Margaret Mittelheuser : an exceptional woman

Margaret Mittelheuser. From Margaret Mittelheuser AM Digital Story, 2016, 30601/5, State Library of Queensland

Margaret Mittelheuser. From Margaret Mittelheuser AM Digital Story, 2016, 30601/5, State Library of Queensland

International Women’s Day provides a good excuse to recognise the many achievements of women. Today I would like to focus on the life and career of one woman, Queenslander Margaret Mittelheuser AM, the first woman stockbroker in Australia and the first woman to manage a stockbroking office.

Born in Bundaberg in 1931, Margaret was a bright child who attended the University of Queensland. After initially working as a clerk for the Commonwealth public service in Queensland, she soon found a job that interested her as a research officer with a Brisbane stockbroking company. Not long after she realised that to get ahead in stockbroking she would need experience in Sydney and to this end found a job with Ralph W King and Yuill as a research officer. She later worked in a research role in a Brisbane company before opening the Brisbane office of Ralph W King and Yuill. In 1964 she returned to Sydney and became a non-member partner in Ralph W King and Yuill. Later she was able to buy a seat on the Sydney stock exchange.

Margaret Mittelheuser. From Margaret Mittelheuser AM Digital Story, 2016, 30601/5, State Library of Queensland

Margaret Mittelheuser. From Margaret Mittelheuser AM Digital Story, 2016, 30601/5, State Library of Queensland

She was a great analyst and mathematician with high integrity and achieved incredible success in a male dominated profession. She developed client bases in areas overlooked by others such as in Queensland country towns, Papua New Guinea and Norway. She worked hard, thoroughly, had an adventurous spirit and was well respected Australia wide. She gave back to the community and assisted women’s clubs and organisations to increase the business knowledge of other women.

After roughly 55 years Margaret retired in 2006 making her one of the longest serving stockbrokers in Australia.

In 2016 the Queensland Business Leaders Hall of Fame commissioned a series of interviews to record the life and career of Margaret Mittelheuser as well as a number of other significant Queensland companies and individuals. For Margaret Mittelheuser interviewees were Cathryn Mittelheuser AM, Margaret’s sister and the Hon. Leneen Forde AC, the Governor of Queensland 1992-1997. The interviewer was Ray Weekes.

The Queensland Business Leaders Hall of Fame was established by QUT Business School, State Library of Queensland and the Queensland Library Foundation in 2009 to recognise the public contribution made by leaders of business to the reputation of Queensland and its economic and social development.

View the interviews on the State Library of Queensland catalogue here.

Bec Kilner – Published Content Technician, State Library of Queensland