Australian Women's Register

An initiative of The National Foundation for Australian Women (NFAW) in conjunction with The University of Melbourne

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Exhibitions

  • Faith, Hope and Charity Australian Women and Imperial Honours: 1901-1989

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Bate, Zara Kate (1909 - 1989)

Dame, DBE

Born
10 March 1909
Kew, Victoria, Australia
Died
14 June 1989
Occupation
Businesswoman and Community worker
Alternative Names
  • Dickins, Zara (maiden name)
  • Holt, Zara (former name)

Summary

Zara Bate was appointed Dames Commander of the Order of the British Empire for devotion to the public interest on 8 June 1968.

Details

Zara Bate the daughter of Sydney Herbert and Violet (née McDonald) was educated at both Ruyton and Toorak Colleges, Melbourne. In 1925, aged 16, she established her first dress shop in Little Collins Street, Melbourne. Bate with a friend, later opened a salon, called 'Magg', in Toorak Village, Melbourne. The business was sold in 1976. Bate won the Australian Gown of the Year award, in 1961.

From her first marriage to Colonel James Fell, Bate had three sons. She married her second husband Harold Holt, who was to become the 22nd prime minister of Australia, in 1946. After his disappearance in 1967, from a Portsea surf beach in Victoria he was presumed drowned, she married H. J. P. (Jeff) Bate on 19 February 1969. Mr Bate, a former Liberal politician and farmer, died in 1984.

In 1968 Dame Zara wrote a book titled My Life and Harry: An autobiography. Besides her charity work she enjoyed reading, walking, swimming and fishing. Dame Zara Bate passed away on 14 June 1989.

Related entries

Archival resources

National Archives of Australia, National Office

  • Audio-visual material relating to Harold Edward Holt and Mrs Zara Holt, c. 1 January 1920 - 31 July 1986, M4294; National Archives of Australia, National Office. Details
  • Audio-visual material relating to Harold Edward Holt and Mrs Zara Holt, c. 1 December 1921 - 26 September 1981, M4297; National Archives of Australia, National Office. Details
  • Personal papers of Dame Zara Holt, 31 December 1949 - 20 June 1989, M4296; National Archives of Australia, National Office. Details
  • Personal papers of Dame Zara Holt, 8 October 1946 - 29 December 1997, M4300; National Archives of Australia, National Office. Details

National Library of Australia Manuscript Collection

  • Papers of Dame Zara Holt, 1934 - 1977, MS 8431; Bate, Zara Kate (1909 - 1989); National Library of Australia Manuscript Collection. Details
  • Papers of Harry M. Miller, 1958 - 1983, MS 7981; National Library of Australia Manuscript Collection. Details

National Library of Australia Newspaper Microcopy Reading Room

  • [Biographical cuttings on Dame Zara Bate, socialite and author]; National Library of Australia Newspaper Microcopy Reading Room. Details
  • [Biographical cuttings on Zara Holt]; National Library of Australia Newspaper Microcopy Reading Room. Details

Anne Heywood

Site-wide information and acknowledgements

National Foundation for Australian Women The University of Melbourne, eScholarship Research Centre

http://www.womenaustralia.info/biogs/IMP0036b.htm

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