In recognition of their outstanding contribution to millinery and
to the Millinery Association of Australia, a member is inducted into the Hall of Fame on an
annual basis. Prior to 2020, the Hall of Fame Award was bestowed every two years.
Our members are invited to submit nominations for Hall of Fame to the Committee for consideration.
Rose Hudson began working as a milliner in 1979 and millinery has been her career ever since. A career that started as a trainee on the workroom floor and then rising up to become head of that very same workroom.
Rose’s career has seen her dedicate many years to teaching and she has worked in theatre and has made hats and headwear for television and movies. She currently wears three hats however, in that she works as a freelance theatrical milliner, co-runs a millinery business and continues to teach millinery.
Rose was there 25 years ago, in 1993 as part of consultation committee when the Millinery Association was formed. She was President of the Millinery Association in 2017 and 2018 and inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2019. She continues to be actively involved in the millinery community around Australia and is often invited to attend and teach at millinery events overseas.
As a teenager growing up in the 1960s wearing hats was part of Elaine Megard’s life. She loved wearing hats to church and to family weddings. During her training as a Home Economics teacher the subject of millinery was a requisite and it gave students the opportunity to style hats to co-ordinate with what was being taught in both dressmaking and tailoring classes.
In 1966, at the age of 20 and after making her first hat just 2 years earlier, Elaine commenced teaching millinery with Adult Education in Brisbane. In later years she went on to teach at TAFE colleges in Central Queensland and Sunshine Coast, at USQ and at the Queensland Museum during the 1980’s and 1990’s.
Elaine established Hat Academy and launched the website in 2012 with the help of her husband and son. Her goal for Hat Academy was to allow access to millinery education for those who were unable to access traditional TAFE training due to distance or time restraints. In her retirement she remains passionate about teaching millinery online to a younger generation so that heritage skills and tricks of the trade won’t be lost forever.
Elaine was inducted into the MAA Hall of Fame in 2017.
Hats have long been associated with the horse racing industry, so it’s hardly surprising to learn that Marea is the fourth generation of a racing family. Her great-grandfather, Samuel Davis, rode Lantern to victory in the 1864 Melbourne Cup, her grandfather trained horses and her father and brother were jockeys. Marea also trained as a jockey and says it gave her a huge respect for the art of controlling a horse.
What she really wanted, however, was to take the reins of her own business, so in 1964 she started making hats. “My mother and I used to go to milliner’s studios when we came to Melbourne when I was a child.” I knew when I grew up I wanted to make hats and that’s just what I did.”
Fifty-five years later she’s still making hats and has even made two handbags for the Queen when she was sought out by the Queen’s then milliner Frederick Fox. “It was very exciting the day I saw a photograph of the Queen carrying my handbag.”
Marea is a qualified milliner with a Diploma of Millinery and Design and she prides herself in the longstanding relationships that she has built and maintained during her extensive career.
Marea was inducted into the MAA Hall of Fame in 2015.
Waltraud Reiner has been working in millinery for over 30 years. She started out in Melbourne in the early 90’s where she founded the Melbourne School of Millinery which she ran for many years and she was part of a team responsible for developing the core of the Cert II, III and IV courses in Millinery.
Torb & Reiner millinery suppliers was established by Waltraud in 2001, at first to provide a greater range of supplies to the students at the Melbourne School of Millinery, but then to the wider millinery community. She expanded the business to incorporate made-to-measure services and millinery workshops but sold it in 2016 to concentrate on other endevours.
Waltraud has been an advocate for emotional and mental well-being for many years and she uses hat making and weaving to support people. She conducts hat-making workshops throughout Melbourne, across Victoria and out to the far reaches of Australia in the ‘Hatmobile’ as an ongoing project addressing mental illness and encouraging conversation on the subject.
At present Waltraud is in her 3rd year of a psychotherapist masters degree.
Jean Carroll was born in 1923 in Ryde, NSW. She started work as an apprentice milliner with Moray Millinery before she was 14 and didn’t retire until the ripe old age of 89. Her first job was sewing in headbands, rolling up ribbons and veiling and running messages. The strict work environment allowed no talking!
She continued to make fashion hats until the mid-1960s, when hats lost their appeal. Women were no longer required to wear hats in church, so the once thriving industry went into rapid decline. Instead of giving up, as many milliners did, Jean simply changed careers within the industry and became a theatrical milliner, working in theatre, television, films and opera. She also shared her vast millinery knowledge with students from NIDA, TAFE NSW, the Australian Forum for Textile Artists (TAFTA), Fibre Forum, the International Millinery Forum and the ”Hat’s Off” Millinery conventions as well as teaching privately.
In 2006, Jean Carroll was awarded an Order of Australia medal for services to millinery and teaching and in 2011 she was inducted into the Millinery Association of Australia’s Millinery Hall of Fame.
During World War II Gwenda left school at the age of 14. She was required to report to the Manpower Office and was allocated to G & R Wills to make gloves for the Forces. It is of interest that millinery didn’t come under Manpower restrictions as the girls who worked there during the war were considered to be helping the war effort by making hats to keep up the morale of the women while their husbands and sweethearts were at war. Gwenda had always been interested in all aspects of fashion and when WWII ended, she began her chosen profession with a four year apprenticeship at JW Richmonds Millinery Warehouse in Gawler Place, Adelaide.
In 1954 Gwenda took six months leave to sail to England. She went to Luton, to visit the ‘Home of Millinery’ and was given a guided tour of the factory – a highlight of her trip. After 14 years at JW Richmonds, by which time Gwenda was involved with model millinery, she was invited to be in charge of the model workroom at Miller Andersons, a major department store at that time and made many exclusive creations for the women of Adelaide. While still at Miller Andersons, Gwenda was offered a millinery lecturing position at the Institute of Technology in Adelaide. It was a time when well-dressed ladies would not leave the house without a hat and gloves. Gwenda taught millinery and French flower making for 30 years ending her teaching career in 1992. She taught many students the art of millinery, several of whom went on to become lecturers themselves.
Now in her nineties, Gwenda is still passionate about the Art of Millinery and has been heartened that hats have recently made a resurgence, acknowledging the milliners of today for their inspired creations. The millinery world is her great love and she was both honoured and humbled to be inducted into the Millinery Hall of Fame in 2009.
Peter Jago’s entry into millinery was at the young age of seven when he helped his father make a Mad Hatter’s top hat. Then later, at boarding school, wearing a boater as part of the daily uniform awakened his understanding of the functionality of hats.
The inspiration for his designs has always been Australian flora and fauna as well as his background in Papua New Guinea and its bird of paradise and native headdresses which have also always been a passion of Peter.
Once back in Melbourne, he was delighted to find antique markets full of millinery materials. He was a keen collector and designer and eventually applied for the position of assistant head milliner to Vera Gollige in the Australian Opera Wardrobe department. The prestige of the wardrobe was highly acclaimed due to the presence of its star, Dame Joan Sutherland.
Over the years,Peter has designed for the theatre, films, television, opera, ballet, and stage productions for people with special needs. He becomes animated with a glint in his eye when reminiscing about millinery and was inducted in to the Hall of Fame in 2007.