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Awarded for service to the Community, service to Health
Born: 25 January 1915
Died: 19 June 2005
Entered on roll: 2011
Margaret Mack was born in Geelong, Victoria, in 1915. She decided from a young age that she wanted to be a physiotherapist after one of her sisters contracted polio. Margaret graduated from the University of Melbourne in 1936 and was appointed Physiotherapist in Charge at the Launceston General Hospital in 1937. Margaret and her nine staff mainly dealt with the treatment of polio patients.
Margaret was a Board member of the newly opened St Giles Home for Crippled Children for 35 years and worked to ensure a high standard of physiotherapy throughout Northern Tasmania. Internationally Margaret became respected as an expert in the therapeutic treatment of polio.
Margaret enlisted for duty in World War II, serving in the Middle East before returning to the Launceston General Hospital in 1946.
Margaret was a founding member of the Tasmanian Branch of the Australian Physiotherapy Association and a committee member from 1952-1981, and President in 1978-79. Margaret was also the Australian delegate to the World Council of Physical Therapy from 1959-1967, and Vice President in 1967.
Margaret held administrative positions with numerous organisations, including President of the Tasmanian Region for Soroptimists International. She is fondly remembered by her fellow Soroptimists as a “loyal, astute, modest, forthright person with a wonderful sense of humour”.
Margaret’s devotion to children with disabilities continued through her working life. She was awarded a Medal of the Order of Australia in 1984 and a Governor’s Commendation in 1992 for her long devoted service to children with disabilities.
In 2005, St Giles established an annual donation to the Tasmanian Post Polio Network in honour of Margaret’s service and in 2007 they established the Margaret Mack Centre in her honour.