1918 – 1980
“Leave it for Amy, she would get it right” was a comment I often heard over the years, said Amy’s sister Violet Willman.
After moving to Bendigo in 1933, Amy completed her education at Bendigo High School and later attended Bendigo Business College. She worked as a copywriter with radio 3BO for eight years, then moved to Melbourne and worked in advertising. In 1950, Amy left for England to study television which was yet to arrive in Australia. While there, she appeared on the BBC.
Back home in Bendigo in 1953, Amy’s first association with the Bendigo Advertiser began when she joined the newspaper ‘Eats Social Editoress’.
In 1957 she was appointed permanently as Women’s Social Editor but moved from purely social editing to Women’s affairs. Amy held this position for twenty-three years until early 1980. At first, she wrote under the pen name Toora, after Toorak, but gradually wrote and edited under her own name.
Amy was a member of Soroptimist International extending her interest in Women’s affairs well beyond Australian shores. In August 1974, when visiting Bangkok, she interviewed leading women such as Sumalee Viravaidya, a critic of the military government and the only woman on the committee which drafted the new constitution for Thailand.
Upon learning of Miss Huxtable’s illness in early 1980, the Executive of the Victorian National Council of Women in Melbourne wrote to the Managing Editor of the Advertiser. The letter praised Amy for the many years of support she had given the local branch. They also thanked her for generally educating women to broaden their outlook in many fields. “We are most grateful and feel that the paper should be aware of the extent to which her support is valued.”
Upon Amy Huxtable’s sudden death on January 16, 1980, the City Hall flag was lowered to half-mast. Accolades were numerous with much emphasis on her influence in the development of women’s roles and status in life.
The Amy Huxtable Memorial Committee was established and three sculptures by her friend -Ola Cohn were presented to the Art Gallery.
The Advertiser commissioned a portrait. Two commemorative seats were installed in the gardens that Amy’s office had overlooked for many years.
Miss Huxtable’s friend – Mrs. Sylvia Hampson, President of Bendigo National Council of Women, had collected hundreds of Amy’s articles and donated them to the Bendigo library.
Biography provided by The City of Greater Bendigo
Celebrating Bendigo Women 2016
Bendigo Advertiser, October 1993
Bendigo Advertiser, October 8 1980
Site: Conservatory Gardens Bendigo
The Conservatory Gardens features an ornate 19th century Conservatory building, rose gardens and heritage sculptures. The Conservatory building was erected in 1897 and is the last building of its type in a public park in Victoria.