Myrtle Muir

Myrtle Muir worked with and supported her community for decades.

Honour Roll

She was also associated with Aboriginal housing for over 25 years, spending her time and energy in that area on an entirely voluntary basis.

Born in 1932 in Maryborough, Myrtle moved to Benalla after her marriage, where she lived for 10 years. She later moved to the Ballarat area. A public housing tenant for 50 years, Myrtle enjoyed the community life of public housing and many of the friendships she made with other tenant families lasted for many years.

In 1979 Myrtle became a member of the Steering Committee on Aboriginal Housing. This group established the Aboriginal Housing Board of Victoria, which comprises elected representatives from all regions of Victoria. Myrtle was elected as the representative for the Ballarat Region (now the Central Highlands Wimmera Region) at the first elections and held the position for over 20 years.

Myrtle was also Chairperson of the Aboriginal Community State Justice Panel, a program administered by the Victoria Police. As a result of that membership, Myrtle received the Chief Commissioner's Citizen Commendation for work in improving Aboriginal and Police relations in 1996.

In addition to raising her own large family of four daughters (one child passed away) and five sons, Myrtle fostered more than 40 children. In 1998 Myrtle received the inaugural Mollie Dyer Award, an honour designed to advance the observance of the rights of Victorian Aboriginal children and the maintenance of their families. In 2000 she received the Frances Pennington Award which recognises Victorians who live in public housing and contribute to their communities.

Myrtle's motto was "To do my utmost". She said: "Being a Board member means that you're out there helping your own and just to see the thanks on peoples' faces when they receive a house is enough reward".