderly at home. Betty, with the assistance of the Red Cross and St John Ambulance, developed and ran courses for home carers.

In the 1990’s Betty provided a property to house the Oatlands Visitor Information Centre, the Community Radio Station and a café to provide training opportunities for young people.

She also lobbied to ensure the continuation of Anzac Day services at Kempton and donated the funds to refurbish the Kempton War Memorial.

Betty White was awarded 2001 Senior Citizen of the Year for the Southern Midlands Municipality as well as the Commonwealth Centenary Medal in 2004.

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