- Honour Roll
It wasn't type casting but it was true to character for actor Maggie Millar to play the role of a crusading country doctor in the ABC's evergreen TV series, Bellbird. She has a distinguished acting career in theatre and television with the Melbourne Theatre Company, Prisoner, The Sullivans and Neighbours.
She was a volunteer at the Buoyancy Foundation, the support system set up for young drug addicts by Father Jim Armstrong. As both an adopted child and a relinquishing mother, Maggie played a leading role in Jigsaw Victoria, which waged a 10-year campaign to change the law to give adoptees access to their birth records.
"Whether you realise it or not, on some level, an adopted person feels a profound sense of abandonment. And, as a relinquishing mother, you fear that you've damaged your child," Maggie said.
Maggie also devoted a number of years to helping women experiencing difﬁculties with body image, questioning the negative messages about body size and ageing in the media, and serving on advisory committees in NSW and Victoria.
A year before being cast as the Reverend Rosie Hoyland in Neighbours, Maggie was diagnosed with type-2 diabetes. Maggie approached writer and actor Alan Hopgood, her on-screen husband in Bellbird, and together they developed a storyline on diabetes which Alan made into a play. "Called A Pill, A Pump and A Needle, it is entertaining, educational and amusing," she said. "I feel very strongly that people who are at risk of diabetes need to know about it and to understand that they can manage it and get on with their lives.
"I believe you can learn from whatever life deals you. Rather than cave in, it's better to understand what we need to learn, and to share the insights we gain," Maggie said.