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Awarded for service to Arts or Media, Health, Planning, Engineering or Architecture
Born: 1961 Died: 2012
Entered on roll: 2015
Historian, Marita Bardenhagen, has documented the lives of hundreds of Tasmanians and become an advocate for women's history.
Marita's passion for oral history developed during her studies for a Bachelor of Arts at the University of Tasmania in the 1980s.
In 1986, Marita published a history of German immigration to Northern Tasmania followed by an examination of the township of Lilydale during World War One.
By researching Lilydale, Marita became interested in the legacy of local bush nurse, Mary Walsh, and decided to research the history of bush nursing in Tasmania for her PhD. Marita researched how the pioneering bush nursing service delivered health services to rural and remote Tasmania, and highlighted the role these educated, resourceful and independent nurses played in laying the foundation for modern health service delivery.
In 2003, Marita was awarded her Doctorate and became a consultant historian and delivered papers on Tasmanian bush nursing at state, national and international levels. Her passion for bush nursing resulted in a touring exhibition Ordinary Women: Extraordinary Lives.
She also contributed several significant entries to The Companion to Tasmanian History, edited by Dr Alison Alexander.
Marita campaigned for the protection of Tasmania’s historic cultural heritage. She was President of the Launceston Historical Society for five years, and involved in the National Trust. Her campaigning helped protect the cottage of convict Martin Edwards and Colonel Alfred Harrap’s residence, both located in Welman Street, Launceston.
In 2005, Heritage Tasmania appointed Marita as a Heritage Officer to assess public and private buildings, engineering feats, townships and historic sites. Her heritage assessments of the Lake Margaret Power Station village on Tasmania’s West Coast, and R Stephens Honey Factory at Mole Creek, received national attention.