Acknowledging more of the Derwent Valley’s influential women

NEARLY 40 names have been added to the honour roll of Influential Women of the Derwent Valley in recognition of International Women’s Day 2023. The additional 39 names were announced at the end of a breakfast held on Tuesday at the Lions Club of New Norfolk.

The names have been added to the inaugural honour roll which was announced at the same event at this time last year. This year’s breakfast featured welcomes by Derwent Valley Council mayor Michelle Dracoulis and Central Highlands Council mayor Loueen Triffett, while International Women’s Day local committee member Julie Triffett hosted the proceedings.

The 46 breakfast guests also heard from Corumbene chief executive Alison Standen, Southeast Tasmania Communities for Children manager Tanya Brooks-Cooper, the Reverend Celia Hooker, and author Simone Yemm. Donations were made to the local Share the Dignity project and appreciation was expressed for the efforts of breakfast cooks Kerry Kievit, Michael Kievit and Rodger Triffett of the Lions Club of New Norfolk.

Pauline Ackerly: Volunteer for St Vincent de Paul for more than 50 years.
Stacey Aldous: Contributor to the health and wellbeing of people of the Derwent Valley.
Jeannie (Jane) Allwork: Fundraiser for the New Norfolk Cottage Hospital and New Norfolk Red Cross.
Mavis Beattie: Education, Maydena community advocate and New Norfolk Garden Club member.
Margaret Bester: Lions Club of New Norfolk.
Bel Bird: Business owner/contributor to community wellbeing.
June Bowring: Athlete, tennis player and golfer.
Shirley Brown: New Norfolk Hospital Auxiliary.
Jill Butler: St Matthew’s Church and Mothers’ Union.
Rhyllis Cashion: Education and Zonta Club member.
The Reverend Ellen Clark: Leader of Anglican Church ministry in the Upper Derwent Valley. Former businesswoman.
Ivy Clark: Businesswoman involved in the Soroptimist Club formation and the Corumbene Auxiliary.
Marg Cranney: Community contributor through Lions Club and the Derwent Valley Family and Youth Action Network. Derwent Valley Council Citizen of the Year (Senior) for 2023.
Elizabeth Curtain: First female Justice of the Peace in Tasmania in 1926. Prominent Red Cross member during two World Wars, foundation member of New Norfolk branch of the Labor Party.
Grace Curtain: Local historian and writer for the Derwent Valley Gazette.
Gwendoline Curtain-Graham: Secretary of the New Norfolk branch of the Primary Producer’s Union and long-serving member of the New Norfolk District Hospital Auxiliary.
Margaret Denny: Volunteer community car driver for more than 30 years.
Wendy Garwood: Community contributor through the Tasmanian Ambulance Service and St John Ambulance.
Margaret Goss: Community contributor through the Tasmanian Ambulance Service and St John Ambulance. First female member of New Norfolk State Emergency Service. Derwent Valley Council Citizen of the Year, 1999.
Pat Haboeck: Business owner in partnership with her watchmaker/jeweller husband Siege from 1962 to 1995.
Sandra Hetherington: Community including Relay for Life, Friends of Frescati and various fundraising committees. Derwent Valley Council Citizen of the year, 2011.
Marjorie Hill: First female chemist in New Norfolk in 1957.
Jane Hodgetts Manager of the New Norfolk Library influential in literacy in the Derwent Valley throughout the 1980s-1990s and documenting local history.
Valmai Hollis MStJ: Community service through St John Ambulance and St Paul’s Uniting Church.
Clare Lee: Businesswoman and Soroptomist Club member.
Elsie Murtagh: Catering contractor for the ANM Canteen at Boyer, ANM Hostel and and Single Men’s Camps.
Catherine Rainbird: Volunteer organist, St Matthew’s Anglican Church from the 1940-60s.
Susan Reppion-Brooke: Contributor to music and culture including St Matthew’s Choir.
Deb Gardiner: Humanitarian service and generosity to community members while operating Cheeky Little Place cafe.
Marie Scott: Community contribution through many organisations and community events. Life member of the Lachlan Community Hall Association.
Nancy Shepherd: First Manager of the ANM Hostel, and catering manager at New Norfolk Hospital for many years. Long-serving president of New Norfolk Golden Years Club.
Jan Simpson: Contribution to Variety – The Children’s Charity.
Colleen Smith: Director of Nursing at New Norfolk District Hospital for more than 20 years.
Jillian Smith: Educator for many years at Westerway, Ellendale, Glenora and Maydena schools.
Amy Mary Smith: Community contributions through New Norfolk District Hospital Auxiliary, St Brigid’s Catholic School Auxiliary and St Peter’s Catholic Church in the 1950s-60s.
Anne Stevens: Organist at St Peter’s Catholic Church for more than 50 years. Teacher of music to generations of Derwent Valley children.
Julie Triffett Community contributions as a Derwent Valley Councillor and on many committees. Helped start Glengrey House in New Norfolk.
Sandra Whalan: Contribution to community events and community gardens.
Ann Whittle: Chaplain at schools in the Derwent Valley and significant volunteer work in particular with the Derwent Valley Online Access Centre.

Who would you add to the list? Send your suggestions as a comment below.

See the original list here

See more Derwent Valley and Central Highlands news


  1. The entire Magra CWA – especially Marie Oakley, Rosie Hardwick and Barbara Morley.

    Helen Wallner (nee Marriott) in first prefects at NNHS when school first established and had this role for 2 years. On the honour role as dux of the school. Went on to work in administration at NNHS then onto Royal Derwent Hospital/Willow Court where she stayed for over 40 years and eventually worked as executive assistant to Manager of complex.

  2. I would like to nominate Connie Curtain (1950s-1960s)
    Mother of seven children. An inspiration to all who knew her. A community leader in assisting those in need. First President of the Maydena branch of the Country Women’s Association and also first president of the Maydena Catholic Women’s League.

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