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Awarded for service to Community Advocacy and Inclusion; Education and Training; Health; and Human Rights, Justice and Corrections
Born: 28 February 1882
Died: 12 March 1951
Entered on roll: 2021
Honora Maud Fahlborg (nee Donnelly) was the oldest of 16 children. Maud saw the general devastation of poverty on country districts in Tasmania in her early years including the reality of a high infant mortality rate. Three of her siblings died in infancy.
Maud knew better conditions and a just world required political convictions channelled into action.
Maud’s social activism began in the 1920s as a member of the Women’s Non-Party League. The League was focused on advancing the inclusion of women in positions of power and influence in the state. Maud proved a strong advocate for improved health care in Tasmanian rural and regional communities. She fundraised for the Bush Nurses Association, the Blind Institute, and the Ashley Home for Boys in Deloraine.
Maud’s empathy for women who were raising families in poverty lead to her focus on issues of early childhood development and education. In 1927 She campaigned for the introduction of the child endowment scheme, was an active committee member of the Children’s Playgrounds Association, campaigned for better educational opportunities for young girls, provided radio education on good nutrition, and canvased for an improved milk supply.
Maud’s commitment to Tasmanian families continued into the 1940s when she organised a Country Women’s Association campaign to establish a free kindergarten in Bellerive.
Maud saw the impact of the Great Depression on Tasmanian families through her membership of the Hobart City Mission’s general committee. During that time she had charge of a canteen, at St Frances Xavier Hall in South Hobart, where hot meals were provided for 100 disadvantaged children every day.
Maud was elected president of the Australian Labor Party’s Bellerive Branch in 1937. The Branch’s work focused on child endowment, unemployed youth, milk supply, women on juries, and raising the school leaving age to 16. In 1937 Maud was also appointed a Special Magistrate and presided at the Bellerive Children’s Court.
During World War Two, Maud’s work supported the Red Cross Society and the Australian Comforts Fund.
Maud was appointed state president of the Housewives Association in 1950.