Acting Vice Chancellor, Professor Marilyn McMeniman AM, has led tributes from Griffith University following the death of Dr Margaret Mittelheuser AM DUniv.
Dr Mittelheuser AM DUniv was conferred with the Degree of Doctor of the University by Griffith in 2006, in acknowledgement of an extraordinary career and immense contribution to the Australian community.
She was Founding Patron of Griffith REVIEW, Australia’s leading literary journal.
The first woman to be registered as a stockbroker in Australia, she was a role model for women in the finance industry both at home and abroad.
In 1996 she was made a member of the Order of Australia for her service to the finance industry and the community.
“The Griffith University community was saddened to hear of Margaret’s passing,” Professor McMeniman AM said.
“Her impact on the Queensland community was significant and far-reaching.”
Professor McMeniman AM extended sympathy to Margaret’s sister, Dr Cathryn Mittelheuser AM DUniv.
Margaret Mittelheuser AM DUniv was born in Bundaberg and moved to Brisbane in 1945. She was educated at Brisbane Girls’ Grammar School and attended the University of Queensland where she graduated with a Bachelor of Commerce in 1952 and a Bachelor of Arts in 1973.
After completing her university studies, Margaret Mittelheuser AM DUniv started work as a clerk in the Department of the Interior.
She was the first female university graduate in the Commonwealth Public Service in Queensland.
An interest in figures and listed stocks on the ASX saw her enter the stock-broking profession in 1952. She moved to Sydney in 1956 and later joined the firm of Bernie Curran before a stint at the broking firm Ralph W. King and Yuill.
She moved back to Brisbane as head of the Research Department for brokers Corrie and Co, but rejoined King and Yuill when they opened a Brisbane office in 1961. Three years later she was admitted to partnership of that firm and became the first woman to be registered as a stockbroker in Australia and among the first in the world.
As head of the Brisbane office, she travelled widely in Queensland and Papua New Guinea to spread the word about financial markets.
In a career spanning more than 50 years, Margaret Mittelheuser AM DUniv was involved in all of the main areas of stockbroking including company analyses, Commonwealth and State Government funding and securities, corporatisation and privatisation of government entities, preparation and analysis of prospectus, foreign exchange markets, and investment advice for companies and private companies.
When Margaret Mittelheuser AM DUniv retired from ABN Amro Morgans in 2005, she was one of Australia’s longest serving stockbrokers.
In addition to her stockbroking activities, Margaret Mittelheuser AM DUniv was always committed to the community. She made significant contributions to a number of arts and charitable organisations including the Queensland Art Gallery, the Girl Guides Association (Qld), the Australian Federation of University Women, and the Board of Trustees of Brisbane Girls’ Grammar School and their Restoration and Building Appeal. She also served as Chair of the Queensland Local Government Superannuation Board, as a Director of the Queensland Philharmonic Orchestra, and as a member of the Queensland Mortgage Secondary Market Board and the Board of Queensland Rail.
She also assisted electricity authorities, local hospital boards and local councils to raise funds, and was actively involved in the development of superannuation fund schemes.
Her contributions to the community have been recognised by numerous awards and honours. In 1986 she was presented with the Olave Medal by the Girl Guides Association (Qld), and in 1996 she was made a member of the Order of Australia for her service to the finance industry and to the community.
In the same year, she received the honorary degree of Doctor of Philosophy from the University of Queensland. In 2003, she was awarded the Centenary Medal for distinguished service to business and commerce.