Hepburn Shire Council has inducted five local women to the Heather Mutimer Honour Roll, paying tribute to their contribution to the Shire and progressing women’s causes.

Council inducted Anneke Deutsch, Joyce Orr, Mariwyn (Tess) Brady, Joee Agnetti-Fraser and Marie Magdalen Lewis (posthumous) to the honour roll at a special event on International Women’s Day (IWD) in Daylesford.

The Heather Mutimer Honour Roll was established in 2005 to pay tribute to women in Hepburn Shire whose contribution, courage and examples have led to significant change for women.

Dr Elizabeth Boulton spoke about the challenges she faced as a woman in the ADF.

Mayor, Cr Brian Hood, said the inductees were very worthy recipients who had jointly made a considerable impact on the Shire, from the 1930s right through to today. “These local leaders are an inspiration to everyone. It is incredibly gratifying to recognise them and the contribution they have made to our Shire and beyond,” said Cr Hood. “We are incredibly proud to be able to acknowledge and celebrate their efforts. I congratulate and thank each of the inductees on behalf of our community.”

A large crowd turned out for the event at Daylesford Town Hall, which included a Welcome to Country by Raquel Kerr, wonderful performances by Daylesford College students Lily, Indigo and Rose, and speeches by Eliza and Anika.

The keynote speaker for the evening was Dr Elizabeth Boulton, a retired Major in the Australian Defence Force who currently works in the area of sustainability and climate risk. Dr Boulton spoke about the challenges she faced as a woman in the Defence Force Academy and later in officer training at the Royal Military College, Duntroon.

Daylesford College representatives Liza and Anika, spoke confidently and articulately about their own views on gender equality. Liza drew on the Aboriginal legend of the three sisters who were turned to stone to protect them from aggressive neighbouring suitors. The magic man who made that decision died in the subsequent battle and so was unable to reverse the spell. Liza wants control of her own destiny. As one of three sisters in her family, she said, “We will not be turned to stone and we will not let other people decide (our destinies). We will not be erased from the narrative.”

Anika spoke about the inspiration she had received from her single mother, the challenges her mother faced in raising her and her mother’s efforts to work in male dominated industries. “I take inspiration from my mother and all that she has shown me in terms of navigating the world,” she said.


2023 Heather Mutimer Honour Roll inductees

Anneke Deutsch has been incredibly influential in the field of prosthetics and orthotics, which was very male-dominated when she began in the 1980s. Anneke has been a leader in this area and an enormous supporter of women. She continues to do so in her role as President of the Older Women in Cohousing Inc, a group aiming to build housing for women based on collaboration, sustainability, accessibility, and a blend of opportunities for privacy and for social interaction.

Joyce Orr is an unassuming trailblazer who has led by example and demonstrated through decades of volunteering the many opportunities for women to excel within the community, all whilst raising five children. She has been an active member of the Daylesford Brass Band for over 40 years and was the first female Treasurer for the Daylesford Historical Society. Joyce has made an incredible difference to people living with disability through her fundraising work and craft events at Windarring Centre.

Tess Brady has worked for two decades as a powerful agent for change in her community of Clunes, advancing the status of women by empowering them to take on change and showing that if you have a vision and determination, anything is possible. Tess has been an active participant on many groups in Clunes and actively mentors and encourages other women to back their own visions and dreams.

If you don’t know Joee Aganetti-Fraser, you might be familiar with her work. Joee is a fifth-generation young farmer who took a stand by ploughing her opposition to AUSNET installation into the family farm hill at Mount Prospect. Joee is a strong leader, inspiring a wide group to follow and fight for the campaign. She works full-time on the farm with other part-time jobs, studies agriculture, and still finds the time to advocate on the community’s behalf.

Marie Magdalen Lewis (posthumous) challenged traditional stereotypes throughout her 106 years. Marie worked as a Post Mistress and telephone operator at Blampied Post Office, and later enlisted in the Women’s Auxiliary Australian Air Force (WAAAF) in 1942. She was posted to various air force bases during this time and worked in signals for five years, moving up the ranks to become a sergeant. After the war, Marie returned to Blampied with her husband Harold to raise their two young sons, and she operated the Blampied Post Office and Telephone Exchange for over 20 years. She was the sacristan at St Joseph’s Catholic Church for more than 40 years, a long-time member of the Creswick Golf Club and the Mt Prospect Tennis Association and a proud member of the Creswick Smeaton RSL sub branch. Debbie Stoneman accepted the award on behalf of Marie.

The complete honour roll and information about previous inductees is available on the Council website.

Nominations for new inductees open in October each year. Nominations are considered by the International Women’s Day Honour Roll Advisory Committee. The Advisory Committee is seeing new community representatives. If you are interested in joining the committee, contact Hepburn Shire Council.