Business / Public Service

Name Photo Biography

Dr John Fraser


Dr John Fraser

Born in Scotland, Dr John Fraser migrated to Australia and settled in Maitland. He was appointed rector of the Presbyterian Maitland High School in 1861 and then went on to establish his own High School, ‘Sauchie House’, located on Church Street in Maitland where he was headmaster for over 20 years. Dr Fraser was also a talented linguist, his ethnological study of Aboriginal dialects was renowned and he authored numerous scholarly articles and books, and was a fellow of the Royal Society of NSW.

Janette Grossmann

- 1924

Janette Grossmann

Janette Grossman lived in Maitland for 24 years between 1890 and 1914, during this time she was the Headmistress of Maitland Girls High School. Miss Grossman was the longest serving headmistress of the school and guided the school to becoming well respected within the community and her leadership and values left an enduring legacy. Janette Grossman was well loved and revered by her pupils and in 1935 the school was renamed Maitland Grossman High School in her honour.

John Robert Hinder

1856 - 1918

John Robert Hinder was instrumental in the establishment of Maitland Boy’s High School and was headmaster for 25 years from 1889 to 1914. Mr Hinder was a valued resident and made a significant contribution to the Maitland community during his time in the region. He was a well respected leader, providing guidance to many students during his tenure as principal. In 1933, the original school hostel in High Street, East Maitland was named Hinder House in his honour.

William S Pender

1846 - 1931

William S Pender was a long time resident of Maitland and co-founder of Pender Bros Pty Ltd Timber and Hardware Merchants and Manufacturers of Apiarists Requirements in West Maitland. Mr Pender was widely regarded as one of the best authorities in Australia on beekeeping and was well known internationally for his work in the industry. He was an ingenious designer and manufacturer of locally customised beekeeping equipment as was the founding editor of ‘The Australasian Beekeeper’ from 1899 until 1931.

Rev Thomas Pierce

- 1925

Rev Thomas Pierce

Reverend Thomas E Pierce lived in Maitland for 22 years and was a Congregational Minister who travelled throughout Australia. He was appointed to Maitland in 1903 but resigned his ministry in 1906 to become editor of the Maitland Mercury. Reverend Pierce continued as editor of the paper until his death in 1925. During his time in Maitland he co-founded the Starr-Bowkett Society in Maitland, was secretary of the British and Foreign Bible Society and was a voluntary preacher at East Maitland Congregational Church.

Duncan Sim

1818 - 1892

Duncan Sim

Duncan Sim established the Sim and Sons Foundry Works in Morpeth in the 1850s and it became well known throughout Maitland and surrounding districts. Mr Sim was a long serving well respected resident of Morpeth and was an Alderman in the Borough Council and was elected the Mayor of Morpeth in 1873 and 1875 to 1877. Following his death the business was continued by his son and it continued to expand and remained a locally owned family business for over 70 years.

Noel Unicomb


Noel Unicomb lived in Maitland for his entire life and made significant contributions to the Maitland community. He was a Councillor between 1956 and 1995 and worked as mayor from 1972 to 1978. He was also the chairman of the Hunter Valley Conservation Trust for 10 years and controller of the SES for 25 years. Mr Unicomb was the first Maitland Citizen of the Year in 1970, was awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia in 1992 for local government and community service, and was made Freeman of the City in 1995.

William Arnott

1827 - 1901

William Arnott

Born in Scotland, William Arnott was a biscuit manufacturer who worked in Morpeth for 15 years as a baker with his brother David. He then established a bakery in Newcastle (1876) and soon had factories in Sydney (1894) and Homebush (1908). William retired in 1899 and his family continued the business and Arnott’s remains a popular and successful household name. William was active with philanthropic work and valued hard work, integrity and quality.

James Nixon Brunker

1832 - 1910

James Dixon Brunker

Born in Port Macquarie, James Brunker was in Maitland for 54 years and was a formative businessman and politician. He founded the Hunter River Famers Association in 1882, was the Director of the Mutual Life Assurance Corporation, was a member of the East Maitland Municipal Council and was Secretary for Lands in 1888. James was also responsible for the Crown Lands Act in 1889, was a Member of the Federation Convention (1897-1898) and was on the Legislative Council between 1905 and 1907.

Herbert Vere Evatt QC KSTJ

1894 - 1965

Born in Maitland, Doc Evatt became one of the country’s most respected academics, judge and politician. He was the President of the United Nations General Assembly (1948-1949), Chief Justice of NSW (1960-1962) and leader of the Labor Party from 1951 to 1960. He also helped draft the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights, was Justice of the High Court of Australia throughout the 1930s and was Attorney General and Minister for External Affairs from 1941 to 1949.

John Gillies

1844 - 1911

Originally from Scotland, John Gillies was based in Maitland for 60 years and worked as a newspaperman and politician. When he became part owner of the Maitland Mercury he made it a daily, he was a Justice of the Peace and he served on Maitland Municipal Council as Mayor from 1888 to 1890. He was elected to the Legislative Assembly of West Maitland in 1891 and Maitland from 1904 to 1911. Here he helped secure a courthouse, hospital, technical college, a high school and a river embankment for the city.

Sir Samuel Griffith

1845 - 1920

Sir Samuel Griffith

Born in Wales, Sir Samuel Griffith spent four years in Maitland. He was twice the Premier of Queensland and was the principle author of the Constitution of Australia. Griffith University is named after him, as is an electorate, a society and a suburb in Canberra. He played a pivotal role in drafting agreements that led to Federation and was the nation’s first Chief Justice. He was also a legal draftsman, poet, translator of Dante and an advocate of government support for education and scholarships.

Ken Guy

1931 -

Ken Guy

Ken Guy is Maitland through and through and has lived in the area for over 80 years. He became a certified practicing accountant and was a partner at a local firm. He was an Alderman at Maitland City Council from 1977 to 1987 and Mayor from 1984-1985. He has been on the boards of multiple local committees including Maitland City Bowling Club, Telarah Bowling Club, Lower Hunter Hospital Board, Hunter District Bowling Association, Zone 6 Bowling Association and the Royal NSW Bowling Association.

Eleanor Hinder OBE

1893 - 1963

After leaving Maitland at 17, Eleanor Hinder became a prominent welfare officer and public servant. She held office in the Student Christian Movement, Sydney University Women’s Graduate Association and the Workers Educational Association Club. She worked for the YWCA of China, was an Australian delegate of the Institute of Pacific Relations at Kyoto, Japan in 1929 and joined the Foreign Office in London in 1942. She was appointed to the Order of the British Empire in 1950 and was on various United Nations commissions.

Cheryl Kernot

1948 -

Cheryl Kernot

Cheryl Kernot spent the first 17 years of her life in Maitland and is a writer, event speaker and lecturer. She is the Social Business Fellow at the Centre for Social Impact and has been the Chair of Fair Trade Association for four years. Cheryl was leader of the Democrats from 1993 to 1997 and Labor Shadow Minister from 1998 to 2001. She was on the founding committee of a charity that provides shelter and education for children in Uganda and is one of the National Trust’s National Living Treasures.

Milton Morris AO

1924 -

Milton Morris

During his 60 years in Maitland, Milton ‘Mr Maitland’ Morris spent decades in the public service. He was NSW Minister for Transport and introduced the compulsory wearing of seatbelts and the L and P plate system. Milton was the Member for Maitland for 25 years and was made an Officer of the Order of Australia in 1988. After he finished with politics he headed up the Hunter Valley Training Company and supported more than 330 out of work apprentices to complete their training by restoring steam locomotive 3801.

John Wiltshire Pender

1833 - 1917

John Wiltshire Pender lived in Maitland for 56 years and was an accomplished sketcher, architect and builder who set up his practice in West Maitland. He was best known for the homesteads he designed and erected from the 1880s throughout the Hunter and New England area, including the two storeyed Saumarez near Armidale (1890), now owned by the National Trust (NSW) and the Presbyterian Schoolhouse at West Maitland. When he died in 1907 his son continued the practice and then his grandson.