Alice Springs news
Alice Springs news; NewspaperNT
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This publication contains many links to external sites. These external sites may no longer be active.
Community newspspers; Australia, Central; Alice Springs (N.T.); Newspapers
v. 6 issue 46
Copyright. Made available by the publisher under licence.
travellers, then it would appear that particularly in the cultural area there is some "reach out" work to do. The guide book also leaves the impression that as a town Alice operates in deficit of its "pioneer" image: people come looking for it and don't find much left. If it has not been important enough for us to hang on to, then there is surely room to put forward something else: what are our lives about here and how are we going to project that, for ourselves and for our visitors? 'ALL DONE' SAYS AUSTRALIA'S FRST FEMALY AUCTIONEER. By DOROTHY GRIMM. Australia's first female auctioneer Mary Meldrum was "strutting her stuff' at the Pioneer Women's Hall of Fame Christmas party last week. Mary conducted a fundraiser for the organisation by auctioning off wrapped gifts, telling people "if you don't like what you got, we can always auction it off again". "You've got to get the people with you," Mary said. "I enjoy people. They have so much to give." Mary began her career as a Tupperware investment dealer in Mount Gambier, South Australia, where she lived from 1958-1991, before moving to Alice Springs. In 1970 she opened a second hand store and got her auctioneer's licence in 1973. "When the local newspaper wrote the occasion up, they described me as Australia's first female auctioneer." Mary explained that her auctioneer's licence is different from many others as it is hers. "For example if a real estate company holds an auctioneer's licence and the person who has been conducting the auctions leaves, the licence stays with the company, it does not go with the person. "Since I owned my own business and worked for me, I held my own licence. "I've been asked by many people how men have felt about having a woman auctioneer since auctioneering was considered a man's field. "I've never had any problem at all with men. "In fact, my brother thought it was a great idea that I could laugh and talk and get paid for it!" Mary said she divided her store into several areas, a second hand store, a food place, a cake decorating and flower shop and an auction room where her weekly auctions were conducted. She also conducted auctions of household goods and farms but her speciality became charity work. "One year I auctioned off yabbies for a yabby race to raise money for the Riding for the Disabled. It was a blast!" Mary has also been a justice of the peace for 25 years. Mary said the pinnacle of her career was when she was asked to auction off paintings as part of the festivities associated with naming the theatre at Mount Gambier after the internationally known Australian ballet dancer, Sir Robert Helpmann, who was born in Mount Gambier. Mary and her husband came to Alice in 1991 for its "good weather". "We had three auctions of stuff before we left and we still brought a truck load with us. "Some one asked me what I was going to do with all that stuff in Alice Springs and I said, Well, I have to have a bed to sleep on'." Since coming to Alice Springs, Mary has worked in a number of places and still enjoys conducting an auction for a worthwhile cause. "Of all the things I've done in my life, I've enjoyed being an auctioneer most," Mary said. "Life's like a mountain, you may not get to the top, but that is better than not starting at all. "I've always enjoyed second hand stuff, but not second hand fellows. "My husband and children have always been supportive." Return to Alice Springs News Webpage. http://www.ozemail.com.au/~asnews