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Awarded for service to Education, Training and the Community
Died: April 2019
Entered on roll: 2013
Margaret highlighted the importance of early childhood education and the arts in education…a passionate and committed woman.
Margaret James (Bartkevicius) was born in Launceston on 15 October 1934 and has been a highly respected educator, and taken an active role in civic and political affairs and the arts.
Margaret began her teaching career at Rossarden as an untrained kindergarten teacher. Her years at Haig Street Kindergarten in Launceston brought her to the notice of senior officers in the Department of Education. In 1974, she was offered and accepted a position as a primary school science consultant, in recognition of her outstanding knowledge and skills in this curriculum area. Further recognition of Margaret's expertise resulted in the opportunity to become a Regional Superintendent in the Department, a position she held from 1978 until her retirement in 1991.
Having commenced her career as an untrained teacher, Margaret took up the challenge of gaining her Bachelor of Education degree and a post graduate qualification in the field of early childhood education at the Melbourne University's Graduate School of Early Childhood Education.
Margaret was a founding member and Chairman of the Kindergarten Teachers Association (1970-1974). Throughout her career she was fiercely passionate about teacher training, raised the awareness of early learning, and highlighted the importance of parental involvement in their child's education and the importance of the arts in all sectors of education. A former dancer, who performed at Brisbane's Theatre Royal in 1950, and keen porcelain painter, Margaret contributed to the arts by serving as a Chairman and Director on the Board of Tasdance and the Friends of Tasdance. Margaret also served as Secretary on the Northern Tasmanian Porcelain Painters Association.
Margaret's interest in civic life has included: Secretary of the National Council of Women's Launceston Branch; Convenor of Women in Local Government; a member of the Search Conference for Launceston; a campaign member for the Australian Republican Movement; a management committee member of the National Conference of the Association of Independent Retirees; a member of the ABC Advisory Committee; and a member of the Breast Cancer Day committee.