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Amelia Lucy Wayn MBE

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Amelia Wayne

Awarded for service to the Cultural Heritage

Born: 1862

Died: 11 August 1951

Entered on roll: 2009

Amelia Lucy Wayn was probably born in Germany in 1862, the daughter of Amelia and the Reverend Arthur Wayn. Reverend Wayn was appointed curate at St Andrew’s Church, Evandale, Tasmania, in 1864 and for 30 years Amelia accompanied her father (widowed in 1877) around the parishes in which he was the incumbent.

Following her father’s retirement, Amelia trained as a nurse at Launceston Public Hospital. Moving to Hobart, she ran the Fairfield Private Hospital from 1900 to 1915, before going to Launceston as matron-in-charge of the military base hospital until she was demobilised in 1921.

In March 1921, Amelia was appointed in a temporary capacity as a ‘lady indexer’ of the Tasmanian archival records, dating from 1820 which were held by the Tasmanian Chief Secretary’s Department. She quickly became recognised as the ‘authority on the historical records of the State’ and over the next 20 years she undertook work and provided replies for a wide range of researchers.

The Index to Tasmanian Government Records and Colonial Newspapers (Wayn Index) was undertaken from 1 January 1920 until 31 December 1940 and contains colonial records from 1 January 1825 to 31 December 1840. The handwritten card index compiled by Amelia, often on a voluntary basis, has proven an invaluable tool to researchers to the present day.

In 1941, Amelia was awarded an Order of the British Empire – Member (Civil) for public service in Tasmania. Amelia continued her indexing and research up until 1949, when a full-time archivist was appointed. The massive indexes and compilations that she created are held in the Archives Office of Tasmania, a lasting memorial of her work.

Amelia died in Hobart on 11 August 1951 and was cremated at Cornelian Bay.

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