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Molly Hadfield OAM

Molly Hadfield spent her life campaigning for women's rights and social justice, in particular senior women.

Honour Roll

Molly Hadfield laughed as she recalls how her family would tease her that she "was vaccinated with a gramophone needle". But it is through talking and standing up for her beliefs that she has made a real difference to the lives of so many in the community.

Mary Catherine "Molly" Doyle was born in Corowa, NSW in 1922, and grew up surrounded by "inspirational women". Her grandmother, mother and aunts were all champions for women's rights. "They were all doing something in their own way at that time, and that is what inspired me," she said.

As a volunteer, she became an activist to campaign for women's rights and social justice. Among her many achievements, Molly was particularly proud of helping create 'a community' in Chelsea, where she moved in the 1960s with her husband and two young children. In between raising a family and working full time, and with the support of her husband, she became involved in the Progress Association.

Molly established the 50 and Over Get Up and Go group in Chelsea Heights in 1987 to help women isolated in their home, and became a committee member with Housing for the Aged Action Group and the Older Persons Action Centre. She was also a member of the Union of Australian Women for over 45 years and was delighted to be chosen as the face of the 2005 Victorian Seniors Festival. "I never thought I would be a poster girl at my age," she laughed.

"I will never give up demonstrating for peace and for low-cost housing for women and while I can do it I will," she said. "We need to be involved in our community. I think we should all contribute something to this planet that we live on."