Project Description

Elsie Joy SMITH (nee Williams) known as Joy was born in 1927, the daughter of a country policeman. Her mother died when she was nine years old and her father re-married and the family went to live in Inglewood.

Joy attended Perth Girls School, where she completed the Junior Examination and then went on to do a year’s study in a commercial course, excelling in shorthand. Her first job was with W.A. Government Railways sorting tickets. Later she worked on King Island and in Victoria where she met and married Charles Baxter and had two sons: Keith, born in 1950 and Peter in 1953.

After the failure of the marriage, Joy came back to W.A. In 1962 she married Peter Smith and came to live in Dunsborough. Joy very soon became involved in community life in Dunsborough. She talks about the old Quindalup School, development of the Dunsborough School, the Dunsborough Progress Association and social life based on the old hall, St John Ambulance, the Bush Fire Brigade and the beginnings of the Community Luncheon and also the Dunsborough Country Club. At this time she became manager of the Busselton Tourist Bureau, a job she loved and stayed in for 20 years.

Joy was for several years chairman of the Leeuwin Way Promotional Association. A book was published each year to show the attractions of each district from Esperance to Mandurah and all local tourist bureaus contributed. This group undertook to stage a magnificent wildflower display at the Royal Show in Perth.

Later she spent 12 years as a Shire Councillor, four of those years as President. To recognise her outstanding contribution to community and public life in the Busselton Shire, Joy was awarded an Order of Australia Medal in 1997, the Commonwealth Centenary Medal in 2003 and other awards include the Busselton Shire Council Award for Tourism and a Seniors Award presented in Canberra in 2000.

Joy also speaks of the Naturaliste Community and Cultural Centre, the Cape Naturaliste Historical Society, Community Aid Dunsborough and her work as a Marriage Celebrant.