Vale to our Women of Note

Vale Rita Hartney

A special Women of Note report for a special Woman of Note

The lady with the beautiful smile, the colourful scarves and the ‘You’re Special’ badges has left us. Rita Hartney died on 11 June 2019.

Kay Rankin invited Rita to join Women of Note in about 1993. Kay and Rita lived in the same municipality and worked together on many community events. Kay had invited Rita to the second Guides Victoria Women of Note City of Casey Mentor Breakfast for Year 11 girls and it was after that event that Rita became a WON member.

Kay introduced Rita to Libby Howlett, an Assistant State Commissioner who ran the PR department for Guides Victoria. Libby found a way to reward the volunteer women who ran Guide companies around the State by offering a program called Leaders for Life, which gave these women the opportunity to hone skills which would help them both run their Guide companies and improve their working lives. On the first L4L program in 2002, Rita gave a workshop on public speaking, which was full of fun and surprises. She became a staunch supporter of L4L, contributing to every program, not only by running workshops but also by organising mentors for the leaders taking part in the program and using her vast network of social and business contacts and her irresistible persuasive powers to seek the right presenters for L4L workshops. She became a member of the committee that ran L4L and was always an invaluable contributor. With her ‘You’re Special’ pins and her book of the same name, her fun and thought-provoking sessions were always highly anticipated. Sometimes she would ask the group to look under their chairs, and the woman sitting in the chosen chair would be asked to make an impromptu speech. Attendees got to know one another very quickly when Rita was running a session.

Rita’s WON connections lasted right to the end. She attended a lunch in Richmond in March and was greeted warmly by people who had missed her attendance at dinner meetings as she became more frail. The celebration of Rita’s life on 19 June was a sea of bright colours, in accordance with the wishes of Rita’s family. The service was led by Deb Holder, and funeral arrangements were made by Frances Tobin, both long-time WON members. Many other WON members were in attendance. 

We thank you, Rita for your enthusiasm and encouragement which touched the lives of so many. You will always be in our hearts.

Women of Note.

Vale Marjorie West AM

The members of Girl Guides Victoria Women Of Note group would like to acknowledge Marjorie West’s outstanding contribution to guiding.

A previous State Commissioner and an integral part of the Guiding movement, Marjorie touched the lives of so many women and girls with her enthusiasm and dedication. She worked tirelessly to empower girls and young women to grow into confident, self-respecting responsible community members, particularly through her support of girls and women with disabilities. 

Women Of Note has been proud to be associated with her.  

Our deepest sympathy to the family.

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