Life devoted to helping her region thrive
AWARDED the Medal of the Order of Australia for her services to the cattle industry and local government in Eidsvold, Dot Hamilton has achieved quite a lot in her life.
Born in Gilgandra in New South Wales, Mrs Hamilton was educated first by correspondence and then attended school.
“I went to Gilgandra High School and afterwards went to Osborne Ladies’ College, Blackheath, in the Blue Mountains,” Mrs Hamilton said.
“My family (nee Howard) bought land in Queensland near Moura on the Dawson River in the 1950s and I left school and came to Queensland to live for a short time on the family’s property.”
At first it wasn’t an easy experience.
“The surroundings of this area were far different to the mid-western plains of NSW. It was hotter, drier and cattle not sheep were pastured,” Mrs Hamilton said.
“It was during this time I obtained employment with a company called Australian Estates in Theodore, some miles to the north-west of the Eidsvold district.
“This latter area is well known for its history, being settled by the Archer brothers in the mid-1840s and then becoming a boom town with gold and selling into the production of excellent beef cattle and grain.”
It was during this time that she met the love of her life, John Hamilton of Kandoona near Camboon, while working at Australian Estates.
“We got married in March of 1955 and bought our own property, Wathonga, in the Eidsvold district,”
Mrs Hamilton said.
“We had three children – Diane, Dugald and Stuart – and I educated them myself at Wathonga through correspondence lessons.”
Diane then attended Rockhampton Grammar, while Dugald and Stuart spent three years at Rockhampton Boys’ Grammar before returning to Wathonga to work on the property, husbanding beef cattle.
In 1989, Mr Hamilton died suddenly at Wathonga and it was up to Mrs Hamilton to run the property.
“It was a very difficult time,” Mrs Hamilton said.
Two years later, she contested the next local government election and was successful, becoming the deputy mayor for nine years.
WHAT A LIFE: Dot Hamilton at her place in Eidsvold.
Gavin Ford, Dot Hamilton, Cr John Zahl at the Eidsvold show this year.
Dot Hamilton received the Citizen of the Year award in 2015.