> Celebrating 150 years and 150 stories of the Women who shaped and built Ballarat

In 2017 Ballarat’s New Cemetery celebrates its 150th anniversary when it was formally declared open on 10th June 1867. Today the Ballarat Cemeteries Trust not only provides burial and memorial services to families, but also actively promotes the importance of cemeteries as places of great social, cultural and historical significance. In particular, the many individuals and events who have informed and shaped us as a community.

As part of the 150 Year Anniversary celebrations, the Trust is bringing to life the stories of the many women who have made Ballarat the vibrant and progressive city it is today and importantly to share and celebrate their lives through our 150 years 150 stories project.


Mother Stanislaus Mulhall (1851 – 1923)

Mother Stanislaus Mulhall was one of the early members of the Institute of the Blessed Virgin Mary, or Loreto Sisters, to come to Australia and make her contribution to education. Barbara Mulhall, one of thirteen children, was born in Dublin in 1851. She became a nun...
Read This Story

Mother Hilda Benson – Women who shaped and built Ballarat

Louisa Benson was a Yorkshire born woman. She studied at the Notre Dame Training College in Liverpool, graduating with distinction in 1865. A convert to Catholicism, Louisa entered the religious order of the Loreto Sisters in Dublin in 1868, taking the religious name...
Read This Story

Jessica Simon (nee Stone) – Women who shaped and built Ballarat

The home of elegance and beauty, Stone's clothing store was also home to Jessica Stone, fashion queen of Ballarat. Stone's was a high end clothing store for women and it was here the young Jessica Stone, Bernard and Hannah's daughter started working with her parents....
Read This Story

Matilda Louise Thompson – Women who shaped and built Ballarat

Thompson, Matilda Louise (1871–1959) A Woman of Many Firsts Matilda ‘Tilly’ Louise Thompson, businesswoman and philanthropist, was born on 28 April 1871 at Ballarat, Victoria. Described as a woman of 'boundless and terrifying energy', she joined well known textile...
Read This Story

Gertrude Healy – Women who shaped and built Ballarat

Healy, Gertrude (1894–1984) Nationally and internationally recognized violinist, teacher and composer Ballarat born Gertrude was educated locally at Sacred Heart College where she demonstrated prodigious gifts as a violinist, competing against (Sir) Bernard Heinze at...
Read This Story

Annie Maynard Westcott – Women who shaped and built Ballarat

Annie Maynard Westcott 1875 - 8th May 1951 Ballarat and WWI nurse Annie Maynard Westcott was born in 1875 at Leigh Creek to a well known family whose market gardens and orchards supplied Ballarat’s population of 60,000 with fresh fruit, vegetables, and ‘a range of...
Read This Story

Karen Overington – Women who shaped and built Ballarat

Karen Overington (1951-2011) Politician and passionate supporter of the disadvantaged and the people of Ballarat Karen Overington was an Australian politician and Australian Labor Party member of the Victorian Legislative Assembly from 1999 to 2010, representing the...
Read This Story

Our goal is to collect 150 stories and share the lives and contribution of the many female leaders, visionaries and pioneers who rest in Ballarat’s old and new cemeteries – and most importantly discover the many untold stories held by families and friends within the Ballarat community.

Alternatively you can send your stories into the Trust by email or mail.

Ballarat Cemeteries
1250 Doveton Street North
Ballarat Vic 3350


  • Planning ahead
  • Your options
  • Having a funeral conversation with loved ones

View Maps

Find Out More

Help Us

  • Bequests and donations
  • Volunteering