Eliza Jane Watts represents the untold thousands of pioneers who didn't have the time or opportunity to invent or discover or do great deeds to become famous.
Instead, she was just one of generations of Tasmanian women who endured relentless toil and privation their entire lives, without recognition or reward, blazing a trail for countless women to come.
Eliza was born in West Melbourne in 1854. She was fortunate to meet William Watts, and with her marriage in 1873, escaped a difficult family situation as after she left, her mother murdered her brother.
Early in 1879 she and her husband heard of the Lisle gold rush, near Launceston, and decided to emigrate with their three young children.
William got to Lisle with a horse and fully laden dray in March 1879. Eliza and the children had to come after. They took the mail coach to Myrtle Bank, then walked in the last arduous 10km.
Eliza was the first woman on the diggings. Years later she told the Examiner they'd been persuaded to come by exaggerated stories of the wealth being found. The reality was very different. "We heard that they were getting gold by the bucketful, but when we got here we found that that was all wrong. Mind you, there was plenty of gold at Lisle, and it was alluvial and easy enough to get, but it wasn't what people made it out to be. It was a rough place to come to from Melbourne. It was all hotels and sly-grog shops, but I didn't mind it as long as I had my husband with me. Lisle was a beautiful place then. It was a valley full of ferns."
Carpenters were building the first hotel with the studs just going up as she and the children wearily trudged in. The carpenters looked up and were astonished to see a woman coming down the track. A great cheer rang out. They threw their hammers and hats into the air and all work stopped as they jumped down to greet her.
Women like Eliza created our communities...
Eliza's three children were the first on the field, and she was to have another seven there, incredibly lucky that none died as losing half your children wasn't unusual in those days.
Somehow, Eliza managed to be a tireless worker for the community as well.
In 1922 an ageing Eliza and Will sold their home to a mining company and the whole district turned out for a big farewell at the Lisle Memorial Hall.
They'd been there 43 years, blending will, skill and energy, and raising eight sons and two daughters.
William died at Golconda in 1927 and Eliza in 1940. They were buried together at Nabowla.
There are hundreds of Eliza's descendants in Tasmania today - Watts, Griffiths, Kelly, Langley, Imlach, Atkins and other families.
Women like Eliza created our communities and nurtured and inspired us all.