A tribute to the late Alice ‘Meredith’ Hodgson from her partner, Dick.
Meredith was born in Hobart and attended the Fahan School until her family moved to Perth, Western Australia, where she completed her early education before she left for South Australia where she completed a PhD in management. She worked in the then Premier’s office, then the SA Health Service, covering large parts of the outback as a Director of outlying areas. During that time she and her then-husband, Richard, bought and extended a 50 hectare winery in the Eden Valley and produced cold climate wine of a very high standard.
Unfortunately Richard died consequent to a heart attack. Meredith tried to manage the farm but ultimately had to sell. She decided to move back to Tasmania, where she joined the Health Department as a director. Early signs of ill health led her into further studies at UTAS where she obtained another PhD and Doctorate in history and arts.
Meredith wrote three books: Prospecting the Pieman, which is about George Campbell Meredith’s logbook November 1876 to March 1877; Miss Leake’s Journal, which is about domestic life at Rosedale property at Campbell; and *The Convict Letter Writer, which tells the story of Eliza Williams who was transported as a convict and who ended up a matron of high society in Detroit USA.
Meredith was researching a book on the convict women sent to Sarah Island at the time of her untimely passing on 30 June 2019. It is hoped that the Convict Women’s Research Centre will complete the book.
Meredith loved outdoor life and we travelled widely both in Tasmania and overseas. She loved sailing and cruising the coast in my boat, including visits to Port Davey and the east coast. She was forever on the lookout for wildlife and finding solace in the highlands with its unique wilderness. Her generous bequests to the Menzies Centre and to the TLC represent her values, and I consider myself lucky to have shared part of my life with such a fine, considerate person.
The banner photo shows the Meredith River at Kelvedon Hills, and is by Andy Townsend. Meredith Hodgson was named for the river, and her family has a strong connection with Tasmania’s east coast.