UQ farewells great Queensland pioneer

14 Jan 2014

The University of Queensland community is saddened by the recent death of Australia’s first female stockbroker and UQ alumna, Dr Margaret Mittelheuser AM.

She was 82.

UQ Acting President and Vice-Chancellor Professor Debbie Terry said Dr Mittelheuser was a remarkable individual who had secured a place in Australia’s financial and social history.

“In a career spanning more than 50 years, Margaret made an extraordinary contribution to the finance and stockbroking industry, raising many millions of dollars for state and local governments and private organisations,” Professor Terry said.

“Not only was she one of the longest serving stockbrokers in Australia, she was a role model for women everywhere. 

“At a time when government and the financial industry were entirely dominated by men, Margaret became the first female graduate to work at the then Commonwealth Department of the Interior in Queensland.

“In 1964, at the age of only 33, she became the first female partner of an Australian stockbroking firm and possibly in the world at the time.”

Dr Mittelheuser was deeply committed to the community, and many women’s organisations, libraries, educational institutions and the arts have been enriched by her philanthropic support.

These include the Queensland Art Gallery, the State Library of Queensland, the Girl Guides Association (Qld), Griffith University, the Australian Federation of University Women and the Board of Trustees of Brisbane Girls Grammar School.

“Margaret, along with her sister Cathryn, was also a frequent and generous donor to The University of Queensland who helped fund the purchase of several works of art for the UQ Art Museum as well as other important records for the Fryer Library,” Professor Terry said.

“She was an exceptionally bright and generous woman who leaves a strong legacy to the arts and women’s organisations. She will be greatly missed.”

Dr Mittelheuser won a place at The University of Queensland when she was only 16, and graduated with a Bachelor of Commerce in 1952 and a Bachelor of Arts in 1973.

She received an honorary Doctor of Philosophy from the University in 1996 for her contribution to stockbroking, education and the University.

In 2006, an MBA prize was established in her name at The University of Queensland Business School. It is awarded every year to the top graduating MBA student in Business and Accounting.

She is survived by her sister, Dr Cathryn Mittelheuser AM, a distinguished plant physiologist and strong supporter of UQ.