Australian Women's Register

An initiative of The National Foundation for Australian Women (NFAW) in conjunction with The University of Melbourne

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Mills, May (1890 - 1984)

OBE, MACE

Born
1890
Millbrae, South Australia, Australia
Died
1984
South Australia, Australia
Occupation
Cricketer, Educator and Sports Administrator

Summary

May Mills was played a prominent role in the development of women's sport in South Australia. She was President of the South Australian Women's Cricket Association and the Australian Women's Cricket Council in the 1960s. Prior to that she was President of the South Australian Women's Amateur Sports Council, the body that successully lobbied the then Premier, Sir Thomas Playford, to secure access to playing fields for the dedicated use of women. Trained as a teacher, she taught at Unley High School for thirty years. She became the first female President of the South Australian Institute of Teachers in 1943.

Apart from her interest in women's sport and teaching, Mills was active in a number of other spheres of public life. She was the first President of the South Australian Film and Television Council, a founding member of the Australian College of Education, a Life Vice-President of the National Council of Women and a Life Member of the Royal Commonwealth Society. She was the first women in South Australia to secure a license to drive a motor car.

May Mills contribution to women's cricket was recognised in 1984/85 by the creation of the May Mills Trophy for the Under 18 national Championship. This competition ran until 1995/96.

Details

The extent of Mills' involvement in public life gives proof to the old aphorism which tells us that if you want something done, ask a busy person. May Mills wasn't just busy, however, she was canny. She saved thousands of dollars of development costs by enticing major corporations to test their heavy machinery on the ovals, therefore getting them cleared and leveled at no cost to the sporting clubs. She organised parties of youngsters to plant almond trees around the oval and then, when the trees began to bear fruit, organised other children to harvest the crop, thus creating another source of funds through their sale.

Related entries

Presided

Related Organisations

Related Places

Archival resources

State Library of South Australia, Mortlock Library of South Australiana

  • Private papers of Miss May Mills, 1906 - 1982, PRG 26; Mills, May (1890 - 1984); State Library of South Australia, Mortlock Library of South Australiana. Details
  • Radio interview with May Mills [sound recording] Interviewer: Lynne Arnold, OH 26/12; State Library of South Australia, Mortlock Library of South Australiana. Details
  • South Australian Women's Memorial Playing Fields Trust - Papers, 1950 - 1983, SRG 255; State Library of South Australia, Mortlock Library of South Australiana. Details

Nikki Henningham

Site-wide information and acknowledgements

National Foundation for Australian Women The University of Melbourne, eScholarship Research Centre

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