Australia’s first female stockbroker, Margaret Mittelheuser, built her long and stellar career on natural brilliance and a love of mathematics.
Her birth in Bundaberg in 1931 and early years spent growing up on her parents’ cane farm, produced a love of country and adventurousness that never left her. They became defining qualities of Margaret Mittelheuser. She was a talented student from an early age and became a student of the University of Queensland at 16 years of age.
Following graduation in 1954 she became the first female to be employed in the Commonwealth Public Service in Queensland before her personal investment skills resulted in her being appointed as a researcher in a Brisbane stockbroking firm setting a career path for the rest of her professional life.
A move to Sydney in 1956, where she joined Ralph W King and Yuill, proved to be life changing and in 1961 at their request, Margaret opened the Brisbane office. This made her the first woman in Australia to manage a stockbroking office. In 1964 she became a non-member partner of the firm and, as a result, the nation’s first woman stockbroker under the auspices of the Sydney Stock Exchange where she also became a member in 1981.
These were groundbreaking events as stockbroking partnerships had been entirely the province of men. Margaret’s career in broking extended beyond 50 years and at her retirement she was one of the longest serving brokers in this country.
Margaret’s abilities extended to raising large sums for the State and local governments for infrastructure development together with extensive service as a company director and advisor. Her adventurous spirit enabled her to build a strong business base in Papua New Guinea, attract large investments from the Norwegian Sovereign Wealth Fund and develop an extensive client base throughout country Queensland.
Margaret Mittelheuser was a gifted analyst who lived for her work but also dedicated herself to philanthropy and community service. Her entrepreneurial spirit made her a trailblazer for and enduring supporter of women in business and throughout her life she characterized and embraced her Queensland heritage.