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    Olive Scott, c. 1920, courtesy of Tom Scott.


  • Karlkurla Gold: A History of the Women of Kalgoorlie-Boulder

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Scott, Olive Gladys (1902 - 1980)

3 October 1902
November 1980
Alternative Names
  • Hadden, Olive (Maiden)


Olive Hadden was born in Kalgoorlie, the daughter of Florence Campling Hadden (nee Hunt) and Gilbert Carlile Hadden. Her father, Gilbert, was a mine manager. Olive's maternal grandfather, Charles Louis Hunt, had also been a mine manager.

Olive has six siblings; Florence (Adeline), (born 1901), Alice (born 1904), Dorothea (Dorothy) (born 1906), Gilbert (Bert) (born 1908), Jean (born 1913) and Roy (Bunny) (born 1915). Adeline died at the age of 42 and Dorothy at 29.

Olive attended primary and secondary school in Kalgoorlie. The family lived at 148 Campbell Street at one stage and, at another time, near the trotting track, situated half-way between Kalgoorlie and Boulder.

Olive's mother, Florence, died in 1923 (aged 48) while Olive was attending Teachers' College. Olive's sister, Alice, was required to stay at home, to care for her father and brother, Roy, and to carry out domestic duties.

After completing high school, Olive worked as a teacher's monitor at North Kalgoorlie Primary School in 1921 and 1922. In 1923 she attended Teachers' College in Perth. Teachers' College records described Olive as having "a bright, vigorous personality" and "she gives considerable attention to the individual".

Her first placement as a teacher, in 1925, was to Leonora. In July, 1926, she was transferred to North Kalgoorlie Primary School where she remained until the end of 1933. She then worked at Boulder Primary School, 1934-1936, and returned again to North Kalgoorlie in 1937, the year in which she resigned and was married to Francis (Frank) Palmer Scott (born 1903).

Frank worked for the "Goldfields Firewood Supply", at Kurrawang, approximately 16 kilometres west of Kalgoorlie, as a bookkeeper/paymaster. In 1937, the Kurrawang township was moved when the company moved their operation to Lakewood, approximately seven kilometres south-east of Boulder.

While living at Lakewood, Olive and Frank's first child, Tom, was born (in 1940). Olive returned to teaching for short periods at the Lakewood Primary School in 1944 and 1945. In 1946, their second child, John, was born. At Lakewood, Olive often provided after-school tutoring for individual students who were having difficulty at school.
Olive and Frank had an attractive garden at Lakewood with roses, deciduous trees and fruit trees. Life in the harsh Goldfields climate was difficult at times, with very hot, dry summers and many dust storms. Winters were very cold with frosty mornings. There were no fridges or washing machines during the family's early years at Lakewood, with "Coolgardie Safes" and ice-boxes, a wood stove and pan toilets. A "copper" was used to heat up water for baths and for washing clothes. A Willy's Tourer was the family's mode of transport until 1952 when they bought their first sedan, a Ford Prefect.

Olive returned to teaching in 1952 at Boulder Infants School. Olive gained permission to travel to Boulder in the "Lakewood Taxi", a car service provided by the Education Department, primarily to transport secondary students from Lakewood to attend schools in Kalgoorlie and Boulder. Olive's teaching contract lapsed in December each year and she had to wait until the following February to find out if she had a job again.

Frank became severely affected by Parkinson's Disease and had to resign from his job at Lakewood. As a consequence, it was necessary for Olive to continue working, at least until John completed his high school education.

In 1957 Olive became the teacher of the "Special Class" where students with "special needs" or learning difficulties were placed. It was in this role that Olive "made her mark" and was able to utilise her knowledge and special skills - patience, empathy, and a nurturing, encouraging teaching style - with great success. Olive earned a reputation, among parents and teaching colleagues, of being a highly respected and effective teacher. Olive played the piano and taught the students how to "Dance the Maypole" for school concerts and assemblies. She retired from teaching in 1967.

The family moved to Richardson Street, Boulder in 1958. Olive broke her hip at home, and this event set her back a great deal. Frank passed away in 1969. Olive then moved to Perth and resided at James Brown House in Osborne Park. During her time there she did a lot of knitting and other craft work. Unfortunately, Olive fell and broke her arm while walking to the shops and this was another major setback for her. She was them moved to another Anglican home, St Georges Hospital in Mt Lawley. Olive passed away in November, 1980.

Sources used to compile this entry: Criena Fitzgerald and National Foundation for Australian Women, Karlkurla Gold: A History of the Women of Kalgoorlie-Boulder, Australian Women's Archives Project, December 2012,

Digital resources

Olive Scott
c. 1920
Tom Scott


Olive with her son Tom at the Lakewood Woodline Camp
c. 1940
Tom Scott


Criena Fitzgerald

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