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Covering the Goulburn and Murray valleys

Oct 1967: The original fashionista of the Goulburn Valley

More than 40 years ago, Maggie Govan-Smith was the one Shepparton women turned to for beauty advice. Maggie, who was The News' "social editor" in the late '60s and '70s, speaks to Rob McLean about her time with the paper.

ROB MCLEAN October 26, 2012 4:22am

Maggie Govan-Smith wrote a beauty column for The News for several years.


Maggie Govan-Smith once had an intimate understanding of fashion in the Goulburn Valley – she wrote about it regularly in The News more than 40 years ago.

Maggie, now 80 and living near Melbourne at Hoppers Crossing, was a beautician working part-time at Riggs Pharmacy in Maude St and later established her own business in partnership with a local hairdresser.

She initially wrote a column about beauty care and then when it was realized she had a particular interest in fashion, Maggie was appointed as the newspaper’s “social editor”.

Talking Beauty

Maggie's column from October 30, 1967.

Maggie’s time at The News ended in the late ’70s when she moved to Glen Iris, allowing her to work in the make-up department at Melbourne’s Myer store.

In 2006, eager to be closer to her grandchildren, she moved to Hoppers Crossing to live near her youngest son, Roger.

Maggie, who has four grandchildren, has two other sons – Simon and Andrew, who both live in California. Andrew, who has been in the U.S. for 20 years, will visit with his family in December.

Divorce followed about a year after Maggie moved to Melbourne and her former husband, known to most in Shepparton as “Barney”, died in December 2011.

Shepparton more than 40 years ago was, in Maggie’s view, a relatively quiet place, but still had a robust social life and a keen interest in fashion.

The hem of dresses and skirts were somewhat lower and shoulder pads were prominent.

Maggie last visited Shepparton about three years ago when her son was keen to show his children the area and among the activities was a visit to KidsTown on the Causeway between Shepparton and Mooroopna.

Talking Beauty

Maggie's column from October 2, 1967.

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