Australian Women's Register

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

Skip to content


  • Unbroken Spirit: Women in Broken Hill

Use Trove to find more resources by/about this Woman

  • Trove

Pedergnana, Merrilyn (1949 - )

25 February 1949
First Aid Trainer and Volunteer
Alternative Names
  • McFeeters, Merrilyn (maiden name)


Merrilyn Pedergnana received a Citizenship Award on Australia Day in 1998 in recognition of countless hours of voluntary work for various nonprofit organisations in Broken Hill, New South Wales, and beyond. She is a first aid trainer for St John Ambulance Australia.


Merrilyn Pedergnana was the third child of returned serviceman Lloyd McFeeters and his wife, Vera. Lloyd had served with the AIF during World War Two. On his death in 1956, Merrilyn and her siblings - Wendy, John and Peter - became Legacy Wards. Merrilyn was educated at Burke Ward school, and later at Broken Hill High School.

In 1964, Merrilyn began work at the Barrier Miner newspaper, and later at the Zinc Mine as a print machine operator. She met her husband, Reg, in her first year of work and the pair were married when Reg returned home from National Service in 1970. Faced with the mine's policy of no employment for married women, Merrilyn took a position with Thorp Motors in Broken Hill. In 1973 she gave birth to her daughter, Angela, followed in 1974 by her son, Carl.

In 1980 Merrilyn began a career in child care, looking after the children of working parents, which she maintained for eighteen years. During this time she undertook voluntary work for various groups including the Scouts, netball, the National Servicemen's Association, the Navalmen's Association, St John Ambulance Australia, the Broken Hill Rifle Club, the No. 9 Rifle Association, the Italo International Club, the Broken Hill City Council, the Broken Hill Gallipoli Memorial Foundation, and the Town Employees Union.

Merrilyn Pedergnana is the only woman to hold life membership of the National Servicemen's Association of Australia. In 1998 she was honoured with a Citizenship Award on Australia Day. Merrilyn is an active trainer and examiner of first aid for St John Ambulance Australia, responsible for all first aid training in western New South Wales. In 2008 she was awarded the St John Ambulance Australia Long Service Medal.

Sources used to compile this entry: Adams, Christine, Sharing the Lode: The Broken Hill Migrant Story, Broken Hill Migrant Heritage Committee, Broken Hill, NSW, 2004; Correspondence from Christine Adams and Merrilyn Pedergnana, Broken Hill, December 2008.

Barbara Lemon

Site-wide information and acknowledgements

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

© Copyright in The Australian Women's Register is owned by the Australian Women's Archives Project
and vested in each of the authors in respect of their contributions from 2000

The Australian Women's Register is licensed under a
Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Australia License

The Australian Women's Register is published quarterly by the Australian Women's Archives Project
ISSN 2207-3124